Dead In Christ – Part 1

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” If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind (and affections) on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.”  (Colossians 3:1-4)

Walking in the likeness of Christ on this earth stops being some vague, mysterious idea to us when this passage of Scripture becomes real to us. I like the translation of verse 3 in the Living Bible. Although the Living Bible is actually a paraphrase, and, in some places, lacks accuracy, on this verse, it hits the bull’s eye in translating God’s intention in these words. Verse 3 in that translation says, “You should have as little desire for this world as a dead person does.”

Brothers and sisters, when we move into complete surrender to Jesus, we truly recognize that we have been crucified with Him — we have died to this world, to sin, to the pull of our flesh. And we have been raised, but not given our own life to live. Rather, we are raised with Jesus in us, prepared to live out His life, His plans, His purposes, His goals through our bodies and minds. According to this passage of Scripture, our own life is hidden away safely in God. When Jesus comes again in glory, then our life will be released to us so that we may live it out in glory and perfection with Him. But in the meantime, we are not our own.

Let me use myself as an example. Since Sandra Conner is dead, and her life is no longer to be lived out on earth, but rather is tucked away in God for the time being, the only life she is to live here is Jesus’ life. Sandra no longer has rights and privileges for herself personally. Rather, Jesus, in her, has all the rights and privileges. Sandra no longer calls the shots in making plans or determining how she will act or react in any situation. Jesus does. Sandra no longer has the say in how she spends her time, her energy, or her money, because she isn’t living out Sandra’s life any longer. Jesus is using Sandra’s body, mind, and heart to continue to live out His life here on earth, so that His love, His truth, and His power can be offered to all the people Sandra comes into contact with.

Needless to say, Sandra Conner no longer has a right to indulge in offense, hurt feelings, self-defense, self-indulgence, or self-promotion. Jesus has all the rights, and if He does not have His feelings hurt, Sandra certainly can’t express hurt feelings, because she is dead, and her new life is tucked away in God. If Jesus doesn’t give in to the temptation to indulge the flesh instead of spending time in the Word and prayer, Sandra certainly can’t, because she isn’t the one living now.

Do you see how it works, dear believer? Now, please don’t misunderstand: Sandra Conner is NOT perfected in this walk by any means. But by using myself as a real-life example, I can better explain what our understanding and attitude should be.

When we truly see that it is to be Jesus living His life His way through us — that we’re just the carriers, so to speak — then our perspective of life will change dramatically. We will see life from an eternal perspective. Our goals will become eternal goals. We will begin to judge everything we do and say on its ability to accomplish something lasting for God’s kingdom. And we will set our priorities accordingly.

So how do we live this out practically? We will talk more about the how-to’s in Part 2.

 

 

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Wanting Nothing

 

Another striking creation capture by my good friend, photographer Terry Valley.

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“Oh taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him. Oh fear the Lord, you his saints: for there is no want to them that fear Him. … They that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.”   Psalm 34:8-10

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Hey, Aren’t You Looking for Something Good to Read???

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Read any good books lately?  Are you looking for another one?

Something entertaining, inspiring, inexpensive, easy to purchase and download?

Well then, come visit me at my Amazon Author’s Page and pick up one of my e-books.

Read one, and you just might like it well enough to buy another one and to tell your friends about it.

And if — by some slim chance — you read one and don’t like it — well — just don’t tell anybody.

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Nothing But a Stick?

MOSES RED SEA - cropped“So the Lord said to him [Moses], ‘What is that in your hand?’  He said, ‘A rod.’  And the Lord said, ‘Cast it on the ground.’ So he cast it on the ground and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from it. Then the Lord said to Moses. ‘Reach out your hand and take it by the tail.’ And he reached out his hand and caught it, and i t became a rod in his hand.’”  Exodus 4:2-4.

At the time of this conversation, Moses had just spent 4o  years in the desert herding sheep for his father-in-law. He carried a rod, as was the custom of sheepherders. It served a number of purposes, including supporting Moses as he climbed steep areas, guiding the sheep when they tended to wander, and providing a weapon to beat off attackers. It was just an ordinary rod. A long, solid, sturdy piece of wood with nothing out of the ordinary about it.

But one day, when the Lord was ready to call Moses and anoint him for the purposes of the Kingdom, the Lord took charge of that ordinary piece of wood and converted it into a tool for His own use. As the passage of scripture above makes clear, the Lord was able to take a solid stick of wood, with no qualities of life or animation at all, and turn it into a living creature. He totally changed, not only the shape, but the whole molecular structure and chemical makeup of that wood until it became something else entirely. And then He changed that living, breathing creature back into a solid stick again.

From that moment, Moses’ rod was no longer an ordinary object. It had become a tool in the hands of the Lord, anointed to do whatever work God called on it to do. So in Exodus 7, it becomes a serpent at the feet of Pharaoh, and when the Egyptian sorcerers produce serpents from their rods, Moses’ rod (with the anointing) swallows up all the serpents of the devil’s camp.

Then in Exodus 14, we see the Lord commanding Moses to lift up his rod over the Red Sea, and when the rod is lifted up, the Lord sends a strong east wind to blow all night and divide the sea so that the entire nation walks through the sea on totally dry ground. Later, when the Israelites are thirsty and belligerent toward Moses because they can find no water (Exodus 17), the Lord instructs Moses to use that very same rod to strike a  rock, and a gusher of fresh, sweet water comes pouring forth from solid rock.

Nothing but a stick in its own right, that rod became a miracle-working tool once the Lord took charge of it and anointed it for His use. The same is true of each one of us. We may be nothing in our own right. We may even be a big mess. We may be a prime example of how to fail at everything. But when we turn ourselves over to the Lord and make ourselves and our lives available to Him for whatever He needs to do with us, we suddenly become a blessed, anointed, miracle-working tool for the Kingdom of God.

So if you’ve been sitting there feeling sorry for yourself — or feeling that you’re too big a failure to be of any use to the Lord and His kingdom — or that you’re too ordinary to be used for anything great in God’s work — just toss yourself down at His feet and let Him change you into what He wants you to be. Once you’re in His control, there’s just no limit to what you can become or the supernatural work you can do.

 

‘Slate’ – My Newest Novel is Now on Kindle

SLATE COVER # 2 - correctedEveryone calls him Slate, and you won’t want to miss knowing him. Rough around the edges, a little slack in his morals, but totally irresistible all the same.

When I started writing this my 11th novel, it was going to be Vanessa Hayes’ story. But, somehow, while I was minding my own business — just sitting at my computer keyboard — quietly putting the story together one chapter at a time — Slate took over. And I’m so glad he did. I struggled with this novel for a couple years, but once Slate came to the front of the story, it flowed the way it was always intended to do.

What’s it about? Well, several of my readers know because they followed the story with me while I posted it one chapter at a time (under a different title) on my author’s blog (The Happy Wordcrafter). And they helped it along with their comments and encouragement. But for the rest of you, here’s a short synopsis:

While in Florida looking for her brother Ken, who has disappeared, Vanessa Hayes meets Slate. Owner of Buccaneer Boat Charter Service, Slate is actually better known in the area as the local rake. Moreover, his connections with sources on the wrong side of the law prove more valuable than local law enforcement in helping Vanessa discover Ken’s fate.

But Slate’s attention isn’t fully centered on the investigation. His primary interest is in seducing Vanessa, even though she is engaged to a man back home who’s very much in love with her.

As the investigation heats up, so does Slate’s pursuit of Vanessa, causing her life-long commitment to the Lord to meet head on with temptations she never thought she’d have to face.

And in the meantime, the Lord is in pursuit of Slate. Love on several levels gets a workout in this story, and the resolution will stick with you long after you’ve read the words “The End.”

The book is now available for purchase at the Amazon Kindle Store, and because the contract with Amazon is exclusive, I won’t be able to leave the chapters on this site for free reading. But I hope some of you will hop over and check it out. Even if you read it here, if you enjoyed it, I hope you’ll buy one for someone you love.

And don’t forget. You don’t have to own a Kindle. Amazon offers a free Kindle app for any device. You can download it from the same page where you order the book.

Just follow the link and get to know Slate for yourself.

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My Healing Book is Now an E-Book

HEALING COVER FOR KINDLE - RESOLUTION UPJust a note to let my readers know that “Healing Is For You!” is now an e-book. The book (now in its third edition) has been used for years in churches, in Bible and Christian schools, and in personal and group studies. It’s a handbook for anyone who wants help in receiving healing from the Lord — or for those who want to learn more about what God’s Word says concerning healing in order to help others.

The book answers such troubling questions as the following:

Is it always God’s will to heal everybody?
What part does medical science play in God’s healing plan?
Isn’t man promised only 70 or 80 years of life on earth?
Is it God who determines when each person dies?
How can I die if I keep getting healed?
If it’s God’s will to heal, why do so many people fail to receive healing from Him?
If I don’t have faith for healing can I get that faith somehow?

You’ll find the e-book version at the Amazon Kindle Store for $3.99. And if you don’t have  a Kindle, you can download a totally free Kindle app for any device you use.

Check it out. If you don’t need it, purchase one for someone you love who does need it.

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When It Looks Impossible . . .

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When it looks impossible — really impossible — turn it over to God.  In His mind, it’s already done. He’s the expert at doing it anyway.

The fact is that He has already created a way to make it happen. He’d just waiting for you to give him the green light to put His perfect plan into action. He works first in the spirit realm, because that’s the realm of reality. All things physical were created by spirit, and all things natural are constantly changing — especially when spiritual forces are activated upon them.

God always works in that same mode. He creates the answers we need in the spirit realm first, and our faith lays hold of them. Then by speaking and acting on that faith, we bring that spirit reality into our natural world. If we look at His Word carefully — especially during creation and throughout the earthly ministry of Jesus, we see that pattern of behavior repeated time and again.

So if it looks impossible — get into His Word and find the promises that He is the one who makes a way where there is no way. Find the promises that make it clear He wants us to have life, health, provision, loving friends and family, successful labor, peace, and joy. Feed on those Words from His heart until they create strong faith in your own heart; then turn your situation over to Him and believe you receive the answer. While you’re awaiting the manifestation, speak only His promises on the subject. Do exactly what His Word tells you to do. And watch the “impossible” become just another job well-done by Almighty God.

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