Who am I in Christ? I am a sweet fragrance

“Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing”.2 Corinthians 2:15 (NLT)

I have always been sensitive to different smells, very quickly noticing if something has gone bad in the fridge or the fruit bowl or if someone in my family doesn’t smell quite right! I am also very aware of the opposite; when something or someone smells amazing, I am naturally drawn to them.

 It’s cool to know that as a Christian we have a specific aroma that we omit to the world. Have you ever noticed how some people are instantly drawn to you while others keep their distance? 2 Corinthians 2:15 says this aroma we have as Christians will be perceived differently by those who come to Christ verses those who do not.

When Christ is evident in our day to day lives, we will naturally give off this Christ like aroma as we talk to people about God, as we serve, as we work, and as we just simply love others as Christ loves us! “But thanks be to God, who uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of Him everywhere.” 2 Corinthians 2:14.

Prayer for today

Lord, it gives me great honor to serve you and to spread the aroma of your knowledge to everyone I meet. Continue to guide me and give me the courage to do this for your kingdom. I love you, in you holy name Amen

Questions to meditate on today

What is it about you that you hope others think is a “sweet fragrance”?

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Jesus, I thank you today for…. ______________________________________________________________________________________________

Lord, you have blessed me with…. ______________________________________________________________________________________________

Jesus, I am really struggling today with… ______________________________________________________________________________________________

Jesus, what I need today is…. ______________________________________________________________________________________________

I am a sweet fragrance to God!

Who am I in Christ? I am a temple.

Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Have you ever been tempted to do something with your body that wasn’t right? Maybe you were tempted to do drugs, or smoke. Perhaps your boyfriend or girlfriend is pressuring you sexually. What do you do when you’re tempted to do something that isn’t right with your body?

Today’s Bible verse offers us some good suggestions. It tells us to not view our bodies as our own. Rather we should look at our bodies as something special.

In this verse it shows us that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. We aren’t just living for ourselves, but we should be living with the knowledge that the Holy Spirit lives in you, which means you can choose a different kind of thinking. You no longer need to be bound by the ideas, criticisms, or abuses of others. You can choose to believe what God tells you–that you have high value and priceless worth to him.

So when we’re tempted to do things that aren’t right, we need to step back and remember this verse. Our bodies aren’t our own. We should be using them in ways that bring glory to God. So the next time you’re tempted, remember today’s Bible verse and challenge yourself to say no to temptation.

Prayer for today

Thank you Lord that Your Spirit lives in me. Help me to remember that my body is a temple.

Thoughts to meditate on today

What does that mean to you that your body is a temple?

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Jesus, I thank you today for…. ______________________________________________________________________________________________

Lord, you have blessed me with…. ______________________________________________________________________________________________

Jesus, I am really struggling today with… ______________________________________________________________________________________________

Jesus, what I need today is…. ______________________________________________________________________________________________

God holds you in high esteem–don’t let anyone else hold you down.

Who am I in Christ? I am the light of the world.

Matthew 5:14- you are the light of the world-like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. (NLT)

How amazing it is to climb to the top of something and see everything from a different viewpoint. A few years ago I had the privilege of going zip lining with a friend in the mountains of Vancouver. As we climbed higher, so much more of the city below came into view, it was breathtaking! We could see for miles, our eyes were drawn to the many lights that shone throughout the city.

  God’s word says We are the light of the world, We are to shine for the whole world to see, not just on Sundays with our fellow believers but on that mountaintop for all to see. I want to encourage you to examine your day to day life, and ask yourself this question; is the light of Jesus shining through me for all to see?

 The familiar song I learnt as a child comes to mind, “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine; hide it under a bush, oh no, I’m going to let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!”

Prayer for today

Thank you Lord for this reminder that we are to be your light, shining for the whole world to see. Give me the courage to shine bright in this dark world so that those who do not know you will be drawn to you! In your name, Amen

Thoughts to meditate on today

How can I be a light for God today? ______________________________________________________________________________________________

Jesus, I thank you today for…. ______________________________________________________________________________________________

Lord, you have blessed me with…. ______________________________________________________________________________________________

Jesus, I am really struggling today with… ______________________________________________________________________________________________

Jesus, what I need today is…. ______________________________________________________________________________________________

Because of Christ in me, I am the light of the world!

Who am I in Christ? I am a new person!

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun– 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)

We all like new stuff. New shoes, new clothes, new video games, or a new phone. New stuff is just the best! Do you know that when God sees you, he sees new? When God looks at you after you’ve accepted Jesus as your savior He sees a new creature.

He doesn’t see who you were before you knew Jesus. He doesn’t see your shortcomings, failures and all the stuff that you’ve done wrong. In fact, He says He won’t even remember your sin anymore. What  He does see is someone who is fresh and new and incredibly special in His eyes!

When you think about how excited you get when you get a new phone and you can’t wait to use it, that’s just a fraction of how excited God gets about you. He loves you and is thrilled that you’re His child.

Prayer for today

Thank you Jesus for what you did on the cross for me. It has made me new person. Thank you that You do not see my old life, but rather see my potential in my brand new one!

Questions to meditate on today

What are your thoughts about God being excited to see you?

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Jesus, I thank you today for…. ______________________________________________________________________________________________

Lord, you have blessed me with…. ______________________________________________________________________________________________

Jesus, I am really struggling today with… ______________________________________________________________________________________________

Jesus, what I need today is…. ______________________________________________________________________________________________

Lord, You have made me a new person, thank you!

Who am I in Christ? I have been given unlimited access to His wisdom.

“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking” James 1:5 (NLT)

The Word of God is a treasure of infinite value given to us by our gracious heavenly Father, but many Christians today live as if they’re trapped in poverty. Imagine a person with great worldly wealth living on the streets, begging for handouts, even though they have a fortune in the bank. Likewise, the children of God should not struggle hopelessly through daily life when we have access to the wisdom and direction of our Almighty God.  

As God’s children, we must learn to apply Scripture to every area of life and every circumstance we face for our good and for His glory. If we aren’t allowing God’s Word to direct our decision-making and relationships, we will quench the work of the Holy Spirit to sanctify us and bring us into a deeper relationship with our heavenly Father. God gave us His Word to use, not just adore. If we’re going to live for Christ and delight in our Lord, we have to let His Word refine us and disciple us.

In what area of your life do you need God’s wisdom? Soak it up from the pages of His Word, and you’ll experience the power and grace of the great I am as He transforms you “into His image with ever-increasing glory” (2 Corinthians 3:18).

Prayer for today

Thank you Lord for your Word that is so available to me. I pray as I dig deeper into it, that you will would become clearer to me.  I desire above anything else to be obedient to the calling you have set before me, in your holy name, amen

Thoughts to meditate on today

How am I going to use this free, unlimited access to God’s wisdom?

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Jesus, I thank you today for…. ______________________________________________________________________________________________

Lord, you have blessed me with…. ______________________________________________________________________________________________

Jesus, I am really struggling today with… ______________________________________________________________________________________________

Jesus, what I need today is…. ______________________________________________________________________________________________

I have unlimited access to God’s wisdom!

Who am I in Christ? I am no longer condemned

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” Romans 8:1 (NLT)

Have you ever told on your brother or sister to get them in trouble? Maybe you got in trouble for forgetting to do the dishes and instead of owning up to it, you thought of two things your brother did wrong and told your mom. Secretly, you were hoping he would get in trouble instead of you. Basically, you were accusing your brother.

And while God won’t get you out of trouble with your mom, He isn’t accusing you. God isn’t bringing up all the wrong things you’ve done. Instead, He has closed the case against you. Because of what Jesus did for you, all guilt, shame, and condemnation have been removed from you.

This means you can live a life full of freedom. You don’t have to be held back by feelings that you don’t measure up or that you’re not enough. In Jesus, you are more than enough. Your worth comes from what God says about you, not others.

We all make mistakes. It is then the guilty thought may start: “I am  such a loser”, or “everyone is going to hate me now” or “I’m such a disappointment”.

What is important to know is this: no condemnation comes from God. God convicts our hearts when we sin, but offers love, forgiveness and ways to change.  Any lasting guilt and shame you’re feeling comes from Satan. We have an accuser, an enemy of our soul who seeks to destroy us through false accusations, shame and guilt. When you’re struggling with this, remember you are being attacked and there is no truth to it.

Prayer for today

Thank you Lord for removing all my shame, guilt and condemnation. Thank you that I can live free of these things, and that You love me even when I make mistakes.

Thoughts to meditate on today

Re-read the verse, what does it mean for you personally?

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Jesus, I thank you today for…. ______________________________________________________________________________________________

Lord, you have blessed me with…. ______________________________________________________________________________________________

Jesus, I am really struggling today with… ______________________________________________________________________________________________

Jesus, what I need today is…. ______________________________________________________________________________________________

When guilt comes, remember: You are loved. You are chosen. You are forgiven.

Who am I in Christ? I am a branch

“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing” John 15:5 (NLT)

You and I are so connected to Christ that we can literally do nothing without Him. He created us to have this close bond with Him, to walk and navigate through our lives together and to lean solely on His strength.  Yes there are times in our lives when we try to do things on our own strength but that can only last for a short time before we realize how damaging it is. 

We can compare this to any plant or tree we have and we can quickly see how true this is. I do not have a green thumb by any means but I do know that if the branches are not connected to the tree or if the plant is not attached to its roots, it will soon die. Just as we need to be connected to our life giving source! So here are some ways to do exactly that; read Gods word, He has so much to tell you! Secondly, spend time in prayer. Remember God is your friend and He wants to spend time with you. Thirdly, surround yourself with fellow believers, those that will lift you up and hold you accountable. God has designed you to have this communion with Him, to draw everything from Him alone, so you will bear fruit in your life.

Prayer for Today

Thank you Lord for being my life giving source, for supplying me with all I need. I want to stay connected to you, help me to keep my eyes focused on you alone. I love you Jesus. In your holy name, Amen

Some thoughts to meditate on today

How can I draw on Christ’s life-giving nutrients?

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Jesus, I thank you today for…. ______________________________________________________________________________________________

Lord, you have blessed me with…. ______________________________________________________________________________________________

Jesus, I am really struggling today with… ______________________________________________________________________________________________

Jesus, what I need today is…. ______________________________________________________________________________________________

Who am I in Christ? I am tenderly loved by God

“Long ago the Lord said to Israel: “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself”.    Jeremiah 31:3 (NLT)

There is no force more powerful than the love our heavenly Father has for us, his children. His love can move mountains, stop the roaring seas, heal broken bones and wounded hearts, transform lives, and set free those held captive by sin and shame. He loves you and would have died on the cross even if you were the only human to save!

The verse above tells us that He loves us with an everlasting love, that means it will never end. You may look at yourself and wonder, how can this be true? Maybe you are feeling unloved and unwanted in your life at this moment and this is exactly what you needed to hear. God loves you just because you are you! So let me say it again; You Are Loved

Prayer for today

Lord, I am so thankful that the love you have for me is not based on what I do or don’t do. Whether I fail or succeed at things in my life, your love for me stays the same.  I love you! In your name, amen

Some thoughts to ponder today

What thoughts or feelings do you have about the powerful love God has for you?

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Jesus, I thank you today for…. ______________________________________________________________________________________________

Lord, you have blessed me with…. ______________________________________________________________________________________________

Jesus, I am really struggling today with… ______________________________________________________________________________________________

Jesus, what I need today is…. ______________________________________________________________________________________________

I am tenderly loved by God!

Who am I in Christ? I am a child of God

I’m taking a break from the Revelation series. The more I read it, the more questions I have, need some time to study it more.

So in the meantime, I would like to share a devotional my wife and I wrote. The topic is “My identity in Christ” Who does the Lord say I am?

“But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the rights to become children of God.” John 1:12- (NLT)

Not everyone rejected Jesus. In fact, everyone who believed in him and accepted him was given an incredible gift: They were made children of God!

This special gift is something that God alone could achieve for us. It is also something about which Jesus and John will both have more to say. Today, however, think about what it means to be God’s child! Our Father paints the sunrise and displays his artistry again at sunset. He set the boundaries of the universe, which we cannot begin to see. He is the greatest Father anyone could ever have, and he chose us to be his children!

Our adoption into the Father’s family is something God did for us to include us as his children. We couldn’t make ourselves part of God’s family any more than a baby can accomplish his or her own birth or his or her adoption. We are God’s children because of his love and grace and Jesus’ sacrifice. In fact, Jesus came as the Father’s Word of grace; we can be children of God, born from above!

Prayer for today

Expand my heart, O God, so that I can truly show my love and appreciation to you for adopting me into your family. Open my mind, dear Father, so that I can understand your grace and mercy given me through Jesus.  In the name of my brother and Savior, Jesus Christ my Lord, I pray. amen

Some thoughts to consider and pray about today

What do you feel about God calling you His child?

Jesus, I thank you today for…. ______________________________________________________________________________________________

Lord, you have blessed me with…. ______________________________________________________________________________________________

Jesus, I am really struggling today with… ______________________________________________________________________________________________

Jesus, what I need today is…. ______________________________________________________________________________________________

I praise you and thank you for making me your child!

Revelation chapter 11

(S)

The Two Witnesses

11 Then I was given a measuring stick, and I was told, “Go and measure the Temple of God and the altar, and count the number of worshipers. But do not measure the outer courtyard, for it has been turned over to the nations. They will trample the holy city for 42 months. And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will be clothed in burlap and will prophesy during those 1,260 days.”

These two prophets are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of all the earth. If anyone tries to harm them, fire flashes from their mouths and consumes their enemies. This is how anyone who tries to harm them must die. They have power to shut the sky so that no rain will fall for as long as they prophesy. And they have the power to turn the rivers and oceans into blood, and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they wish.

When they complete their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the bottomless pit[a] will declare war against them, and he will conquer them and kill them. And their bodies will lie in the main street of Jerusalem,[b] the city that is figuratively called “Sodom” and “Egypt,” the city where their Lord was crucified. And for three and a half days, all peoples, tribes, languages, and nations will stare at their bodies. No one will be allowed to bury them. 10 All the people who belong to this world will gloat over them and give presents to each other to celebrate the death of the two prophets who had tormented them.

1But after three and a half days, God breathed life into them, and they stood up! Terror struck all who were staring at them. 12 Then a loud voice from heaven called to the two prophets, “Come up here!” And they rose to heaven in a cloud as their enemies watched.

13 At the same time there was a terrible earthquake that destroyed a tenth of the city. Seven thousand people died in that earthquake, and everyone else was terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.

14 The second terror is past, but look, the third terror is coming quickly.

(O)

Here is some food for thought and study today.

No one now knows for certain who the Two Witnesses are, however it is widely believed this would be Elijah and Moses, possibly assumed because of the appearance of Moses and Elijah at Jesus’s tranfiguration (Math. 17, Mark 9, Luke 9) But when they do appear, we will know that the return of Christ is not far away.

The Two Witnesses are two human beings who will be given extraordinary power for 3 1/2 years just before Christ’s return (Revelation 11:3). If anyone attempts to harm them before they complete their ministry, “fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies” (verse 5). Note the similarity between this and the power given to Elijah (II Kings 1:9-15). They will also have power to produce drought and famine, as did Elijah (Luke 4:25I Kings 17:1-7), and to smite the earth with plagues, as Moses did in Egypt (Revelation 11:6). However, there is no biblical justification to believe that the Two Witnesses are indeed Moses and Elijah; God has never resurrected a prophet or apostle to do a work centuries or millennia later. God always uses people of the time to carry out His work.

The most notable work of the Two Witnesses will be to give one final warning to this world. This message of rebuke and repentance will bring them into conflict with the people and the governments in power, and they will be martyred. The whole world will rejoice and give each other gifts as they view their dead bodies, lying unburied in the streets of Jerusalem (verses 9-10). However, those same people will be struck with great fear when they see the Two Witnesses come to life again and ascend into the sky in a cloud (verses 11-12).

Verse 4 calls them “the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth,” a reference to Zechariah 4:14. Combining this Old Testament prophecy with the interpretation of the lampstands in Revelation 1:20, it appears that the Two Witnesses will also have a profound ministry to the church of God: They will supply the church with “oil,” that is, they will spiritually feed the church during the “famine of the Word” (Amos 8:11). Thus, the Two Witnesses will be affiliated with and teaching the members of God’s church before and possibly during their greater worldwide ministry.

What I also find interesting about this piece of scripture is vs. 9. There are many theories and beliefs that the tribulation and events of Revelation have taken place already centuries ago, and there is some great arguments and historical events that could be made to sound true, but it doesn’t explain this verse to me. When in history could the entire world look upon something that has happened in one specific place other that now. With the age of technology, this is made possible but not ever before.

The Seventh Trumpet Brings the Third Terror

15 Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices shouting in heaven:

The world has now become the Kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ,
    and he will reign forever and ever.”

16 The twenty-four elders sitting on their thrones before God fell with their faces to the ground and worshiped him. 17 And they said,

“We give thanks to you, Lord God, the Almighty,
    the one who is and who always was,
for now you have assumed your great power
    and have begun to reign.
18 The nations were filled with wrath,
    but now the time of your wrath has come.
It is time to judge the dead
    and reward your servants the prophets,
    as well as your holy people,
and all who fear your name,
    from the least to the greatest.
It is time to destroy
    all who have caused destruction on the earth.”

1Then, in heaven, the Temple of God was opened and the Ark of his covenant could be seen inside the Temple. Lightning flashed, thunder crashed and roared, and there was an earthquake and a terrible hailstorm.

This chapter ends like a good TV series, with a huge cliffhanger. We know that the end is very near.

(A)

Reading this can and has caused many much fear. But know this everyone, even thought there will be a lot of scary, crazy things going to happen, we can have confidence in Christ. He is the anchor we can secure ourselves to with absolute assurance. Even when times are tough, He is always there to give us that peace and erasing that need to be worried about what is coming. He is our Rock. Place your worries and troubles on Him today, give them over completely.

(P)

Pray about anything that is stressing you today. Have confidence knowing God will walk you through these things, “never will He leave you, never will He forsake you”