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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Resurrection Life

Here is a sample from When God Speaks:

But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His spirit who dwells in you.
Romans 8:11
Here in the Northeast where I live, spring is awaited like a bridegroom for the bride. After a long hard winter of battling freezing cold, snow and ice, the warmth of sunshine defrosts body and soul. Buds form on trees, flowers burst into life, and children are seen playing outside once again. The icy grip of winter is replaced with glorious life.
For the believer, this new life is available every day. The resurrection power that raised Christ from the dead is the same Spirit given to us. Think about that. Jesus suffered terrible physical and emotional pain that led to a torturous death. Yet, evil’s kiss of death could not stop God’s astonishing resurrection power. And we who are children of God have that same life in us!
Lay down your burdens of sorrow and despair and do not look for the Holy One in the tomb. He is no longer there. Christ has conquered death so that you may “have it (life) more abundantly.”John 10:10.
Are there trials and sorrow in life? Surely so, but we do not need to be destroyed by them for Christ has given us the victory. “Yet in all these things (tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril and sword), we are more than conquerors though Him who loved us” Romans 8:37.
As a young Christian I liked to think of myself as a conqueror, though I was riddled with envy, self-pity and pride. I didn’t even know I felt this way until I started facing difficulties, which brought all of these feelings to the surface. As I began to endure some fiery trials of loneliness, rejection and near poverty, I learned how to walk, step by step, in victory. During this time I buried myself in the Word of God and prayer. I learned about the true nature of God, not what others said about Him, and what He wants for me.
It is God’s love that brought me through. Like Paul, I became convinced that nothing “shall separate us (me) from the love of God” Romans 8:15. We cannot only endure our furnaces of affliction, but come out on the other side with pure gold. For these challenges are not intended to kill us, but to burn off the waste products or dross in our lives.
If we can have this view of trials, then bitterness, envy, malice, hatred and strife can be put to death, for these are the enemies of resurrection life. It is these among others, our sin nature, which nailed Christ to the cross. Yet God did not allow sin to keep His Son buried, neither does He want that for His other children. The power of God’s love is strong enough to reach down into our tomb where all our secret sins lay hidden and expose them. Sons and daughters put your sins on the cross where they belong, and allow God’s life to quicken your mortal bodies.
Arise and throw off the grave clothes of depression and despair. Spring has dawned upon the land, and new life will burst through the ground. Behold the first signs are already there. The seed has taken root, and it’s pushing through the earth. The first rays of sunshine can be felt.
Gather your strength, aided by the Son of God, and pick up your head, seedling. A new world full of His Son-shine awaits you!