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~ Devotional ~ Jan

Christ Is All
~ Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.
Colossians 3:11

Christ is all-in the eternal counsel of God, in the redemption on the cross, as King on the throne in heaven and on earth. In the salvation of sinners, in the building up of Christ's Body, in the care for individuals-Christ is all. Every hour and every day this knowledge provides comfort and strength to the child of God.

You feel too weak, too unworthy, too untrustworthy. But if you will only accept the Lord Jesus in childlike faith, you have a guide who will supply all your need. Believe the word of our Savior in Matthew 28:20: "And be sure of this: I am with you always," and you will experience His presence each day.

However cold an dull your feelings may be, however sinful you are, meet the Lord Jesus in secret and He will reveal Himself to you. Tell Him how miserable you really are, and then trust Him to help and sustain you.

Each day as you spend time in His presence, let this thought be with you: Christ is all. Make it your goal: Christ is all-to teach me to pray, to strengthen my faith, to give me the assurance of His love, to give me direct access to the Father, to make me strong for the schedule of the day.

Christ in Me
~ Examine yourselves to see if your faith is really genuine.
2 Corinthians 13:5

Christ is in me. What a difference it would make if we could take time every morning to focus on the thought: Christ is in me.

Christ made it clear to His disciples. The Spirit would teach them: "When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you" (John 14:20). Through the power of God we who beileve were crucified with Christ and raised again with Him. As a result Christ is in us! Through faith in God's Word, the Christian accepts it.

Paul expresses this thought in the prayer of Ephesians 3:16: "I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will give you mighty inner strength through his Holy Spirit. " Notice that it is not the ordinary gift of grace, but a special revelation of the riches of His love that Christ may dwell in your heart by faith. Have you been able to grasp that?

Paul said: "I fall to my knees and pray to the Father" (Ephesians 3:14). That is the only way to obtain the blessing. Take time in prayer in His presence to realize: "Christ dwells in me." Even in the midst of your daily schedule, look upon your heart as the dwelling place of the Son of God. Then Christ's words: "Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit" (John 15:5) will become your daily experience.

A Blessed Reality
~ God alone made it possible for you to be in Christ Jesus.
1 Corinthians 1:30

During His last day with His disciples, the Lord Jesus made several references to being "in Christ Jesus." When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you" (John 14:20). Following that in 15:5: "Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit." "If you stay joined to me and my words remain in you, you may ask any request you like, and it will be granted!" (15:7). We cannot apply these promises unless we first prayerfully accept the words "in Christ."

Paul expressed the same thought in Romans 6:4: "We. . . were buried with Christ." "You should consider yourselves dead to sin and able to live for the glory of God through Christ Jesus" (Romans 6:11). "There is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1). And in Ephesians 1:3: "How we praise God. . .who has blessed us with every spiritural blessing in the heavely realms because we belong to Christ." Colossians 2:9: "For in Christ the fullness of God lives in a human body." Colossians 2:6: "Just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to live in obedience to him." Colossians 4:12: "asking God to make you strong and perfect, fully confident of the whole will of God."

By faith take hold of the truth that "God establishes us in Christ" an dthen follow the leading of the Spirit in prayer.

The Whole Heart
~ I have tried my best [with my whole heart-KJV] to find you.
Psalm 119:10

Notice how often the psalmist speaks to the "all the heart" or the "whole heart": "search for him with all their hearts" (verse 2); "I will put it into practice with all my heart" (verse 34); "I obey your commandments with all my heart" (verse 69); "I pray with all my heart" (verse 145). In seeking God, in observing His law, in crying for His help-each time it is with his whole heart.

When we want to be successful in business, we put our whole heart into it. Isn't this even more necessary in the service of a holy God? He is worthy. The whole heart is needed in the service of God when we worship Him.

We often forget this. In prayer, in reading His word, in seeking to do His will, we fail to say continually: "I have tried my best-with my whole heart-to find You." Let us learn to say: "I desire to seek God and to serve Him with my whole heart."

Mediate and pray about this. Spend time before God until you know that you really mean what you say and you have thte assurance that God will hear your prayer. Then each morning as you approach God in prayer you can honestly say, "I seek You with my whole heart." You gradually will feel the need of waithin in holy stillness upon God so that He may take possession of your whole heart. You will learn to love Him with your whole heart and your whole mind.

The Strength of the Christian
~ A final word: Be strong with the Lord's mighty power.
Ephesians 6:10

Since we as Christians have no strength of our own, where may we get it? Notice the answer: Be strong with the Lord's mighty power.

Paul had spoken of this power in the earlier part of Ephesians (1:17-20). He had prayed to God to give them the Spirit that they might know the greatness of His power which He displayed when He raised Christ from the dead. This the literal truth: the greatness of His power which raised Christ from the dead works in every believer. We hardly belive it and much less experience it. That is why Paul prays that God would teach us to believe in His almighty power.

In Ephesians 3:16-17, Paul asks the Father to strengthen them by His Spirit, that Christ might dwell in their hearts. And then in verse 20: "Now glory be to God! By his mighty pwer, at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope."

Read over these Scriptures again and pray for God's Spirit to make these words real to you. Believe in the divine power working in you. Pray that the Holy Spirit may reveal it to you. Appropriate the promise that God will show His power in your heart, supplying all your needs. It is clear that much time is needed with the Father and the Son, if you would experience the power of God within you.

Put on Christ
~ For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
Galations 3:27 KJV

The word that is here translated "put on" is the same that is used in regard to putting on clothes. We have put on "the new man," and we have the new nature as a garment that is worn so all can see who we are. The Christian is known as one who has put on Christ and exhibits Him in his whole life and character.

Paul says to "put on the Lord Jesus," not only at conversion, but from day to day. As you put on your clothes each day, so the Christian must daily put on the Lord Jesus. In that way you reflect the image of Jesus, the new person formed in His likeness.

Put on Christ! This must be done by spending time alone in His presence. As my clothes protect me from wind and sun, even so Christ will be my protection and my joy. As I fellowship with Him in prayer, He strengthens me.

Take time to mediate on this wonderful truth. As your clothing is a necessity, let it be equally indispensable for you to "put on" Jesus Christ, to spend time with Him, and walk with Him all the day. Take the time and the trouble to do this. Your reward will be great.

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