Lazy Day, Sunday

PrayTogether1

Daily Prayer for October 7

Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt

I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me – just as the Father knows me and I know the Father – and I lay down my life for the sheep. John 10:14–15, NIV

Dear Father in heaven, we thank you that your voice reaches our hearts and that we can say with joy, “We belong to you. We too are yours.” We want to lead lives that show we belong to you, never allowing ourselves to be sidetracked, never again giving way to pettiness, always drawing strength from the power of Jesus Christ. Protect our household. Watch over each of us. Protect us all on our way. O mighty God, be with us in the many dangers that surround us, and grant that we may always be joyful because our names are recorded in heaven. Amen.

 

TODAY’S DAILY DIG

PeppersIn the first centuries of Christianity the hungry were fed at a personal sacrifice, the naked were clothed at a personal sacrifice, the homeless were sheltered at a personal sacrifice.…And the pagans used to say about the Christians, “See how they love each other.” In our own day the poor are no longer fed, clothed, and sheltered at a personal sacrifice, but at the expense of the taxpayers. And because of this the pagans say about the Christians, “See how they pass the buck.”

Source: Easy Essays

 

 

 

 

Verse of the Day

Inspirational illustration of Psalm 63:1

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

Addiction has been defined as “God-hunger directed to the wrong source of soul satisfaction.” Psalm 63 reminds us this is true. Deep in us is a desire to seek after God because he is not far from us and longs to be known by us (see Acts 17). But often when our soul craving need for God is greatest, he is the last place we turn for satisfaction. Let’s earnestly seek after him and slake our soul thirstiness in him.

My Prayer…

Holy Father, fill my heart with longing for you and my head with understanding that it is your presence I crave. I confess that I have often sought relief for my hunger in things that do not satisfy. I pledge today to recognize all other sources of satisfaction to be temporary and false. I promise to pursue you and your will through your word and your Spirit till I rest in your presence and grace. In the powerful name of Jesus my Lord, I pray. Amen.

 

 

 

 

What Jesus Did! ‘Remain in My Love: Obey!’

Illustration of John 15:9-10 NLT — "I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father's commandments and remain in his love."

Key Thought

When little children are disciplined for playing in the road or walking on railroad tracks, they see the discipline as painful, unnecessary, and limiting. They don’t want limitations. However, if they could understand the danger and the parents’ desire to protect them, they would see that discipline as loving. A parent calls on a child to obey because obedience protects and blesses that child. Likewise, when Jesus asks us to obey, let’s not see it as something onerous, burdensome, and limiting. Instead, let’s see Jesus’ command, and our obedience to that command, as the protection of a loving Savior trying to safeguard, bless, and care for his beloved younger brothers and sisters. When we obey Jesus, we remain under the protection of his love rather than in the danger of our rebellion!

Today’s Prayer

Almighty God, your ways are not my ways. Your understanding is way beyond my understanding. So I trust that when you call me to obey, you do so because of your protective love. Please know that I will do my best to obey you and your Son in order to show you my love in return. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

Passion for Praise: ‘Merciful and Compassionate’

Illustration of Joel 2:13 — Return to the LORD your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.

 

A Year with Jesus: ‘God’s Suffering Servant’

Note from Jesus

Dear Follower,

The Father’s role for Me when I came to earth as the Son of God shocked many people. They expected a warrior or kingly ruler who would restore Israel to prominence and power among the nations of the world. Even my cousin and forerunner, John the Baptizer, had questions about whether I was the Messiah. So I reminded this great servant that I was doing the things that are in the description of the Messiah given by Isaiah (Isaiah 35:4-6):

John sent two of his disciples to ask the Lord, “Are You the Promised One, or shall we keep looking for someone else?”

They came to Jesus and asked their question exactly as directed by John the Baptist.

Before He answered John’s messengers, Jesus cured many from various diseases, health conditions, and evil spirits. He even caused many blind people to regain their sight.

Jesus (to John’s disciples):

Go and tell John what you’ve witnessed with your own eyes and ears: the blind are seeing again, the lame are walking again, the lepers are clean again, the deaf hear again, the dead live again, and good news is preached to the poor. Whoever is not offended by Me is blessed indeed.

(Luke 7:19-23)

I came to earth as the servant promised in Isaiah. I repeatedly tried to help people hear this truth about My identity; here are two examples of what I said about Myself:

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to liberate the lost.”
(Luke 19:10)

“You know that among the nations of the world the great ones lord it over the little people and act like tyrants. But that is not the way it will be among you. Whoever would be great among you must serve and minister. Whoever wants to be great among you must be slave of all. Even the Son of Man came not to be served but to be a servant — to offer His life as a ransom for others.”
(Mark 10:42-45)

In the second passage of Scripture below, My apostle Paul dealt with problems in the church in Philippi. He used My example and My role as the servant of the LORD to be the foundation of his teaching. My disciples in Philippi needed to have the same mind, the same attitude, as I displayed in honoring the Father when I accepted My role as a servant. I want you to remember My role, My willingness to honor God in that role. More than remembering, I want you to adopt this servant lifestyle as your own!

Verses to Live

As you read the following verses, ask the Holy Spirit to imprint My example on your heart. First, you will read Isaiah’s words of description for the LORD’s Suffering Servant. Then you will read Paul’s exhortation for My disciples to have this same attitude. As Paul wrote to the Philippians from prison, he wanted them to grasp fully that they must have this one mind as they lived in relationship with each other. I want you to have this same mind as you live in relationship with other believers!

Indeed, who would ever believe it?
Who would possibly accept what we’ve been told?
Who has witnessed the awesome power and plan of the Eternal in action?
Out of emptiness he came, like a tender shoot from rock-hard ground.
He didn’t look like anything or anyone of consequence —
he had no physical beauty to attract our attention.

So he was despised and forsaken by men,
this man of suffering, grief’s patient friend.
As if he was a person to avoid, we looked the other way;
he was despised, forsaken, and we took no notice of him.

Yet it was our suffering he carried,
our pain and distress, our sick-to-the-soul-ness.
We just figured that God had rejected him,
that God was the reason he hurt so badly.

But he was hurt because of us; he suffered so.
Our wrongdoing wounded and crushed him.
He endured the breaking that made us whole.
The injuries he suffered became our healing.

We all have wandered off, like shepherdless sheep,
scattered by our aimless striving and endless pursuits;
The Eternal One laid on him, this silent sufferer,
the sins of us all.

And in the face of such oppression and suffering — silence.
Not a word of protest, not a finger raised to stop it.
Like a sheep to a shearing, like a lamb to be slaughtered,
he went — oh so quietly, oh so willingly.

Oppressed and condemned, he was taken away.
From this generation, who was there to complain?
Who was there to cry “Foul”?
He was, after all, cut off from the land of the living,
Smacked and struck, not on his account,
because of how my people (my people!)
Disregarded the lines between right and wrong.
They snuffed out his life.

And when he was dead, he was buried with the disgraced
in borrowed space (among the rich),
Even though he did no wrong by word or deed.

Yet the Eternal One planned to crush him all along,
to bring him to grief, this innocent servant of God.
When he puts his life in sin’s dark place, in the pit of wrongdoing,
this servant of God will see his children and have his days prolonged.
For in His servant’s hand, the Eternal’s deepest desire will come to pass and flourish.

As a result of the trials and troubles that wrack his soul,
God’s servant will see light and be content
Because He knows, really understands, what it’s about; as God says,
“My just servant will justify countless others by taking on their punishment and bearing it away.

Because he exposed his very self —
laid bare his soul to the vicious grasping of death —
And was counted among the worst, I will count him among the best.
I will allot this one, My servant, a share in all that is of any value,

Because he took on himself the sin of many
and acted on behalf of those who broke My law.”
(Isaiah 53:1-12)

In other words, adopt the mind-set of Jesus the Anointed. Live with His attitude in your hearts. Remember:

Though He was in the form of God,
He chose not to cling to equality with God;

But He poured Himself out to fill a vessel brand new;
a servant in form
and a man indeed.

The very likeness of humanity,

He humbled Himself,
obedient to death —
a merciless death on the cross!

So God raised Him up to the highest place
and gave Him the name above all.

So when His name is called,
every knee will bow,
in heaven, on earth, and below.

And every tongue will confess
“Jesus, the Anointed One, is Lord,”
to the glory of God our Father!

(Philippians 2:6-11)

Response in Prayer

Lord God, thank You for Jesus as Your example of a servant. Jesus’ example is both convicting and inspiring. I pledge to honor Jesus by following His example as a servant. I ask for the power of the Holy Spirit to help me as I seek to follow Jesus’ example and not my own selfish desires. In Jesus’ name, I pray and ask for this grace. Amen.

Praying with Paul: ‘Holy and Blameless’

Ephesians 1:3-4

Dear Father, King of an eternal kingdom,

Thank you for giving me the greatest motivation in life. You have called me into your kingdom, the greatest blessing that can come to any creature in heaven or on earth, in ages past, the present, or time to come.

Blessed are you, O God, Creator of everything that is.

You have blessed us with every blessing of a spiritual nature in the heavenly realms.

In fact, you chose us in Christ before you created the world, that we should be specially dedicated to you, holy and blameless. Continue your work in me, O Lord. Make me holy and blameless in word and in deed.

In the name of Jesus and by his authority I pray. Amen.

 

 

 

Loving God

One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life. … For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion. … And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me. … Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice! … When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.” —Psalm 27:4-8, NKJV

What is the path to overcoming great fear in the end times? The examples of Jesus and David make it clear: they overcame fear by seeking God’s face in intimacy. They gazed upon the heart of God, encountering His beauty. The trouble David talked about was manifold, but mainly it was the trouble of people seeking to harm him. It is awful to walk around with that sinking feeling in your stomach because somebody at work, church, your neighborhood, or school is out to get you. You want to repair the situation, but often you can’t, so you learn to live with the reality of having an enemy, as David did. He practically walked around with a big target on him from the day Saul rejected him. But he proclaimed that God would hide him in His shelter. His words shine a big light on the answer of how to carry our hearts in the hour of persecution and great trouble that comes from evil people.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Father, keep me from the fear of what others might say or do to me. Keep me from feeling the sting of rejection and hatred from others. When evildoers threaten to destroy me, let me overcome their evil by living in the security of Your love.

The Lord will anoint us with answers
to comfort fainting or failing hearts.

 

 

By Love Transformed

Coping With Stubbornness

If someone is caught in sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. —Galatians 6:1

Stubbornness means being unteachable, inflexible, holding firmly to your own opinion and not giving in. A stubborn person is incorrigible. They never improve, and they don’t seem to learn. They will not admit to a fault, and nothing seems to change their mind. Have I described you? Do people who know you best think this about you? The chances are, if two or more people have thought it, there may well be something to it.

However, there are two kinds of stubbornness: there’s the stubbornness that can flow from the Holy Spirit, and there’s the stubbornness that flows from the flesh. In other words, there’s the good kind of stubbornness and the bad kind. The good kind is where you have been persuaded of something by the Holy Spirit and stick to your guns.

I am talking, however, about stubbornness in the flesh. What are we like when left to ourselves? We find we are proud; we have big egos that don’t want to admit to a wrong. But pride has another side—insecurity. The person who has the biggest ego is equally the most insecure person there is.

What do you do if you have to cope with a person who is stubborn? First, you have to remember this verse. That means that you recognize that you also are vulnerable. Next, you have to get the person to face the facts. Then you must answer their questions honestly.

Yet, at the end of the day, only God can change a person. Sometimes the only way a stubborn person is dealt with is where God Himself brings them to the place where they are backed into a corner and there is only one way out. That is God’s gracious way of dealing with them. I know what it is to have God box me into a corner, leaving me with no choice. It is painful at the time, and yet I know it is God’s way of getting my attention.

Excerpted from All’s Well That Ends Well (Authentic Media, 2005).

Daily Breakthroughs

Ever-Abiding Presence

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. —John 14:16-17

During Jesus’ ministry on the earth, He was constantly teaching and training His disciples. He even imparted His power and anointing to them. But very little change took place in their lives, because His influence and His power were still external.

But when Jesus returned to heaven, there was a tag team handoff! The Father sent the third person of the Trinity—the Holy Spirit—to fill them with His ever-abiding presence.

The Holy Spirit came down as a “mighty rushing wind” to invade the innermost recesses of the disciples’ lives and to fulfill Jesus’ promise to them (Acts 2:4).

Acknowledge God’s ever-abiding presence. Allow His internal presence to transform you and empower you to be a bold witness for Christ!

Jesus, transform and empower me to be a bold
witness for You. Help me overcome any
reluctance or fear I have of what
men may think of me. Amen.

Redeeming the Time
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1 by Os Hillman
October 07, 2018

“Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.”Acts 8:40Many times I’ve heard a man or woman say they cannot participate in an event, a service, or activity for God because of the time it will take away from their job. God has called each of us to be good stewards of our time and our resources. It is just as important to learn how to say yes as it is to say no, and we must be faithful to our employers if we do not have freedom to take time away. However, many times I sense that workplace believers justify a lack of obedience under the guise of stewardship.

Philip was one of the first businessmen who was given a commission to preach the gospel. He was in the city of Samaria preaching when many miracles began to take place and the crowds came to see what was happening. Then in the midst of this great move of God, the angel of God spoke to Philip and told him to leave Samaria and go to a desert road that led from Jerusalem to Gaza. Imagine how Philip must have questioned the logic of this decision when he was seeing such results in Samaria. But Philip was obedient to the angel. Along the road, he met an Ethiopian eunuch who wanted to have the Scriptures explained to him. Philip explained the Scriptures to the Ethiopian, who was the treasurer of Ethiopia under Queen Candace, and led him to the Lord, then baptized him in a nearby lake. A few moments later, Philip was supernaturally transported many miles northwest of his location to Azotus, where he preached Christ along the way toward his final destination of Caesarea.

So often we think that if we give our time outside our work life, our work will suffer. God redeemed the time for Philip by supernaturally transporting him to the next place he was to be. God always blesses those who serve Him. He can redeem lost time for those who willingly give of themselves for His purposes. Do not fall into the trap of believing that God cannot redeem the time you give for Him. If He calls you to give outside your normal work life, be assured He can make up that time. I have heard countless examples of workplace believers who experienced God’s supernatural financial provision for time given for the sake of the gospel through unexpected business or unusual income that resulted after they made the commitment to take time away from their work for service to God.

God desires that we respond as Philip did in order to be used by Him in the life of another person. Listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit so that you can go and speak when He says go and speak. Do not fear the consequences of what that might mean if it requires leaving your work interests for a time. God will make it up. He always takes care of those who are obedient. He is more concerned about obedience than the bottom line.

Listening to the Father’s Heart – October 7
by Os Hillman

Son, imagine yourself as warden over a large prison. Do you see the many around you bound by their sin, their bitterness, and their circumstances in life? I have called my sons and daughters to unlock the prison doors so that I can adopt all of these orphans and slaves into my kingdom. Let me remind you that I gave you the keys to unlock these doors. “And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven” (Mt 16:19). Sons and daughters are needed who will faithfully intercede for those who remain in prison. There are many who desperately need my love. “Then He said to them, ‘The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest'” (Lk 10:2). My desire is that my people understand this truth.

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound. Isaiah 61:1

Is There Hierarchy in Calling?
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2 by Os Hillman
October 07, 2018

“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it (1 Cor 12:27).”

All legitimate work matters to God. God Himself described himself as a worker. In fact, human occupations find their origin in His work to create the world. Work is a gift from Him to meet the needs of people and the creation. “You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet: all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas” (Ps 8:6-8).

However, there is often an unspoken hierarchy that positions clergy (missionaries and evangelists, pastors and clergy) at the top, and occupations such as of the “helping professions” (doctors and nurses, teachers and educators, social workers) next, and “secular” workers (business executives, salespeople, factory laborers, and farmers) at the bottom.

So what determines the spiritual value of a job? How does God assign significance? The hierarchy assumes sacred and secular distinctions, and assigns priority to the sacred. But does God view vocations that way? No, He does not.

God creates people to carry out specific kinds of work in order to meet human needs. God uniquely designs each of us, fitting us for certain kinds of tasks. He distributes skills, abilities, interests, and personalities among us so that we can carry out His work in the world. That work includes “spiritual” tasks, but also extends to health, education, agriculture, business, law, communication, the arts, and so on.

Paul was a tentmaker by occupation, along with his friends, Aquila and Priscilla. Other church leaders practiced a wide variety of professions and trades. There’s no indication that God looks at vocations in the form of spiritual hierarchy.*

The next time you consider your vocation a second-class spiritual calling, consider what God says. Your work matters to God and is valued by God equally to other forms of work.

 

 

 

You Asked:

“Why Do You Put Such an Emphasis
on Who Christ Is Right Now—Today?”
4 Answers to Reset Your Life

 

 

[Editor’s Note: Every day, ChristNowOnline receives lots of excellent feedback from our readers. Often this comes in the form of stimulating questions. From time to time, David Bryant addresses some of the most popular questions through one of his blog posts. Here he does so again.

One recent concern shared with us, but expressed by others, was based on the meaning of the verse in Hebrews 13:8 that says (emphasis added):

“Jesus Christ is the SAME
yesterday, today and forever.”

Our friend’s challenge to us goes like this:

David, you’ve written a new book called Christ Is NOW! Your outreach into the digital world calls itself “ChristNowOnline.” Your website ChristNow.com claims:

“This is the only address on the Web for free, life-changing resources focused on who Christ is today.”

Are you suggesting that the person Jesus was yesterday is not the same person he is at this moment? Has Jesus changed somehow over time? Is there more to him today than we see of him during his earthly ministry? What about Hebrews 13:8 that says he is “the same” now and forever?

So glad you asked! David has answers—FOUR of them, to be exact. Let us know what  you think.]

 

 

4 Answers to Your Question That Can
Revitalize Your Daily Walk With Christ

 

 

The fact is that shortly after I became a Christian when I was a freshman in college, as I got into the Scriptures for the first time in my life, it wasn’t long before I stumbled onto Hebrews 13:8 as well.

I remember the evening I found it quite by accident, during a break from homework. It had such an impact on me that I decided then and there to make it my “life verse.”

For many years after that, anytime I gave someone my autograph, I always added after my signature the reference “Hebrews 13:8.” Even to this day, it remains one of my all-time favorite verses in the Bible.

So, you can be sure I totally embrace the truth it teaches.

Let me also be clear that I’m not saying that Jesus’ incarnation, life, death, resurrection, and ascension are of lesser importance than his reign today. Of course not! All that he has done in the past is crucial, requisite, foundational to all he is doing now and will do in the future.

And yet, I also believe that one of the predominant indications of what I call the “crisis of Christology” prevalent in so many churches today is that very few believers think of God’s Son in terms of the “today” part of that verse—in the present tense.

Over the years as I’ve interacted with every stream of the Body of Christ, if there has been one consistent response from those who have attended my teachings, such as The Christ Institutes seminar, it goes something like this:

I never thought much about who Christ is today. I never imagined him physically occupying Heaven’s throne this very hour, actively ruling and working among the nations. To think of him as the Great King intensely focused on building up his kingdom work among his people in every part of the earth, while also sovereignly at work in each believer’s life to directly transform us day by day—it really never hit me before.

I guess my vision of Jesus has been shaped more by who he was—the way we see him in the Gospels; or by who he will be when he comes back in victory.

But when it comes to right now, I have to admit I conceive of him more like some spirit being floating somewhere in a heavenly realm outside of the universe—in the wing of the stage, so to speak, waiting for his cue to come back to earth someday.

I’ve even had fellow Christians tell me that before I showed them how much the scriptures tell us about the fuller implications of the physical resurrection of Jesus for the present time, they never even regarded Jesus as having an actual body at the moment, one way or another! But there IS a glorified, human body—bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh—residing in heaven right now. Jesus! Just imagine that!

That’s why over the years I’ve begun to make a great deal more about Christ in the present tense. Sometimes I put it like this:

“The wow-ness of Jesus is based on the now-ness of Jesus.”

So, in this blog post let me answer your question in FOUR ways that I hope will satisfy any concern about how I see Hebrews 13:8. However, at the same time, let me do so in a way that can set you off on a whole new adventure of “living in Jesus” day by day.

 

Answer 1

Yes, in one sense, in regard to his actual PERSON, Jesus is definitely the SAME today as he has always been or ever will be.

I bring this out very clearly in the chapter titled “Who Christ TO Us Today” in my new book, Christ Is NOW!” There I concentrate solely on his “personhood,” the essence of who he IS as the Son of God, from eternity to eternity.

For example, consider these major subheadings in that nearly 70-page section:

•  The Supremacy of His Deity
•  His Intimacy With the Trinity
•  The Perfection of Revelation
•  The Picture of Scripture
•  The Claims of His Names
•  Our Identity and Destiny
•  The Father’s Passion and Ours

There are many glorious truths from God’s Word that I share under each of these descriptions. I’m sorry there’s not space here to do so.

Please know this: Nothing about any of those core realities of Jesus as a PERSON has ever been modified, supplemented, improved, or abandoned. And nothing about who he is in himself will ever change in all ages to come. His intimacy with the Trinity, for example—his place as one of the Three-in-One, in the bonds of divine nature and divine love—is precisely today as it was before anything was created.

Remember: This is the same Jesus who rules among us at this hour—in whom you live and move and have your being every day, with whom you are in intimate union every passing hour. He remains today all of this and no less!

“The wow-ness of Jesus is based on the now-ness of Jesus.”

 

Answer 2

However, there are six additional dimensions that make up what I call the “spectacular supremacy” of God’s Son that must change the way we see Jesus today and relate to him.

In Christ Is NOW!, six additional chapters discuss these equally profound truths about Jesus, most of which were NOT true of our Savior “yesterday,” during the days of his earthly ministry. Here is the basic outline of how the book presents them—who Christ is FOR us, OVER us, BEFORE us, WITHIN us, THROUGH us, and UPON us today:

•  Who Christ Is FOR Us Today

o   By the invasion of his incarnation
o   By the mission of his crucifixion
o   By the re-creation of his resurrection
o   By the coronation of his ascension

•  Who Christ Is OVER Us Today

o   His reign over the workings of creation
o   His reign over the unfolding of world history
o   His reign over the designs of global leaders
o   His reign over the destiny of earth’s peoples
o   His reign over the rebellion of dark powers
o   His reign over the building of his church

•  Who Christ Is BEFORE Us Today

o   Onward in the future to bring it back to us
o   Upward into the heavens to bring us into it
o   Inward into the promises to make them ours too
o   Outward into the world to open for us a way to serve

•  Who Christ Is WITHIN Us Today

o   Individual expressions of his presence
o   Corporate expressions of his presence
o   We are his temple, his body, his bride
o   He is the basis of true unity
o   The Holy Spirit’s primary role in all of this
o   Living in “the fear of the Lord” as a way of life

•  Who Christ is THROUGH Us Today

o   His is a reign you can’t contain
o   His reign is the extension of the Ascension
o   There are no limits to how fully Jesus can use us
o   His ministry through us individually
o   His ministry through us corporately

•  Who Christ Is UPON Us Today

o   With Christ, there will always be so much more
o   Soon he will bring about the consummation of all things
o   Today he gives us “approximations of the consummation”
o   He comes upon us to deepen, intensify, accelerate, and expand
o   We need to embrace a “life of anticipation”

Well, that gives you a taste of whole new ways to think about who Christ is today—so many facets of his supremacy and majesty that most Christians rarely think about, if at all.

The outline alone shows that Jesus “brings more to the table” in this hour than before he did before the night over 2000 years ago when he was “born in the fullness of times” (Galatians 4).

These seven prepositions—who Jesus is to us, for us, over us, before us, withinus, through us and upon us today—simply “add” grander dimensions; they magnify his glory more. All of this added to who he is “to us” is how we will see him and experience him, both now and for all the ages to come.

Wrapping our lives in Christ around these magnificent truths is why our emphasis on Christ NOW is so important and so transformative.

“The wow-ness of Jesus is based on the now-ness of Jesus.”

 

Answer 3

This emphasis on Jesus in the present time is a summons to believers to recognize and join in on how active he is moment by moment.

Ephesians 4 reminds us that Christ ascended on high in order to FILL (present tense verb in the Greek) the universe—which is precisely what he is doing at this moment!

Take note: Jesus, seated on the throne, is saturating the whole creation with his presence, with his sovereignty, with his power, with his purposes, and with his activity.

His must be described as a “spectacular” supremacy because unceasingly he is unleashing the fullness of his saving reign in all kinds of ways—above all, among his people while at the same time among the nations.

Currently, he is sovereignly moving all of creation and all of history forward, especially with all of his followers, toward the grand, Christ-exalting Consummation of the ages.

Unfortunately, I’ve found many sincere believers over the decades who conceive of our Lord Jesus as more “static,” or fixed, or only as an immovable foundation (which he is, of course—but he is so much more).

Many, unwittingly, see him more like a celebrity on LinkedIn with a great résumé, or more like the subject of a “doctrinal statement” to confess (“Jesus is God” or “Jesus saves”).

But a multitude of scriptures invites us to relate to our Savior as a real, living, breathing, thinking, decisive, determined, proactive PERSON—someone who is carrying out an eternal plan, advancing it like a general. He is purposefully engaged with each one of us as believers—conquering us and blessing us and using us—while at the same time he goes about the vision of fulfilling his authority as “the ruler of the kings of the earth” (Revelation 1).

This is the high truth I long to convey to my fellow Christians when I teach about who Christ is over us, before us, within us, through us, and upon us. All these insights define how lovingly, yet unrelentingly, he intends to pursue us and get involved with every moment of our lives today, on every level. How personallyinvolved he wants to be—caringly, directly, and consequentially.

“The wow-ness of Jesus is based on the now-ness of Jesus.”

 

Answer 4

What all of the above means is this: TODAY for all of us who belong to Jesus there is so much more of Jesus, so much more about Jesus, and so much more from Jesus.

There’s more to seek, to uncover, to receive, to celebrate, to enter into, to follow, to exalt—and more to share with others than any of us have experienced so far in our walk with him.

Moreover, we can be certain, whoever we are, that each day there is even still more in Christ to find—no matter how long we’ve walked with him.

The riches we have in Christ Jesus are there waiting for us to discover and enjoy—and they are defined as “inexhaustible” (Ephesians 3). They will never run dry; they will never be terminated.

Ephesians 3 goes on to say that out of the depths of his unsearchable love, Jesus wants to bless us “exceedingly above and beyond what we could ask or imagine.” All of God’s grace, including every one of his hundreds of promises in Scripture to the saints, is poured out on us through God’s Son right now—as they will continue to be for all ages to come (see Ephesians 2). No limits! No end!

The outreach of ChristNowOnline and ChristNow.com is working every day to stir up Christians online everywhere to rise up and refuse to settle for the status quo in their relationship with their Savior.

Our goal is to encourage God’s people to persistently “ask, seek, and knock” for more and more OF Christ, more ABOUT Christ and more FROM Christ.

For all believers, the constant cry of our hearts to Heaven ought to be: “Take me to more of Christ!”—as we invite the Spirit of God on this day to please introduce us to the full extent of the supremacy of Christ—the One who is our “all in all” (Colossians 3:11).

Through all of the social media platforms and web resources related to CHRIST NOW, we’re encouraging Jesus followers throughout the digital world to respond the way Paul urges all of us in Ephesians 5:14: Wake up! Rise up! Get with it! Come alive to Christ. Press on into more of Christ!

Don’t miss out on being a part of his kingdom initiatives. His kingdom is already forcefully advancing. Become a “person of force” who lays hold of it, who follows the King of Glory (Matthew 11:12). Move out with him in his victory procession, marching to the ends of the earth (2 Corinthians 2:14).

Embrace with your whole heart the spectacular supremacy of Christ. Embrace him for all he is worth. Heed the glorious privilege granted to all who are united to Christ.

So, if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective (The Message, emphasis added).

“The wow-ness of Jesus is based on the now-ness of Jesus.”

 

About the Author

Over the past 40 years, David Bryant has been defined by many as a “messenger of hope” and a “Christ proclaimer” to the Church throughout the world. Formerly a minister-at-large with the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, president of Concerts of Prayer International (COPI), and chairman of America’s National Prayer Committee, David now provides leadership to ChristNow.com and to Proclaim Hope!, whose mission is to foster and serve Christ-awakening movements. Order his widely read books at DavidBryantBooks.com.

 

 

 

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