Gregg Gibbons on Being One with Christ

I receive an email newsletter every week from Gregg Gibbons, who has a ministry sharing grace and the Life of Christ with others.  He has some articles up at his site, Christ My Heart, including the archives for his weekly newsletters, which are called "Gregg's Rest Stop."  It's a wonderful site with lots of good news, so feel free to go check it out!

This week's email newsletter was so good, I really wanted to share the majority of it here.  It's so wonderful to know we are in intimate, forever union with the One Who is truly ALL we need! 

Gregg talks in the newsletter about this verse and what it means:

The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit
that we are children of God,
and if children, heirs also, heirs of God
and fellow heirs with Christ,
if indeed we suffer with Him
so that we may also be glorified with Him
ROMANS 8:16-17

Here are Gregg's thoughts:

Romans 8:16 says that the Holy Spirit testifies with our spirit, not to our spirit, that we are children of God. The preposition to implies a separation, while the preposition with implies a union.
There are two Greek words that are interpreted as our English word with in the original New Testament manuscripts.  The Greek word meta means to be with something or someone in the sense of being alongside.  The Greek word sun means to be with something or someone in the sense of being united as a mixture.
Wayne Barber has a good analogy to help us reflect on our being united with Christ so intimately. Flour being alongside shortening on a table is an example of the Greek word meta.  However, after these two ingredients are mixed  and molded together and then baked, they become one biscuit, never to be separated again.  This is an example of the Greek word sun
The Holy Spirit testifies with our spirit through the Greek word sun!  The Holy Spirit is united with each of our spirits, never to be separated again!  So, as the Spirit testifies with each of our spirits, "You are God's child," each of us can joyfully and confidently testify in unison with the Spirit, "I am God's child!"  
This is a miraculous testimony to proclaim by faith especially during difficult times when you might not feel like God's child.
The word children in Romans 8:16 is the Greek word teknon and means to bear the nature of another.  This means that each of us bear the nature of Christ.
So, we are not just children of God based on being adopted from a separate family.   We have been re-born into God's family united with Christ.  Consequently, we bear His nature and we have all of His rights!
In union with Him, we have inherited all that Christ has and all that Christ is!  His hope, His righteousness, His life, His joy, His provisions, His prayers, His wisdom, His past, His future, His peace, His passion, His compassion, His love, etc!
Cherish your being one with Christ.  It is the one thing that you can count on and the one thing that will last forever! 

                                                                        Gregg Gibbons

Jesus Culture - Your Love Never Fails

Thank You, Lord, that Your love never fails!

No matter what, Your love will never fail us...

Never let us down!

Your love will always come through for us!

Your love compelled Jesus to go to the cross..

Your love compelled You to reach down and save and deliver us!

Your love brings You to stand by Your covenant of GRACE and bless us every day without our having to deserve it, all completely for FREE!  Paid for by Jesus' blood!

Your love compels You to help us, to encourage us, to lift us up and not ever leave us down in the desperate situations!

Your love will never let us go..

Your love means You will never leave us!

Your love means You will always keep every promise You've made to us..

Your love means You and will never let one of Your Words go out without accomplishing what You promised to do for us..

Thank You, Lord!

Paul Ellis on the Top 12 Blessings of the New Covenant

I love this list of the top 12 blessings of the New Covenant that Paul Ellis has posted on his website, Escape to Reality ..

I just wanted to post them here because they are so good - it's so wonderful, this New Covenant of grace that we've been given!  And we have all these things/enter into the covenant simply by believing in Christ, believing in what He's already done for us and already provided for us!  The blessings, rights and privileges of the New Covenant come to us all through His finished work for us and not through anything we've done.  Amazing that we qualify for and have RIGHT NOW all these blessings, purely by grace, His unmerited favor toward us!  That means He loves and blesses and helps us NO MATTER WHAT!  Thank You, Jesus!

Here is the list by Paul Ellis:

by Paul Ellis

In Christ we can participate in all of the blessings God promised to Abraham (Gal 3:14,29). We also get all of the blessings promised under the law covenant and none of the curses (Gal 3:13). This is pretty amazing when you think about the blessings God offered in the  Old Testament:
To Abraham and his descendants God promised greatness, fruitfulness, great reward, world-reaching blessing, and more (see Gen 12:2-3, 15:1, 17:4-8, 22:18).
To those who kept the law God promised long life, fruitfulness, abundant prosperity, protection, and more (Deut 5:33, 28:3-13).
In addition to these wonderful promises, there are at least 12 awesome blessings God promises to His people exclusively under His new covenant of grace. Here they are in no particular order:
1. God forgives all our sins (Matt 26:28, Acts 13:38). Our sins are not merely covered by the blood of bulls and goats, they are paid for and taken away by the Lamb of God (Jn 1:29). At the cross, justice was satisfied. His forgiveness is perfectly complete.
2. God remembers our sins no more (Heb 8:12, 10:17; Jer 31:34). In terms of justification it’s as if we never did them.
3. God promises never to be angry with us again (Is 54:7-10). Unlike the obsolete covenant of law, the new covenant is an everlasting covenant of love and peace (Is 54:10, 55:3). God will never stop doing good to us (Jer 32:40).
4. God qualifies us (Col 1:12). It’s no longer a case of what we do (under the law covenant) or who we’re related to (under the Abrahamic covenant). It’s who we trust.
5. Jesus takes hold of us and never lets go (Php 3:12, Ju 24). Nothing can separate us from the love of God (Rms 8:39). Consequently we can speak of our hope as a “firm and secure” anchor for the soul (Heb 6:19).
6. God credits us with the perfect righteousness of Jesus (2 Cor 5:21). Righteousness is not earned, it is received (Rms 5:17). Because of Jesus’ sacrifice our status before God is “perfect forever” (Heb 10:14).
7. God gives us the Holy Spirit to teach us (Jn 14:26), empower us (Acts 1:8) and remind us of our righteousness (Jn 16:10). We no longer need priests to mediate for us, for now we can all know the Lord (Jer 31:34). We are His royal priests (1 Pet 2:9).
8. God is for us (Rms 8:31)! God justifies us and there is no more condemnation (Rms 8:1). When we sin, Jesus doesn’t judge us, He defends us (1 Jn 2:1). His grace enables us to overcome sin (Tit 2:12). He abundantly supplies all our needs (Ph 4:19) that we might enjoy life to the full (Jn 10:10). God’s favor is unearned and unmerited.
9. God is with us (Ez 37:27)! Because of Jesus the door to the throne room is always open (Heb 4:16). We can approach Him with freedom and confidence (Eph 3:12).
10. God empowers us to overcome the enemy (1 Jn 5:4). We have His delegated authority over demons and disease (Mk 16:17). We live under His divine protection (Lk 10:19). We are destined to “reign in life” (Rms 5:17).
11. God offers us His rest (Heb 4:10-11). Under the old covenant it was do, do, do. Under the new covenant it’s done, done, done (Jn 19:30). We are seated with Christ in heavenly places (Eph 2:6).
12. God gives us eternal life (Rms 6:23).

                                                                  Paul Ellis

Wow!  Thank You, Lord, for Your marvelous gifts that come to us for free, freely by Your grace that You gave us in Your Son!  Thank You that He did all the work so we could receive all the blessings!  Thank You that all these blessings are ours today, right now, always and forever!  Thank You that they are securely ours not because of our work but because of Christ's perfect work!  Therefore we stand in grace forever, qualified for these things forever, gifted and blessed and favored forever!  To You be all the glory, for it is all because of You and not because of us at all.  What a relief that it is not up to us but up to You.  And because it is up to You, it is DONE!  And nothing of us, none of our weakness or failings, can change that!  Thank You, Father!  In Jesus' name, Amen.

Joseph Prince on Jesus' Words to Us

I love this quote from Joseph Prince, from his book, Unmerited Favor.  In the midst of trials and the difficult times of life, it gives me such relief to know Jesus supplies all I need and IS all I need!  Joseph Prince says that in those tough times, Jesus tells us the truth that lifts our spirits:

"He is saying to you, 

'In the midst of your affliction, 

I am your shield.

I am your defender.

I am your fortress.

I am your refuge.

I am your supply.

I am your healing.

I am your provider.

I am your peace.

I am your joy.

I am your wisdom.

I am your strength.

I am the glory and the lifter of your head!'

Amen!  He is not asking you to pretend that the facts [of your difficult circumstances] are not there.  He wants you to realize that HE IS THERE WITH YOU!"

                                                                                                  Joseph Prince

He's Alive and He's Taken Us With Him UP from the Grave!

Jesus is Risen!

Thank You, Jesus, that You rose from the dead!  Thank You that when You rose from the dead, You ushered in a new creation and brought me with You into that new creation!  Thank You for all the things You brought me through Your resurrection!

Thank You that You have brought me:

new life

new birth

new joy

new hope

new gratitude

new expectancy

new heart

new spirit

new Presence

new nature

new love

new faith

new strength

new power

new authority

new inheritance

new worth

new qualifications

new union

new adoption

new belonging

new acceptance

new freedom

new peace

new security

new protection

new relationship

new intimacy

Thank You that all of those things are in You, and You put me in You so that I experience all those things as a born again person!  Thank You that I am born into a new, heavenly family, the family of God!  Thank You that I can call You my Older Brother and that I will never be cast out of this family.  Thank You that I finally have a place to belong and be accepted just as I am.  Thank You for the unconditional love You shower on me!  Thank You that old things are passed away and all things have become new!  Thank You for making death work backward and bringing me back to the Eden relationship with the Father, and in fact, something even better than Adam and Eve had, because You dwell IN me by Your Spirit!  That is close!  That is intimate!  I will never be alone, unloved, unhelped, or destitute again!  I am well, whole, secure, free, loved, acceptable, bold, new, strong and happy in You!  Thank You for the resurrection Life that You give, which just means YOU HAVE COME!  You have come to me and we stand face to face!  You have come to me and are with me always, never to leave or forsake me!  You have come and I have You and all that You are, all Your riches in glory to supply all my need!  I have all Your love and faith!  I have all Your strength and joy!  I have all Your patience and peace!  I have You and You are all that in me, living and breathing in me.  You rise up and do all that needs to be done.  You face all that I face and always lead me through in triumph.  You promise to love me no matter what, and that nothing can separate me from that love!  Best of all is just having YOU YOURSELF inside me through Your Spirit, fellowshipping with me and delighting in me always!  What a wonderful relationship, the most special and precious thing to me in all the world!  You are so much more loving than I ever dreamed!  Thank You, dear Lord, all glory and praise to You forever!

Jesus On the Cross

Thank You, Jesus, that on the cross, You took away, removed, and killed off:

my sin

my shame

my pain

my sorrow

my hurt

my loneliness

my infirmities

my weaknesses

my ruin

my condemnation

my fear

my anguish

my corruption

my waywardness

my sinful nature

my rebellion

my pride

my lust

my anger

my deceit

my folly

my bondage

my guilt

my punishment

my darkness

my old self

my death

And all that is gone, taken away, removed as far as the east is from the west, killed off for good, put in the grave never to rise again!

Thank You that You, the Lamb of God, took away the sins of the world and all the effects of those sins, all the ruin and hurt and condemnation and death that they caused.  Thank You that we can believe that You really did die for us and rise again to remove all the bad and bring in all the good, and that we can call on Your name and be saved and experience all You did for us!  Thank You that in that simple way of faith in Your finished work, we are born again and experience real Life, Your Life, as part of Your family forever.  You died to give us a wonderful and intimate relationship with You.  Thank You, dear Jesus, for Your great sacrifice of Love!  Thank You for loving us and delivering us from the hand of the enemy and thank You for delivering us from our sin and all the trouble and bondage it brought!

Revelations of Grace

I was thinking yesterday about the ways God has revealed to me wonderful things about Him and His grace, and how those revelations have changed my life so much.

These are some of the things He has shown me that have just blown me away and swept me off my feet in wonder at His grace.  They are wonderful truths and they are true for all of us who believe in the Son!

Because of Christ's finished work on the cross:

We are in right relationship with God and accepted by Him (we are justified, which means accepted as righteous and right with God).

We are completely forgiven of all our sins, past, present and future!

There is no condemnation on us, ever, and we will never be punished for our sins (because Christ took our punishment for us and took away our sins on the cross).

We are already in Life Eternal.  We are new creations, and our spirits already are part of the eternal and cannot die.

We are safe and secure in God's hands, and noone can pluck us out of His hand.  The Holy Spirit has been given to assure us that we are certainly in God's family and to assure us that we will receive the whole inheritance, including new resurrected bodies in heaven!

We are qualified - made worthy to be part of His family, His kingdom of priests, His ministering body, His special and chosen people.  Thus we can approach His throne with confidence and we can pray and God will answer all our prayers.

We are favored and blessed in everything and we stand in His favor at all times.

We have been delivered from the bondage of the enemy and the ruin of sin, and we have our Big Brother Christ to back us up and the wonderful Holy Spirit on our side at all times, and we have been given authority over all the power of the enemy.

We are heirs, heirs of God, co-heirs with Christ, heirs of the world, recipients of a great inheritance in Christ, for all that He has is ours and as He is, so are we in this world.  We reign in life with Christ!

We have the dear Holy Spirit in us as our closest Friend and Companion and Helper, reassuring us at all times of God's love for us and rising up within us with faith, power and love to tackle (and overcome!) anything that comes our way.  We are never, ever alone again and never without a friend!

We are loved by God with an unconditional love that will never go away.  He loves us freely, without any strings attached, forever!  He has yoked Himself to us and bonded Himself to us in love for all eternity!

And it's all because of His wonderful grace, His immeasurable, vast, freely bestowed, unmerited favor!  And it comes to us through the perfect, complete, sufficient, FINISHED work of Christ on our behalf.  All of Him!

All glory to You, O God!  To the praise of Your glorious grace, by which You made us accepted in the Beloved!
We took the kids to the circus recently, and my hubby took this great photo!

The elephants were my favorite act to watch...they seemed like these sweet and gentle giants.  Though they had more power and brute strength than any of the animals in the whole circus, they seemed to have the gentlest disposition and seemed the most patient of all the animals!  I loved how the elephant held his female trainer in his trunk, lifting her high above his head, yet always holding her very tenderly and never bruising her or dropping her.

It just reminds me of the Holy Spirit within us, how He is the strongest power in the universe, like a mighty, rushing wind, and yet with us He is so gentle, like the whisper of a Spring breeze.

He is so strong defending us from the adversary, and yet so tender touching us with His love!

He is so powerful in pushing back the lies and darkness that come against us, and yet so kind and sweet with us in all our woundedness.

He crushes the enemy opposition before us and makes the mountains in front of us turn into a plain!  And yet, the bruised reed of our lives He will not break, nor will He extinguish the smoldering wick of our heart-light.

Tough and tender, great and gentle!  What a wonderful Advocate, Helper, Comforter and Friend!

One Needful Thing

"The greatest way you can minister to to sit at His feet and keep drawing from Him!  That is what delights our Lord....He has not come to be fed but to feed...Only one thing is needful - to rest at Jesus' feet and receive from Him."

                                                                                    Joseph Prince
May the amazing grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, and the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. 2 Co. 13:14