Dear Praying Friends,
Thank you for striving with us for the faith of the gospel in praying for our prodigals and for revival. Having just experienced the wonder of Easter with the fresh reminder of our Savior’s death, burial, and resurrection, we know the value and importance of the gospel and its significance in our lives.
While Easter only comes once a year, the truth behind this story is vital to our lives on a daily basis. Paul highlights this in his words to the Galatian Christians: “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” (Gal. 2:20).
The last phrase reminds us that the Lord Jesus loved us enough to take our place and became our substitute. What a precious truth this is! The rest of the verse deals with our fellowship and association with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. When He died, we died. When He was buried, we were buried. When He rose, so did we.
Being crucified with Christ means that we are finished with our past life of sin. It means that we have put to death those sinful, evil, passionate desires that rise within (Col. 3:5). Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Mar. 8:34). This denial does not mean that we fail to take care of ourselves or deny ourselves needed rest and legitimate enjoyments. We deny ourselves what is wrong and sinful because we are now linked with a risen Savior and we desire to please and honor Him. There would be no ability to live this life of faith without the indwelling, empowering work of Christ’s life within us. It is synonymous with life in the Spirit. And we draw resurrection power as we live in closeness with Jesus. “Whoever abides in Me and I in him, he it is who bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing” (Joh.15:5).
Avail yourself of His power today. It is the power that raised Him from the dead and the power that gave you life the moment you trusted Him. It is the power that will enable you to say no to sin and yes to what God wants. It is a life of victory and fullness.
It doesn’t mean perfection, or ease, or comfort. It may mean victory through suffering. It may mean confidence despite overwhelming fears. It may mean hope in the face of despair. But it will always mean walking with Christ whatever the path and it means living the Easter reality every day of our lives.
Thanks for praying,
Love in Christ,
Bryan and Rachel