Defeating {our enemy} Death

Today before begining my devotions, I prayed and asked the Lord to show me something new from the passage outlined for today. I've memorized it multiple times (school, awana, school... =D) and because the thought carried so well over today's Scripture with what I read yesterday, I had read it yesterday, as well! The passage is not new to me... aside from memorizing it before, I've heard it preached, I am sure, more than once. So I asked the Lord for something new.
And guess what?
He gave it! (our Lord is wonderful, is He not? How, no matter how small or weak our faith, He daily loads us down with benefits!!! (Psalm 68:19)
I thought I'd share here what He showed me! Nothing big, but from the Lord nonetheless!!!! =D
(which should make it big!!)

I read 1 Corinthians 15:51-58:

"Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?   The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord."

After reading verse 54 (" So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory."), I was initially confused. Why, when i put on incorruption is the enemy Death defeated? I just got done reading that it is Christ who will receive the honor of "putting Death down", so to speak. (1 Corinthians 15:26, 28) So... why was I reading that when i reach heaven and receive an incorruptible, heavenly body Death would be defeated?? At this point, I totally interrupted God (have a habit of doing that... becoming so confused or inquisitive about a verse that I fret about trying to figure out what it means before actually going to the next verse where it completely explains the entire thing to me! lol) I figured that the reason I defeat Death when I put on an incorruptible body, is becuase I have thus shed my corrupted body, the one he (Death) had a hold of. A corrupted body of sin and death that i inherited by default through Adam('s sin). As death was the result of his and Eve's disobedience, I was defeating it by shedding it for an incorruptible sinless body as i entered heaven.
Then I went back to the Bible and let God finish talking lol =) The second verse following my questions answered them! Verse 56 tells us that "The sting og death is sin: and the strength of sin is the law."
So, why when I exchange rags for Christ's beauty, my earthly body for my heavenly one, my corruption for His incorruption, do I defeat Death??
Because the "sting" of Death is SIN, and this body is riddled with it's loathsome disease! Daily I sin in this body, through this body... with this body!! :( But that simply ceases to be so when one day in Heaven I exchange it for perfection!!!!! In doing so, Death is deafeted!! Whoo! =D
The verse continues with the thought that "...the strength of sin is the law." The Law (10 Commandments, Exodus 20:1-18 ) is the "strength" of sin because it reveals to me, to you, to us--everyone!!-- just how sick with this dreaded disease we really are!!
"But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord, Jesus Christ" (verse 57)
He not only died for our sins, in our place, but He ROSE AGAIN!!! This makes us victorious in the battles we as His princess warrior's fight everyday! We will defeat Death one day, and we can defeat sin every day because our Jesus came out of that tomb!!! Halellujah!!!
"Therefore, {meaning because He did resurrect and because He is coming again} my beloved {sisters in this battle}, be ye
becuase you, me, we know {not guess or hope-- we KNOW!}that
our labor is NOT IN VAIN

Take Heart!!!

“He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds…Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.” (Psalms 147:3-5)

Do you ever feel as though your heart is breaking??? Take the pieces to THE ONE of “great power” and of ‘infinite understanding’; He alone can fit the pieces back together and heal your hurting heart! (Psalms 147:3 & 5) He collects your tears and puts them all in a bottle. (Psalms 56:8) He doesn’t miss a single one. Not a single tear you shed or pang of heartache you feel goes unnoticed by the Lover of your soul. (Revelation 20:12) (Matthew 10:30-31) (Luke 12:7) (Job 16:20) One day, He will wipe all your tears away! (Revelation 7:17) (Revelation 21:4) But until that day, please take knowledge in the fact that He loves you (1 John 4:10) and that He knows how you feel and what you are going through (Hebrews 4:15)! He cares about you!! (1 Peter 5:7) Is it always easy to believe this, to feel it as true, even though you know it in your head? Nooo…! So if that is where you are today, just let me encourage you that He is (with you—Hebrews 13:5) and He does (care about you and know how you’re feeling!) Don’t worry about the ‘what’s’, ‘how’s’ or ‘why’s’… simply try to set your eyes on Jesus, focus on Him, and bask in His amazing love for you today!!!! He loves you, child of God!!!!!

A Faithful, "In-Christ" Consistency

If there were one word that would describe my daily walk with Christ as of late, it would not be the word “consistent”. The comparison of a roller coaster ride would be more appropriate. What is really hard for me and makes the entire situation worse, is that at one time and for a long time, but only by God’s grace, my spiritual walk was consistent. But this is not the current case.
I’ve really been struggling with this the past couple of weeks, and God has been faithfully (Deuteronomy 7:9) (1 Corinthians 10:13) showing me things, teaching me things, gently guiding and leading me, I pray, back to a consistent and tender walk with Him. He keeps bringing me back to the same or very similar points in my devotions, through my pastor and youth pastor, lessons on a recent ladies seminar… God is good and will continue working on me until the day He returns. Until then, I won’t be perfect *sigh* J but I will continue to be molded into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ. Remember that song “He’s still workin’ on me! To make me what I ought to be… How loving and patient He must be!” (and they’re not kidding!!!!!)? Well, it’s TRUE! It’s a PROMISE from GOD!!! Check out these two verses! (Philippians 1:6) (Psalm 138:8)

Our youth group’s Bible Navigation (in case you’re wondering about the significance of ‘navigation’, it’s for “Navigating Through the Word of God” J) for this month is in 1st Corinthians. Because it’s known as Paul’s harsh letter of correction to the Corinthian church for their wickedness, I had this negative connotation about it. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t grand things. Well, thankfully, God isn’t limited to our/ my expectations (if He was, we’d all be in trouble!! J) and He’s been using 1st Corinthians to speak to me, encourage and challenge me in my not-so-faithful-as-of-late Christian walk, and this morning, I felt led to share the challenge the Lord laid before me this morning with you all. J

I read 1st Corinthians chapter 4 this morning—something I encourage you to do! J Especially if you haven’t spent time with Jesus yet today, or don’t have any sent Bible reading schedule for today. A few of the verses really spoke to me, and I hope and pray that they are an encouraging challenge to you as well! (Especially if you are “driven with the wind and tossed” right now, and going through a dry time in what was once a lush, vibrant walk with Christ!! L)

1st Corinthians 4:16 says this:
“Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.”

 Paul earnestly entreats, invites, begs even, you and I to follow his example that he shares with us in the following verse! Are you ready; are you willing to follow his example, by the grace of God?

1st Corinthians 4:17 continues with the kicker:
“For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church.”

Paul’s “ways” (his behavior; his words, actions, attitudes and thoughts; his ‘conversation’, meaning lifestyle) was “IN CHRIST”. And his character and message was the same—was CONSISTENT—from one church to the other. His character and Message did not vary with one synagogue visit to the next! OUCH! (Yes, I recommend Band-Aids with this chapter!!! Might need a little Neosporin and a Boo-boo Bunny as well L) His walk with Christ, His relationship with the King of Kings was real and consistent. Every action Paul had was emitted by Christ who dwelt inside of Him and Who ruled his life (which required Paul to be surrendered…ouch).

Oh that my behavior was “IN CHRIST” and that I had a CONSISTENT walk with my Savior!!

Also, Paul states in this verse that he is sending them Timothy, to remind them and as an example of FAITHFULNESS to Christ! Just as Paul was characterized by a Christ-like Consistency that ruled his life, Timothy, a much younger man, was characterized by his FAITHFULNESS (check out 2 Timothy 4:12!!)

What about YOU, dear sister in Christ!?!???? Do you have an “IN-CHRIST CONSISTENCY”? Is your life one of FAITHFULNESS to God and the things of God?? I know I certainly lack this L

 O God, please give me Your grace to have and help me to develop an “in-Christ Consistency”!!! Let everything I do be done by You “IN ME”! (Galatians 2:20) Please LORD! Help me to grow in this area! Please LORD! Live Your life through me!!

Don’t you long to have a consistent walk with The Savior!?!? Let us try to focus on this as we begin this next week!

Also, before I end, let’s take a quick look at 1st Corinthians 4 verses 19 through 20:

“But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power. For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.”

(Also check out 1 Corinthians 1:18, and 1 Corinthians 2:4-5) “not the speech” and “not in word”~~ the words constantly emanating from my mouth are nothingtalking about doing right, to be discussing how we should react/respond in certain situations; we actually need to put them into action—live them out! So then why do I talk so much!?!??! All the majority of it tends to do is get me in trouble, and/or make it much easier to sin! L (Proverbs 10:19 – ouch!) “but the power” and “but in power” of the Holy Spirit is the Christian life lived!!!

I challenge you today, dear sister, stay strong. Keep at it. Deliberately spend time with the Lover of your soul today! Strive to live with an “in-Christ Consistency” (like Paul)—a life characterized by faithfulness to Christ and in the things of Christ (like Timothy)!  Ask the Lord to refrain your lips and to give you pure motives in serving Him and others!

Press toward the mark!! I hope you all had a blessed (i.e. happy) day and WONDERFUL RESURRECTION DAY!!! Love in our Savior!!! ♥♥♥♥♥♥