What the Resurrection Has to Do with You

Today, on Good Friday 2018, Christians around the globe are commemorating the passion of Jesus Christ—the suffering He went through to pay our sin debt in full with His blood and to give us new life in Him.

Photo by Evan Kirby on Unsplash

Good Friday isn’t a national holiday in the U.S., but it is a state holiday in Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Jersey, Tennessee, and Texas.

I’m so glad I live in Texas, one of eleven states in the U.S. that recognizes the importance of the Resurrection!

Every Christian knows (or ought to know) that Christ’s crucifixion on Good Friday wasn’t the end of His story:

Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and … He was buried, and … He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures (1 Cor. 15:3-4 NASB).

If Christ was not raised from the dead on the third day, then our faith is in vain (worthless) and we are still in our sins (1 Cor. 15:14, 17).

The Good News is, if you are a believer in Christ, you are no longer in your sins.

Every person on this earth at this moment is either “in Christ” or “in their sins.” There is no middle ground.

And the change of location from “in our sins” to “in Christ” happens once in a lifetime. There’s no such thing as jumping in and out of Christ.

Dear reader, I am leaning entirely upon His Spirit within me to cause me to communicate the extraordinary significance of not only what happened to Him over two thousand years ago, but also what happened to me and you (if you are in Christ) at the same time!

You may be scratching your head, wondering, How in the world could something that happened to Christ have happened to me at the same time? 

I will tell you. It’s a spirit-thing.

It happened in the unseen, eternal spiritual realm.

Father God exists in the Eternal Now (eternity past, eternity present, eternity future). He exists outside of this time realm.

After all, He is the One who created time. He didn’t have a beginning. He has always been, is, and will always be.

If you’re having trouble wrapping your mind around this, ask Christ’s Spirit within you to give you eyes to see into the eternal spiritual realm and realize this amazing truth.

In Ephesians 1:3-4, the apostle Paul writes:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him, in love (NASB).

Father God chose you and me to be in His Son, Jesus, before the foundation of the world.

Why did He want us “in” His Son? So that we would be holy and blameless before Him in love.

I believe Father God does the Happy Dance every time one who belongs to Him realizes (becomes fully aware of; understands clearly) that not only are they in Christ right now and forever, but they were “in Christ” when He was crucified, buried, risen, and ascended into Heaven at His right hand.

In other words, those who belong to Him were co-participants (in union) with Christ in His crucifixion, burial, resurrection and ascension (all Scriptures below are taken from the NASB):

Scriptures that speak of our crucifixion with Christ:

  • “Our old self was crucified with Him” (Rom. 6:6).
  • “I have been crucified with Christ” (Gal. 2:20).
  • “You have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3)

Scriptures that speak of our burial with Christ
(burial implies the finality of death):

  • “We have been buried with Him through baptism into death” (Rom. 6:4).
  • “Having been buried with Him in baptism” (Col. 2:12).

Scriptures that speak of our resurrection with Christ:

  • “God … even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ … and raised us up with Him” (Eph. 2:5).
  • “You were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead … He made you alive together with Him” (Col. 2:12–13).
  • “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Pet. 1:3).

Scriptures that speak of our ascension with Christ:

  • “God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:4–6).
  • “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ (Eph. 1:3).

Dear reader, please notice that all of the above Scriptures are past tense.

If you are a believer “in Christ,” the old, sinful you was crucified and buried with Him and the new, holy you was born again in Him when Father God raised Him from the dead!

And that is exactly what the Resurrection of Christ Jesus has to do with you!

On Resurrection Sunday (and every day), you should be doing the Happy Dance, celebrating your resurrection—your spiritual birthday—in Christ!

If your brain is going tilt-tilt and you are struggling to wrap your mind around this supernatural, eternal truth, this tangible example might help:

Imagine that Father God is holding a Holy Bible in His right hand.

This Bible represents His Son, Jesus Christ, who is also called the Word of God (John 1:1, 14).

Since Christ is also referred to as “eternal life,” we can think of this Bible as the spiritual realm of eternal life and everything outside of it as the spiritual realm of eternal death (1 John 1:2; 2:25; 3:15; 5:11-13, 20).

The Bible refers to these two distinct spiritual realms as “in Christ” and “in Adam.” “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive”(1 Cor. 15:22 NASB).

Now, I want you to see Father God taking a blank sheet of paper and writing your name on it. This is when He knit you together in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13-16).

When you were born into this world, you were born into the spiritual realm of Adam, separated from Christ’s eternal life (John 8:21, 24; 1 Cor. 15:17; Col. 1:13, 2:13).

Please notice that this paper (you) is outside of the Bible (Christ).

Father God longs to put you (the paper) inside of Christ (the Bible), but because He gave you a free will, this is not His choice to make.

He can woo you, presenting all the evidence to you, but you get to choose whether or not to be joined to Christ.

If there is such a thing as Father God “waiting,” I believe He waits with bated breath for us to hear the Gospel and believe in (literally “into”) His Son (John 3:16).

Think back to the moment you accepted Christ and see Father God take you (the paper) out of Adam and put you into Christ (the Bible) (Col. 1:13).

Take a moment to let this truth sink in.

Once you are placed into Christ, your God-less spiritual past becomes nonexistent and you automatically share in Christ’s Spiritual past, present, and future.

Talk about a quantum leap!

And His past includes His crucifixion, burial, resurrection, and ascension!

In other words, it is just as if we had never been separated from God by sin!

Now that is shouting (and dancing) ground!

Our sins are gone—not merely covered. They are no longer attached to us because we are now and forever in Christ!

We don’t live in the realm of our sins—in the uncircumcision of our flesh—any longer!

Outside of Christ, we were in the flesh; inside of Christ, we have been separated, or cut off, from the flesh.

And the news just keeps getting better: “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death” (Rom. 8:1-2 NASB). (Notice the verb tense is once again past.)

Jesus promises us that no one can take us out of His eternal life: “I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand” (John 10:28 NASB).

No one means no one, not even ourselves. Once we are in Him, we cannot get ourselves out of Him. Only Father God could do that and He promises not to!

He also promises never to leave us or forsake us: “He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you'” (Heb. 13:5 NKJV).

Christ promises to never separate Himself from us, no matter what we do or don’t do!

And finally, He says that even our own faithlessness (not living in dependence on Christ) can’t disqualify us once we are in Him: “If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself” (2 Tim. 2:13 NASB).

Goodness gracious!

This says we are so joined to Him—so mingled with Him—that we are “one spirit with Him,” and He cannot ever be separated from Himself! (1 Cor. 6:17).

The super-fantastic news of the Gospel is: Every believer in Christ is in Him forever! It’s a done deal!

No chance of ever going back to Adam. Even if you were deceived into believing you wanted to.

Don’t you think it’s high time we Christians put on our dancin’ shoes and celebrate what Christ has ALREADY accomplished for and in us (made us holy and blameless) through our co-participation (union) with Him in His crucifixion, burial, resurrection, and ascension!

Until next time,

Live Christ—Live Happy!

P.S. If you want to know more about me and the types of content I post, please visit my About Page.

Subscribe to my blog and receive a FREE PDF Download of “Who I Am in Christ IS Who I Am!”

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis
INSTAGRAM: @KimKFrancis

The Christian’s Eternal Spring In Christ

Even though our local weather men and calendars now agree that the spring season has officially arrived, we in the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles know not to put away our winter clothes or plant new flowers—just yet.

All we have to do is take a quick look back at our area’s track record for snow in late March & April to keep us from getting out the storage totes and buying potting soil:

  • 2017 – Rare Late April Snowfall & Blizzard
  • 2016 – March 26 White Easter
  • 2009 – March 26-28 Blizzard

Brrrr!

As long as we live on this earth, we will continue to have more unpredictable and unstable weather (tornado season—grrrr!) to look forward to.

While we cannot control the weather, we Christians can rest in this super-fantastic news: We have the incredible blessing of enjoying an eternal spring in Christ!

You might be wondering what I mean by “enjoying an eternal spring in Christ.”

Allow me to explain.

One of the most wonderful parts of spring is that—after a cold, harsh winter—new life starts springing up everywhere!

Multiple shades of green and brightly colored flowers (daffodils are among the first to appear) explode onto our landscapes, and the sounds of singing birds fill the atmosphere—from sunup to sundown.

Simply put, spring represents the symphony of new life.

In my opinion, there is no better place in God’s Word to see and hear this symphony of new life than right smack-dab in its middle:

“For behold, the winter is past,
The rain is over and gone.
The flowers have already appeared in the land;
The time has arrived for pruning the vines,
And the voice of the turtledove has been
heard in our land.
The fig tree has ripened its figs,
And the vines in blossom have given forth
their fragrance.”

—Song of Songs 2:11-13

That’s right. This passage comes from the Song of Songs, a.k.a the Song of Solomon or the Canticles

The Song of Songs is one of the most neglected and misunderstood books in the Bible.

Just ask my mother-in-law.

When I gave her a copy of my debut book over the Song’s first two chapters, she adamantly exclaimed, “The Song of Solomon is the only book in the Bible I can’t figure out why God put there!”

For centuries, Christians have been dazed and confused by this metaphor-laden masterpiece nestled in the heart of God’s Word.

And for years, I was one of those Christians.

Until, that is, Christ started wooing me with His pursuing love through every verse.

There have been many great studies based on the Song’s literal interpretation, which celebrates love in an earthly marriage.

But you may be surprised to learn (as I was) that the Song’s allegorical, or symbolic, interpretation is its most ancient.

In fact, Rabbi Akiva, a renowned Jewish sage, defended the Song and was instrumental in its inclusion in the Tanakh. His intense passion for the book was expressed when he declared,

Heaven forbid that any man in Israel ever disputed that the Song of Songs is holy. For the whole world is not worth the day on which the Song of Songs was given to Israel, for all the Writings are holy and the Song of Songs is the holy of holies (Mishnah Yadayim 3:5).”*

The Song of Songs is a gorgeous moving picture of the ultimate love story between Christ and His bride, the church.

In verse 11 of the above passage, Jesus is telling His bride that the winter rains of the Law—the system of works-based righteousness—is over!

The super-fantastic news of the Gospel of grace of God is that no one has to earn the righteousness that God so freely gives! (Acts 20:24; 2 Cor. 5:21).

Jesus really did pay it all! (John 19:30).

All we have to do is believe in (into) Him in order to enjoy the eternal spring of faith-based righteousness (John 3:16; Rom. 5:17).

Christian, you are the righteousness of God in Christ—His GORGEOUS bride—at absolutely no cost to you.

Forever.

And nothing you could ever do or not do will change this incredible truth.

And that, my friends, is the BEST NEWS you’ll ever hear and believe!

So, what are you waiting for?

Why don’t you go ahead and acknowledge that you no longer live under the cold, winter rains of the Law and celebrate your eternal spring—your free gift of righteousness in Christ!

If you enjoyed this post, I think you will savor my debut study over the first two chapters of the Song of Songs: His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love.

You can order directly from me or Amazon today.

*Quotation from Mishnah Yadayim 3:5, translated by Herbert Danby, The Mishnah.Ox ford: Clarendon Press, 1933. As quoted in Barry L. Bandstra, Reading the Old Testament, 4th Edition. Belmont: Wadsworth Cengage, 2009; page 418.

Until next time,

Live Christ—Live Happy!

P.S. If you want to know more about me and the types of content I post, please visit my About Page.

Subscribe to my blog and receive a FREE PDF Download of “Who I Am in Christ IS Who I Am!”

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis
INSTAGRAM: @KimKFrancis

That Time Those Dogs Ganged up on My Beagle

So, this past Monday, March 12, 2018, National Napping Day was celebrated in the United States. This was the day after most of us reluctantly moved our clocks forward one hour.

I hadn’t heard of this national day, but since I was feeling particularly sleep-deprived that morning, I decided to join the celebration.

And I did that by doing what any serious tweeter would do: I tweeted about it.

I honored the best napper I know, our beagle, Little Joe Jack Carson. But we just call him “Joe.”

 

 

Funny thing about this particular tweet.

It hands-down got more activity than any of my other tweets.

 

 

To date, I have 500 tweets, most of which pertain to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how we can enjoy greater intimacy with Him through understanding our one-and-only flawless identity in Him.

Now, I’m sure that Jesus isn’t offended, so I shouldn’t be offended for Him, right?

Because without Jesus creating this world, Joe wouldn’t have even been a glimmer in his parents’ eye.

And besides that, you have to admit that Joe is the most handsome beagle of all time and eternity! (Thank you, big brother Bobby, for giving him to us!)

As you can tell, I love our dog. And it’s amazing how much I’ve learned just watching him.

For instance, if there is only one tiny spot in our big backyard with the sun shining on it, that’s where you will find Joe, basking in all his beagle glory. (Smile.)

Whether he is just sitting there being his regal self, catching rays or sprawled out in a full-fledged nap without a care in the world, Joe knows how to savor life.

Even though Jesus has been showing me how to consistently enjoy Him and life in general, I sometimes envy a dog’s world.

You know—how easy it is for a dog to relax, take several naps a day, and dream whatever it is dogs dream about.

No, I wouldn’t rather be a dog. But, at times, I have a tendency to be super-serious about life, so I have to be intentional about relaxing and taking a nap when I need one.

Since Joe spends most days just mindin’ his own beagle business—without a care in the world—you can imagine how my ears perked up this past Saturday morning when I heard him going ballistic right outside my library window.

I was just sitting there quietly, reading Day 3 from Week 6 of my debut study on the first two chapters of the Song of Songs, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Lovewhen all the commotion started.

The subject of that day’s study is taking enemy thoughts captive that pop up in our minds.

Jarred from my peaceful contemplation, I bolted out of my chair, looked out the window, and saw the three little culprits that were rocking Joe’s world.

One was mostly white, another mostly black, and the third, a black-and-white mix.

You would have thought they were planning to eat Joe alive by the way they sounded.

So, I started banging on the window. Their combined canine courage quickly dissolved and they took off like a bat out of … well, you know.

One of them—the black one—mustered up enough gumption to stop and look back.

So, I banged on the window again and told him to vamoose! It didn’t take him long to catch up with his partners in crime.

And they haven’t been back to our house since.

I did, however, catch a glimpse of this trouble-making trio roaming around the neighborhood the other day as I was driving home from the grocery store.

No doubt trying to rock another canine, feline, or squirrel’s peaceful world with their all-bark-and-no-bite dogsanas.

Right after that brief interruption in our otherwise uneventful morning, Joe got settled into his backyard utopia and I dug back into my study.

That’s when God started talking to me about what just happened.

It was no coincidence that I was just reading about how the enemy works in our thought lives, stealing our peace, joy, and contentment.

One of the main reasons I wrote this book was to expose Satan’s clandestine schemes. The fifth bullet point on my back cover reads:

 

  • You have a real, invisible enemy who is trying everything within his limited power to hoodwink you into accepting his lies about who you are. Once you learn his most effective strategy, you will be armed and dangerous to the kingdom of darkness.

There is a daily battle going on in the mind of every believer in Christ. And it’s called a  battle because there are opposing forces in there.

Some of you may be shouting a loud Amen right now to this statement.

The apostle Paul wrote about these skirmishes in his second letter to the church at Corinth:

The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity (2 Cor. 10:3-5 MSG).

I laughed out loud when I read the second sentence of this passage in The Message paraphrase of the Bible—given the subject matter of this post!

God has a wonderful sense of humor, don’t you agree?

Now, let’s zero in on the phrase fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ.

Please notice that our mind trouble comes from loose thoughts, emotions, and impulses.

Thoughts drive emotions, emotions drive impulses, and impulses drive actions.

In the negative sense, the genesis of all of our mental trouble are thoughts that don’t line up with truth—loose thoughts.

And we all know what those loose thoughts are called—LIES! And where do lies originate?

We need look no further than the John’s Gospel to find out. Here, Jesus is addressing the Jewish people:

“If God were your father,” said Jesus, “you would love me, for I came from God and arrived here. I didn’t come on my own. He sent me. Why can’t you understand one word I say? Here’s why: You can’t handle it. You’re from your father, the Devil, and all you want to do is please him. He was a killer from the very start. He couldn’t stand the truth because there wasn’t a shred of truth in him. When the Liar speaks, he makes it up out of his lying nature and fills the world with lies. I arrive on the scene, tell you the plain truth, and you refuse to have a thing to do with me. Can any one of you convict me of a single misleading word, a single sinful act? But if I’m telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? Anyone on God’s side listens to God’s words. This is why you’re not listening—because you’re not on God’s side” (John 8:42-47).

Jesus makes it clear: all lies originate with the Devil (Liar, killer).

Whether you realize it or not, the lies you hear in your mind are not coming from you.

They are coming from an outside enemy. And you are not it!

I purposely left out one very important detail of Joe’s story.

The entire time, those hairy little harassers were on the other side of the fence!

They weren’t in the backyard with Joe but they were raising enough ruckus, they might as well have been.

It’s the same with ungodly thoughts that seemed to pop into our minds out of nowhere, stealing our peace and joy.

And before you know it, we’re acting contrary to who we really are!

Satan, “the one who deceives the whole world,” would love nothing more than for you to believe that those ungodly thoughts are coming from you (Rev. 12:9).

And if he can get you to believe this, you won’t believe that you are the new creation in Christ that God’s Word unquestionably declares you to be!

And then there you are, duped, acting like the devil! Because people act like who they think they are.

This one truth—if the body of Christ could get a revelation of it—would turn their world right-side up! It did mine.

And no, I don’t always catch the lying thoughts the enemy sometimes serves up to my mind.

But I experience a lot more peace and joy now that I know that junk isn’t coming from me!

Through dependence on Christ’s power within me, I am on a mission to fit every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ.

What do you say, dear reader? Want to join me in this God-honoring mandate, now that you know where those enemy thoughts are coming from?

I hope you will!

If you enjoyed this post, I believe you will relish my book! In it, I devote two full days of study exposing how the enemy works in our thought lives, and I share powerful offensive strategies in this daily war going on in our minds.

Until next time,
Live Christ—Live Happy!

P.S. If you want to know more about me and the types of content I post, please visit my About Page.

Subscribe to my blog and receive a FREE PDF Download of “Who I Am in Christ IS Who I Am!”

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis
INSTAGRAM: @KimKFrancis

This Hashtag Got Me Thinking

Lately, I’ve been spending an awful lot of time on social media. Between sharing the Good News (my #1 passion) and getting the word out about my Good-News-packed, debut book, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love, I’ve spent little time doing anything else.

Photo by Josh Adamski on Unsplash

I never in a million years would have thought that I would become a “tweeter” (a person who posts on Twitter).

Before learning about Twitter, I thought all those hashtags—those slanted tic tac toe boards—cluttered everything up. (Did I tell you I get distracted easily?)

But now that I understand the purpose of hashtags, they don’t bother me near as much:

A hashtag is a key word or phrase used to describe a post’s topic and makes it easier to find, follow, and contribute to a conversation.

Since most of my posts are about the almost-unbelievable, indescribable, super-fantastic news of the Gospel of grace in Christ Jesus, a hashtag I frequently use is #GoodNews. (The adjective good just doesn’t do the Gospel justice!)

Sometimes, I will look to see what’s trending (being widely discussed) and join the conversation.

And I did just that this past Wednesday.

The hashtag that caught my eye was #ImStillHereBecause.

I immediately clicked on it because I wanted to see what other people thought about their purpose for existence.

Sadly, most of the tweets had nothing to do with why they were here or Who created them (Ps. 139: 13-16).

Most people still don’t know their purpose for existence.

They don’t know that God created them (literally) to be the object of His extravagant affection—a recipient of His eternal, no-strings-attached love and life (John 3:16, 1 John 4:19).

The reason for their lack of knowledge is simple: the god of this world has blinded them to this precious truth (2 Cor. 4:4).

If people truly understood and experienced their Creator’s one-of-a-kind love for their heart alone, they could not help but express His love and life in this world (1 John 4:19).

And that’s all that God has ever really wanted: for people to believe in (into) His Son, enjoy His love, and share it with others.

Believe in Jesus. Enjoy His love. Share His love. God’s purpose for our lives is that simple.

The devil doesn’t like simple. He likes to confuse people and complicate things (1 Cor. 14:33).

The most heart-breaking tweet I read was, “#ImStillHereBecause the devil didn’t want me.”

The first reason it’s heart-breaking is that the last part is simply not true.

If the devil had his way he would capture every single heart that’s ever existed.

Thank God, he hasn’t done that!

Jesus interrupted his plan for humanity’s demise when He paid the price for our separation from Father God on the cross! (The shrieking scene right after Christ died in Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ comes to mind here.)

Secondly, this deluded tweeter thinks so little of herself that she believes the worst entity ever rejects her. So sad!

While it is a possibility that she may have been joking to draw attention to her tweet, I believe there are bookoos of people who think that little of themselves.

So, I decided to join the #ImStillHereBecause conversation with this tweet:

As I thought more about this hashtag, I began to thank God for the major ways He has protected me (that I’m aware of) over the last 53 years:

  • When I was 23 years old, I slid on a patch of ice into an eighteen-wheeler in Wheeler, Texas. The only injuries I sustained were facial lacerations and a broken nose. (God was the last thing on my radar at the time.)
  • When I was 30, I was as close as you could get to having cervical cancer without having it. I had an emergency hysterectomy and all of my checkups since then have been clear (God was still not on my radar at the time.)
  • In March 2016, I underwent a nuclear test for carcinoid cancer. It revealed tumors in my liver and possibly in the right adrenal gland. On April 8, I had a dream where I rebuked the cancer, telling it to get out of my house (my body). In June 2016, I received an “all clear” at the Rocky Mountain Cancer Center in Denver, Colorado. (As you may well imagine, God was front-and-center on my radar! He healed me!)

Almost a year after my “all clear,” I launched this blog and then a few months later, published my first book (which had been in the works since 2008).

You might say that the cancer scare “lit a fire under me” to find every way I could (as soon as I could) to share the Good News of God’s love with everyone who would listen.

I am so thankful for what He has done for me and in me! (Tears.)

In closing, I would like to reiterate why I think I’m still here on this earth:

#ImStillHereBecause Jesus wants me to share the #GoodNews of eternal life in Him with as many as will listen and to help other Christians #EnjoyHim through understanding their one-and-only #FlawlessIdentity in Him.

Now, dear reader, I would love to know, Why are you still here? 

I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

Until next time,
Live Christ—Live Happy!

P.S.  If you enjoyed this post, I think you might enjoy my debut book, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love.

P.S.S. If you enjoyed this post and want to know more about me and the types of content I post, please visit my About Page.

Subscribe to my blog and receive a FREE PDF Download of “Who I Am in Christ IS Who I Am!”

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis

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If We’re Doing This, We’re Not Loving

We Christians might as well admit it. We all do this. We really don’t want to do this. But somehow it seems to come so natural to us.

Yes, people who aren’t Christians do this, too.

But the target audience for my blog are Christians who want to enjoy greater intimacy with Christ through understanding their flawless identity in Him.

And that’s exactly why Christians don’t really want to do this at all (Gal. 5:16-17).

They are flawlessly fused to the God of the universe forever (1 Cor. 6:17). Their new heart’s desires are one with His heart’s desires (Heb. 8:10).

But the Christian’s new heart is not the source of this ungodly habit. (Did I mention this is a habit?)

The source of this ungodly habit is what the Bible calls “the flesh” (See Philippians 3:3-10).

I’m not talking about our physical bodies here, but “a flawed way of living in this world, independently of God and His power.”

In short, when we are walking by the flesh, we are walking in self-sufficiency instead of Christ-dependency (See Galatians 5).

There are many different flavors of flesh. Angry, hateful, greedy, anxious, guilty, lazy, selfish, suspicious, fearful, insecure, unforgiving, prideful, impulsive, jealous, lustful—just to name a few.

The flavor of flesh I want to shine the spotlight on in today’s post is judgmental flesh.

When we pass judgment on other people, we aren’t living from the internal wellspring of His life in new hearts (John 7:38).

I want to clarify that the type of judgment I’m referring to in this post is a “negative focus on the visible flaws in others’ outward appearances and behaviors.”

When we judge others, we are eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, deciding whether they are good (right) or bad (wrong) based on their outward appearances and actions (Gen. 2:9, 17).

To put it simply, we are evaluating them according to the flesh (2 Cor. 5:16–17).

When we judge another person, what we are really doing is math—subtracting from their worth to add to ours (because we don’t know where our true worth comes from):

Every one of our judgments prevents us from agreeing with God that each person we encounter has unsurpassable worth, as evidenced by the fact that Jesus died for them. Instead of ascribing worth to others, at cost to ourselves, we tend to feed our hungry souls by ascribing worth to ourselves, at cost to others. What we see when we judge another are the things we judge rather than a human being whom God was willing to die for. Our judgment prevents us from seeing their unsurpassable worth. (Taken from Present Perfect by Gregory A. Boyd. Copyright © 2010 by Gregory A. Boyd. Used by permission of Zondervan. zondervan.com. 122.)

What we see when we judge another person are externals, rather than an internal heart with unsurpassable worth.

Jesus gave every one of us unsurpassable worth by dying on the cross for us. Unsurpassable worth means “a worth that cannot be exceeded in value.”

We will never be worth more than we are at this moment. Take a minute to think about that statement.

Here’s something else to chew on: Do you realize that it is impossible to judge someone and love that person at the same time?

Judgment and love are mutually exclusive. Simply put, if we are judging, we are not loving.

We would also do well to remember that judging ourselves on the basis of outward appearance and actions is just as wrong as judging another person.

When we find ourselves steeped in judging others and ourselves, it is an obvious symptom of a root problem—our lack of knowledge of the unsurpassable worth Christ has already given each one of us.

When we focus on Christ (eat from the tree of life), acknowledging and enjoying the unsurpassable worth He has given us—regardless of our outward appearances and actions—our hungry souls will be satisfied, and we will have little appetite for judging others.

Do you find yourself more often judging, rather than loving others and yourself?

If your answer is yes, please understand that trying hard not to judge will only exacerbate the problem because of your negative focus.

The way to get free from the snare of judgment is to immerse yourself in the unconditional love of Jesus and to understand the unsurpassable worth He has already given you by dying for you.

Ask Jesus to cause you to understand the unsurpassable worth He has given to you and to experience the unconditional love He has for you.

As He does this, judgment toward yourself and others will greatly diminish.

Now that is Good News!

(Today’s post is derived from an excerpt in my debut book, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love. You can order it from Amazon today!)

Until next time,

Live Christ—Live Happy

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Kim K. Francis
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