Encouragement for Today - May 3, 2006
Encouragement for Today
“Abducted by Jesus”
Lysa TerKeurst, Author, President of Proverbs 31 Ministries
Colossians 1:27, “To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (NIV)
You are a mystery of God. You are a hidden treasure that is being revealed each and every day as you grow closer to the Lord Jesus Christ. Why? If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, the richness of your life is a result of this mystery: Christ dwells in you. Take a moment to think about it: The notion that another person or spirit could penetrate the core of your entire being, take it over, and live your life for you is simply mind-boggling. But it is true, and it is the mystery of God.
Even more beautiful is the truth that only a supernatural God could do such a thing in our humanity. He could take over our very sinful nature and use it to convince others that there is hope beyond this life…a glorious hope that is eternal. And believe me friends, there is nothing good in you or me – only Christ dwelling inside of us.
Let me share with you a story about my friend Daniela whom I was given the opportunity to lead to Christ. God showed her that because of His grace she did not have to be perfect to accept Him into her life. He also showed me that the only thing good in me is the life of Christ that shines through despite my imperfections and insecurities.
Daniela and I met at a small Bible study I was teaching. A friend of mine had taken this group of women from all sorts of religious backgrounds through a time of spiritual discussions and felt they were now ready to deepen their spiritual journey. I was reluctant at first to take on such a challenge. What if they thought I was some kind of Christian fruit loop? What if they asked me questions I didn’t know how to answer? Did I really have the time to invest in this type of commitment?
I almost said no. But after praying, I decided to accept the invitation.
I’m so glad I did. I grew to love all the women in that group, but developed a special bond with Daniela. After a few meetings, she asked if we could get together outside of Bible study to talk about some questions she had. I agreed, and we met for a lengthy breakfast. She told me she had grown up with a pretty negative view of Christians before meeting me. Then she said, “When I hear you talk and I look into your eyes, I see a Jesus in you that I want to get to know.” Daniela wasn’t attracted to me, but to Jesus in me, Who was pouring out His love, mercy and grace into my new friend’s life – through the many cracks in my imperfect vessel.
When we parted, I prayed long and hard for her to accept Jesus as her Savior. I prayed Jesus would pursue her as never before and that she would discover and accept His truth.
A few weeks later, she called and asked if we could meet again. After answering her questions I asked her what was holding her back from accepting the Lord. She said she didn’t want to live the rest of her life feeling guilty for not being able to live up to a standard of being a good Christian. After we made a quick trip to Romans 8:1 and John 8:32, God’s Word assured her that Jesus came to set her free, not to condemn her. Then, right there in my kitchen, Daniela was ushered from darkness into His amazing light. What a privilege to hold her hand and to watch God stamp “forgiven and set free” across the pages of her life.
Do you fear the inability to adequately share Christ with others? Keep in mind that in Christ, you have been blessed with every spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3). That alone is enough to let His light shine through you to a lost world. It is a beautiful thing to be a dried and cracked vessel that bears His power. It truly demonstrates that the supernatural things of God will surpass our humanity (1 Corinthians 4:7).
My Prayer for Today:
Dear God, I praise You for the person of Jesus Christ dwelling inside of me. What a mystery to comprehend. What a miracle of Your grace. I thank You that there is nothing good in me but You. May my life bring You glory as others are drawn to Your presence in me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Read Romans 8:14-25 and answer the following questions:
- With what battle is it that Paul is struggling?
- What kind of “alien” has abducted his being?
- What law does Paul find at work?
- What inside of Paul makes him delight in God’s law?
- Who rescued Paul?
- What kind of statement is Paul making when he says, in vs. 25, “Thanks be to God – through Jesus Christ our Lord.” What message does it relay?
- Has anyone ever made a statement to you about being able to see something “different” in you? What reason did they give for being drawn to it?
Journal your answers to the following:
- Briefly describe what your life was like before you came to know Christ personally.
- List 3 or 4 ways that the new life inside of you has changed your view on having a personally relationship with Christ.
- List 3 or 4 desires of your flesh that you no longer struggle with because the life of Christ inside of you has changed them.
Romans 7:18, “I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.” (NIV)
Romans 7:25, “So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.” (NIV)
Psalm 16:2, “I said to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.’” (NIV)
1 Corinthians 2:4-5, “My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.” (NIV)
Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (NIV)
A Woman’s Secret to a Balanced Life, by Lysa TerKeurst and Sharon Jaynes
Living Life on Purpose (book and journal set), by Lysa TerKeurst
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