Sunday, November 2, 2008

My Redeemer Lives ...

Do you ever go to church and feel like the Pastor is talking directly to you? Thankfully, this morning wasn't a conviction kind of deal. It was actually really really cool.

God has been teaching me a whole lot lately which is so great. I am doing a Bible Study on the book of John. I'm doing it both online and with a couple local groups here. It truly has been an amazing experience.

First of all, I love Jesus. Studying Him so thoroughly has been such a great experience. He is just amazing. Words just don't even do Him justice. The way He loves people, heals people, talks to people, and shows emotion is just very moving, truly striking in so many ways.

So, through this study I was led to a passage that speaks about our journey of sanctification. I don't believe Christians are mindful about that enough. Christianity is not just a "hey I prayed the prayer I'm goin' to heaven" kind of thing. It is a journey.

If you are a Believer, can't you look back on your life and see how far God has brought you? That is sanctification, the process of making one holy, being cleansed, made new. What a gift!

So, this morning in church the pastor was speaking about prayer and making a point to pray more for the kingdom instead of just praying for healing or safety. I think part of this is praying for ours and other's sanctification. He touched on that too.

Also, a friend recommended a book recently that she thought I should read. He referred to that book this morning!

Just yesterday I was in Philippians 1 reading these verses ...

21For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
22But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose.
23But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better;

I love these verses. I starred them in my Bible after reading them yesterday. For those of you who know me well, you probably know I am very much so looking forward to being in glory with Jesus (see verse at bottom of my blog). Now I don't have a death wish, but I know where I'm going and I can't wait to get there! At the same time I know there is work to be done here and typically God doesn't give us the easy way out so I do my best to keep plugging away with the tasks given me here on earth.

Well, guess what the passage was this morning in church ... That's right. Philippians 1.

Loved it! It was so fun!! I thought, "Wow God. You just never cease to amaze me." I was so thankful to God for using this man to just confirm and add to the things He has already been teaching me.

Studying God's Word and learning His truths are so filling. That's the only way to describe it. After sitting down and doing my inductive Bible study I walk away feeling filled. After discussion time with our weekly group I feel filled. After times like this morning in church I get the same feeling. It is the best feeling in the world knowing that my God is alive and well. He loves me, teaches me, and is ever faithful, even when I am not. Praise God for that.

O God,
Thou hast taught me that Christ has all fullness and so all plenitude of the Spirit, that all fullness I lack in myself is in him, for his people, not for himself alone, he having perfect knowledge, grace, righteousness,
to make me see, to make me righteous, to give me fullness;
that it is my duty, out of a sense of emptiness,
to go to Christ, possess, enjoy his fullness as mine,
as if I had it in myself, because it is for me in him;
that when I do this I am full of the Spirit,
as a fish that has got from the shore to the sea
and has all fullness of waters to move in,
for when faith fills me, then I am full;
that this is the way to be filled with the Spirit, like Stephen,
first faith, then fullness, for this way makes me most empty,
and so most fit for the Spirit to fill.
Thou has taught me that the finding of this treasure of all grace
in the field of Christ begets strength, joy, glory, and renders all graces alive.
Help me to delight more in what I receive from Christ,
more in that fullness which is in him, the fountain of all his glory.
Let me not think to receive the Spirit from him as a 'thing'
apart from finding, drinking, being filled with him.
To this end, O God, do thou establish me in Christ,
settle me, give me a being there, assure me with certainty that all this is mine, for this only will fill my heart with joy and peace."
~ FULLNESS IN CHRIST, The Valley of Vision

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