In Christ:  I Have an Understanding High Priest

In Christ: I Have an Understanding High Priest

It is always good to be reminded of who we are in Christ, especially when we find ourselves living in a world filled with chaos and confusion.  Over the next 2 days I will be sharing the devotions from my book, “In Christ Alone”.  Each devotion is designed to help us look to Christ for our identity in the midst of a myriad of sources trying to define who we are.

Here is day thirty-one with an important reminder that in Christ you, and those around you, have a high priest who understands each one of us.

I Have an Understanding High Priest

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are — yet was without sin.
Hebrews 4:14-15 (NIV)

Have you ever been in a situation where someone has represented you before another person?  What important characteristics would you want in a person who did that?  How much would you want them to know and understand about you?  Have you ever been accused of something simply because the accuser had absolutely no understanding of your actions or motives?

If I were to ever find myself in need of legal representation, high on my list of priorities would be to make every effort to find someone who had been in my situation so they would have a greater and more personal understanding.  In Christ we have such a person representing us before God.  As you pray, thank God for supplying His Son to not only represent you, but to live life on earth in a way that you can know He understands you.  Pray for a greater trust in Jesus as your intermediary between you and God.  Pray that the people around you would turn to Jesus as their understanding high priest.

In prayer,

Tom  

In Christ:  I Have a Brother

In Christ: I Have a Brother

It is always good to be reminded of who we are in Christ, especially when we find ourselves living in a world filled with chaos and confusion.  Over the next 3 days I will be sharing the devotions from my book, “In Christ Alone”.  Each devotion is designed to help us look to Christ for our identity in the midst of a myriad of sources trying to define who we are.

Here is day thirty with an important reminder that in Christ you, and those around you, have a good, good, big brother.

I Have a Brother

“Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers.
Hebrews 2:11 (NIV)

Do you have siblings?  If so, what has your relationship been with them throughout your life?  Do you have people in your life that have become like siblings to you even if they are not blood relatives?  What makes them seem like siblings?  What kind of brother or sister would your family, or the people around you, say you are?  What would you say is the best character trait that a sibling could have?

Having a brother can mean different things to people depending on the relationships they had, or have, within their family.  For me, it means we belong together and we share a common set of values and beliefs even if our faithfulness in practicing them is at different levels.  As you pray, ask God to help you appreciate the family you have in Christ.  Pray that you would value your identity in the family of God.  Pray that you would grow in your faithfulness of practicing the family values and beliefs that are found in Christ.  Pray that the people around you would know that they too could be part of this family and have a brother in Christ.

In prayer,

Tom  

In Christ:  I Have a Holy Calling

In Christ: I Have a Holy Calling

It is always good to be reminded of who we are in Christ, especially when we find ourselves living in a world filled with chaos and confusion.  Over the next 4 days I will be sharing the devotions from my book, “In Christ Alone”.  Each devotion is designed to help us look to Christ for our identity in the midst of a myriad of sources trying to define who we are.

Here is day twenty-nine with an important reminder that in Christ you, and those around you, have a holy calling.

I Have a Holy Calling

“So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life — not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time.
2 Timothy 1:8-9 (NIV)

What does a “holy calling” look like?  Do you think it has more to do with the task being done or with the attitude and purpose behind it?  Who first comes to your mind when you think of someone having a holy calling?  Does the idea of you having a holy calling come as a surprise?  Does knowing that in Christ you have a holy calling, change the way you look at everyday activities?

Often times we tend to look at certain roles within the church as being set apart in a holy calling while the rest of the congregation does work that is less holy.  Yet in scripture we find that every Christian has been called to a holy life!  As you pray, ask God to help you to live up to your holy calling in every activity of your day.  Pray that you would take up your holy calling in the way you live.  Pray that you would not be ashamed to represent Jesus everywhere that you go.  Pray for great wisdom in determining actions that are consistent with living a holy life.  Pray that the people around you would see Jesus clearly as you live out your holy calling.

In prayer,

Tom  

In Christ:  I Have a Spirit of Power, Love, and Self-Discipline

In Christ: I Have a Spirit of Power, Love, and Self-Discipline

It is always good to be reminded of who we are in Christ, especially when we find ourselves living in a world filled with chaos and confusion.  Over the next 5 days I will be sharing the devotions from my book, “In Christ Alone”.  Each devotion is designed to help us look to Christ for our identity in the midst of a myriad of sources trying to define who we are.

Here is day twenty-eight with an important reminder that in Christ you, and those around you, can have have a Spirit of Power, Love, and Self-Discipline.

I Have a Spirit of Power, Love, and Self-Discipline

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:7 (NIV)

Have you ever done something that required more strength than you thought you had?  Why do you think God would contrast timidity with the combination of power, love, and self-discipline?  Would you consider your natural personality to be more timid or more bold?  What would the people closest to you say?

I have lived much of my life afraid of people.  I dropped out of college many years ago because I could no longer avoid a mandatory speech class and there was no way I could stand in front of the class and talk.  Yet in Christ I have been given a spirit that overcomes the fear and allows me to preach and teach on His behalf!  As you pray, ask God to help you to use the spirit He has put within you.  Pray that the power He gives you would always be used in combination with love and self-discipline.  Pray that you would have the boldness needed to always share Jesus with others.  Pray that the people around you would see Jesus and not you.

In prayer,

Tom  

In Christ:  I Have a Life Hidden With Him

In Christ: I Have a Life Hidden With Him

It is always good to be reminded of who we are in Christ, especially when we find ourselves living in a world filled with chaos and confusion.  Over the next 6 days I will be sharing the devotions from my book, “In Christ Alone”.  Each devotion is designed to help us look to Christ for our identity in the midst of a myriad of sources trying to define who we are.

Here is day twenty-seven with an important reminder that in Christ you, and those around you, can have a life that is hidden in Christ.

I Have a Life Hidden In Christ

“For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.
Colossians 3:3 (NIV)

When was the last time you played a good game of hide-and-seek?  What was your best hiding place?  What made it so good?  When hiding, what are some secrets to being able to blend in with your surroundings?  What principles do you think are used in designing effective camouflage clothing?  Do you think desert camo would work well on a woodland hunting excursion?  Why or why not?

I am not a hunter so as I walk through the major sporting goods stores I am surprised at the many variations of camouflage clothing.  The manufacturers, and users, have discovered that if you want to be hidden in an environment then you must become like it as much as possible.  I have a life hidden with Him when I put on Christ and become as much like Him as possible!  As you pray, ask God to help you focus not on blending in with the world, but on blending in to the image of Christ!  Pray that your life would be so hidden in Christ that He is all that others see.  Pray that the people around you would be found in Christ so they too would be hidden in Him.

In prayer,

Tom  

In Christ:  I Am Raised From the Dead

In Christ: I Am Raised From the Dead

It is always good to be reminded of who we are in Christ, especially when we find ourselves living in a world filled with chaos and confusion.  Over the next 7 days I will be sharing the devotions from my book, “In Christ Alone”.  Each devotion is designed to help us look to Christ for our identity in the midst of a myriad of sources trying to define who we are.

Here is day twenty-six with an important reminder that in Christ you, and those around you, can be raised from the dead.

I Am Raised From the Dead

“In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.
Colossians 2:11-12 (NIV)

How often do you think about death or dying?  Why do you think it is such a hard subject for many people to talk about?  How confident are you in the power of God to raise you from the dead?  When a loved one dies, what makes the Christian able to grieve in a way that is different than that of the world?  What do you appreciate the most about the practice of baptism that God has instructed us in?

Throughout scripture we see God giving His people physical reminders of His commands and promises.  When we reach the era of His covenant with the church, we find that He uses the practice of baptism as the point where we die to sin and in Christ we are raised from the dead to walk a new life!  As you pray, ask God to give you a greater appreciation for His current work of giving you new life.  Pray that your baptism would be a constant reminder of God’s power to raise you from the dead.  Pray that the people around you would see you as a living example to show them they do not need to remain dead in their sin.

In prayer,

Tom  

In Christ:  I Am Free From My Sinful Nature

In Christ: I Am Free From My Sinful Nature

It is always good to be reminded of who we are in Christ, especially when we find ourselves living in a world filled with chaos and confusion.  Over the next 8 days I will be sharing the devotions from my book, “In Christ Alone”.  Each devotion is designed to help us look to Christ for our identity in the midst of a myriad of sources trying to define who we are.

Here is day twenty-five with an important reminder that in Christ you, and those around you, can be free from your sinful nature.

I Am Free From My Sinful Nature

“In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.
Colossians 2:11-12 (NIV)

What are some things that you find yourself doing that you wish you didn’t do?  Have you ever excused your own sinful actions by saying you just can’t help it?  Are there areas where you feel you are a slave to your body, desires, or thoughts?  What do you think it would take to break free from that slavery?  How often do you think about being dead to your old way of life?

From the beginning, mankind has been quick to make excuses for sinful behavior.  We have all had our own version of “I can’t help it, it’s not my fault.”  From Adam blaming Eve, to Eve blaming the serpent, and eventually to both of them blaming God for making them the way He did.  While the curse brought about by that initial sin left us with flesh bent toward sin, in Christ we are free from that curse!  As you pray, ask God to help you make decisions that are not bound by the curse of sin.  Pray that you would live as one who is free from your sinful flesh.  Pray that the people around you would be found in Christ so they would know freedom from their sinful flesh.

In prayer,

Tom  

In Christ:  I Have His Fullness

In Christ: I Have His Fullness

It is always good to be reminded of who we are in Christ, especially when we find ourselves living in a world filled with chaos and confusion.  Over the next 9 days I will be sharing the devotions from my book, “In Christ Alone”.  Each devotion is designed to help us look to Christ for our identity in the midst of a myriad of sources trying to define who we are.

Here is day twenty-four with an important reminder that in Christ you, and those around you, can have His fullness.

I Have His Fullness

“For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.
Colossians 2:9-10 (NIV)

What are some family traits that you have inherited from your parents?  Do people typically say you take after your dad, your mom, or a combination of the two?  In what ways are you different from your parents?  Would you want your children to be fully like you?  Why or why not?

Some time ago I posted a picture of my dad online and the social media site suggested that I tag myself in the picture.  To the casual observer, and to some facial recognition algorithms, the fullness of my dad lives in me!  While I consider that a great compliment, an even greater compliment would be for the people around me to recognize the fullness of Christ in me!  As you pray, ask God to help you express the fullness of Christ in your everyday life.  Pray that you would daily live as one carrying the fullness of Christ in you.  Pray that all traces of the old you would continue to melt away as the fullness of Christ becomes evident in your life.  Pray that the people around you would be drawn to Christ as they see His fullness in you.

In prayer,

Tom