Saturday, December 31, 2011

Who We Are & What We Have

A simple list of the (mostly) internal, (mostly) un-earned qualities and blessings we have because of Christ.  The question: will we pick up these gifts laid before us and use them?

We are justified through faith (declared innocent & guiltless)
We are redeemed, bought back from Satan
We are righteous, upright & moral
We are saved from death (Rom 10:13)
We are loved unconditionally (Rom 5:6)
We are more than conquerers through Christ (Rom 8)
We are friends of Christ (John 15)
We are heirs with CHrist of eternal life (Rom 8:17)
We are ambassadors (2 Cor 5:20)
We are light to the world
We have been given all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies (Eph 1:3)
We are free from sin & death (Rom 8:2)
We have been created in God's image (Gen)
We are citizens of heaven
We are sons & daughters of God
We have peace with God through Christ (Eph 2:17)
We are a new creation (2 Cor 5:17)
We died with Christ (Rom 6:8)
We will live with Christ (Rom 6:8)
There is no condemnation for us (Rom 8:1)
We cannot be separated from Christ's love (Rom 8:35)
We will not be put to shame (Rom 10:11)
We are members of the body of Christ (rom 12:4)
We each have unique gifts (2 Cor)
We are accepted (Rom 15:7)
We have grace from God (1 Cor 1:3)
We do not lack any psiritual gift (1 Cor 1:7)
We will stay strong & will be blameless through Christ (1 Cor 1:8)
We are called into fellowship with Jesus by God (1 Cor 1:9)
We have the mind of Christ (1 Cor 2:16)
We are of Christ & Christ is of God (1 Cor 3:23)
We are washed & sanctified (1 Cor 6:11)
We are given the victory through Christ (over death) (1 Cor 15:57)
We have Christ's sufferings & his comfort in our lives (2 Cor 1:5)
We are established with Christ by God (2 Cor 1:21)
We are anointed (2 Cor 1:21)
We have God's seal on us (2 Cor 1:22)
We have God's Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee (2 Cor 1:22)
He have the "yes" to God's promises in Christ (2 Cor 1:20)
We are the aroma of Christ (2 Cor 2:15)
We are a letter from God on human hearts (2 Cor 3:3)
Our veil has been lifted (regarding the Old Testament) (2 Cor 3:14)
We can see the light of the good news of Christ who is the image of God (2 Cor 4:4)
We have God shining light in our hearts of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ (2 Cor 4:6)
We have the ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor 5:18)
We are reconciled (won over, brought into agreement/harmony/compatibility) by God through Christ (2 Cor 5:18)
We belong to Christ (2 Cor 10:7)
We have power (Christ's) which is made perfect in weakness (2 Cor 12:9-10)
We have Jesus Christ in us (2 Cor 13:5)
We are called in grace by God (Gal 1:6)
We have freedom in Christ (Gal 2:4)
We have been cruicified to the world and the world has been crucified to us (Gal 6:14)
We are to the praise of God's glory (Eph 1:12)
We were and are loved at our worst (Eph 2:5)
We have been made alive together with Christ (Eph 2:6)
We have been raised up and seated with Christ in the heavenly places (Eph 2:6)
We have God's richness of mercy toward us (Eph 2:4)
God loves us with a great love (Eph 2:4)
We will be shown God's immeasurable richness of grace in kindness toward us (Eph 2:7)
We are God's workmanship, created in Christ for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them (Eph 2:10)
We have been brought near to Christ (by his own blood) (Eph 2:13)
We have the same access to God as Israel, in one spirit (Eph 2:18)
We are no longer strangers & aliens (Eph 2:19)
We are fellow citizens with the saints (Eph 2:19)
We are members of God's household (Eph 2:19)
We are being built into a  dwelling place for God (by Jesus) (Eph 2:22)
We have encouagement in Christ, comfort from love, participation in the spirit, affection and sympathy (Phil 2:1)

What blows my mind about this list is how intertwined it proves us to be with our Lord.  I created this list by searching the word "Christ."  ALL the good spiritual things we have are from him, his sacrifice.  

Thursday, December 22, 2011


What makes it easy to work with someone to help them improve themselves?

Using the example of a coach working with a swimmer, it is much easier to help someone...
...when they know they need the coach's help rather than when they think they are doing a great job by themselves
...if they pay attention when the coach is showing them what they need to do to improve
...if they are willing to put the work and focus in to do what the coach prescribes
...when they understand specifically what they are doing wrong and don't like the fact that they are doing it incorrectly, rather than not trying to understand and not caring even if they do understand

Working with a swimmer who is coachable but may not have much inherent skill is desirable to working with someone stubborn and unwilling to improve even if they are very talented.

It seems to me that as long as a person is willing, tractable, and not arrogant, then they can be happily worked with no matter how badly they do.  When you know someone is trying their best, it is hard to give up on them, even if they are floundering a bit.

Despite the fact that Jesus will never give up on a believer, I want so badly to be easy and pleasant for him to work with.  I think repentance is a huge part of coachability because the Bible definition (from, of course!) looks a lot like a simple willingness to do what is right:

"Metanoeo, meaning to change one's mind and purpose as the result of after knowledge.  This verb with the cognate noun 'metanoia', is used of true repentance, a change of mind and purpose and life..."

I think the big trick is to not just to do our best, but to also ask for more help from Jesus because often the things we need to change our mind, purpose and life about are deep habits, maybe even things we enjoy even though they are wrong.  As noble as it would be to do everything out of sheer willpower, I think the whole point of having a Lord is so that we have extra help and support to save us from our dead human nature:

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 
and are justified by his grace as a gift, 
through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, 
to be received by faith.

Since we are already justified, we can walk freely with Christ, knowing that we are already good enough on the inside because God said so.  Our right response to that freedom is to desire to reflect our true nature in Christ, and to let him direct us into it.