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But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord.  (2 Cor 3:18)







By David A. DePra



Learning Christ



Taught by God



Itching Ears



Believing Fables



Our Redemptive God



The Futility of the Flesh



Words of Spirit and Life



Wrestling With God



Fitted Into the Inheritance



The Yes and Amen



Letting Go to God



Victory From Surrender



Faith is Never a Mistake



Called According to His Purpose



Galilee or Bethlehem?



The Carpenter’s Son



The Hard Saying



Jesus is God



All Things Are From Out of God






A Spiritual Union



The Word of Reconciliation



Marks of True Ministry



Then Face to Face



Seeing Him As He Is



Love One Another



Love as Evidence



Unfeigned Love



Feigned Love



Gifts vs. Fruits



God’s Love in the Redemption



Oct 1

Learning Christ


But you have not so learned Christ; If so be that you have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus.  (Eph. 4:20-21)


     Some professing Christians are like walking encyclopedias of the Bible.  They practically have it memorized.  Yes, it is great to know scripture.  But some of those same folks are, “ever learning, but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”  (II Tim. 3:7)   It is possible to learn all of the doctrines about Jesus Christ right from the Bible, but to never LEARN CHRIST.


     Do we realize that Satan knows every fact and every doctrine found in the Bible?  What good has it done him?  None.  The point is this:  To LEARN CHRIST is to, yes, possess facts and doctrines in complete agreement with scripture.  But to truly LEARN CHRIST we must have an inward revelation of HIM.  God wants to form Christ in us.  (Gal. 4:19)   And He wants us to be, “formed together with Him.”  (Rom. 8:29)  This is what it means to LEARN CHRIST.  It is what it means to come into a knowledge of Him that will fully agree with scripture. 

Oct 2

Taught by God


But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name,  shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.  (John 14:26)


     The Greek words translated, “teach,” in this verse, carries the meaning, not only  of conveying information to the one taught, but carries the meaning of SHAPING the one taught by what is conveyed.  In other words, to know the Truth means to BE MADE TRUE unto God – because we know Christ.  To know Christ means He is formed in us, and we are then formed together with Him.  But the true knowledge of God in Jesus Christ is not merely intellectual knowledge.  It is a REALIZATION of the Person of Christ, who dwells in us, in a way that adjusts and shapes us to HIMSELF.


     This shaping through an ongoing revelation of Christ IN US is the work of the Spirit of God.  Paul said, “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.  But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”  (II Cor. 3:17-18)  If we truly see Jesus Christ, and we are open to what we see, we will be shaped by what we see.  We will be transformed so that we can manifest Him.




Oct 3

Itching Ears


For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;  And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.  (II Tim. 4:3-4)


     If I have been deceived, there are REASONS – there are reasons why people believe error rather than the Truth.  And it is a fact that those reasons are found in our own hearts.  Only through knowing Jesus Christ and giving ourselves to Him can our heart be made pure, and can it be possible for us to avoid deception, and know Truth. 


     God holds us responsible for the light given to us – He holds us responsible for turning to Him.  There are many people who have no light; no knowledge of Christ.  They are unable to believe the Truth because they have yet to be given light.  These people are truly blind or ignorant.  But this passage is not describing ignorant people who cannot believe.  Rather, it is describing people who could believe but refuse to believe.  They have enough light to at least turn to God for Truth.  But instead, they turn to what satisfies something in their own heart.


     God tells us, once He gives us light, to simply turn to Him – to come into the Light.  That is faith; it is where anyone who has light can begin.  But many have, “turned their ears from the Truth.”  Refuse light and you get darkness.  Refuse truth and you will live in error.   You may even embrace ridiculous fables as if they are Biblical Truth.

Oct 4

Believing Fables


They shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.  (II Tim. 4:4)


     There was once a girl who had at least a foundational knowledge of the Truth in Christ.  She knew enough to at least turn to God and seek Him.  Then, at some point in her life, she went through a great emotional trauma.  But instead of seeking God for His will; for Truth, she got entangled in the writings of false teacher.  This false teacher claimed he had been visited by angels and the Lord Himself.  He also claimed that he was the only source of true Christianity.  His writings were complete fables at best, and right from the spirit of the enemy at worst.  But his writings made this girl feel good about herself and about God.  They made her seem right in her situation and everyone else wrong.  Thus, no longer did she feel guilty and lost.  She felt enriched and healed.  She thought she found THE answer.


     Can error do that to a person?  Absolutely it can.  No one is deceived by error unless the error satisfies something in them – error will always fill some religious void. The problem is, ANYTHING – no matter how good or bad it might seem – anything other than Jesus Christ Himself will bring us into bondage.  Why?  Because anything other than Christ is ERROR.


     Jesus Christ promised to guide His people into all Truth – into a knowledge of Himself.  But He won’t force us.  He will give us enough light so we will at least know to TURN.  But in the end, we are either going to turn to God and be adjusted to HIM, or we are going to adjust God to fit ourselves.  It is possible to do the latter and think you are happy.  But you will be living, not in Christ, but in a religious fable.  We need not be deceived by fables.  We can turn back to God for the Truth at any time.




Oct 5

Our Redemptive God


If we believe not, yet he abides faithful: he cannot deny himself.  (II Tim. 2:13)


     This is an encouraging verse because it shows that the faithfulness of God to us is not dependent upon US.  It is dependent upon Him.  In short, God is always the same towards us, even if we are never the same towards Him.  Thankfully, God will never react as a man does towards us.  He will never deny – depart from – His purpose or His own character.  That means that no matter what we have done, the intent and purpose of God towards us is the same.  We can turn back to Him through His Son.


     If we stray into darkness through unbelief, the goal of God will always remain the same – to guide us back into the Truth.  If we slip into unbelief, the goal of God will be to restore our faith.  God is a redemptive God.  There are always new beginnning in Christ.

Oct 6

The Futility of the Flesh


Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.  (Eph. 2:3)


     Man without Christ is at the mercy of his fallen nature – he must, “make do,” with the resources found in himself.  Each of us has a different version of the flesh – formed over our lifetime by our family, upbringing, temperament, and our own choices.  But in the end, “that which is born of the flesh is flesh.”  (John 3:6)  And flesh is all it will ever be.


     The only solution and deliverance is CHRIST IN US.  But even if Christ dwells in us, we have these possibilities of the flesh.  Being joined to the Lord in spirit does not obliterate the flesh.  Christ is simply joined to us, and there is then a separation between our flesh and His Spirit -- and the warfare begins.


     How is it possible to know what is of Christ vs. what is of us – that is, what is of our natural make-up?  The solution is NOT to develop a, “how-to list,” for being able to discern what is of God, and what is of us.  No.  The solution is to know Jesus Christ.


     If we are abandoning ourselves to Christ He will be formed in us.  We will come into a realization of Him; a knowledge of Him.  And this will make it clear to us what is of our soul, and what is of His spirit – this is the separation between soul and Spirit within us.  He is the LIGHT and He is the Truth, and all things are known only if we know HIM.




Oct 7

Words of Spirit and Life


The disciples said, “This is an hard saying; who can hear it?”…Jesus said, “It is the spirit that quickens; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.  But there are some of you that believe not. (Jn. 6:60-64)


     All through the ministry of Jesus, He spoke to His disciples of spiritual Truth, and they interpreted Him on a natural level.  This was not because they were stupid or uneducated.  No.  It was because they were not yet born from above – the Spirit of God was not yet IN THEM to quicken.  It was not until Jesus ascended to heaven, and came back down through the Spirit to dwell in them that they understood much of anything.  Jesus directly told them that the Spirit had been WITH them, but was not yet IN them. (John 14:17)  Their lack of discernment shows that a person could actually be in the physical presence of Christ Himself, and yet still not understand, because they are not yet born from above.  Such is the essential of Christ within through the Spirit of God.


     Why do people fail to understand God, misinterpret God, or live in confusion?  Sometimes it is rebellion.  Often inexperience or ignorance.  But often people simply need to be born from above to be able to see.  (Jn. 3:3) 

Oct 8

Wrestling With God


Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.  (Gen. 32:24)


     Jacob was promised his inheritance from God.  But he did not abandon himself to God and allow God to bring it to pass.  He represents ourselves – and the efforts of religious flesh – not to directly rebel against God – but to try to wrestle from God what God has already freely given.


     God has made many promises in His Word.  It is good and right for us to believe Him.  But if we are continually trying to wrestle out of God what He has promised to freely give, then we don’t really trust Him to keep His Word without our wrestling. 


     Abraham basically committed the same error.  He believed God for Isaac.  But then erred a number of times trying to make sure the promise would come to pass – the worst error of which was to birth Ismael.  Abraham came into full faith only once he offered back to God the very son God had promised.  Abraham relinquished ownership over the fulfilled promised and fully surrendered it to God.


     God not only wants to gives us promises – He wants to give us a relationship with Himself.  In short, we ought to never separate the promises of God from the One who gave them.  Believe God for His promises.  But realize that all of the promises of God are meant to be realized through a relationship with Him through Christ.




Oct 9

Fitted Into the Inheritance


Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.  (Gen. 32:24)


     Jacob is a type of religious, natural man – who tries to wrestle from God what is already freely given in Christ.  Often we focus upon the PROMISES and THINGS that are freely given in Christ.  God has promised them and we want them.  But God first focuses upon US.  Jesus said we must LOSE our lives in order to find true life in HIM.  Until we are in the process of doing this, we cannot receive what God has given – we cannot receive them because we still own ourselves – we are living from out of the OLD LIFE.  The promises of God are all IN CHRIST – we have to find HIM – and must have Christ as our life -- and if we do, we will find the promises.


     Thus, we have a great irony:  We want to wrestle the promises from God and save them for ourselves into our old life.  But God tells us to LOSE our lives – by faith – in order to find the promises that are freely given in Christ.

Oct 10

The Yes and Amen


For all the promises of God in him are yes, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.  (II Cor. 1:20)


     All the promises of God are found in Jesus Christ.  Thus, we cannot separate the promises that are IN Christ FROM Christ.  In other words, God is not going to give us the fulfilled promises to the disregard of the Christ who is in us.  Rather, it is as Christ is formed in us (Gal. 4:19) that the promises that are in Him emerge into our experience.  If we lose our lives and find Christ as our life (Matt. 16:24-25, Col. 2:3)  then we will find the promises that are IN Christ as we find Christ as our life.


     God has given us all things freely IN HIS SON.  (Rom. 8:32, Eph. 1:3)  But this also means that He has ultimately given us nothing through any other means.  Even when God does bless people otherwise, He does so to with the intent of leading them TO Christ as their life.


     If I am saved, I am joined to the Lord.  I am one spirit with Him.  (I Cor. 6:17)  I am therefore joined to the One in whom are all of the promises.  Thus, can we see the folly of trying to wrestle from God – on the basis of our natural man; on the basis of something about US – the promises He has already freely given in Christ?  No.  I have to LOSE myself in order to find the One in whom are the promises.  This explains much  as to why God works the way He does in the life of the believer.




Oct 11

Letting Go to God


Jacob was left alone; and a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day.  And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. (Gen. 32:24-25)


     Jacob would not let go – he would not abandon himself, or lose himself to God by faith.  He relied on his natural strength.  So God broke his natural strength.  For us, this means that God will NEVER allow our natural man to succeed in wrestling from out of Him what He has already freely given in Christ.  He will NEVER give us anything on the basis of ourselves.  Rather, God will allow this to prove to be futile.  He will cripple our natural man – expose us as weak and empty.  For it is only when we learn by experience that there is no hope in ourselves that we will REST in Christ and receive by faith what God has freely given to us in His Son.


      God will allow whatever it takes to bring us to the end of our rope.  And when we come to the end of our rope, God is not going to give us the strength to grip our rope tighter.  No.  He wants us to LET GO of our rope – to God.  God wants to cripple our natural man to the point where we no longer try to walk with Him on that basis.  And then if we are made weak, then Christ in us can BE our strength. 

Oct 12

Victory From Surrender


And he said unto him, “What is thy name?”  And he said, “Jacob.”  And he said, “Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince has thou power with God and with men, and has prevailed.  (Gen. 32:27-28)


      Jacob never prevailed OVER God.  No.  Jacob prevailed WITH God because Jacob surrendered TO God.  All overcoming is solely the result of being overcome by Jesus Christ – we only sit with Him in His throne to the extent that He is Lord of our lives.  We are never called upon to win any victory in the Christian life.  Faith is a rest in His victory – a stand by faith – in the victory already finished in Christ.


      We find in the story of Jacob the reasons why the promises of God do not seem to come to pass for God’s people.  We are trying to wrestle out of God what He has freely given solely in Christ.  But the problem is not a wrong theology.  It is not the wrong religious practice.  We do not need a better, “how-to,” list.  The problem is US.  What we need is faith.  We need to, “let go and let God,” by losing ourselves to Him.


     In Christ are all the promises, and thus, victory over all, and the receiving of His promises, are always through surrender TO God.  Jacob tried to wrestle the inheritance from God through every means possible for decades – culminating with this event in Genesis 32.  But the problem was never with God.  It was with Jacob.  As long as Jacob was in unbelief he could not receive or live in the promises of God.  But once his strength was broken, he was then able to be fitted into those promises because he was rightly related to God.



Oct 13

Faith is Never a Mistake


     When God delivered Israel from Egypt and took them out into the wilderness, they were unable to care for themselves – and God did allow them to go through seasons of lack.  Over and over again, they accused God of leading them out only to abandon them.  In effect, they were saying that their faith in God was a mistake.  And now that they had made that mistake, there was no way back.


      When we make choices of faith in God we are apt to assume that it is going to immediately result in blessing.  But often the opposite happens – and if it does then it is easy to assume that we have made a mistake to trust God.  But faith in God is never a mistake.  What should we do – NOT trust Him?  When our faith in God seems to be a mistake, God is simply using the trial as the means to lead us into a greater revelation of Himself.  God won’t forget about our needs.  But knowing Him is the greatest need.


     God wants to form Christ in us.  He will use circumstances as tools.  God will get around to working out His will in circumstances.  In the meantime God wants us to trust Him.  If we do, He will override any mistakes of judgment.  But our faith itself is never a mistake.  It is exactly what God wants.

Oct 14

Called According to His Purpose


And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.  For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.  (Rom. 8:28-29)


     The better translation of this verse should be, “God works good into all things for those who are called according to His purpose.”  And that purpose is that we might, “be formed together with His Son.” 


     We are being told that the purpose for which God works good into all things is to form us together with His Son.  We might even say that His purpose IS the good that God will work into all things.  Contrast this over and against the common notion that God works all things together for good – because He simply wants circumstances to go well for us.  No.  Circumstances will not always go well for us.  But God is working His good into and through them – that if we yield to Him Christ might be formed in us.


     God’s purpose is stated in this passage, and we are being told that this purpose IS the good that God is working on – into ALL THINGS.  Thus, God does fully care about our temporal lives and our needs, and He will work the good of His purpose into them.  They will not be unrelated to that purpose, but included, as both the means and the result.  There is nothing God does in the Christian life that is unrelated to Jesus Christ.




Oct 15

Galilee or Bethlehem?


Others said, “This is the Christ.” But some said, “Shall Christ come out of Galilee?”  Has not the scripture said that Christ comes of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?  (John 7:41-42)


     Many who heard Jesus rejected Him as Messiah because He was from Galillee.  Yes, they rightly said that the Messiah had to come from out of Bethlehem.  But there was one fact they didn’t know:  Jesus did come from Bethlehem.  He was born there.


     There are many people who reject a Christ they have created in their own mind – one created on the basis of their imagination, lies, and false assumptions.  They are  rejecting a false Christ – one born in Galilee – rather than the true Christ born in Bethlehem.  Are they accountable?  Yes, although it is up to God as to the depth.  Even if we have our facts wrong, God is still able to bring light io our world. And when He does we are at least accountable for continuing to seek God for the Truth.  Those who heard Jesus were looking at the Son of God Incarnate -- a sinless man who spoke God’s own Truth, and worked many miracles.  Was all of this rightly dismissed because they thought He came out of Galilee?  No.  They could have sought Him further for the Truth.  God is always more willing to show us the Truth than we are to receive it.    

Oct 16

                                                 The Carpenter’s Son                                      


And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, “Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works?  Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?  And his sisters, are they not all with us?  Whence then hath this man all these things?”  (Matt. 13:54-56)


      Accounts like this one tell us that for the first 30 years of His life, Jesus maintained a low profile – He did not teach and He did no miracles.  He simply lived the routine life of the carpenter’s Son.  But it was a sinless life to God’s glory – indeed those 30 years in obscurity prepared Him for, not only His ministry, but for the work of eternal Redemption.  The life of Jesus was, in fact, so normal-looking, that those among whom He lived for those 30 years were utterly astonished – some were offended – that He would now begin to teach and refer to Himself as the Son of God.


     Do we think that the only way in which God can achieve His purpose in us is if we are living some dramatic life?  That we need to be in ministry?  To be used of God to build churches?  To heal the sick?  To convert thousands?  That we need to see signs and wonders?  None of these things were necessary for Jesus, the Son of God.  He developed His relationship with His Father by being the carpenter’s son. 


     The key here is to see that what God is doing in us through Christ is not merely for this age.  Ultimately, it is for the ages to come.  Thus, whether God uses me in a big way, or simply lets me live a rather mundane life, the issue is whether Christ is being formed in me.  Everything that USES to form Christ in me will pass into history.  But what will remain and be taken into the ages to come is that which is OF CHRIST.




Oct 17

The Hard Saying


This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.  These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum.  Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?  (John 6:58-60)


     There were many things that Jesus said and did that offended people.  He simply did not satisfy their expectations of a Messiah.  But in John 6 He claimed to be God Incarnate.  His words, “I am the Bread that CAME DOWN from heaven,” are inescapable.  He was saying that HE CAME DOWN FROM GOD into this world from the outside of this world.  He was saying that He existed before He was born


     There are many teachings that, “thin the crowd” -- of those who follow Jesus.  But all of them have a common denominator:  Jesus is God.  It is upon the identity of Jesus as God that the entirity of the Redemption stands or falls:  “Who do you say that I am?”

Oct 18

Jesus is God


     Most cults that claim to be Christian have common traits.  Most of them claim that the truth they have received from God is unique to them -- no one else has received it.  Indeed, it is common for these groups to claim that God has chosen them to restore true Christianity.  As a result, they are the only true church – and so you must join them to be right with God and enter into the Truth.  Often this supposed Truth originally came from God to one person.  It was conveyed through an angel, vision, or directly from God.  This nonsense usually forms the basis of most cult like groups.


     Every cult will also share one foundational error:  The identity of Jesus Christ – included in which must be the purpose for which He came.  If that purpose is wrong then we are talking about another Jesus and another gospel.  They will say Jesus was a good man sent by God – to show us how to live.  They might even say that Jesus was the Son of God, but that He did not die for sin, but to show us God’s love.  In one way or another, Satan desires to lie about the identity of Jesus and the essentials of why He came. 


     The two events in Jesus’ human life that people most often reject are the virgin birth and the resurrection.  This is because BOTH prove is He God.  You cannot deny either one if you believe the true gospel or true Jesus Christ.  And you don’t have to belong to a cult to deny Christ.  You will stand or fall upon your personal faith.




Oct 19

All Things Are From Out of God


Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.   And all things are of God.  (II Cor. 5:17-18)


     When Paul said, “All things – of the new creature in Christ – are of God,” he used Greek words that could have been translated, “all things are from out of God.”   A new creature in Christ is what is born from above when Jesus Christ joins Himself to us – His Spirit to our human spirit.  HE makes us a new creature – not because of anything contributed by ourselves – but because of our oneness with HIM.  All that is contained in new life from above is FROM OUT OF GOD through Christ. 


     This is important to see because if, “all things,” that speak of new life in Christ are, “from out of God,” then despite being joined in resurrection union with Christ, nothing is from out from US – that is, our old nature.  He is the Treasure – all of it.  We are the earthen vessel, or the recipient of the Treasure.


     Most Christians define their Christian life by what they have given to God.  But true Christianity is defined by what we have RECEIVED – Christ in us.  ALL things are out from God – Jesus Christ IS our life.  (Col. 3:4) 


Oct 20



And it came to pass, when David and his men were come to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the south, and Ziklag, and smitten Ziklag, and burned it with fire;  And had taken the women captives, that were therein: they slew not any, either great or small, but carried them away, and went on their way.  (I Sam. 30:1-2)


     David had been told he would be king, and yet he had spent years in the desert fleeing from Saul.  But he had been given the city of Ziklag.  Ziklag was the last refuge of David.  Everything he had was at Ziklag.


     David and his army had left Ziklag to fight with the Philistines, but David was sent home to Ziklag.  When he got there he found that Ziklag was burned – and all of their families and all of their possessions were taken captive.


    David and his men, “lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep.”  David Himself was, “greatly distressed,” because added to all of this, his own people, “spoke of stoning him.”  It would have been easy for David to accuse  God, or to assume God had forsaken him.  Ziklag was everything David had.  Now it was gone.  Where would David go from here?


     It says, “David encouraged himself in the LORD.”  Thus, despite the present distress, we can step outside of it and put our faith in God.   Once David did, it says, “David recovered all....there was nothing lacking to them, neither small nor great....David recovered all.”  And little did he know that within three days Saul would be dead and he would finally take his place as king.


      There are many lesson in this – the chief one pertaining to spiritual life in Christ.  When all that we are – and all that we have – is burned to the ground, there is still the Lord.  He is not moved.  God may, in fact, allow us to suffer the loss of everything about ourselves in which we have put faith – so that we might learn the Truth of faith in Christ.




Oct 21

A Spiritual Union


For he has made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.  (II Cor. 5:21)


     When Jesus died on the Cross, He BORE the very nature or body of sin of the Adam race.  He was, “made to be,” this sin in the sense of bearing US in a supernatural way.


     Christ made us one with Himself – that we might become one with Him.  We were, “planted into,” His death, that we might be raised in Him.  Have we recognized that Christianity is CHRIST IN US?  That we are joined to the Lord and are one spirit with Him?  This is not religion.  It is resurrection union with God Himself.

Oct 22

The Word of Reconciliation


And all things are of God, who has reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;  To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and has committed unto us the word of reconciliation.  (II Cor. 5:18-19)


     The phrase, “has committed unto us the word of reconcilation,” ought to read, “has LODGED in us the word of reconciliation.”  This is not just a message with words -- Christ in us is that Word – is He not the basis of all reconciliation to God? 


     Jesus Christ is the One Mediator between God and man – His Person is the means by which we are reconciled to God.  If we are in Christ, and Christ is in God, then we are, through Christ, in God.  That is a living reconciliation.


     Note that God never needed to be reconciled back to man – rather, man needed to be reconciled back to God.  Through the death of Christ, every human being who will ever live HAS ALREADY been reconciled.  But that simply took away the sin of the world – removed all sin that was between God and man.  It is not yet LIFE.  It is only if a person renounces their old live through repentance, and comes to Christ by faith, that they are in Christ – and thus saved by His life.  (Rom. 5:10)  And because Christ has already reconciled the entire human race to God, this is also why, if someone is convicted of this Truth, they are condemned if they refuse.  Christ has already done all there is to do to reconcile us to God.  But we must believe and enter in or it will do us no good.




Oct 23

Marks of True Ministry


Therefore seeing we have this ministry….but have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.  (II Cor. 4:1-2)


     Gather up what is stated in this verse and it is clear that true ministry is never to be used for self-gain – neither materially, or for pride, or for any of man’s goals.  True ministry is HIS LIFE ministered to others.  It is the manifestation of the Truth in Christ.   That Truth and life does not belong to any of us.  It is of Christ – and ministers are to be faithful stewards of God.  (I Cor. 4:1)


     The outcome of true ministry ought to be that Jesus Christ Himself is being formed in people and seen in them – the ministry is an instrument of edification unto that end.  True ministry is HIS LIFE being manifested through the minister – and where His life is at work, there can be no place for these works of darkness.

Oct 24

Then Face to Face


For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.  (I Cor. 13:12)


     The glass through which we, “see darkly,” is natural man.  Not necessarily sinful man, but natural man.  Even though Christ dwells in the believer, and this equips us with the capacity to grow to see Jesus Christ, in this age, and in this body, we will never be completely free from the natural.  In one way or another, we will see through this glass darkly.


     That last phrase says it all:  “Then I shall know even as also I am known.”  During this age, there are times when I cannot see God.  There are other times when I do not see Him clearly.  But regardless, God sees me.  Right now, I am known by God.  We are being told that there will come a point at which all of the natural will be transformed and we will know God and His Son, Jesus Christ, face to face – we will know God as He already knows us.


     Little children will often cover their eyes if they are shy – somehow they think that if they cannot see you, that you cannot see them.  But note:  In their innocent attempt to keep you from seeing them, they block their ability to see you.  It is like this with God – if we think we are keeping Him from seeing us we are only blocking our own ability to see Him.  This is why coming into the light and confessing our sin and need is vital – if we open ourselves to God it does nothing to help Him see us.  But it makes it possible for us to see Him.  There will always be limitations in this age.  But God wants us to open to Him NOW, for it is His will for us to see Him THEN, face to face.




Oct 25

Seeing Him As He Is


Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. (1 John 3:2)


     The verse could be paraphrased, “It has never yet been made manifest what we shall be, but we know that when what we are is manifested, that it will be out of His likeness, and that this will enable us to see Him as He is.”  This is based on the original Greek (Vincent), and affirmaton from other passages.  It is an awesome thought.  If you think about this, it means that what will be manifested is the new creature that we are in Christ – Christ FULLY manifested through us -- without the limits of the natural.


     This is the same Truth as found in I Cor. 13:12:  For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”   And in I Cor. 2:9,  “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” 

Oct 26

Love One Another


This is my commandment, That you love one another, as I have loved you.  (Jn. 15:12)


     What is the AGAPE love of God?  It is an unconditional commitment to God’s highest for the one loved, regardless of cost to them, or to us.  It is fully Christ centered – a desire and commitment for others equal to God’s desire and commitment for them.


     It is not possible to love another person with the agape love of God unless I am growing to realize the love of God for me personally.  The love of God is solely from out of God to us -- and then through us to others.  Love is a FRUIT of the Spirit of God.  It is the result of personally abiding in Christ.  Only if we personallly receive His love can we love Him, and then, love others.  We are not the source of the love of God.  At the root, it is not emotional.  It is not theological.  It is not merely outward.  Rather, the root is the life of Christ in us – realized and received. 


     There is something that happens once a person comes into a realization of Jesus Christ:  They are set free by love.  Thus, they want the same for everyone else.  Because they know that they have been freely given by grace a priceless relationship with God, they are able to freely, and without strings attached, desire this for others. 


     Jesus said we were to love others AS He has loved us.  That is impossible if we try to call upon the resources of natural life.  No.  It is possible only if it is the outcome of His life and love IN US – free to flow through us unto others.      




Oct 27

Love as Evidence


We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loves not his brother abides in death.  (1 John 3:14)


     John is not saying that if we love others, that this will enable us to pass from death to life.  Nonsense.  Rather, he is saying that if we love others – with the REAL love of God in Christ Jesus – that such love is EVIDENCE that we have already passed from death to life.  The capacity to love with the love of God is in HIS LIFE – and it is only if Christ is in us, and we have realized His love for us, that we can truly love others.


     Christianity is, “Christ in us.”  (Col. 1:27)  But the LIFE that emerges from Christ in us, if a person is walking with Christ, is HIS LIFE.  As Christ is, “formed in us” (Gal. 4:19), and we come into a realization of Him, we will be, “formed together with Him.”  (Rom. 8:29)  This is result is us becoming living evidence of His life – His witnesses.  And the dominant characteristic of the life of Christ being manifested through a person is the love of God – not human love – but a love that is FROM OUT OF CHRIST through a person unto others.  And that love will always be committed to GOD’S highest for all.

Oct 28

Unfeigned Love


Seeing you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that you love one another with a pure heart fervently.   (1 Pet 1:22)


     The, “love of the brethren,” is the outcome of something – i.e., love is one of the FRUITS of the Spirit.  (Gal. 5:22-23)  More specifically, it is the outcome of having, “purified your soul in obeying the Truth through the Spirit.”  That is wordy, but essentially, as we realize the Truth in Christ and embrace Him, we will be MADE TRUE UNTO GOD – and this results in a pure heart through which the love of Christ can flow.


     Note that Peter uses the term, “unfeigned love.”  The word here is PRETENTIOUS.  His point being, that among Christians, where there is not real love, then fake love will fill the void – because well, people know they are supposed to love others.  But in the Body of Christ, a fake love is always from out of natural, religious man, as the source, rather than from out of Christ through us as a fruit.


     God has given us all things freely IN CHRIST.  He has given us NOTHING outside of Christ.  And Christ is to BE our life.  Thus, if we are to love others, or manifest anything at all that is of God, we must ABIDE IN CHRIST – which means to live FROM OUT OF HIM for all.  Then the fruit of the Spirit will be there – not because we tried hard to produce it, and not because we are faking it – but because Christ is being manifested.




Oct 29

Feigned Love


     Where Christ is not the Vine the fruit of Christ will be absent – and the void will be filled with the best that religious natural man can produce from out of himself.  Every cult, every false teacher, and every heretical group, claim they love.  But they do not love with the love of God – but with a feigned earthly, soulish, and destructive control.


     Agape love always desires that others be set free unto Christ for themselves.  Often, earthly love seeks to control others FOR Christ – although such will be portrayed as, “wanting only the best,” for others.  To seek to control others FOR Christ is nothing more than a desire to control them for MYSELF – I am not free and so I will seek to make them in my image – as an affirmation of myself.  One of the earmarks of earthly love is that when it is not received there is anamosity – because there is no payback of gratitude.  But when the love of God is not received, there is, well, there is still love.  Thank be to God that when we do not receive His love He still loves us.


     Real love is rooted in fellowship in Christ.  Christ glues together Christians.  Feigned love is a mask that covers up fake glue:  A list of laws, submission to authority, personal preferences, fear, etc.  Thus, once the real glue is dissolved, there is no unity in Christ at all.  For everything has been exposed for the religious façade that it is.

Oct 30

Gifts vs. Fruits


     Spiritual gifts are GIVEN.  Spiritual fruits are the outcome of a growth process.  But both are of Jesus Christ.  Neither are of natural man. 


     Spiritual gifts are given for the purpose of edification in Christ.  Spiritual fruits are the outcome of edification in Christ.  Both the gifts and the fruits are HIS LIFE through His Spirit.  Or to put it another way, the gifts are the,”plant,” food, and the fruits are the growth, which in turn, produces a greater maturity of gifts unto a greater maturity of growth, etc.  In this there is a continual working of God in many cycles of growth. 


     All spiritual gifts that are of the Spirit of Truth will tell the Truth about Jesus Christ.  Any supposed spiritual gift that in any way misrepresents Jesus Christ – whether it be in word, action, manifestation, or direction – is not of God.  It does not matter how supernatural it seems, or how moved people are over it.  Agreement in error; excitement over error – this cannot make error the Truth.  Again – the purpose for which God has given the gifts of the Spirit is to edify the church in Christ – to build members IN HIM.  (Eph. 4:4)  If this is not happening, then what is happening is not of God.


     All true spiritual fruit will manifest Jesus Christ.  The fruit that comes from a branch abiding in the Vine is of not of the branch, but is of the life of the Vine. 


     According to Jesus, all of the work of the Holy Spirit will be unto a revelation of Christ TO us, IN us, and THROUGH us.  There is much that passes today for spiritual fruit, or spiritual gifts, which are wholly of natural man.  The foundational Truth of, “Christ in us, the hope of glory,” has been replaced with an earthly substitute that appears spiritual.




Oct 31

God’s Love in the Redemption


In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.  (1 John 4:9)


     The fact that God’s love for us was manifested through His Redemption in Christ shatters two falsehoods.  First, it shatters the core of Calvinism.  Calvinism teaches limited Atonement – saying that Christ died only for, “the elect,” and never intended to die for the non-elect.  But if God manifested His love by sending Christ to die for, “the elect,” then what did God manifest towards those for whom Christ did NOT die?  Are we to believe, this being the case, that God so loved the non-elect that He did NOT send Christ for them?  God IS love and is no respector of persons.  Calvinism is an amazing blindness to God, and a terrible misrepresentation of His nature and character. 


     Secondly, it exposes as error the notion that Christ died in order to save man from God’s wrath.  No.  God’s sent Christ to save man from sin.  “For God so loved the world that He gave…,” not, “for God was so mad at the world that He gave…”  Again – love.

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