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GROWING IN CHRIST

"Not I, But Christ"

Date published: 04/13/2011

Matthew 16: 18-19 “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.  I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”  

Matthew 16: 23-24 “Jesus turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.’  Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.’”

In the first two verses, Peter is commended for his spiritual growth; four verses later he is reprimanded for allowing Satan to influence his life!  How quickly you can go from confident, successful living to a lifestyle that is deceived and non-productive.  Proverbs 16:18 “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”  Peter responded to Jesus according to his needs, desires, and worldview instead of hearing and responding to God’s ways.  In the last verse, Jesus gives the secret to successful Christian living. Jesus shares that success comes from exchanging your life for the life of Christ.  As you take each aspect of your life and submit it to His Lordship, the life of Christ is reproduced in you.  This is not a one time event, but one that is done moment by moment on a daily basis regardless of the cost (your cross).  As you grow in intimacy with Christ, He will reveal areas of your life that you are withholding from Him.  The more passionate and intimate your relationship is with Christ, the more areas He will reveal to you that need to be submitted to Him.  Each occasion for submission will give you the opportunity to experience more of Christ and His power.  Begin each day by seeking Christ in prayer and Bible reading.  Allow Christ to not only fill your cup, but also to direct and guide you so that you do not fall as Peter did to your desires, but to His desires.  Your success in living the Christian life comes through His power and strength being revealed and released as you exchange your desires for God’s desires.

Philippians 3:7-8 “But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.  What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for Whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ.” (NIV)