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IS CHRIST DIVIDED?




FOLLOW THE LEADER

Read 1 Corinthians Chapters 1 – 3

Now I say this, that each of you says, "I am of Paul," or "I am of Apollos," or "I am of Cephas," or "I am of Christ." Is Christ divided? 1 Corinthians 1:12-13a NKJV

* * *

The church at Corinth had several gifted teachers, each with his own style of ministry. The new converts were lining up contentiously behind their favorite leaders, causing division in the church. Paul writes,

“Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.” (3:5-6) He urges them to come together in unity saying, “Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor." (3:8)
It is human nature to get our eyes on men instead of God. Many a ministry has been hindered because of this wrong focus. Paul reminds them and us,"Therefore let no one boast in men. For all things are yours… And you are Christ's, and Christ is God's. "(3:21, 23)

* * *

Lord, keep us from being critical of leaders who are doing Your work, but not in the way we would choose. Help us to be gracious and thankful that we have so many resources available to us. Above all, help us to build faithfully on the foundation of Your Word.

* * *
For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 3:11 NKJV
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OUR ULTIMATE HOPE

Read Romans 8:1-27

You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. Romans 8:9 NIV

* * *

Paul has presented the dilemma of our struggle with sin and its solution through the sacrifice of Jesus. We still, however, must live with the presence of sin and in a physical sense we will one day face death, unless Jesus returns in our lifetime.
So Paul goes on to say, “...if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. (8:10) –so what is our ultimate hope?
“...And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.” (8:11)
We not only stand as righteous before God because of the death of Jesus, we also have the hope of eternal life because of His resurrection. This life begins today with the Spirit who dwells within us.
“For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children ." (8:15–16)

* * *

Thank you, Father that I am your child and I do not need to fear death. I thank you also for the abundant life you have promised us through your indwelling Holy Spirit and that no matter what my circumstances are from day to day, I can be secure in your love for me.

* * *
And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will. Romans 8:27 NIV
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PENTECOST

Read: Acts 2:1–47

Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. Acts 2:2 NIV

* * *
Jesus told His disciples that they would receive power from the Holy Spirit and they would be witnesses to the world, beginning at Jerusalem. So they waited until the day of the feast of Pentecost when Jerusalem was filled with God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. (2:5) As the apostles began to speak, the people all said, "How is it that each of us hears them in his own native language?" (2:8)
Peter, who had once fled in fear of the Jews, now stood up in front of the largest crowd of Jews he could possibly imagine, and says, "This man (Jesus) was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him." (2:23-25)
* * *
What a change God's indwelling Spirit had made in Peter. Lord, this same Holy Spirit lives in us, please give us the courage to witness to our generation and the generations to come.
* * *
The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off–for all whom the Lord our God will call." Acts 2:39
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NOT ALONE

THIS SAME JESUS

Read: Acts 1:1–11

He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God. Acts 1:3 NKJV

* * *

After forty days of being with Jesus and rejoicing that He was truly alive, the disciples asked Him, "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?" (Acts1:6 NIV) He told them that it was not for them to know the times and dates.
"But," He said, "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." (1:7-8 NIV)
Then just as they must have wanted to ask Him many other things, He was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight!


* * *

Lord, I can't imagine how alone they must have felt at that moment. We know now, and they knew in just a few days, that they would not be alone. Lord, I praise You that You have given us Your Holy Spirit to guide us. Thank You that though we cannot see Him, He dwells within us and prays for us according to Your will.

* * *

This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven." Acts 1:11b NIV
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TOUCH ME AND SEE

Read: Luke 24:36–43; John 20:24–31

 

      But he (Thomas) said to them, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it." John 20:25 NIV
* * *
           Eight days before this scene, the disciples stared in amazed unbelief. Jesus suddenly appeared, and they thought they were seeing a ghost. Then He asked for something to eat and said, "Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have." (Luke 24:39)
      Now Thomas is unconvinced, since he has not yet seen the Lord. When Jesus appeared again, and showed him his hands and side, Thomas exclaimed, "My Lord and my God!" (John 20:28) Jesus had been telling His disciples all along that he would rise from the dead, but this was something they couldn't comprehend.
* * *
      We have the advantage of the complete Scriptures, explaining how all these things fit together with Old Testament prophesy; yet Lord, there are times I struggle to understand Your plan for us. Perhaps it is just enough to say, "My Lord and my God!"
* * *
      Jesus said to him, "Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." John 20:29 NKJV
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I HAVE SEEN THE LORD!

 
Read: John 20:1–18

      They asked her, "Woman, why are you crying?" "They have taken my Lord away," she said, "and I don't know where they have put him." John 20:13 NIV
* * *
      Mary Magdalene was one of the devout women who supplied the needs of Jesus and His disciples throughout His ministry. She had been delivered from demon possession as were others who followed Him.
      Mary Magdalene stood at the foot of the cross with Mary, the mother of Jesus and later she came to the tomb to grieve – instead she had an encounter with angels who told her the Christ had risen. When she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, He was so changed that she did not realize that it was He ─ until He said her name,"Mary." then she turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, "Rabboni!" (20:16)
    Mary Magdalene was forgiven much and she loved much. Her life was dedicated to the ministry and to being a friend to other believers. God chose her to be the first one to see her risen Lord.
* * *
      Thank You Jesus that You came to set people like Mary free from their sin. Help me to show my love for you by serving other believers and sharing the Good News with those who do not know Him.
* * *
Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: "I have seen the Lord!" John 20:18 NIV

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JESUS TRANSFIGURED


Read Matthew 17:1–13
 
 
      He (Jesus) was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. Matthew 17:2–3 NKJV
* * *
      To Peter, James and John, the greatest men who ever lived were Moses and Elijah. For them to see Jesus talking to these renowned heroes further convinced them that He was the Messiah. But they needed to go a step farther in their understanding of who Jesus was. Peter, not knowing what to say, proposed building a tabernacle, one each for Moses, Elijah and Jesus.
      While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!" (17:5) They fell on their faces in fear!
* * *
      Lord Jesus, beloved Son of God, In You, we have access to the very throne of the Father. Help us to live like children of the King, trusting You to lead and guide us every day as You reveal more and more just who You are. Help us to communicate to our generation, and the generation to come, how they too can know the Son of God.
* * *
      Jesus came and touched them and said, "Arise, and do not be afraid." When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only. Matthew 17:7-8 NKJV
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This is the first time I have been introduced to DreamWidth. I am looking forward to exploring the site and looking for what is offered in groups. I will be posting devotional segments taken from my book THE GOD WHO SEES ME - A Devotional Prayer Journal.

I hope that you will be blessed by the Scripture links and quotes as they have blessed me. I will try to keep it short and user-friendly with a prayerful application for today.

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