Thursday, May 26, 2016, 4:58 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “A Believer’s Prayer.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read 1 Corinthians 15 (select vv. ESV). Jesus Christ is not only God’s Son, but he is God, the second person of our triune God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He left his throne in heaven, came to earth, took on human flesh, suffered as we suffer and was tempted in like manner as we are also tempted, yet without sin. While he walked the face of this earth he was fully God yet fully man. He preached repentance for forgiveness of sins, and he healed the sick and afflicted, raised the dead, comforted the sorrowful, delivered from demons and forgave sinners. Yet, the religious leaders in the temple were jealous of him and hated him, so they had him hung on a cross to die. Yet, in his death he who knew no sin became sin for us so that when he died, our sins died with him, and were buried with him. When he was resurrected from the dead, he rose victorious over sin, hell, Satan and death for you and for me. When we trust in Jesus Christ to be our Lord (owner-master) and Savior of our lives, we die with Christ to sin, and we are resurrected with Christ to newness of life, “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph. 4:24). In fact, Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness (1 Pet. 2:24). He died that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us (2 Co. 5:15). Many people today are teaching God’s grace as though it is a free license to continue in sin without guilt and without remorse while claiming they are promised heaven when they die. May it never be! God’s grace, which brings salvation, teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we wait for Christ’s return (Tit. 2:11-14). The righteous requirement of the law is fully met in us who walk NOT according to our sinful flesh, but who walk according to the Spirit. If we conduct our lives according to our flesh, we will die, but if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, we will live (Ro. 8:1-14). For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain!! Thanks to God! (vv. 50-57) I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. One day we are all going to die. It is inevitable unless Jesus Christ returns in our lifetime and he takes us to be with him without us having to die. If we have trusted in Jesus Christ to be Lord (owner-master) of our lives, we have turned from our sins, and we have been given new lives in Christ Jesus to be lived in the power and working of God’s Holy Spirit living within us, then when we die, or when Jesus returns, we will go to be with him. Yet, remember that Jesus said that if we hold on to our old lives (of living for sin and self), we will die, meaning we will not have the promise of eternal life with God. Nonetheless, he said that if we lose our lives (die with him to sin and self), we will gain eternal life. The Bible says that if we say we have fellowship with God, and yet we walk (conduct our lives) in the darkness (sin/wickedness) we are liars, and the truth is not in us (1 Jn. 1:6). So, we don’t have the promise of heaven when we die if merely we just make a profession of Christ as Savior, but we continue living for sin and self. Please know this. Your life depends on it! As well, from a physical perspective, when we go to be with Jesus it is not our flesh and blood bodies which go with him. Our bodies are merely what house the real us, and it is the real us (heart/soul) which goes to be with our Lord. As best as I understand it, I believe this is saying that one day, when Christ returns, we will be given heavenly bodies in which the real us will dwell with Christ in eternity. Our new bodies will not be like our old bodies. They will not decay. They will not experience pain and suffering and sickness, and they cannot die. When we have our new bodies, we won’t be subject to sin, either. We will finally be set free of these flesh and blood bodies and temptation to sin, and pain and suffering. Amen! Oh, how I look forward to that day, don’t you? We will truly be able to worship our Lord in absolute purity and freedom from all the distractions of this sinful world. Hallelujah! Yet, Jesus didn’t die just so we would have victory over sin in heaven, but he died to give us victory over sin now, while we still live on this earth. Thanks be to God! Be Steadfast (v. 58) Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. Since Jesus Christ died in order to put sin to death, and he was resurrected that we may live new lives in Christ Jesus, free from the curse of sin, and free from slavery to sin, then we ought to live as though this is true. We should no longer live as though our lives are our own to be lived however we want for our own pleasure. We should live as though Jesus truly set us free! Not only that, but we should desire to live holy lives pleasing to God because we love him, and because we are so thankful that he set us free. You see, Jesus didn’t die just so we could escape hell and just so we could go to heaven when we die. He died to radically transform our lives away from sin to walking in his grace and mercy while we still live on this earth. This should so thrill us that we would not even think about returning to the lifestyles we once lived. If we truly love God/Jesus, we also should not be looking for loopholes which give us an open door to continue in sin, but many people do this. Let’s examine our own lives and how we live them. How much of our day, time, energies and thoughts are given over to our Lord throughout the day? How much is given over to what we desire? Is he truly master-owner of our lives? Or are we still running the show? Do we even consider what he wants for our lives, or do we make all our own decisions? Is God someone we only go to when we need something or when we are in trouble, or do we call on him every day in truth for guidance and direction? Are we sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s promptings? Or do we quench the Spirit on a regular basis out of fear of what others may think of us? Or, out of a selfish desire to still be the owners of our own lives? Do we truly want what God wants, or are our own wants given first priority? Do we even consider whether or not he is pleased with our daily activities, thoughts and actions/speech? Or, do we just fumble through each day on our own still walking according to our sinful flesh? Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us. So, give him your all today as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to him, and let him truly be the master of your life! A Believer’s Prayer / An Original Work / July 31, 2012 With my whole heart, Lord, I pray to be Yours, And Yours always. Lead me in Your truth today. May I love You, and obey. Lead me in Your righteousness. When I sin, may I confess; Bow before You when I pray; Live for You and You always. Love You, Jesus, You’re my friend. Life with You will never end. You are with me through each day, Giving love and peace always. You will ne’er abandon me. From my sin You set me free. You died on that cruel tree, So I’d live eternally. Soon You’re coming back for me; From this world to set me free; Live with You eternally. Oh, what joy that brings to me. I will walk with You in white; A pure bride, I’ve been made right By the blood of Jesus Christ; Pardoned by His sacrifice.