Pakistani Independence Day photo

Handbook Published in Pakistan

Our strategic partners in Pakistan have translated Handbook to Happiness into the local Urdu language. The first printing arrived in time for Christmas. Now let’s pray as this church sends sample copies to selected Christian leaders in the country. When the senior pastor’s father read Handbook, he was impressed that this message could be used of the Lord as a catalyst for personal renewal and church revival there. Wouldn’t it be ironic if those churches lead the way as an example to American churches in making the fuller message of the Cross central in ministry.

Pakistani Independence Day photo

Pakistani Independence Day photo

 

exchanged-life

The Exchanged Life: What it Means, Why it Matters

by Rob Clogg

 

exchanged-lifeThe exchanged life is a term I was introduced to 35 years ago. The truth of the exchanged life impacted me immediately and the experiential reality of it has taken root over time. I am convinced that we were born with a life designed for another Life to live in us and through us.

About thirty years ago I received this description of the Christian Life. “We have a love relationship with God the Father, through Jesus Christ and somehow at the same time Christ lives His Life through us.” This summarizes my understanding.

It is the Life of Christ who lives in us because He is Spirit. We can have a relationship with God and be empowered for living and loving because of His Spirit in us. It does not mean that we follow Christ or act like Him. It’s more than that. Although He is a good example it does not mean that we live in such a way that we try to act like Christ. It’s more than that.

“By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.” 1 John 4:9

Because we have His Life, we also have His Love. In reality, when Christ lives through us, He loves through us. If the world needs love then it needs this Life.

                              So why do we need an exchanged life?

Man was designed for a love relationship with God. Man decided to exchange this for something else. Man took on the role of being his own God, a role he was not equipped for. He exchanged the truth of God for a lie. Over time man has ruined and destroyed his own life and the lives of others.

“Professing to be wise they became fools and ‘exchanged the glory’ of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man…. ‘they exchanged the truth of God for a lie’, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever.” Romans 1:22-25

The apostle Paul wrote these words about the exchanged life. He explained that man exchanged the glory of God for his own glory. Man worshiped the creature and not the Creator. Man trafficked in idolatry. Man became His own God and began to tell God what was right and true.

Man’s biggest problem at the beginning was not sin but believing a lie. Man continues to live for a lesser glory. Lesser glory takes many forms just like it says in Romans 1. The corruptible spirit and the lie find their root in the spirit of this world. This spirit is all some people ever know. When Jesus showed up in this world he exposed corruption and this corruptible spirit everywhere.

According to the Word, the spirit of this world is the spirit of Satan, the author and father of lies. He was not the Creator and from his beginning he had a destructive, self-centered and corrupt ambition. He detested God, twisted truth and was the origin and model for “I”.

Cross

Man needs to exchange the lie and the “I” for the truth and Christ. The same writer also said that this self-determined, self-glorifying, God detesting life needs to be crucified. This is the only thing that needs to occur. Without it man will live for his own glory. The “I” life defies and denies God. Picture the letter “I” and then put a line through it and you have the cross.

“I have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me.”                                                                                                             Galatians 2:20

You can also say, “It is no longer I who love but Christ who loves in me and through me.” I really need love and so do others. I will deny myself so others will not be denied the love God desires between us.. Man was designed for love relationships and this is the way God makes this possible. The life and love of God manifested through us is God’s design. There is nothing that matters more.

“Whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.” Luke 9:24


 

re-posted from robclogg.wordpress.com