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GROWING IN CHRIST

"In God's Love We Trust"

Date published: 12/30/2016
 
Jude 21 “Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.” (NIV) 

   The secret of the Christian life is to remain in God’s love. Every decision, struggle, opportunity, and growth will flow out of God’s love. It is in God’s love that His life will arise in you. It is not in deeper Bible study, more prayer, greater effort, nor collaboration with other believers, but by remaining in God’s love. Your human nature naturally goes the other way because this is what is comfortable to you – to be in charge. The activity of your hands can be very helpful in waiting on the Lord, but it is ultimately God who rescues, brings closure, guides, and comforts. The fine balance of saturating yourself into the love of Christ, while having soft ears and an obedient heart, is the difference in walking in the Spirit or living in the flesh. Here are three things that will help you walk in the Spirit: 

1)   John 15:7 says to dwell in Jesus, “If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.” (NIV) This means that all you do is out of your love for Jesus. Your life must be consumed with the cultivation of this love relationship. You must persevere in love to experience the fruit of the Spirit.

2)   1 John 4:16 highlights the importance of living in love, “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.” (NIV) The depth of your relationship in Christ creates the breadth of your relationship in Christ. Your ability to love others and life itself comes from your love for Christ. The shallower and narrower your love for Christ, the narrower your life is in Christ. A narrow life in Christ will reduce Jesus’ influence on you while limiting His impact on people and life. A narrow Christian is often eaten up by life itself. Loving and ministering in the name of Jesus is difficult when you are constantly in conflict with life. The deeper your life in Christ, the more joy you find in all of life and its opportunities.

3)   1 John 5:3 shows how love for God is manifest in obedience, “This is love for God: to obey His commands. And His commands are not burdensome.” (NIV)  Living in love fills your life with God which results in continual opportunities for obedience in Godly living, serving, ministering, witnessing, and discipling. 

   What does dwelling in Jesus, living in Jesus, and obeying Jesus have to do with walking in the Spirit? All three drive you deeper into the heart of Jesus resulting in a greater filling and work of the Spirit. It is like baking Jesus bread (bear with this metaphor). You make the dough of Jesus by mixing the ingredients of dwelling in Jesus, living in love, and obeying out of love. You place the dough in the oven of life for the baking of Jesus bread. Heat causes the bread to rise through the constant work of the Holy Spirit who is revealing Jesus, taking you through life in His love, and bringing about obedience. The Holy Spirit is the yeast that makes it all happen. The right ingredients, plus baking the Jesus bread, plus the work of the Holy Spirit produces a life with flavor that represents Jesus. 

   Tomorrow morning when you read the Bible and fall to your knees in prayer, do so with the intensity of meeting Jesus and experiencing the very face of God as Moses did in Exodus 33:11a, “The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend.” (NIV) Hear God’s direction and desires for the day and live them out. Walk through your day constantly meditating on His Word, hearing His Word, communicating with God, and responding to Him. 

John 15:9 “As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Now remain in My love.” (NIV) 

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Here are some Bible studies from Growing in Christ to help your transformative experience: “Deeper With God” and “Satisfaction.” 

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