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Concentrating on the Source; Crucified with Christ (2003-05-18 - 7:50 a.m.)

I really miss Ghostiness and Christi. They are in DC for the third day of their trip. I have talked to them several times and they seem to be having a really good time. And of course, all of Ghosti's friends like her Mom. She will soon attain hero status, if not already.

In Matthew 6, there is a very famous verse that tells us to "seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you." What are the "things?" If you read the whole chapter, the "things" are basic essentials for life. There is another verse in 2 Peter 1 that tells us that God has given us everything we need for "life and godliness." These two passages certainly tie together. Jesus and Peter essentially tell us the same thing: Why are we worried about what we need? "Consider the lilies...consider the birds..." Oswald Chambers carries this idea a little farther in today's reading of My Utmost for His Highest. "So often we mar God's designed influence through us by our self-conscious effort to be consistent and useful." The only way we develop spiritually is by concentrating on God! We can't afford to spend our time worrying about how useful we are to God or to others! Yet that is what we do. I should know, I'm a prime offender! If we pay attention to the Source, concentrate solely on Him, "out of you will flow rivers of living water." "If you want to be of use to God, get rightly related to Jesus Christ and He will make you of use unconsciously every minute you live." (This is why this book will be part of my devotional armory every year!)

I feel compelled to quote this again. It is from Galatians 2 in The Message (verse 20). "I have been crucified with Christ. Me ego is no longer central. [Can I truly say that? My ego seems to be pretty important to me most of the time!] It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. [Is that not what most of our "works" are designed to do? Impress God?] Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not 'mine,' but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." What a powerful verse, and I love this translation. [Plug here: If you really want a readable translation of the Bible, that brings it down to today's "street" language, try The Message.] Andrew Murray says this: "...each Christian must bear his cross, acknowledging that he is worthy of death, [that is all that I am truly worthy of, else Christ would not have had to die in my place] and believing that he is crucified with Christ, and that the Crucified One lives in him. Let the disposition of Christ on the cross, His humility, His sacrifice of all worldly honor, His spirit of self-denial [boy, do I need that one!], take possession of you. The power of His death will work in you, and you will become like Him in His death; you will know Him and the power of His resurrection." What wondrous love is this, O my soul?

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