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Scripture

[ecko_quote source="1 Thessalonians 5:16-18"]Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you [/ecko_quote]

Devotion

How can you know that you are in the centre of God’s will at every moment and have no doubts about it? The answer to this great question is clearly given in Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians: “Rejoice evermore, Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (1 These 5:16-18)

These verses are clear to understand without any Greek interpreter. They guarantee that we are in the centre of God’s will at all times when we are rejoicing, praying, and giving thanks. We protest, “that is too simple; I have got to do something about and louse it up somehow”. But it is right there in the Word of God. Crystal clear!

An important part of doing God’s will has to do with the use of a very small organ of our bodies, the tongue. The tongue has everything to do with the course of our life. In the Book of James, God says “Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. … and the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity; so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature, and it is set on fire of hell (3:2-6)

Here God is saying that the tongue directs the course of our lives much as a rudder does a ship, or a bit in the horse’s mouth guides the horse. A couple of ounce of steel in a thousand- pound horse does not sound crucial, but that is how you steer him. The tongue is to the body and to the Christian life, as the rudder is to the ship, and the bit to the horse. When the tongue is used negatively, as “a world of iniquity”, it produces a lot of things that are second best.

If I am a Christian and I am complaining and grumbling, the world does not know that I am any different from pagans. My spirituality is gone, my testimony has departed, and my effect in dispelling the world of darkness has flown the coop because I have chosen to magnify the problem by motor-mouthing about it instead of magnifying the answer by praising Jesus.

What's Next?

When, right in the midst of whatever is going on, I say “Lord, I am going to thank you for one reason, because “You said to, “immediately I enter into a new dimension. Do you think it sounds scary, altogether crazy, to praise God when things are falling apart all around? That is all right. Nowhere does God say that praising Him will make any sense to finite minds; He just says,” Do, it. And then you can know that you are in my will”. Where we are in His will, we are in line to experience perfectly answered prayers.

 

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Scripture

[ecko_quote source="Galatians 2:20 "]I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me[/ecko_quote]

Devotion

A few weeks ago, while I was working on my office computer, one of the important application was disabled. This application is vital for me to carry out my job. I tried my level best and asked my colleagues for help. Unfortunately, they could not fix the problem either and suggested me contact our helpdesk which is located in Wellington. A lady attended my call. She asked for my identification and my computer ID. After that, she sent me a message which requested for an approval to access my computer. I agreed and gave her the remote access. To my surprise, she was just browsing all around my computer and opening various applications. I was just watching her operating my computer without my interference. She took control of every aspect. She requested me to simply wait while she is fixing the problem. Finally, she identified the trouble and fixed it accordingly.

This incident taught me a spiritual implication of our lives in Christ. In the above incident, I should not interfere with what she was doing. If I did, the computer would crash, or she may withdraw from fixing the problem. Similarly, we should not live but let Christ live in us. The above verse states we have been crucified with Christ, it is no longer we that live, but Christ lives in us. When we provide full access and fully surrender which includes being dead to our will, only then Christ can make a difference in our life. Jesus said in Mathew 6:24” "No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. We should no longer live let Christ live in us. If we continue to live, we only encounter defeat in every realm of our lives and would only receive bitter disappointment. Our best efforts and talents will not make us any good. Our system and thought lines are corruptive, and we cannot bring any good from it. The best thing we should do is to let our 'self' die so that Christ can live in us. Therefore, learn the art of surrendering moment by moment knowing that we and the life which we were living in the flesh have been crucified with Christ. And then, we can live with of full of faith in Jesus.

When we are crucified with Christ by faith in Him, we have to completely surrender every selfish desire and ambition to the perfect will of God. Self-promotion and self-pleasing desires are the greatest obstacles between man and salvation. It is because the very nature of man always wants to please himself, and this self-recognition is a building block for sin. All sin erupts from the desire to please self which must be crucified with Christ in surrender to the will of God before salvation can bear fruit. Man, cannot overcome his inherited sinful nature on his own and needs the power and assistance of the Holy Spirit to make this happen, but the surrender of his own will to that of God’s will is essential for the elimination of his own desire’s powerful motivation and enslavement. This is repentance. It is a surrender of one’s own control and will to the power and will of the Holy Spirit that is the beginning of being crucified with Christ.

Not by man’s own effort to battle his corruptible nature, but in surrender of his own will to God’s will (1 Peter 1:23). This proves to be a great challenge for many people because we attempt to control our sinful nature on our own. This only results in repeated fall into the same old, sinful ways from which  we are attempting to escape. If it had been possible for a man to overcome his sinful nature with his own power and will, there would not have been any need for Jesus to die for our sins.

What's next?

salvation is  by the grace of God (Ephesians 2:8–9).Many Christians want to be obedient but continue to stumble in sin because they try to hang on to parts of their old self which they think they can control. This is a self-defeating rationale that relies on the idea that man saves himself by his own works. The Bible teaches us that nothing a man does can save his soul. Only salvation by the grace of God can (Ephesians 2:8–9).

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