You’re Going to be Perfect

Some days just don’t go well.paragraph spacer for WordPress
Do you have days when it seems like you’re not getting anywhere in becoming a better Christian? Days when you feel like a failure? When you’ve blown it and you know it? I know I do.
paragraph spacer for WordPress
Being a Christian is not for wimps.paragraph spacer for WordPress
If you’re serious about living for God and want to experience real spiritual growth, if you want to see evidence in your life that you are becoming more like Jesus Christ, you’re on a hard road. Some preachers and/or soul winners, in their enthusiasm to win souls, have said or implied something like: “come to Jesus and your troubles will be over.”
paragraph spacer for WordPress
That’s not really true. Jesus predicted persecution for believers. Paul warned in his epistle to Timothy: “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” ( 2 Timothy 3:12). We’re still in enemy territory here on this earth. You can expect oppostion from without. And you can expect opposition from within.
paragraph spacer for WordPress
God knows about all this.paragraph spacer for WordPress
Let’s focus on opposition from within because that’s trickier than oppostion from without. God has a brilliant plan of salvation that answers all our needs.
paragraph spacer for WordPress
For example, He knew we would have a battle with sin. He knew we would not be born again and never sin again, of course. So in 1 John 1:9 we read: If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (NASB)
paragraph spacer for WordPress
Also, God knew that we were not going to be able to perfect ourselves by our own efforts, not even with psychology’s clever self-help strategies, because they wouldn’t make us holy, truly good. So He put Jesus Christ within via His Holy Spirit us like an all-powerful divine seed that will grow, so that eventually we will all be like Jesus. That’s why the Scripture can say with certainly that someday He will set us before Himself, His prefect bride…paragraph spacer for WordPress
That He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless (Ephe. 5:27, NASB).
paragraph spacer for WordPress
Because, guess what? paragraph spacer for WordPress
Jesus within you will not fail to bring you to spiritual maturity. Because God wants us the way He wants us, and that is like Jesus Christ (Ephe. 4:13). And when God wants something, sooner or later, He’s going to have it. After all, He is God.
paragraph spacer for WordPress
So be encouraged. paragraph spacer for WordPress
Don ‘t give up the struggle. Keep trusting God that “He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:6, NASB). “Work out your salvation with fear and trembling;  for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:12b-13, NASB). 
How do you do that?paragraph spacer for WordPress
How do you work out your salvation? paragraph spacer for WordPress
  1. By living by faith daily, actively trusting God to bring about the growth we all desire (Gal. 2:20; Hebrews 12:2; 2 Cor. 5:7). paragraph spacer for WordPress
  2. By walking with God (Ge. 5:24; Heb. 11:5) , praying constantly (Ephe. 6:18; 1 Thess 5:17), abiding in the Lord Jesus, reminding yourself all the time that He is your source of strength (John 15:5). paragraph spacer for WordPress
  3. And by doing all the other things you know God wants you to do–only being careful to do them all in faith, not trying to “produce” your growth, but  knowing all the while that it is God’s power that gets the job done.paragraph spacer for WordPress

So remember, deal with today’s challenges, firm in your hope that God is at work in you and that He will not fail to make you totally pleasing in His sight…

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy (Jude 1:24, NASB).

What do you do to cooperate with God in becoming more like Jesus Christ?

Ephesians Chapter 4: How to Grow to be like Jesus Christ

This continues my “paraphrased Summaries” based on indepth study of Ephesians.

4:1-3  I, Therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beg you to walk in a way that is worthy of the calling with which you have been called, that means with all humility and meekness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being eager to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

4:4-6  There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.

4:7-10  But to each one of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore it says,

“Having ascended into the heights,
  He led captivity  captive,
  He gave gifts to men.”

But the (quotation) “He ascended,” what does it mean if not that He also descended into the lower part of the earth? He who descended is Himself also He who ascended above all the heavens, in order that He might fill all things.

4:11-16  And He Himself gave the apostles, and the prophets, and the evangelists, and the shepherds and teachers, for strengthening, preparing fully  the saints (you and me) for the work of service for the building of the body of Christ; until we all grow and come into the unity of the faith, and of the full-knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect-complete-mature man, to the measure of the stature (as in a maturity of the same degree) which belongs to the fullness of Christ. 

But speaking the truth in love, we may  be growing into Him in everything who is the head, Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted together through the supply of every joint, according to the working of each individual part, causing the growth of the body resulting the building of itself in love.

4:17-19  This, therefore, I say and solemnly affirm together in the Lord, that you  no longer walk just as the Gentiles are walking, in the futility  of their mind. After they became darkened in their mind’s understanding and also have been alienated, left out of the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, through the hardness of their hearts, which became callous, He (God) gave them over to wanton excess (indecency, shameless conduct) and they–again, having become callous–which resulted in their greadily working all kinds of uncleanliness.

4:20-24  But you did not learn Christ in this way, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus. You have been taught to put off  the old self which is determined by your former life-style, the one according to the lusts of deceitfulness. instead, be renewed by the spirit of your mind, and put on the your new self, that which has been created according to God’s life-style, that is in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

4:25-32   Therefore, having put off from you falsehood, you are each to speak truth with your neighbor, because we are members of one another. Allow yourself to become angry, and yet stop sinning. Do not let the sun go down on your irritation. and stop giving place to the devil.

The one who steals, steal no longer, but much more so work hard with his own hands what is good so that he might have something to give to one who has need. Stop letting every worthless, rotten word come out of your mouth, but instead speak some good words needed for edification in order that your words might give grace to those who hear you.

And stop grieving the Holy Spirit of God, within whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. All bitterness and hot anger and wrath and yelling and putting others down —let them be removed from you, along with all wickedness, becoming yourselves kind to one another, soft-hearted , showing grace (forgiving) to each other, just as God in Christ also has given grace (forgiveness) to you.