He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way.
He lives, He lives, salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives?
He lives within my heart.
It is a Thankful Thursday, so let’s get up and celebrate! We can rejoice that we live with our Lord! Go ahead and sing along:
Each day can be a celebration! Our Lord is alive and He lives in us! “He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today!” Yet, for many believers, their lives find more joy and excited in a football game or the new reality show. Folks, we complain that we are dry and thirsty while we stand in the midst of the Amazon River! We have at our disposal all of the wonders of Heaven, but we lie alone in our beds, afraid to go out into the world.
Paul wrote to the Ephesian church:
“Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ for the spiritual blessings that Christ has brought us from heaven!4 Before the world was created, God had Christ choose us to live with him and to be his holy and innocent and loving people . . . I pray that the glorious Father, the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, would give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know Christ better. Then you will have deeper insight. You will know the confidence that he calls you to have and the glorious wealth that God’s people will inherit. You will also know the unlimited greatness of his power as it works with might and strength for us, the believers . . . that same power that is in Christ when he brought him back to life and gave him the honored position — the one next to God the Father on the heavenly throne.”
So how in the world can you sit there unmoved and unchanged? Hey, do you remember the story about the “Prodigal son”? You know, the kid who ran off, spent all of his money partying and chasin’ wine whiskey and wild, wild wimin’.
Cigarettes, whiskey and wild, wild wimen
They’ll drive you crazy, they’ll drive you insane
Cigarettes, whiskey and wild wild women
They’ll drive you crazy, they’ll drive you insane
Well, he repented and went back home. When his pa saw ‘im, he ran out to meet him and throw a party to celebrate. It was a great party.
Well, his older brother came along and heard the rowdy celebrations and wondered what was goin’ on. When he heard that his younger brother came home and his dad was throwing the party for him, the brother got downright angry about it.
So, the day came out and said, “Hey, come on in and join us. Your brother has come home and we are celebrating.”
The older brother says, “No way! I’ve been with you the whole time, and you never threw a party for me! That isn’t fair!”
Well, the dad looks at his older son and says, “Hey, I know that you have always been here with me, but you could have had a party at any time. If you didn’t kill a goat to have a feast, it is because, well frankly, you are a fool.”
Here was standing on the outside of a great party complaining, yet he had everything he could have wished for. To release the rivers of water that we have within us, we simply need to act as if what God says is true! He isn’t withholding anything from you. If you are suffering from some disabiility, quit suffering and begin to rejoice. The life and spirit of Christ is within you. Now. Not later, when you get to Heaven.
I remember a time, years ago, I used an illustration I heard from Juan Carlos Ortiz. Before the service, I had asked one of the members of our church to help with an illustration of the New Creation.
The day before, I withdrew some cash and put it in my wallet. I then handed my wallet to this brother who was helping me. I told him, “Halfway through the service, I am going to ask you for all of your money, but no one is going to know that it is my wallet. When I tell you to give me all of the money you have, hand your wallet to me. I won’t return it to you. I simply want you to give it to me.”
Well, when the time came he rushed up to the stage and gave me his wallet. Everyone was blown away (as I expected they would be). They began to wonder what they would do if I had called on them.
I even showed them how much money was in the wallet, they were even more shocked (Probably that the brother had that much money to give me, but that is another story). I said, “Thank you, brother. That was very kind of you.”
Now, if he hadn’t given me the wallet and had walked out of the church, I would have been the one shocked, because the money was mine and neither of us told anyone what we had done. It was our secret. If he refused to give me my wallet back, I could call the police.
The point of the story was that when the Lord asks you to do something, don’t be shocked or even hesitant to obey because He has already given you the power, the Grace, to do what He has asked of you. So when He instructs you to love that person next to you or the homeless person on the street, and you don’t love them, He can call the police. He has given each one of us the ability to love because Christ lives within us, and Christ went about loving and meeting the needs of those He met. Jesus said, “The things that I have done, you can also do. Because I am going to my Father.” Has he gone? Yep. Then we can do the things that Jesus did. Paul said it this way, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
We don’t have to have special seminars or read volums of books to teach us how to get more from our Father, we simply need to release all that we have. According to the Scriptures, “The love of God has been spread abroad.” Where? “In our hearts.” So don’t say, “Lord, give me more love so I can love my brother.” Don’t cry out, “Lord, I need more faith.” No, you don’t, you have already received a measure of faith, begin to put it to use.
The new paradigm we need to accept is that our Father will never ask us to do something that we cannot do. He is never expected to do something He has not first, given you the ability to do. The promise of the new birth is, “I will cause you to walk in my ways.”
Do you remember the time when Pete and John were going to the temple to worship and pray, and they saw a cripple man, begging for food or money?
Peter and John stared at him. “Look at us!” Peter said. So the man watched them closely. He expected to receive something from them. However, Peter said to him, “I don’t have any money, but I’ll give you what I do have. Through the power of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk! 7 Peter took hold of the man’s right hand and began to help him up. Immediately, the man’s feet and ankles became strong.8 Springing to his feet, he stood up and started to walk.
Wow! Now did you notice that Pete didn’t tell the man he needs to come to their healing compaign so they could teach him the four steps to healing. NO! He said, “What we have, we give.” Period!
Pete and John never asked the man to do anything. They simply gave him what they already had. It was simply the rivers of Life flowing spontaneoulsy out of them. They knew what the had. Our problem is that we don’t know what we have.
We pray, “Oh Lord, please heal so-and-so.” What we should be saying is, “What we have, we give.” Please understand, I am not ridiculing what we are doing, I am just saying that we can do more. We need to see a full outpouring of what we have been given, in Christ. “That same power in Christ when he brought him back to life . . .” THAT’S what we need to see in our lives!
To live and walk in the Spirit is to be continually conscious of the presence of Christ in us. That is it! Nothing more. That is the whole message of the New Covenant wrapped in one sentence.
(I send out messages like this each morning in emails, and if you are interested in receiving them, send me your email address and I will add you—a to the list: Mail List)
I do thank you for your gifts. It is your faithful and continued support that makes these messages possible.