As born-again Christians we become part of the bride of Christ. We step into an unconditional love that cannot be separated from us through any human interaction or event.
The book Songs of Solomon is a representation of the love that Christ feels for His bride. There are specific verses that you need to take to heart in order to comprehend how He sees you. Contrary to what many of us think of ourselves – He thinks we are perfectly unique, without any glitch or flaw.
“[He exclaimed] O my love, how beautiful you are! There is no flaw in you!” Song of Songs 4:7
We are really wasting time when we complain about our flaws and shortcomings, because nothing we can say or do will ever change His mind about us. He is ever ready to believe the best of us (see post: The characteristics of Love).
“So that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word, That He might present the church to Himself in glorious splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such things [that she might be holy and faultless].” Ephesians 5:26-27
We have already been washed clean and forever perfected through his sacrifice. We are now perfectly faultless and without spot or wrinkle. There is no flaw in us! If only we could always remember this…
As born-again Christians we have such a wonderful hope to cling onto in times of discouragement or sadness. Jesus changed everything – He made us completely righteous before God. We can now confidently know the following words are true:
“In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear not, O Zion. Let not your hands sink down or be slow and listless. The Lord your God is in the midst of you, a Mighty One, a Savior [Who saves]! He will rejoice over you with joy; He will rest [in silent satisfaction] and in His love He will be silent and make no mention [of past sins, or even recall them]; He will exult over you with singing.” Zeph 3:16-17
If you ever feel sad or despondent again – remember the following facts:
- God is rejoicing over you with joy. To rejoice means to celebrate something, to literally jump for joy. The truth is that God feels that way about you.
- God rests in silent satisfaction when He thinks about you. That means He is content – He is not looking for flaws or thinking of ways to improve you.
- God exults over you with singing. That means He is elated and in high spirits because of you.
God did not intend for Christians to be the cultivators of their own minds. These days it is common to hear teachings about “how to achieve the mind of Christ“, or “steps to follow in order for your thoughts to be holy“. Although it might sound great in theory, this kind of ‘pruning’ will not change the root of your thought-life.
The only way to experience the thoughts and the mind of Christ, is to submit yourself to God and let Him do the pruning. You will never get anywhere through your own efforts – we are told so plainly in Rom 8:7:
“[That is] because the mind of the flesh [with its carnal thoughts and purposes] is hostile to God, for it does not submit itself to God’s Law; indeed it cannot.”
The mind of the flesh cannot submit itself unto God. Only God can change your mind and thoughts. By looking away from all that will distract (including the thoughts/mindsets you want to change) unto Jesus, He will finish the work that He started within you (Heb 12:2). He will change the entire root-system of your faith ‘tree’, and the result will be effortless fruit-bearing.
Romans 12:2 does not tell us to transform our own minds, it tells us to let it be transformed. Look to God and let Him take over the reconstruction of your mind!
“Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude]” Rom 12:2
There is a mindset and position from which we must operate as Christians in order to be as fruitful as God intentded us to be. This position is a position of rest – meaning a space devoid of human interference, plans and theologies. In our own efforts and plans we will almost always drive ourselves to become burnt-out and tired, and this does not glorify God.
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.] Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and [s]recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls. For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good–not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne.” Matt 11:28 – 30
Let what you do for God proceed from the joy that is within you. By operating in this way you will function optimally, while seeing maximum results. God will be able to speak to you more clearly, and because you are not overworked and swamped by your own efforts, you will hear Him more clearly.
As always, let your relationship with God take first place. Every ministry, idea or outreach you have should flow from that.
As Christians we need to see the Gospel and the character of God for what it really is. We don’t believe in a powerless Gospel that only consists of nice words. Non-believers won’t be converted if you only tell them about the goodness of God and the power of the Gospel – they need to experience it as well. It needs to be demonstrated. Paul and Jesus proclaimed the same message:
“For Christ (the Messiah) sent me out not to baptize but [to evangelize by] preaching the glad tidings (the Gospel), and that not with verbal eloquence, lest the cross of Christ should be deprived of force and emptied of its power and rendered vain (fruitless, void of value, and of no effect).” 1 Cor 1:17
“Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me; or else believe Me for the sake of the [very] works themselves. [If you cannot trust Me, at least let these works that I do in My Father’s name convince you.]” John 14:11
Jesus (in reply to a question about whether He really was the Messiah:
“So He replied to them, Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the good news (the Gospel) preached to them.” Luke 7:22
Jesus said we will do the same things that He did, and even greater (John 14:12). We can demonstrate the incredible saving power of the cross. This includes praying for sickness or any dead situation and seeing the miraculous happen!
“For the kingdom of God consists of and is based on NOT talk but POWER.” 1 Cor 4:20
As Christians, most of us have heard the following statement before: “You are now one with Christ”. I don’t think many of us realize the incredible impact of this statement.
“For as many [of you] as were baptized into Christ [into a spiritual union and communion with Christ, the Anointed One, the Messiah] have put on (clothed yourselves with) Christ. There is [now no distinction] neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ [are in Him Who is Abraham’s Seed], then you are Abraham’s offspring and [spiritual] heirs according to promise.” Gal 3:27-29
To be in union with someone means to be merged or to become one (fused together). That means the following is true for every believer:
- You will do the same things that Christ did, and even greater (John 14:12). Jesus changed lives wherever He went. He did not condemn sinners. He healed the sick. He fed thousands with one meal and He even raised the dead! Through Christ living in you, this can be your reality.
- You have the true Word of God permanently fixed in you (John 1) – which means the truth will always resonate with your heart (also see post about what you have inside you). You know the voice of your Shepherd.
Selah. Pause and calmly think about that!
As Christians we don’t walk and operate within the natural realm anymore. We have been translated from a kingdom of darkness to a kingdom of light (Col 1:13), and with this comes supernatural protection. This was already partly discussed in a previous post – but tonight I want to refer to some other examples.
In Luke 10:19 we are told about this special protection:
“Behold! I have given you authority and power to trample upon serpents and scorpions, and [physical and mental strength and ability] over all the power that the enemy [possesses]; and nothing shall in any way harm you.”
Paul became a physical testimony to this, when he was bitten by a snake:
“Now Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and he was laying them on the fire when a viper crawled out because of the heat and fastened itself on his hand…Then [Paul simply] shook off the small creature into the fire and suffered no evil effects. However, they were waiting, expecting him to swell up or suddenly drop dead; but when they had watched him a long time and saw nothing fatal or harmful come to him, they changed their minds and kept saying over and over that he was a god.” Acts 28:3, 5-6
We don’t have to walk around fearing the next natural disaster or evil attack to befall us. We can walk around in confidence, knowing Who it is that protects us.
“You shall tread upon the lion and adder; the young lion and the serpent shall you trample underfoot.” Ps 91:13