Union With Christ

Union With Christ

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.  (Rom 6:5-6 NIV)

. . . always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.  (2 Cor 4:10 NKJV)

. . . even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus . . . (Eph 2:5-6 NKJV)

These Bible passages are discussing a believer’s union with Christ.  Union with Christ refers to the relationship between the believer and Jesus Christ.  It also refers to a willing loyalty of Christ to the believer, as well as a loyalty of the believer to our Lord Jesus. 

The first 14 verses of Ephesians, chapter One, explain some of the blessings that we receive from being united with Christ.  These passages reinforce our understanding that we are blessed and highly favored by God. 

Unity in Christ—a result of our salvation—brings about an ongoing redemptive work in a believer’s life and conduct.  As we come to know and understand our Savior, and through the Bible learn about our untold blessings, we yearn to live in a manner that is completely pleasing to the Lord.  This is understandable. 

Even as a small child who is loved, valued and protected by their parents will choose to please and obey those good parents—so also does a believer desire to please and to obey our loving and merciful Savior.  From His hand we receive forgiveness, favor, health, prosperity, protection, provision, and the gift of grace to enable us daily. 

Our God is a good God.  He blesses people and nations, whether they acknowledge Him or not.  He places people in governing positions for the sake of giving people order and safety in the world.  He blesses believers individually as we love, obey, and serve Him.

In the last days, they will tremble in awe of the Lord and of his goodness. (Hos 3:5b NLT)  As this Scriptures states, in the end times we will tremble with awe because of the Lord’s magnificence and His unimaginable goodness to mankind.  Glory to God!

Equipped to Please Him

Equipped to Please Him

Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 21 equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.  (Heb 13:20-21 NIV, emphasis added)

. . .  for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.  (Phil 2:13)

. . . that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.  (2 Tim 3:17)

Not only does our Redeemer set us free from sin and bless us daily!  He literally trains, supplies and prepares us with all that we need so that we may complete His will for us and please Him!  Think about what an enormous and miraculous gift that is to each one of us.

He accomplishes this in various ways.  He provides us with Pastors, teachers, missionaries and evangelists who share their testimonies and their wisdom with us.  Our Pastors teach us weekly how to live obediently and victoriously in Jesus.  As we obey the Lord not only do we bring Him glory and honor, but we please Him.

God’s supply comes through our earthly paychecks, salaries, bonuses and incentives as well as through miraculous (unexpected) provision. 

God prepares us through His Word and through His Spirit speaking into our hearts.

And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.  (1 Joh 3:22)

According to 1 John 3, because we keep the Lord’s Word (commandments) and act in ways that please Him, He hears and answers our prayers.  We serve a good, kind, and loving God!

In Green Pastures

In Green Pastures

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.  He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.  (Ps 23:1-3)

This passage of Scripture is addressing the truth that God is our shepherd and He gives us His special and all-encompassing rest.  What does God’s kind of rest really look like for mankind?

First of all, verse two says that He MAKES us lie down in green pastures.  In other words, the Lord in His mercy commands us to rest (Ex 23:12; 34:21); and then He creates an atmosphere where we may rest completely and utterly in perfect safety.  How does He do that?  Psalm 23:1-3 shows us.

First of all, the Lord leads us to green pastures with grass as far as the eye can see and these pastures are situated beside quiet, peaceful waters.  The Shepherd is right there watching over us to protect us.  This image of abundant grass is selected by God to convey the concept of provision for our souls as well as our bodies—through His love and goodness.  That is easily believed because God opens His hand and fills all living things with abundance according to Psalm 145:16.  One of God’s titles is Jehovah-Jireh, our Provider.  (Gen 22:13-14)

The peaceful waters to which the Lord leads us are quiet and gentle waters that induce us to relax and to rest.  God provides for His people, not just food and rest, but refreshment and pleasure. (Ex 31:17; Ps 16:11; Jer 31:25; Phile 1:7; 1 Cor 10:4)   

The Word actually says that God takes pleasure in the prosperity of His servants!  (Ps 35:27)  Glory to God!

When God supplies for your every need (spiritual, physical, financial, emotional) are you not then in the best possible state in which to relax and to rest?  God bless you!