Something God is teaching me right now!

           The past month and a half have been an incredible roller coaster of emotions and events. I have gone in and out of depression, seen people leave our ministry, watched our core team grow spiritually and have come to a place of total insecurity. It has been amazing what we have been through and what God is directing me in. Since I finally admitted to a few people that I suffer from depression, Paul Gothardt; the pastor at Life Baptist Church Las Vegas, has been counseling me. Really I feel more like it is discipleship. I thought Paul would talk about my history, analyze my childhood and come up with a few techniques I needed to get through the depression. However, he has taken a totally different approach which I am finding incredibly freeing. Instead of working on my past, he is pointing me to God's present and what it means to live the "Christ life". He wrote a book called "8 Questions" which I believe everyone that is a believer needs to read. He also has me reading "Grace Walk" and "Walking in the Will of God" by Steve McVey. I have read "Grace Walk" before but now find myself digging deeper into it.

            Recently Paul challenged me to study what it meant to be "In Christ". In the New Testament, the phrase "In Christ" is used 174 times. 160 of them point to the identity of the believer in Jesus. Monday, I began to study all 160 of them and this is what I came to today:

"nor height, nor depth, or any other created thing, will be able to separate us (me) from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."    Romans 8:39 (Emphasis mine)

             Paul had just finished a list of things that have and are fighting against the believer. Things like: trouble, persecution, famine, the lack of clothing and needs, angels, kings and powers. Nothing created can separate me from God's love. However, something incredible has popped out of this passage. God's love in found "IN CHRIST". I experience the love of God "IN CHRIST". 

What is God's love

             First understand God's love is. C.S. Lewis describes God's love this way, "God's selfless love toward men" and "a love that is passionately committed to the well-being of the other". I sum it up this way. God's love is His passionately committed preferred affection and good-will toward man. According to Romans 8:39, God's love is found in Christ.

So here is the thought that has pierced me today:

"If I cannot be separated from the love of God and the love of God is found 'IN CHRIST', then I cannot ever lose my place "IN CHRIST". I am forever His and He is forever mine. I cannot do one thing to lose this or lose my place in Him. I cannot divorce myself from Christ through any action or sin and Christ will never send me away for my sinful actions and thoughts. 

I know, I hear many of the doubters out there that say, "THAT'S TOO MUCH GRACE". No its not, it is overwhelming Grace which leads me to want to be with Jesus more. No longer am I sent away because of what I have done. No longer do I not experience God's love because of sinful actions and thoughts. Now my life is captured in God's love since I have been place "IN CHRIST". I am realizing more what Paul means in Galatians 2:20:

"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me."

It was Paul's honor and desire to live the Christ life because of what God has done for Him. Paul's life of faith was driven by God's love toward Him. Paul is in love with Jesus, which makes him live a life of Faith in Jesus. Paul tells the Roman Christians that it is God's kindness that leads us to repentance. It is God's grace toward us that leads us to hate sin and walk with Him. This is overwhelming grace.

I would like to invite you to join me on an incredible study journey. Take the next 100 days and study all the "IN CHRIST" passages. I am only a week in and my world is becoming more beautiful and my life more in love with Jesus!

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