Wednesday, February 29, 2012

In Christ - I am "in Christ"

Hi, all!  Sorry I missed last week – I was out sick – again – but the antibiotics have kicked in and I’m feeling better!  I know tomorrow’s going to be a crazy day, so I’m sending this early -

I am in Christ Jesus...

I Corinthians 1:30 It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, Who has become for us wisdom from God--that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 

KPRZ Encouragement for Today - September 13, 2011
Sit Down and Be Quiet - Sharon Jaynes

Today’s Truth
“Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish” (John 6:11 NIV).

Friend to Friend.
        “Have you ever noticed this pattern in the gospels – the disciples get in a bind and Jesus bails them out. It reminds me of the old fifties program, Father Knows Best. The kids got in trouble, the father solved the problem and then he taught us all an important life lesson at the end. Come to think of it, ‘Father Knows Best’ would be a fabulous subtitle for the gospels!

        “In John 6:1-15, we find the disciples in a precarious situation. Their lawn party had turned into quite a bash. The guests far exceeded their expectations, the disciples hadn’t planned on providing dinner, and it appeared the crowd was expecting refreshments. But the disciples didn’t have the funds or the food to feed them. All they could scrounge up were five loaves of bread and two dried fish. The crowd was getting restless, the disciples were getting nervous, and Jesus was getting ready. He took the five loaves and two fish and told the crowd to sit down – He told them to rest.

        “Then He lifted the food toward heaven, blessed it, and commanded the disciples to hand out the provisions to those who were seated. He didn’t feed the people who were running around worrying – but the ones who were at rest. To those He gave ‘immeasurably more than they could ask or imagine’ (see Ephesians 3:20), with twelve baskets left over.

        “When we believe God, we will have rest and peace in our lives. I want you to do something for me. Right now, I want you to use your imagination. The Bible tells us in Ephesians that we are ‘in Christ’ and Christ is ‘in us.’ It also tells us that we are seated “in heavenly places” and “transferred to the kingdom of Christ.” Picture yourself sitting right beside Jesus under a spreading oak tree. Perhaps His arm is around your shoulder and your head is resting on His chest. You can feel the beating of His heart against your cheek and your head moves with the rise and fall of His breathing. With His other hand, He strokes your head and immediately knows how many hairs are on your head. His breath warms your skin as it brushes past your face. Imagine Him looking into your eyes and knowing your innermost being and meeting your gaze with a warm, affirming smile reassuring you of His love and care.

        “Now tell me, as you imagine yourself in the presence of Jesus, how anxious do you feel? How rejected do you feel? How worried about tomorrow are you?

        “You may be thinking, ‘Yes, Sharon. I feel at peace in that scene. But that’s not reality.’ Dear sister, that is the greater reality. No matter what you are going through today, Jesus is right there with you. So maybe you just need to sit down and be quiet for a while.

Let’s Pray

“Dear Father, I’ll admit, sometimes I am so busy running around trying to solve my problems, I miss Your provision. Help me to listen to You more closely and see Your provision more clearly. I don’t want to miss what You have for me today. Help me to sit down and be quiet – to rest in You.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

“Is it difficult for you to sit down and be quiet with Jesus?

“What keeps you from taking time to be still before Him?

“Today, take at least ten minutes to be still with Jesus. No multi-tasking. Don’t do this while driving the car or washing the dishes. Just you and Jesus. Give Him your full attention.”

Being “in Christ” is at the core of our TRUE identity – whether or not we feel it or believe it – if we’ve come to God on HIS terms, He has placed us “in Christ” – and that’s how He sees us!  How does that work?  WHY does He see us this way?  I don’t know the answer to the first question – but the second one is easy – He sees us this way because HE LOVES US!  We’re His kids, and HE LOVES HIS KIDS!  (Sorry for the “shout out” – but sometimes we need God to get our attention, don’t we?)  He LOVES you – He sees Jesus when He sees you – and everything that we’ve done in our past is gone – wiped away – “as far as the east is from the west.”  And even now – when we blow it – when we sin – if we confess and repent He forgives again!  Something has happened in the spiritual realm at the moment of our conversion that can’t be undone – we are permanently, securely “in Christ” – and He’s in us – forever!  For me that made all the difference in the world – when I understood – and accepted – the truth of who I am “in Christ” I was able to let everyone else’s opinion fall away – and I could rest in my position “in Him.”  No more striving to be what the world says is “special” – or “successful” – or “pretty” – or whatever!  I’m “in Christ” – and He’s in me – and that’s all that matters!  Really!  That’s the greater reality.  SO – if you’re having a rough day – take a look in the mirror and tell yourself this truth – “This is the face of someone Jesus loves!”  Sharon Pearce

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