He Loves Us!

He Loves us!

Today is Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday and I wanted to remind you you’re loved!  The world puts its emphasis on romantic love but God’s love is so much deeper and enduring.  He doesn’t love us because of anything we have to offer Him.  He isn’t simply a responder to our love.  He is the initiator and we are the responders.  “We love Him because He first loved us.”  His love unites us to Himself through the finished work of the cross.  Let the following verse seep deep into your soul and transform.
Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” 
I have been crucified with Christ; We hear much about living the Christian life but I say you really can’t live the Christian life.  There is a reason they don’t call it the Ekno life but the Christ life.  As long as I endeavor to live His life I’m destined to a life of frustration and failure.  When Christ died, the sinful self was put to death.  Paul clearly states his relationship to the Law ended because he was crucified with Christ.  A dead man is no longer under the Law.  You are dead in Him.  The temptation is to consider these verses as simply allegorical.  But he literally died with Him.  Paul emphatically states he died with Christ.  Not a physical death with Christ but in his spirit.  All he was apart from Christ, all he was in Adam was taken to the cross and died.  What we were in Adam was taken to the cross as well.  We’ve become new creatures in Christ Jesus.  This is a statement of fact.  When you entered into Christ you put off the old man.
it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; “Live” is in the perfect tense referring to a past completed act with a continuing affect.  Everything we were in Adam and the self-sufficient life is gone and now Christ lives in us.  There was an incredible exchange that took place in our identity.  The chains of sin have been broken.  There are two sides to the cross; the one side represents our death with Him, the second represents our resurrection victory.  The cross stands empty as a symbol of our death and resurrection.  I’m no longer a sinner saved by grace but a saint, the beloved of God.  We must remember this powerful life transforming truth – Jesus lives in me!  Do you recognize this?  Because Christ is in me I have a whole new relationship to sin.  We need to remember Sin didn’t die but our relationship to Sin died.    Just when we die physically we have a changed relationship to our body.  So too, when we died to sin in Christ, we had a changed relationship to sin.  Sin is no longer our master.   Our identity as sinners is forever broken.  Sin exists in me but it is no longer me.  I can still feel like a sinner but I can never be a sinner.  I can still act like a sinner but sin can never determine my identity. 
And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, What pleases God?  Faith pleases God.  It is impossible to please God without faith.  We are not pleasing to Him because of our performance but because of our faith in His completed offering of Himself.  Faith makes us pleasing to Him and allows us to live a life pleasing to Him.  Performance will never make you pleasing. 
who loved me and gave Himself for me.  Why did He do it all?  Because He loves me and gave His life for me.  He invested His whole being into me so that I could be His beloved.  He lives in me.  I’m in this beautiful exchanged life condition not because of any personal merit but because of His love expressed in the cross.  Do you see the generosity of God?  He loves and He gave and all when we were enemies. You are loved!  Let that truth fill you and form you.
Property Improvements
The Lord has opened up some wonderful doors for us to expand our classroom facilities this May.  We also had to take care of the problems facing us do the leak in the pool.  I encourage you to take a look at how beautiful things are and to give Don Huston a big thanks for all the work he orchestrated.  We have a goal of $60,000 to make all the improvements and get the buildings settled on the property.  So far, we’ve spent:  $15,568.88 and have already collected: $6,595.00.  We really need to see our regular giving increase as well.  Thank you for your generosity and simply ask you to go to your Abba and ask Him what He would have you to do.  I know He’s able to do far beyond what we could imagine and I’m asking Him to give me some special unexpected gifts that I can do more too.
I look so forward to seeing you on Sunday.  You make it a delight to be your shepherd.
You are loved!
Pastor Tim