Sometimes life can be extremely difficult. Can you please lift up this person in prayer? Her name is Candace. She is a Christian that continues to work on the internet with her testimony to reaching many to get them out of the occult. She was involved for many years in the occult and is used of God to help those struggling to get out of that life. Candace lives in poverty and is under severe attack to her family. Her daughter was shot in her front yard and killed this winter. Within a month, another daughter run over by a truck while riding her bike to work. She suffered injuries to back and legs from the accident, but God did spare her life and she is healing. Candace has received some threats from people in her neighborhood. She is also under severe financial stress due to medical costs, no insurance, and injuries interfering with work. Please pray for her and her family.
Also, I do not ask for prayer very often, but I need some. My problem(s) is not as big as Candace's, but prayer is still appreciated and very much needed. I can't give any details, but I need prayer, big time. For you prayer warriors, let the Holy Spirit guide you, and pray.
SHORT BIBLE LESSON - DYING WITH CHRIST
Here is a trick question. Have you died yet? I am not talking about a near death experience. I am talking about a theological statement made in the Bible and what it means. In short, if you are a Christian, you have died. Please consider the following scriptures: "Now if we have died with Christ..." (Rom. 6:8); "If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world..." (Col. 2:20); "For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God," (Col. 3:3); "It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him," (2 Tim. 2:11).
Our death in Christ is a death to the old self, the old ways, the sinful life. It is a reality and a hope. It is truth as well as life. Jesus so completely represented us on the cross, that when He died, it is said that we died. This is why Paul says in Col. 3:5, "Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry." You are to mentally reckon, intellectually acknowledge, meditate on, think in such a way as to consider yourselves dead to sin.
Of course, we Christians know that we struggle with sin, that it is not dead in us, that we fail, and continually come to the Lord Jesus and ask for forgiveness. We Christians, know what we are inside. We know we are not perfect and that many of the thoughts of our mind would terribly embarrass and shame us if they were publically spoken. Such is the reality of our fallen selves. Yet, we are to consider ourselves dead to sin. We are to think of ourselves as dead to sin.
The reason we can do this is because of Jesus and what He did on the cross. Only through Jesus can we be delivered from sin. Only through the shed blood of God the Son, can our lives be made right before God the Father. The reality of the crucifixion and of Jesus' bearing our sins, all of them, in His body, is realized in the acknowledgment of our deadness to sin. This is an important truth that God wants us to understand. But, understanding it isn't enough. You must practice it. This does not mean, however, that you ignore your sins, or say you have none, or claim perfection. Rather, it is an admission that you are saved by the sacrifice of Jesus and that you are "in Christ" and reckoned as dead to sin because of Jesus. Your mind is an important battleground in the war of sanctification and it begins with your own death. If you are a Christian, then you have died to sin because of your relationship with Jesus. Therefore, consider yourselves dead to sin and alive in Christ. Turn from the deeds of the flesh and seek Jesus.
VERSE OF THE WEEK.
"If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. 3 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory," (NASB).