In Union With Christ Jesus

In union with the Messiah and through the Good News, joint heirs, a joint body, joint sharers!

The sayings of our mouth and the meditation of our heart

Ps 19:14 – Let the sayings of my mouth, And the meditation of my heart, Be for a pleasing thing before Thee, O Jehovah, my rock, and my redeemer! (YLT)

What do the sayings of your mouth and the meditation of your heart reveal about who you think you are? Are they in agreement with the sayings of the Lord God’s mouth and the meditation of his heart?

Read the words of Scripture slowly and reflectively. Let them settle deep in your soul and take root.

Being built together into a spiritual dwelling-place for God.

Eph 2:19-22 – So then, you [Gentiles] are no longer foreigners and strangers. On the contrary, you are fellow-citizens with God’s people and members of God’s family. You have been built on the foundation of the emissaries and the prophets, with the cornerstone being Yeshua [Jesus] the Messiah himself. In union with him the whole building is held together, and it is growing into a holy temple in union with the Lord. Yes, in union with him, you yourselves are being built together into a spiritual dwelling-place for God! (CJB)

What words or thoughts have caught your attention? Why?

Jews and Gentiles alike. Members of God’s family.
You have been built
In union with Christ Jesus
Held together
Growing into a holy temple in union with the Lord
Yes!
In union with Christ Jesus
You yourselves
Are being built together
Into a spiritual dwelling place for God.

Are you aware of what the Lord God has done and is doing in you and me and all of us together? Are you actively participating, resisting, or maybe completely unaware?

This secret plan concerning the Messiah.

Eph 3:1-12 – It is a consequence of this that I, Sha’ul [apostle Paul], am a prisoner of the Messiah Yeshua [Jesus] on behalf of you Gentiles. I assume that you have heard of the work God in his grace has given me to do for your benefit, and that it was by a revelation that this secret plan was made known to me. I have already written about it briefly, and if you read what I have written, you will grasp how I understand this secret plan concerning the Messiah. In past generations it was not made known to mankind, as the Spirit is now revealing it to his emissaries and prophets, that in union with the Messiah and through the Good News the Gentiles were to be joint heirs, a joint body and joint sharers with the Jews in what God has promised. I became a servant of this Good News by God’s gracious gift, which he gave me through the operation of his power. To me, the least important of all God’s holy people, was given this privilege of announcing to the Gentiles the Good News of the Messiah’s unfathomable riches, and of letting everyone see how this secret plan is going to work out. This plan, kept hidden for ages by God, the Creator of everything, is for the rulers and authorities in heaven to learn, through the existence of the Messianic Community, how many-sided God’s wisdom is. This accords with God’s age-old purpose, accomplished in the Messiah Yeshua, our Lord. In union with him, through his faithfulness, we have boldness and confidence when we approach God. (CJB)

This plan kept hidden for ages by God
The Spirit is now revealing it to his emissaries [apostles] and prophets.
In union with the Messiah
And through the Good News
The Gentiles were to be joint heirs, a joint body, and joint sharers with the Jews in what God has promised.

How this secret plan is going to work out.
God’s age-old purpose
Accomplished in the Messiah Jesus, our Lord.
In union with him
Through his faithfulness
We have boldness and confidence when we approach God.
What God has promised.

This plan, kept hidden for ages by God, the Creator of everything, is for the rulers and authorities in heaven to learn, through the existence of the Messianic Community, how many-sided God’s wisdom is.

Read the texts again. Chew upon the words. Turn them over and over in your mind. Ask the Lord God what he wants you to receive from them and how he wants you to respond to them.

See exactly what God is calling you to do.

Eph 1:17-23 – …I ask – ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory – to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for Christians, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him – endless energy, boundless strength!

All this energy issues from Christ: God raised him from death and set him on a throne in deep heaven, in charge of running the universe, everything from galaxies to governments, no name and power exempt from his rule. And not just for the time being, but forever. He is charge of it all, has the final word on everything. At the center of all this, Christ rules the church. The church, you see, is not the peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the church. The church is Christ’s body, in which he speaks and acts, by which he fills everything with his presence. (MSG)

Is the church, Christ’s body, failing to grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life that God has for us? Are we lacking in trust so that we do not experience the utter extravagance of his work in us? The church is Christ’s body. Christ speaks and acts through his body, the church. Christ fills everything with his presence through his body, the church. Is the body in right relationship with its head today? Is it Christ who speaks and acts in me? Or is it just my own words and thoughts and actions, which are not his? When I show up, is it with my human presence alone, or am I filled with Christ’s presence?

Do we have any idea who we are? Do we know anything about the way of life that we’ve been called to?

Do we know our Master personally and intimately? Are we familiar with the endless energy and boundless strength that is at work in us according to his will, and not our own? Are we too caught up in this world’s ways and thoughts to be channels through which God can fill everything with his presence? Are we aware and attuned to his presence within ourselves and each other?

I encourage us to join apostle Paul in this prayer for ourselves and for all of Christ’s body. “I ask – ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory – to make us intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, our eyes focused and clear, so that we can see exactly what it is he is calling us to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for us…”

Read the texts again. What thoughts and questions and emotions arise? Does a word satisfy? Encourage? Convict? Prod? Instruct? Empower? Give hope?

God’s age-old purpose.

Ex 25:17-22 – “Now make a lid of pure gold for the Chest [mercy seat], an Atonement-Cover, three and three-quarters feet long and two and one-quarter feet wide. “Sculpt two winged angels out of hammered gold for either end of the Atonement-Cover, one angel at one end, one angel at the other. Make them of one piece with the Atonement-Cover. Make the angels with their wings spread, hovering over the Atonement-Cover, facing one another but looking down on it. Set the Atonement-Cover as a lid over the Chest and place in the Chest The Testimony that I will give you. I will meet you there at set times and speak with you from above the Atonement-Cover and from between the angel-figures that are on it, speaking the commands that I have for the Israelites. (MSG)

Pause. Breathe. Reflect upon God’s age-old purpose. Will you commit to waiting for him there at his throne of grace daily?

This salvation.

1 Peter 1:10-12 – Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look. (ESV)

This salvation
The grace that is yours
The sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories
Things that have now been announced to you
Through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven
Things into which angels long to look

Read the texts again. Chew upon these words. Turn them over and over in your mind and allow their significance to be absorbed by mind, body, soul, and spirit.

Subjected to Christ.

1 Peter 3:22 – who [Jesus] has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him. (ESV)

Concerning this salvation
The grace that was to be yours
Search and inquire carefully
The Spirit of Christ in you
Christ in heaven at the right hand of God
Angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.

Read the texts again, setting aside your own thoughts, perceptions, judgments, your own agenda to allow response to the words of the Lord God to rise from your inner depths. What do you discover?

 

But it is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand. (Job 32:8 ESV)

Become aware of your breath. The breath of the Almighty in you.

Breath by breath. Become conscious of the presence of the Almighty in you. Surrender to the influence of the breath of the Almighty.

Inhale.
Exhale.

You must rely on the breath of the Almighty, the Spirit of God who lives inside you, to make you understand his words.

With your inhalation draw the words of the Lord God deep within you.

With your exhalation empty yourself of all your own ideas, plans, thoughts, imaginations, and words to make room for the words of God to take possession. Open yourself completely to what the Lord God wants to reveal to you about yourself and about him.

Ps 103:20-22 – Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word! Bless the Lord, all his hosts, his ministers, who do his will! Bless the Lord, all his works, in all places of his dominion. Bless the Lord, O my soul! (ESV)

Bless: to kneel as an act of adoration, praise, salute, still, thank.1

Inhale: (draw the words of the Lord God deep within you)

Still, adore and praise and thank the Lord

Exhale. (empty yourself of self to allow the words of God to take possession)

O my soul!

Wait, watch, listen, be still, be willing for the Lord God to transform you from within, revealing who you really are. Through Christ’s faithfulness, we have boldness and confidence when we approach God before the mercy seat within the inner sanctuary. Strive and reach for the goal of being united with the Messiah, alive to the energy that he powerfully works in you as you rest in his work, completely dependent upon him.

Inhale.
Exhale.

Breathe the Lord God’s words all day every day.

2 Peter 3:18 – But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (ESV)

*****

Resources/For deeper study:

1Bless: OT:1288 <START HEBREW>Er^B*<END HEBREW> barak (baw-rak’); a primitive root; to kneel; by implication to bless God (as an act of adoration), and (vice-versa) man (as a benefit); also (by euphemism) to curse (God or the king, as treason): KJV –  abundantly,  altogether,  at all, blaspheme, bless, congratulate, curse,  greatly,  indeed, kneel (down), praise, salute,  still, thank. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

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