Christ In Us

Galatians 2:20 is a verse I often quote, because its the cornerstone of our success in Jesus Christ: “I have been crucified with Christ,” Paul writes, “and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

So let me ask you a question: Do you really believe that? Do you believe that Jesus Christ is alive inside of you, right now, wherever you are, and whatever youre doing?

If you have trouble grasping the reality of that truth, let me remind you again today: the living Christ lives in you! The Holy Spirit has made you His temple! You are filled with His power! You are cleansed by Christs blood!

With all these wonderful promises, there is no reason why you and I cant walk in the joy and power of the Holy Spirit. We can pray, and believe with confidence that the Lord will speak through us, and use us to reach people in our world with His Good News.

If you really believe that Jesus is alive in you today, theres no telling what the Lord can do through you. So ask God to give you the gift of faith to believe His promises. Christ will enable you to live the kind of victorious life you dream about!

Triumphal Procession

The apostle Paul worked tirelessly for the sake of the Good News Gospel. He endured hardship that most of us will never comprehend – all because of His love for Jesus Christ. But Paul was still human, and even someone of his caliber makes mistakes.

Paul reveals one of his mistakes in Chapter 2 of Second Corinthians. He says, “Now when I went to Troas to preach the Gospel of Christ and found that the Lord had opened a door for me, I still had no peace of mind…so I said good-bye to them and went on to Macedonia.”

Paul admits that the Lord opened a door for Him to share the Good News in Troas, but he didnt do it. Instead, he left. Paul disobeyed the Holy Spirits leading.

And yet, the great thing about this passage is what Paul writes next. “But thanks be to God,” he says, “who always leads us in triumphal procession and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.”

God is so much bigger than the mistakes we make! Paul realized that, and its an important reminder for you and me as well. If you have disobeyed the Holy Spirit, simply confess it to the Lord. Ask for another opportunity, and for the boldness to do what Hes called you to do. God will use you again, in tremendous ways!

“Yes, but differently than you think”

National Football League running back Sherman Smith was the Seattle Seahawks most popular player. Then, without warning, he was traded to the San Diego Chargers. Everything changed for this Christian football star. He wasnt with the Chargers for more than a few weeks when he blew out his knee. While rehabilitating, he wondered, “Lord, why did you ship me to San Diego?”

As his knee mended, Sherman led one of his teammates to the Lord. That converted party-man, Miles McPherson, has since become an outstanding youth evangelist. He reaches tens of thousands each year with the Good News of Jesus Christ!

Why was Sherman traded to San Diego? He had prayed for God to use him, and God responded! When we pray bold prayers, we must be prepared for God to say, “Yes, but the answer may be different than you think!”

The Bible says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”

When you pray for a friends salvation, Gods timing and ways may be different than you would like, but dont give up. Keep praying! Dont ever stop praying that the people in your life will come to Jesus. God will use you in the process, just dont give up.

Hope for Change

Paul was a young guy I met in Maine a few years ago. He told me that he was really into drugs and drinking, and needed help. But, Paul said his biggest problem was that he didnt have any hope. “My family just keeps telling me Ill never amount to anything,” he said. Unfortunately, Paul believed them.

I asked Paul if he had heard of the Lord Jesus, the forgiveness of sins through the cross of Christ, and the new beginning He offers all of us. Paul said hed never opened a Bible, and didnt know much about the Lord. I was so glad to have the opportunity to share the Good News with him!

I quoted 2nd Corinthians 5:17: “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has gone, the new has come!” I told Paul, “When you give your life to Christ, you become a totally new person. Jesus forgives every sin youve ever committed. He helps you start over.” To my delight, Paul decided to surrender his life to Jesus! I knew God would change him dramatically!

There are people all around us, like Paul, with empty hearts — wondering if there is hope, and a way to start over. Its our privilege, and calling, to tell them about the hope and forgiveness thats only found in Jesus Christ.

Forgiveness through Jesus

LuAnn was a 20-year-old student at a local college. She told my wife and me her story. “I was recently in a relationship,” LuAnn said, “but that ended because I got pregnant. Now Im three months along, and Im considering an abortion.”

LuAnns situation broke our hearts. Obviously, the worst option for her would be to have an abortion. But, I knew that before LuAnn could make any decision about her baby, she needed to make a decision about Jesus Christ.

“LuAnn,” I said, “God, the Father, loves you with an everlasting love. God will not ever leave you, He will never forsake you, as Hebrews 13:5 says. He forgives and forgets, wipes clean, and then does new things in our lives.” After talking a bit more, LuAnn was ready to commit her life to Jesus. She also decided to keep her baby!

You know, the ability to start fresh, knowing that Jesus has forgiven all your sins, is so freeing! And, like LuAnn, there are many people today who are desperate for this kind of clean start. Yet often, they dont know where to look. Thats why God is calling you and me to be his Good News messenger.

Are you willing to share the hope that Jesus offers with a friend – perhaps this week?