The Path of Sacrificial Service

English: The Lord Jesus Christ in the image of...
English: The Lord Jesus Christ in the image of Good Shepherd. Early Christian trsdition of symbolism. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mick Turner

In examining Jesus’ life we have seen that he was a complete incarnation of God’s wisdom and compassion. In conducting his life the Master exhibited these traits consistently in thought, word and deed. These twin foundations of Christian spirituality, wisdom and compassion, are not ends in and of themselves. Instead, wisdom and compassion are the means leading to another end: sacrificial service.

Even the most cursory examination of Jesus’ life, from his first miracle at the wedding at Cana, right on through his washing of his disciples’ fetid feet and his death on the cross, we see clearly the consistent theme of sacrifice. Indeed, the Master’s life was one continual incarnation of his teaching that “unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground” and his words to the rich young wanna-be, “ go and sell all that you have and give the proceeds to the poor.”

Yet this kind of sacrifice does not come natural to us. At least I know it doesn’t come natural to me. I have within me a fibrous root of self-centeredness that, without divine assistance, will rule my life and in the long run, bring me to ruin. Scripture teaches that we all have this selfish core and left unchecked by the Holy Spirit, can infiltrate and poison all aspects of our being. Tyler Edwards, in his excellent book entitled Zombie Church, describes how this tendency toward self-cherishing can even get its tentacles into our prayer lives:

It sometimes seems like we want God to be a genie in a bottle. Sometimes we pray asking God to do everything for us and then expect it will just magically happen. We pray for patience and want to wake up a more patient person. We pray for wisdom and expect that God will just download it into our heads. We just want to put it on the Almighty Santa list and wake up with it under the tree. Then when God puts us in a situation where we can learn the very things we asked Him for, we get upset. We don’t want to have to work at it; we just want God to make it happen. I know I’ve tried to use Him like this………………..I have tried to make my faith a spiritual investment where I get as much out of it as I can while putting in as little as possible. Ever done that? This attitude degrades the church. Oftentimes we show up looking for what we get, not what we have to give.

“Ever done that?” I know when Tyler Edwards asked that question in the quotation above, it hit me right between the eyes. Yes, I have done that, many times over. Thank God I am less prone to do that than I once was. Increasingly, I have come to see the Christian walk of faith, contrary to what many of the “Prosperity Gospel” teachers will tell you, is more about what I can give than what I can get. The fact is, if you really deep down get what  the gospel is all about, you fully understand that you can never give enough to equal what you have already been given by God. When I truly and prayerfully reflect on what Christ’s mission to this world did for me, I am humbled beyond description, filled with not just thankfulness, but more than that, I am imbued with a motivational gratitude that creates in me a desire to be of service to the divine source that has been so gracious to me. Consider:

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. (Ephesians 1:3 NLT)

Or this:

By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires. (2 Peter 1: 3-4 NLT)

Just prayerfully reflect for a time on what has been said in these scriptures. Paul tells us in Ephesians that God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing. In the “heavenly realms” does not mean they await us after this life, but instead, means that these blessings are already ours. All we have to do is be open and receptive in order to move these blessings down from the spiritual realms. Once we grasp this, once we fully understand that God has already provided everything we could possibly need, we take possession of these blessings by “reckoning” that it is so. (See Romans 6:11 ).

Even more astounding, however, it that in addition to all these promises and blessings that are ours through God’s gracious provision and Christ’s completed mission, we are also able to “partake of the divine nature.” We share the very nature of Christ and from a personal perspective, when I truly grasp this incredible truth, I am rendered speechless.

In an often overlooked passage of scripture, we get a glimpse of how this is possible. Paul tells us in Ephesians 4:10 that Christ ascended “higher than the highest heavens so that he may fill all things with himself.” Just chew on that one for awhile. With Christ’s ascension into these realms, the entire universe underwent a complete change. Since his ascension, everything that exists has within it the fullness of Christ. Granted, for some aspects of existence, that fullness remains latent, but if scripture is to be trusted, it is there nonetheless and only needs to be awakened. These are metaphysical mysteries too great for me to get my understanding around completely, but even taken on faith, they stagger the mind.

As followers of Jesus we must understand a cardinal truth when it comes to these spiritual blessings. We are not to squander them. Instead, we are to do everything we can to appropriate these blessings, especially spiritual gifts. With the aid of the Holy Spirit, we develop these gifting and, in the process, become closer to the optimal version of who and what we are. In essence, we become what the Master intended and what scripture describes when it talks about being “in Christ.”

My point in discussing these spiritual blessings and our spiritual gifts, along with the process of becoming the kind and caliber of beings God intended, is that we engage and develop our blessings and gifts in order to bless others through sacrificial service. Just as Christ was wholly obedient to the Father through his service to others, so we are obedient to the Master by our service to those in need. In this way we become the hands, feet, and heart of Jesus in our hurting, needful world.

In essence, we can say that God blesses us so we can be a blessing to others. In doing so, we emulate Christ in carrying out much-needed sacrificial service. Jesus’ entire life can be seen through the lens of what biblical Greek terms “kenosis.” Kenosis is typically translated as “self-emptying love” and from beginning to end, Jesus’ mission exemplified this spiritual virtue.

It is this very concept of kenosis that makes the Christian path unique. Even within the faith itself, it seems there were and are still many who missed the boat, so to speak, in terms of understanding what Jesus was bringing into manifestation on this planet. Traditionally, the path of spiritual development has been seen as one of “ascent,” where the spiritual aspirant engages in spiritual practices in order to purify themselves. Growth is seen as an upward spiral or ladder.

His entire life can be seen through the lens of what biblical Greek terms “kenosis.” Kenosis is typically translated as “self-emptying love” and from beginning to end, Jesus’ mission exemplified this spiritual virtue.

Paul gives us a clear description of how Christ’s entire life and mission was characterized by this kenotic ethic:

Though his state was that of God, yet he did not deem equality with God something he should cling to.

Rather, he emptied himself, and assuming the state of a slave, he was born in human likeness.

He, being known as one of us, humbled himself, obedient unto death, even death on a cross.

For this, God raised him on high and bestowed on him the name which is above every other name.

So that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bend in heaven and on earth and under the earth.

And so every tongue should proclaim “Jesus Christ is Lord!” – to God the Father’s glory. (Phil. 2:9-16)

Built upon the twin pillars of wisdom and compassion, the spiritual formation within the Christian tradition is kenotic – a journey of self-emptying love and sacrificial service. Although most faith traditions have an element of sacrificial service within their framework of spiritual development, the Christian faith tradition is somewhat unique in that it places the ethic of kenosis at its core.

Granted, many contemporary churches are far from this ideal, choosing instead to go off the rails in terms of theology, practice, and especially political alliances. Still, there remain pockets of genuine kenotic spirituality and it is in these pockets that the true presence of authentic Christian spirituality may be found. It is in these living, vibrant churches that the vision and tradition inaugurated by Jesus is alive and well, making life better for all who come in contact with its heart and spirit. It is in these authentic pockets of Christian practice that the people understand that on the path begun by Christ, the motivational emphasis shifts from “me” to “we.”

© L.D. Turner 2012/ All Rights Reserved

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Wise Words for Today

Chinese depiction of Jesus and the rich man (M...
Chinese depiction of Jesus and the rich man (Mark 10) – 1879, Beijing, China (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jesus asks Peter, “But what about you? Who do you say I am?”

This is a defining question posed to every generation and culture. Jesus was not just speaking to Peter. Each successive generation of Christians must give their own answer to Jesus’ frank inquiry. Who do we say Jesus is? Our answer cannot be drawn from what others are saying about Jesus or what our parents taught us about Him. We must stare Jesus in the face and offer our own response.

Jonathan Merritt

(from A Faith of Our Own)

Organic Christianity: Claiming Who You Already Are

English: End of the Second Epistle of Peter an...
English: End of the Second Epistle of Peter and beginning of the First Epistle of John in the same column of the codex. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mick Turner

Recently I completed reading Ron McIntosh’s latest book entitled, Organic Christianity. This was the second book I have read authored by McIntosh, the first being The Greatest Secret. I have found both of these works to be both informative and inspirational and perhaps even more significant, I have found them highly practical. The ideas presented are spelled out in such a way that they are made applicable to daily living.

In this brief article, I want to focus on a basic idea from Organic Christianity. McIntosh repeats the theme I have often stressed – that we have already been given all we need to lead a godly life and further, we have been imbued with the power to make that life a manifest reality.

Organic Christianity is more about renewing our minds to who we already are than trying to become who we aren’t. Remember, we’ve already been given everything we need for life and godliness (see 2 Peter 1:3). We’ve already been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realm (see Eph. 1:3). We already have in us everything to do exceedingly, abundantly beyond what we could ask or think (see Eph. 3:20. We are complete in Him (see Col. 2:10). The problem is we haven’t become fully persuaded of who God is, what he has already done, and who He has made us to be.

McIntosh then goes on to describe the path whereby we may become fully persuaded, the truths of which are housed in Romans 12:2:

  1. Be not conformed to this world.
  2. Be transformed.
  3. Renew your mind.
  4. Prove the perfect will of God

He then goes on to describe a process whereby the invisible kingdom may become manifest in our world:

Incubation (meditating on God’s Word)

Plus

Revelation (the result of meditation)

Plus

Impartation (bestowing or intertwining revelation in our lives)

Equals

Manifestation (the invisible Kingdom becoming visible in our world.)

In describing the power of biblical meditation, McIntosh states:

Meditation allows us to focus on something until we are fully persuaded of truth (or a lie for that matter), until it is imbedded in our conscious and subconscious minds. It becomes a part of the makeup of our being until it is our nature to act accordingly.

Here McIntosh touches on a fundamental and salient truth regarding the Christian walk of spirituality: in order for any spiritual principle to be personally transformational, it must become internalized.

These are just a few thoughts I have after reading McIntosh’s latest book and I wanted to share them with you. I apologize for the brevity of these comments, but my recovery from the recent surgery remains somewhat slow. I recommend this book and encourage you to take the time to read it. You will be blessed by its content.

© L.D. Turner 2012/All Rights Reserved

The Unfolding of Sacred Potential (Part Five – Revised and Expanded)

Holy Spirit church: Cellingpainting: Assumptio...
Holy Spirit church: Cellingpainting: Assumption of Christ Locality: Heiligengeistplatz Community:Klagenfurt Deutsch: Heiligengeistkirche: Deckengemälde - Christi Himmelfahrt Ort: Heiligengeistplatz Gemeinde:Klagenfurt (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mick Turner

Continued from Part Four…..

God has placed a unique potential within each and every one of us. The realization of that potential is part of our personal mission on this planet and exists within the context of God’s overall plan and purpose for humanity. When we marry our potential to our individual purpose, our potential is activated and we begin to move toward becoming all that we were designed to be. When our purpose is connected to a specific personal vision, our potential is further unfolded in the context of our purpose and vision. Further, this marriage of purpose and vision gives rise to passion. We become excited about bringing our vision into concrete manifestation. We arise each day with a feeling of optimistic energy and divine direction and we are enthusiastic about working toward realization of our personal vision.

As the process reaches fruition, we then realize our vision, our purpose, and our potential. In doing so, we manifest our glory. Our glory can be defined as becoming the best version of ourselves and claiming our already established identity “in Christ.” By manifesting our glory, we are able to fulfill our God-given role in the establishment of his Kingdom. The entire process is thus carried forward in the Kingdom Context. God planted his divine plan in us in the form of our unique potential. That potential, along with our subsequent purpose, personal vision, passion, and glory, had an overriding purpose and that purpose was the unfolding of God’s kingdom here on earth.

On a practical level, the kingdom context consists of the recognition that the primary reason Christ incarnated was to inaugurate the process of establishing his kingdom on earth. Our spiritual unfolding involves nothing less than having all of our actions flowing from the living awareness of our responsibility of carrying on the Lord’s kingdom mission.

The power that carries this entire process forward, from potential to glory, is faith. We accepted God’s blessing of cleansing and salvation, our justification, on faith. Now we are to go a step farther along the road of faith: we are to accept that God has given us even more grace in that he has provided, as Paul says, “every blessing in the spiritual realm.” Or, in the words of Peter:

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, in order that by them you might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in world by lust (2 Peter 1:2-5).

In the words we often use  here at LifeBrook: God has provided for us all that we need in order to become the optimal versions of ourselves for the glory of God and the benefit of others.

In essence, what we are talking about here is the blessed reality that God, through his grace, love, and infinite wisdom, has seen to it that we have all that we will ever need to be successful in life. He has planted a divine potential in each and every one of us and tied that potential with a personal purpose or mission that we are to carry out. The specifics of that purpose or mission are found in our dreams and our vision, which is also God-given and easily discoverable.

It is upon these very principles, based upon the spiritual reality of God’s love, his character, his provision, and his faithfulness, that we can readily lay claim to spiritual optimism. Indeed, If God be for us, who can be against us?

Your Harvest of Glory

Your God-given potential began as a seed planted in you by the Creator before your birth. Further, he not only planted this great potential within you but also gave you all the talent you needed to discover this potential and, in concert with the Holy Spirit, connect your potential to a divine personal purpose – a call to a specific mission that was yours to carry forward. Once discovered, this mission hopefully gave you sufficient passion and motivation to develop and carry out a specific personal vision that allowed your talents and gifts to blossom and your personal vision to become a vital, living reality.

By realizing the manifestation of your mission you necessarily had to hone and develop your God-given talents and gifts and, in so doing, became more and more the optimal version of yourself. Now, walking in your personal excellence, creativity, and commitment, you are harvesting your personal glory.

We can see hints of this process in the Master’s great prayer in the 17th Chapter of John’s gospel when he expresses that as he is glorified, the Father is glorified. And the reality is my friends, when we walk in our excellence – when we manifest and live as the optimal version of who we are, we glorify the Master.

Walking in Spiritual Excellence

As a result of reaping our harvest, we are now able to manifest our true potential, realize our vital vision and in the process, become the optimal version of ourselves. We consistently walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh and in so doing, we are able to become more effective servants of the Light.

As you see, we move from our seed potential to walking in our manifest glory. We do this not to glorify ourselves, but to glorify our Master, our Father in heaven, and the Holy Spirit that has dwelled within us, walked along side us, empowered us, and made all this possible. When we come to walk in our personal glory, we are then able to be of true, selfless benefit to others while bringing glory to God.

This is our true aim and our ultimate calling – to be all that we can be; to give glory to our Creator; and to serve others with love. In the final analysis, we can ask for no greater destiny than this.

to be continued…..

(c) L.D. Turner 2012/All Rights Reserved

The Unfolding of Sacred Potential (Part Three – Revised and Expanded)

The Holy Spirit depicted as a dove, surrounded...
The Holy Spirit depicted as a dove, surrounded by angels, by Giaquinto, 1750s. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mick Turner

Continued from Part Two…….

I Have Made a Commitment to Excellence. Now what?

Once we become serious about fulfilling our God-given potential, it is imperative that we come to some degree of understanding of how this process of divine unfolding works. Having a map of the territory enables us to better understand how God works in facilitating our spiritual growth, exactly what our role is, and what positive (or negative) contributions others may make as we proceed.

The first thing we need to understand is the fact that the process of unfolding our divine potential does not exist in a vacuum. All along the way we will encounter both positive assistance and problematic obstacles arising from other people, our environmental circumstances, and even our faith community.

We should also realize that when we finally become serious and consecrate ourselves to manifesting our full potential, the potential that God placed inside of us, the enemy and his minions will begin to take notice of you. Expect that problems and issues of a darker nature may also begin to appear and that there is nothing abnormal about this. Satan’s primary goal is to thwart God’s plans and any committed spiritual aspirant, including you, is a threat to the realization of his schemes. I say these things not to create fear or set your teeth on edge. Instead, I say these things to prepare you for what is to come. You have nothing to fear from the enemy and if you prepare yourself spiritually, the enemy and his powers and principalities can do little to knock you off course.

I have written extensively on the map of divine unfolding and am in the process of publishing a book entitled, Divine Unfolding: Becoming Who and What God Intended. The book will be available in both print and e-book formats. In that work I make the statement that although no map of the terrain of realizing your divine potential is completely accurate, we can see certain phases of the work taking place. Let’s take a little time a look at the how this flow normally takes place. Briefly, we can say that our growth into Christ-like character and into the optimal version of ourselves moves through seven interrelated phases.

Acknowledging and accepting our new identity “in Christ.”

Understanding our “Seed Potential.”

Discovering our “Call to Purpose”

Living with “Vital Vision.”

Our “Harvest of Glory.”

Walking in “Spiritual Excellence.”

Serving through Radical Compassion

Our New Identity in Christ

It begins with the acknowledgement that we are not functioning anywhere near our true potential and, at least initially, this stems from the fact that we believers have little idea of who and what we are “in Christ.” For many reasons, the church has jettisoned the vital half of the gospel, choosing instead to focus on the blood and forgiveness at the expense of the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.

It is as if you own a house with an exquisite, one-of-a-kind door. You fell in love with this door and worship it so much that you never cross the threshold and go inside the house, which is even more beautiful. Likewise, many Christians become so immersed in Christ’s atoning work on the Cross and the cleansing of his blood they never grasp why he did this in the first place. He didn’t go through what he did so we could live life half-way, filled with doubt, inadequacy, and spiritual instability. Christ did not die just to get us into heaven my friend; he died in order to get heaven into us. Christ rose, met the disciples, breathed the Holy Spirit into them, gave them a Great Commission, and ascended into heaven, thus making the Pentecost possible.

In light of these realities, our first task is to understand and accept just what Christ accomplished with his death, resurrection, and ascension. We have a new identity and in the words of Paul, the old has passed away and the new has come. We are new creations in Christ and what’s more amazing, we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.

Until we grasp the character and the ramifications of our new identity, we will only grow in fits and starts, if at all. It’s time to walk on through the door, grand as it is, and see what blessings have been placed inside.

Understanding Our Seed Potential

God has placed a potential on the inside of each of us and I am convinced this occurred before we were ever born. This seed has the fulfillment of our calling, purpose, and vision in its core, just as an acorn has a mighty oak hidden within its fibers. God-given potential is like a seed and, with the proper environment, that seed can develop, grow, and manifest those things hidden within its hull.

You potential is like a seed and, until you allow that seed to grow, your dream will remain just that – a dream. God gave you this potential and, with the right environment, that seed potential will grow and develop into something quite magnificent. Dr. Myles Munroe speaks of these issues cogently:

“The entire creation possesses this principle of potential. Everything has the natural instinct to release its ability. The plant and animal kingdoms abound with evidences of this fact. The Creator designed everything with this principle of potential, which can be simplified to the concept of a seed. The biblical document states that God created everything with ‘seed in it according to their kinds’ (Genesis 1:12). In essence, hidden within everything is the potential to fulfill itself and produce much more than we see.”

Basically, we can say that “divine potential” is the God-given blessing to each of us that equips and allows us to fulfill God’s purpose here on earth and our specific calling in relation to that larger purpose.  Divine potential is that force lying within you that, when tapped, can create miracles in your life and help you to achieve godly goals and divine dreams. It is an aspect of God’s presence within you that brings those things that are yet unseen down into the realm of the seen. In essence, divine potential turns dreams into reality.

Divine potential is one of God’s greatest blessings. Imagine if you will for a moment, that the Creator of all that is has prepared everything you will ever need in order to rise above mediocrity, stand above the crowd, and become the absolute optimal version of yourself. This was part of what Peter was getting at when he wrote:

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption of the world caused by evil desires. (2 Peter 1:3-4)

It is vital that every person understand that we are responsible for developing the potential stored within us. We must deepen our contact with our divine potential and do all that we can to nurture, feed, and actualize our true mission and purpose. Further, we must recognize that as we move forward in developing our optimal potential, we can never afford to stop. In essence, when we travel the spiritual journey, we are either moving forward or backward. There is truly no place to stand on the spiritual path.

Our journey of discovering and developing our divine potential must begin with a commitment to excellence – an agreement with our Creator that we will walk in cooperation with the Spirit to become the best version of ourselves.

 Necessarily, this commitment will involve personal challenges and, at times, a degree of personal discomfort. Spiritual growth involves change and change always requires stepping out of our comfort zone. Still, the process of realizing and manifesting our divine potential is one of the greatest adventures we will ever undertake.

To be continued…….

(c) L.D. Turner 2012/All Rights Reserved

Living as a New Creation (Part Two)

Cover of "The Naked Gospel: The Truth You...
Cover via Amazon

Mick Turner

When we encounter our consistent difficulties in living out the Christian life as Christ intended, one of the reasons is our lack of understanding of who and what we are “in Christ.” It often saddens me to the core to hear genuinely sincere followers of the Christ speak of themselves as “miserable sinners” or “totally depraved humans.” We speak of humanity as if we were some sort of low-grade pond scum without merit or moral fiber. What’s worse is the reality that this stilted, sinful (yes, I said sinful) view of our station as human beings has been foisted upon the church not by its enemies or other faith systems, but instead, by many of its own leaders and teachers. I find this especially shameful.

As redeemed and spiritually reborn persons, our humanity is our crowning glory. Born from above, we have been restored to the pristine glory that God originally intended for us. God has done this for us through the being, the mission, the death, the resurrection, and the ascension of Christ. Further, he has provided everything we need in order to lead a godly life (see 2 Peter 1:3) and for us to not claim this renewed life and all that it implies is sacrilege in its most rebellious form. In essence, through Christ God has restored us to righteousness and this gift of right standing with the Father is eternal. What we have to grasp is the fact that we are right now, at this very moment, as pure and as righteous as we are ever going to be. We have to be because the Father’s unfathomable holiness could not tolerate our presence at his right hand, where scripture tells us we now reside with Christ. Andrew Farley, in his great little book entitled The Naked Gospel tells us:

We find it difficult to grasp the idea that God calls us righteous because we actually are righteous. It feels more humble to believe we’re filthy worms awaiting a future change into beautiful butterflies…………..Jesus stated it best. He said that our righteousness must surpass that of the Pharisees in order to enter the kingdom (Matthew 5:20). So if we Christians don’t claim to possess perfect righteousness, we are lowering God’s standard. We are watering down the gospel. We insinuate that Jesus can unite himself with sin. And we insult the perfection of God.

The point Farley is driving at is what Paul tells us time and again in Romans: we have to come to a point where we live the reality, not just believe it, that our old self has been crucified with Christ. It is dead and gone. From a spiritual perspective, this is the only possible reality. As Christians, we are now united with God through Christ and further, the Holy Spirit has taken up residence within us. On top of all this, we are also filled with Christ (see Ephesians 4:10). As hard as it may be for us to fathom, we are now the “Temple of God.” In the old temple in Jerusalem, God dwelled in the inner most room of the temple, called the Holy of Holies. Nothing impure or imperfect could enter there and even the High Priest only ventured in once each year.

Friends, we are now the Holy of Holies. We may not feel like it. We may not understand it. We may look at other followers of Christ and, knowing their shortcomings, find it hard to believe that they are the Temple of God, the very Holy of Holies. I guess that is one reason we are told that trusting our feelings is a tenuous, risky business. Scripture affirms that we are now the dwelling place of God and if God lives in us, our true being cannot be imperfect. That is why the old self had to die with Christ. Andrew Farley continues:

The risen Christ doesn’t join himself to filthy worms. The Holy Spirit doesn’t dwell in dirty sinners. Christ only unites himself with those who are like him in spirit. The Holy Spirit doesn’t reside in someone who remains even 1 percent flawed by sin. . . . . . . .But we have been perfectly cleansed. We have been made perfectly righteous at our core through spiritual surgery. This is the way we can enjoy even a moment of relationship with Jesus Christ.

As we look at all this, again, some of us may find it hard to believe, especially those of us who struggle with chronic, long-standing strongholds and negative emotions. We need, however, to not only believe it but live it. By that I mean we must base our thoughts, decisions, and actions upon this reality. We must come to view ourselves in precisely the same way God sees us: pure, holy, whole, and righteous.

(c) L.D. Turner 2011/All Rights Reserved