Living from Union - First15 - October 21, 2017

Living from Union

Weekly Overview:

This life is marked by a single choice: who or what will we center our lives around? This choice takes each of us down a path of decisions that shape who we are, what we feel, who or what we value, and what we will have accomplished at the end of our days. To center our lives around ourselves or the things of this world leads only to destruction. But, to center our lives around meeting with God fills each moment with the glorious abundance of God’s love, provision, and transcendent peace. May your life be marked by union with your Creator as we explore what it means to center our lives around meeting with God this week.

Scripture:“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who 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 for me.” - Galatians 2:20

Devotional:           

One of the greatest scandals of the Christian faith is that God himself, in all his holiness and love, would dwell in the heart of man. You and I have been brought into union with God by the blood of Jesus. Nothing can separate us from him any longer. He is closer than our breath. He is more real than the very ground beneath our feet.

The New Testament is filled with truth about our union with God. Galatians 2:20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who 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 for me.” - 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” - Romans 6:4 says, “We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” And Colossians 1:27 says,“To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

There is never a single moment that you are apart from God. God is in you and with you through every trial, success, victory, and defeat. He is for you and available to you all day, every day. Even in our sin, God remains. Even in our rebellion, God dwells within us. What’s left for us to do is learn how to allow this union to permeate every area of our lives. To work out our salvation is to learn to cast aside that which belongs to our former self and live out of our new identity as unified with Christ himself.

If we’re going to truly center our lives around meeting with God, we must learn to acknowledge the fact that he is already with us. He is not a distant God who has to travel from his throne in heaven down to us whenever we make time for him. He’s not a God who only dwells in churches, fellowships, ministries, or clergy. He is the God who dwells within you, loves you, likes you, and longs to be with you in constant communion.

Take time today to renew your mind to the truth of your union with God. Ask him to reveal his nearness that you might “walk in newness of life” today (Romans 6:4). Make space in your heart and mind to allow the presence of God to permeate every area of your life. May today mark a radical change in your life as God himself begins to move, work, bless, and speak in all you do.

Guided Prayer:

1. Meditate on your union with God. Renew your mind by placing your trust in Scripture rather than your feelings or past experiences.

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who 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 for me.” - Galatians 2:20

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” - 2 Corinthians 5:17

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own.” - 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

2. What areas of your life are not marked by union with the Holy Spirit? Where are you doing life as if God isn’t with you? Where are you striving and working for that which is already yours in Christ Jesus?

3. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal his nearness. Ask him to help you be a person who receives rather than strives and who rests rather than toils.

“Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

Oftentimes we take feelings of loneliness, rejection, shame, and guilt and believe that they must be truth. Truth isn’t found in our emotions, but rather in the word of God. Our mind is the gateway to our emotions. We feel the way we do because of what we perceive and believe. If we engage in the process of renewing our mind to God’s word, our emotions will get in line with truth. You and God are one. There is nothing you or anyone else can do to change that. May the truth of Scripture guide you into a lifestyle of centering your life around the union already available to you in Christ.

Extended Reading: 2 Corinthians 5

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