2 Keys to Activating the New You

Many great products require activation to be fully functional. As a child of God, you are a new man, a new creature. The old creature is dead and buried with Christ, for good. Learn to activate the new man, the new you.

Being born again is an essential first step. But that’s not enough. To grow and experience the positive benefits of your new nature, you need to ‘activate’ it and connect with it as your only true self. If you’re going to fulfill your divine mandate, it’s important to be in sync with the new you. 

In this post, I’m going to share with you two simple ways to activate the new you. 

a. Consciously identify with Christ.

You are Christ, and Christ is you. When the Father looks at you, He sees Christ. You and Christ are one (1 Corinthians 6:17). Believe and confess it. Don’t be shy about it.  Be fearless and intentional about identifying with Christ.

Whatever qualities you see in Christ, embrace them as yours too

Everything Christ has, you have too (Romans 8:17; Galatians 4:7). Whatever He can do, you can do too (Matthew 17:20). Everything He is, you are too (John 14:20; 1 John 4:17). Where He is, you are too (Ephesians 2:6). Be unapologetic about it.

There’s no better way to activate the new you than to accept that you and Christ are one.

You don’t need to announce to everyone your conviction about these things. If you do, you run the risk of well-meaning people (relatives, friends, ‘religious’ people) talking you out of what you know to be true. They might think you’re insane or arrogant. They’ll tell you to “slow down,” “take it easy,” “be humble” and so forth. Comments like that, while appearing ‘pious,’ will dampen your fervor.

Avoid doubters at all cost, if you can. Love them, but keep them out of your inner circle. Learn from Jesus; He did the same thing. 

b. Visualize (see yourself) the way the Bible (especially the new covenant) describes you.

It’s hard to become what you can’t imagine yourself being and doing. Learn to use your imaginative faculties to your advantage. Your imagination is a powerful tool given to help you connect with things that aren’t visible yet. 

The better you can use your imagination to connect with what the Bible says about you, the greater the degree you’ll experience those things.

Take a few moments each day to picture yourself being, doing and having what the Bible says about you. If this is new to you, take it one step at a time. Pick one truth, focus on it, think about it, and picture yourself being that person. The duration is up to you. It could be anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes, depending on your comfort level.

Let’s try an example.

The Bible says you are light. This is one of many things you and Christ have in common. Christ (God) is light; so are you (John 8:12; Matthew 5:14; Ephesians 5:8). When you look in the mirror, you don’t look anything close to light. Don’t worry. That’s a physical mirror.  It can’t tell you how you look within (in your born-again spirit).

But there’s another mirror: the Word of God. This mirror shows you what you look like in the spirit. It says you are light. 

Now think of light, any light you want: moon light, sun light, star light, lamp light, etc. It’s the nature of light to shine and be bright. Now picture yourself from head to toe. See your whole body (every organ and every cell) filled with light and glowing. Ease into it slowly. Little by little, see yourself shining brighter and brighter.

When you look around, all you see is light. You look pure and bright, inside and outside. This is what God says you are. It’s the truth, the only truth. Now accept this as the real you: just like Jesus, a shining light, angelic light, pure and wonderful to behold. Whenever you feel ready to ‘exit,’ gently and slowly bring the (imagination/meditation) process to an end. And give thanks for being made light.

You get the idea.

The Holy Spirit will guide you and lead you to deeper levels of what it means to be light. As you practice this on a regular basis, you (and others) will begin to notice a stronger divine presence about you and you’ll act more like a child of light. You’ll just do what light does: shine.

Remember: You are as Christ is. Fearlessly identify with Him. And picture yourself being, doing and having what God says about you. 

Confess the following:

I am as Christ is. I am light. God is light; so am I. I see myself shining. Wherever I go, I shine to the glory of the Father. I am wonderful to behold. I am thankful that I am a shining light. Amen.

Ogoe

Why Do Christians Continue to Sin? (Pt 9)

Daily Devotion – Day 359

“For the death that He [Christ] died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:10-11, NKJV).

Yesterday we did not say anything about the passage from Romans 6:10-11. We will do that today, because the passage provides key insights into the topic we have been discussing in the current series. 

Another reason sin recurs among Christians is, they fail to see that their life and that of Jesus are intertwined. Many still think of Jesus as if He is up there and they are down here. This makes them suppose that there are two separate lives: one for Jesus and another for believers. It is like disconnecting the head from the rest of the body. Such a view of the Christian life leads to a host of problems, not the least of which is our implicit admission of defeat when it comes to living without sin. Take another look at today’s opening Scripture. It contains critical truth. If we can grasp what is in it, we would lead a completely different life. 

Notice that in the passage Paul is drawing a parallel between the life of Jesus and the life of believers. He tells us what Jesus did (past tense) and what He is currently doing (present tense). What did Jesus do in the past? He died to sin once for all. And what is Jesus presently doing? Currently, the life Jesus lives, He lives to God. Immediately after making this point, Paul turns to believers and says, “Likewise you also. . .” Paul wants believers to know that the life of Jesus he has just described is the same life expected of a believer. Hence he tells us, “Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesusour Lord.” 

Jesus and believers are one; they share the same life. He is in believers and believers are in Him. The life Jesus lived on earth is the same life believers must live on earth. Some things, of course, are exclusive to Jesus. For example, He alone is Savior of the world; He alone is the mediator between God and man; He alone is the firstborn from the dead, etc. But in everything else, how Jesus lived on earth applies to Christians. The Holy Spirit that was in Jesus is the same Holy Spirit in us. The divine ability in Jesus that enabled Him to live sinless is the same divine ability in us. If being without sin was good for Jesus, it is good for us also, and the Father expects nothing less. 

Paul says, Jesus died to sins once for all; then he applies that to us. We, like Jesus, must reckon ourselves dead indeed to sin. Being “dead indeed to sin” is another way of saying we choose to live a life in which we sin no longer. We are not called to die slowly to sin. No, we are dead to sin (past tense, done, finished). And every day we wake up, we reckon ourselves dead to sin. In place of sinning, we live our present life for God alone, just as Jesus currently lives for God. We need not be afraid of this calling. We, rather, ought to be thankful, for it is an honor to be called to live like Jesus. Let this be our motivation in our daily walk with the Father.

We will pause here and continue tomorrow, if the Lord wills. Until then, enjoy life in Christ. Amen.

For further studyColossians3:1-17

Paul: The Chief of Sinners? (Pt 6)

Daily Devotion | Day 350

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:1-2, NKJV).

Today’s opening Scripture is a continuation of what Paul has been saying in the preceding chapter in his Letter to the Romans. In 7:13-25 he described the guilt, condemnation and helplessness associated with bondage to sin and one’s inability to submit fully to God’s law. After crying for someone to deliver him from the body of death, he exclaimed, “I thank God – through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (v. 25).

From chapter 8, Paul explains at length why he is grateful to God. He is thankful because the experience he described in 7:13-25 is over. That was his former life under the law, before he became a new creation in Christ. He was not describing a Christian’s struggle with sin; rather, he was describing the sin struggles of a Jew under the law, a man who had not experienced redemption in Christ yet. Therefore, it would be a mistake for Christians to quote from Romans 7:13-25 either: (a) to show that Paul (the Christian and Apostle) was a sinner or (b) to explain why Christians today continue to commit sin.

Paul dedicates the whole of chapter 8 to explaining the new found freedom in Christ and its implications for the believer in this world and in the next. Chapter 8 is a description of the born again life. Paul now has found a deliverer and a savior in Christ. His sins have been washed away by Jesus. In addition, he has received from Him power not to fall into sin and condemnation again. The new Paul walks in victory over sin, as all Christians should. Freed from the dominion of sin and filled with the power of the Spirit, he now is able to submit fully to God.

This is the reason Paul opens the chapter with an emphatic declaration of victory and freedom: “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Born again people suffer no more condemnation for two reasons. First, they are in Christ. Second, they walk according to the leading and empowerment of the Spirit.

With great joy Paul further testifies, “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.” This is the new Paul, the Paul who met Jesus, who was saved from his sins and became filled with the Holy Spirit. It is the born again Paul. This Paul and the one described in Romans 7:13-25 are two different people. The former is a Christian and a new creation; the latter is not.

The new Paul is a free man, no longer a slave to sin. This is his testimony. And all Christians, like Paul, should be able to testify to this freedom in Christ: freedom from sin and its attending condemnation. Jesus died, after all, to offer us this very freedom: “He shall save His people from their sins,” the angel told Joseph (Matthew 1:21). Later on in His ministry, Jesus confirmed this offer of freedom from sin when He stated, “whoever commits sin is a slave of sin . . . Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:34, 36).

Freedom from committing sin is the most important and the most precious freedom in Christ. This freedom is made possible by the redemption in Christ (through His blood; this includes forgiveness of sins) and our new walk in the Spirit. The result of this freedom is a life of no condemnation. This is what Paul experienced as a Christian, exactly as Jesus envisioned for all believers. But why, one may wonder, do many Christians still struggle with sin on a regular basis? That is a good question, but it is a discussion for another day.

This concludes our current series. Next time you read Paul’s writings, I pray you find inspiration to pursue righteousness, holiness and freedom in Christ. Stay free, stay blessed. And remain in the grace of Christ Jesus. Amen.

For further studyActs 9:1-30 and John 8:1-12

Winning by the Power of Light

Daily Devotion|Day 255

“For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness” (1Thessalonians 5:5, ESV).

The Gospel of John opens by stating that Christ is the Word of God (1:1). Three verses later, John adds that Jesus is the true Light (1:4-5). Again, in 1 John 1:5, the Apostle John has this to say, “This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” Now, compare this last statement with today’s opening Scripture from 1 Thessalonians. It has enormous implications for you, the believer.

God is Light. God has children. Therefore, those children are children of Light. Furthermore, if they are children of Light, then they are light, too. Do you get where this is going? When was the last time you thought of yourself as a child of light?

Remember also, that Christ and the believer are conjoined: “In that day you will know that I am in the Fatherand you in meand I in you” (John 14:20); “But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him” (1 Corinthians 6:17). Therefore, whenever the Bible says something about Christ, it would be helpful to watch out for the implications for the believer.

What follows is something you need to know about being a child of light:

You are made by Light and from Light. You were born in ‘divine daytime.’ You are not of darkness. You are created from Light. And you are born of Light. This means, you are light from Light. The very core of your being is light. There should be no doubt about this in your mind and heart. Take hold of this truth. Remind yourself often that you are light.

Own what God has given you. Meditate often on these realities. Being a child of light, you are a winner by defaultDarkness cannot overcome you unless you permit it. Stand your ground. Keep moving forward. Refuse to hide your light. Keep shining to make your heavenly Father proud.

God has placed in you amazing potentialities and has set before you endless possibilities (Matthew 17:20). If you knew the implications of being a child of Light, you would realize that no adversity is insurmountable for you. No obstacle would be too great to overcome. And no power of darkness could stand you. We and Jesus form one mighty Team of Light. You are in great company. Cheer up. Light does not fearLight does not worryLight is confidentLight is hopefulLight wins.

Stop diminishing yourself. Stop selling yourself short. Stop calling yourself horrible names. Stop setting the bar low. Set it high, where it belongs. Stop hurting your identity with sinful choices that are beneath you. Stop complaining. Stop whining. Stop saying you can’t. 

Wake up to who God says you areArise, and shine. Start tuning your thoughts, the meditations of your heart, and the words of your mouth to the reality of who God has made you. Wake up, child of light. Your family needs you. The Church needs you. Society needs you. Above all, Jesus wants you.

Win by the power of Light.

BlessingMay your light shine brightly today, wherever God leads you. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

For further studyMatthew 5:1-15

Why A Christian Should Meditate

Daily Devotional: Day 221

“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:1-3, NKJV).

Today’s Scripture reading is one of the richest passages in the writings of Paul. Writing to Christians in Colossae, he reminds them of their new creation status in Christ. Whoever is a new creation has died with Christ and is risen with Him. Being risen with Christ is a powerful reality. It literally means that the resurrection power at work in Christ is at work in you, too.

Based on this truth, Paul draws out practical implications for the believer. If you are risen with Christ, then henceforth you need to adjust your life accordingly. Especially, you need to turn your affections toward heaven where the risen Lord is seated.

Wherever Christ is, there your life is. Your life, Paul says, is hidden with Christ in God. This means there is only one way to find your life: by finding Christ. Do you see where this is going? It’s deep stuff, but the Holy Spirit will help you to grasp it. To find Christ, you need to shift your attention toward Him and maintain your focus on Him. Here is where meditation is vital.

Meditation directs your heart and mind to Jesus. To meditate, you need an object of focus. In this case, that object of focus is Christ. Therefore, Paul urges us to shift our mind from earthly desires (mainly lusts of the world which draw us away from God) and set it on things above, where Christ is seated in power. You, dear Christian, are from above; hence your desires must be oriented above. 

 Where your life is, there your attention needs to be.

Jesus Himself laid out an important principle in the Gospels, “For where your treasure isthere your heart will be also” (Luke 12:34). In this instance, Jesus is your treasure, and your life is hidden with Him. If you truly believe this, then you will set you heart on Him – through meditation.

Meditating means to dwell thoughtfully – in a relaxed manner – on a subject matter, a message, a person or an event, in quietness. In meditation, you take a calm, yet hard look at the state of your life and your relationship with God and everything around you.

Meditation is a form of prayer which mostly involves ponderinginternalizingquestioning and listening. You can meditate on any number of things. One thing you can do is focus on a particular passage, story, event or personality in the Bible as the Spirit leads you. Be open minded and relaxed. No need to stress yourself or be rigid.

Lack of meditation leads to spiritual stagnation.

But when you meditate, the Spirit of God will move you, open your eyes and lead you to discover the riches of Christ. This discovery will change you. Rightly does the Psalmist declare, “I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation” (Psalm 119:99). Additionally, meditation will help you to discover more about yourself. The more you understand Christ, the more you will understand yourself. Conversely, the less you understand Christ, the less you will understand yourself

Start meditating today. Find Christ, find your life. Amen. 

For further study: Joshua 1:1-9