Old and new order of things

2 Cor. 5:17, “If anyone is in Christ he is a new creation, the old is gone the new has come!”

Someone who has accepted Jesus as his Lord and saviour can’t follow Christ unless he deliberately leaves behind the old order of things. The verse emphasizes that the moment someone realizes that he is in Christ, he becomes a new creation. New creation reflects itself by new pattern of thoughts and way of life. New creation longs for  spiritual food like a baby craves for milk. New creation begins to rejoice in what pleases God and weeps for what persecutes Christ.

With new order of life, new challenges begin to appear in our lives. Its imperative that a child of God allows the work of God to finish in him in order to walk under the new way of life. New order demands full submission as Paul says 1Cor.9:27, “I beat my body to bring it under complete submission”.  Every believer is supposed to imitate this attitude for following Christ is a daily exercise that needs not only our willingness but also  full participation of our mind, thoughts, and other members of the body.

Unless a child of God is determined to follow Christ with full devotion and renewed state of mind, he wont be able to finish the mark for which God has called him in Christ. The one who keeps looking back won’t get anywhere.

Turning into new order that Christ has set aside for us is a life long journey but it begins reflecting through a renewed state of mind and other members of the body.

Renewed mind that’s been captured by the beauty of Christ constantly examines the thoughts to evaluate if they come from Jesus or somewhere else. A child of God who is empowered by renewed mind takes captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. If this exercise is not followed diligently, the mind becomes a battle field of flesh and spirit, that puts the child of God in a restless situation. Unless there is peace in the members of body, Spiritual blessings will not find a way to manifest in the lives of believers.

Renewed mind opens our eyes to see who we are in Christ. Renewed mind reminds the believer that he is no less than a precious child of God, washed in the precious blood of the lamb and bought for a price, hence is priceless before God the father. A child of God needs to carry this identity all the times lest the enemy tries to tempt and steal the identity by saying “If you are a child of God, why you are going through so much in your life while others are leading a comfortable life.”

Renewed mind under the power of the Holy Spirit knows his authority and controls the mouth, tongue and other members of the body thus offers perfect praise to most high God as Paul says in Romans 12:1, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.”

Renewed mind knows the voice of the Lord  and doesn’t take heed to the deception and lie of the enemy.

New wine can’t be put into old wineskin nor new law of spirit can rule over someone  who walks under the old order of things. Lets embrace the new order and seek the Lord in the newness of heart, mind and spirit.

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Peace and Joy

“Therefore since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5:1-2

Our faith in Lord Jesus Christ makes us righteous in the sight of God. It’s a provision that God made when he saw that we were unable to uphold the obligation of work. God calls us righteous on the basis of faith and not our works so that no one could boast on anything except God’s finished work through his son Jesus Christ.

Faith of a child of God cries out through the spirit of sonship “Abba Father” and declares that we are children of God. The moment faith turns into action (by speaking), we come in agreement with what God had announced when he made his covenant with us, “Today I have become your father.”. In order for us to receive the inheritance as children of God our unseen faith needs to be confessed by our mouth.

When we proclaim out loud God’s covenant, we give a chance to Godly peace to reign in our lives. The peace that surpasses all knowledge becomes active in our lives and we begin to see a change in the way we treat ourselves and others.

Faith is an active force that doesn’t let us stay at one place but energizes us to proceed to the place of grace. It works similar to the way a permission is applied for and granted in order to gain an access to a different country. Faith is the granted permission that gives us privilege to enter into a new country, called grace. The place where we were before was built on the foundation of written code of laws and regulations but the place of grace has its foundation on spoken promises of God. The grace adds adequate strength to a child of God that enables him to lead a Godly life. What we can’t achieve on our own, grace accomplishes through us. Grace fill us with power to thank God in most adverse situations. Grace turns an ordinary man into an extraordinary witness for Christ.

The place of grace is the promised land where the Israelites couldn’t enter because of their lack of faith. The place of grace still promises great unseen blessings that remain unseen until our faith mixed with the word of God turns them into reality.

The place of grace is surrounded with Godly peace. When a child of God stands in Godly peace, he doesn’t remain silent but rejoices not to see the answer to his prayers but in the hope of the glory of God. This new place doesn’t work on the natural principle of cause and effect, where a certain cause gives rise to a specific effect but on the reverse Kingdom principle where the cause is known by the effect it produces. Sometimes, we doubt if faith exists in our lives when we don’t see the answers to our prayers for a long time, but the verse makes it clear that those who have peace (effect) with God, have already been justified (cause) by God. And what remains next is to enter into the promised land to receive new blessings.

Salvation without works

Is there a way to receive salvation without good works?

Being weak in nature are we able to comply by the rule of “good works to receive salvation”. How good will the work be if its done  to fulfill an obligation as opposed to be driven by a desire. Taken as an obligation, how much of the good work is needed? What if someone fails despite best efforts?  Would the intention to do good be counted or just the failed attempt be considered? If salvation means freedom from sin and the effects of sin, then how can a method that is prone to failure be employed to attain something as perfect as salvation.

Sin is so wrapped up in our inner being that in spite of our desire to do good, what comes out may be just the opposite. The presence of the “desire to do good” despite weakness of human nature to carry it out signifies the perpetual inner conflict which gives rise to the feeling of guilt. Guilt then seizes the opportunity from our weak human nature to rule whenever we fail. Some of us deliberately try to weaken guilt by becoming insensitive and stubborn, while others find themselves caught in the relentless cycle of attempting to do good to make themselves free from guilt, only to find out that they are not going anywhere, let along finding salvation in the process.

Salvation is defined as freedom from sin, but the means to attain this goal is actually a reminder of our human shortfalls and weak nature. How can salvation be achieved through a medium that is just doing the opposite (making us a slave of guilt)?

If salvation means freedom from sin and the effects of sin, wont it be appropriate if the freedom from sin translates into good works and not the other way around.

Since human nature is weak to carry out the law of good works, what did God do to help us in our weakness? He upheld the law of obedience and brought himself down to fulfill the obligation of good works. He sent his son, who came with the fullness of God in likeness of man. Who lived among us under the law and remained faithful until his death on cross. What the human nature couldn’t achieve because of weakness, God accomplished through His son. Is there anything left for us to do? Nothing, just to believe that no work is needed to receive salvation.

There is no greater love than laying down life for the beloved. God has proved his love for his creation by sending his son who has brought us salvation by fulfilling the obligation of works. Are we ready to share in God’s earned salvation by faith?

Do not let your hearts be troubled

John 14:1“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me.”

Getting troubled about anything and everything is the tendency of human heart.  Jeremiah 17:9 says , “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”. Human heart is mysterious, it longs for the things it doesn’t have rather than praising God for what it has. It strives to reach from one height of success  to another rather than resting in the shadow of most high God. It has short sightedness and narrow focus that is restricted to the realm of its experiences. It is rebellious in nature and struggles to elevate itself even above God. It is restless and have no desire to come under the submission of  God. It knows the sovereignty of the word of God that we are his children yet tries to give its way to the deception of the enemy who comes to steal, kill and destroy.

Jesus is asking us to train our heart not to be troubled. The spoken word of Christ doesn’t do any miracle or wonder unless it is received with faith. Trusting God is the only remedy for an ailing troublesome heart as Jesus said in the next verse, “Trust in God”.

Our heart believes the patterns of life it has experienced. It makes plans for tomorrow with an absolute assurance that tomorrow is as certain as yesterday was, since it believes what it has seen (yesterday) and makes an imaginary path that tomorrow will follow. Unless the heart is put to strict training to see the unseen God working in our life today, it will have trouble seeing God working for us tomorrow.

God asked Israelites, Deut.4:9 “Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.” Repeat God’s goodness day and night, until the subconscious mind begins retrieving the work of the Lord without conscious effort. Trusting God needs conscious efforts.

Jesus further said “Trust me.” Is trusting God different from trusting Jesus? Yes, If it were not so, Jesus would have never asked us to do so. Trusting God, his existence, his love and his works is the first step that is needed to trust His Son. Faith and trust need a foundation and Jesus by speaking the above verses was building on the foundation of the knowledge of God that disciples already had.

Trusting Jesus is a process that begins with knowing Him and advances as we continue to live in the light of His work. Knowing Jesus as the Son of God is not enough but believing that we (Jesus and us) belong to the same family. Knowing Jesus as a healer is not enough but trusting that he has delivered us from all present and future afflictions. Knowing Jesus’s sacrificial death is not enough but trusting that we, as covenant partners are more than victorious over the principalities and powers. Knowing the miracle of resurrection is not enough but trusting that we have been called to share eternal life with Jesus Christ, our Lord and saviour.

How precious are the works that Jesus has accomplished on behalf of the children of God and how precious are those who train their hearts to trust him. My heart rejoices to see the great works of my Lord and saviour and a happy heart knows no trouble!

Sustaining power of the word of God

Sustainability is the ability of the resources to support life for present and future generation without getting depleted. The word of God sustains the life of a believer in all seasons with or without the worldly resources.

Life in all its abundance is an inevitable proof of the sustaining power of the word of God. Bible says in Hebrew 1:3 “The Son, sustaining all things by his powerful word.” The word is so powerful that it can penetrate into both living and non-living imparting life and energy to them. The realm of the authority of the word goes beyond the confines of the forces of earth, controlling the nature and walk of the celestial bodies. How precise is the movement of the planets, stars and other heavenly bodies. The planets keep the perfect distance from earth that makes perfect conditions to support life on earth. The word of God turns the chaos into order wherever it is spoken, whether within the confines of time and space or beyond.

The word is alive and active, powerful enough to replicate itself into the object being spoken to. The life generating power of the word is clearly depicted in John 15:5, Where Jesus, the word in flesh spoke up, ”I am the vine and you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit.” The vitality of the word of God is proved by the truth that it sustains both type of branches –not only those that are being pruned and also the ones that are broken, as Paul explains in Romans 11:17, “If some of the branches been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root.”

The life-giving power of the word shines with the brightest glory when one admits his weakness and hunger for the Lord. Jesus declared John 6:35, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

Those who spend meditating on the word know that nothing empowers at the time of need as the word of God does. The word when spoken by a believer moves under the influence of the two most powerful forces – faith and the spirit that sustains the word. Faith mixed with spirit filled word cause mountains to move and hearts to melt. Mathew 17:20, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move.

Where are we today? Is there something lost in life, whether the years spent in patiently waiting for the Lord, or the years wasted in leading a life made by wrong choices? There is nothing that lessens the sustaining power of the word. Let the life-giving power of the word start transmitting from the spirit into your situations and circumstances. Let life be manifested in all dark and dead areas of life. Let there be life in all its abundance. Proclaim with faith  the mighty word of God and you will see it turning into flesh.