Tuesday, December 04, 2012

December 4, 2012 … Living Way New In Christ

Chronological Bible Reading Plan - Day 339

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: 2nd Corinthians, Chapters 5-9 To study these chapters, go to this link -

Highlight Passages: 2nd Corinthians, Chapters 5-9 … Please take the time to use the link above and read these chapters of Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians (and to us!). : [NLT] … {My focus today will be from 2nd Cor. 5; but any reader here would be edified by God’s Spirit, as was I this morning, to mediated on all five chapters of today’s reading.}

Highlight Passages: 2nd Corinthians 5: 5-10; 14; 17; 20-21 : [NLT] … {Also remember and believing the truth of Eph. 2: 8-10 [see copied below], 2nd Cor. 5 also exhorts me to take the saving and sanctifying grace from God’s Spirit and do all I can in this life to use it for God’s glory, knowing that I will be judged in heaven for the good works which I have accomplished FOR CHRIST, shining His light for the glory of the Father (see Christ’s admonition in Matt. 5: 16.} 5 God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit. 6 So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord. 7 That is why we live by believing and not by seeing. 8 Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord. 9 So our aim is to please him always, whether we are here in this body or away from this body. 10 For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in our bodies. …  
{Hey, my friend, when we become Christians, in our flesh, we are WAY NEW! Things change. We now are enlightened, equipped, and enabled to live – in the flesh – for God’s glory, not our own. Yes, we still have a sin nature; and we can choose to live in the flesh; but being justified by Christ’s blood on the cross and saved by our faith in God’s resurrection power, God’s grace is now ours to use for God’s glory. The question is, ARE WE LIVING WAY NEW LIVES FOR GOD’S GLORY? … 
14 Whatever we do, it is because Christ’s love controls us [or can be translated “urges us on” or "holds us together" or "channels us toward"]. Since we believe that Christ died for everyone, we also believe that we have all died to the old life we used to live. … 
17 What this means is that those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun! … 
20 We are Christ’s ambassadors, and God is using us to speak to you. We urge you, as though Christ himself were here pleading with you, “Be reconciled to God!” 21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. 

Reference Passage: Ephesians 2: 8-10 : [NLT] … {We are saved BY grace, THROUGH faith, UNTO good works. … Get it! … Okay, let’s live it!! }  
8 God saved you by his special favor when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things He planned for us long ago. 

Reference Passage: Galatians 2: 20 : [NLT] … {Dead to self, … living for Christ, … letting my new life in the flesh and faith shine Christ’s light of love. } 20 I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me. So I live my life in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 

My Journal for Today: 2nd Corinthians, Chapters 5-9 today is my chronological reading assignment; but my focus for journaling couldn’t get past Chapter 5 this morning. I hope you, as did I, read all the chapters for your devotional meditation; but let me return to Chapter 5 for a very convicting question (well, at least for me!).

Reading through 2nd Corinthians, Chapter 5 this morning caused me to remember and realize – AGAIN – just how much my life has changed since that providential day on April 13th 1983 when, in brokenness, I received Jesus, the Christ, as my LORD and Savior. That was almost 30 years ago. And wow, if I had people who really knew me back then to testify here about the Bill Berry BEFORE CHRIST and the change in this dude AFTER CHRIST, you’d see that (as Galatians 2: 20 says in the NKJV), “… the life which I now live in the flesh, I (now) live by faith, in the Son of God, Who love me and gave Himself for me.” 

If my first VA secretary (God love her) were here she’d tell you how often, before 4/13/83, as a professing atheist, I would make her life hell by trying to point out the inconsistencies in the way she lived from her professed Christian faith. Others would tell you how cynical and uncaring I was back then. Some, who had seen the dark-side of sexual sin in my life, especially my wife, could tell you of my pre-Christian obsession with sex. That was Bill Berry, ”BC” … (i.e., Before Christ).

But hopefully others, NOW, “AC” (i.e., After Christ) see a WAY NEW Bill Berry, one who is still obsessive, but this time acting out those “OCD” tendencies by obsessively digging into God’s word everyday – and yes, even journaling about it in this venue daily, trying to know God more today than I did yesterday – and even more tomorrow than today. Hopefully, those of you who really know me now, see how driven I am to use my past – my story – to show others just how much a WAY NEW life in Christ – one driven by God’s Spirit – can honor God by allowing the LORD to transform this one into the newness I am IN CHRIST [see 2nd Cor. 5: 17 and Gal. 2: 20 copied above].

And please, my friend reading here, … I’m not here bragging on Bill Berry!!! No, far from it, I’m here this morning touting the power of Christ, through His Spirit, as written about in 2nd Cor. 5 as well as Eph. 2: 8-10 and Gal. 2: 20 (copied above), to make a born-again Christian WAY NEW IN CHRIST and to enable that one to glorify God, the Father, and reflect God, the Son, in a WAY NEW way than that Christian could “BC” … Before Christ.

And that brings up the convicting question to which I referred above. … Are we living our WAY NEW lives – After Christ – in a way which reflects the purpose and power of the God’s Spirit in our lives and allows others to see how we’ve become WAY NEW by what Christ did for us on the cross? )

I’m praying this morning (below) that my WAY NEW life in Christ NOW reflects the light of my Savior and allows others to see me wearing His robes of righteousness, … covering my natural rags of sin. What about you?

My Prayer Today: … Lord, help me, I beg You, … to convict and direct my life to be a light for YOU in this darkened world in which I live, … prayerfully FOR YOURS and the Father’s glory. Amen

No comments: