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Still Processing - A Devotion

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Philippians 3:12-14 (AMP)
Not that I have now attained [this ideal], or have already been made perfect, but I press on to lay hold of (grasp)and make my own, that for which Christ Jesus (the Messiah) has laid hold of me and made me His own. I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward.

Life is a process. It begins the moment you are born and continues until you breathe your last breath. Every single second that you are alive contains purpose designed by God for your fulfillment so that when you stand before the Lord that you will be ready for redemption. This is God’s Perfect Plan for your life to discover the underserved privilege and divine favor that belongs to you as a Child of the Living God. It is the sum total of our existence that somehow humanity reduces to the dates on a tombstone rather than the parameters of eternal life. I am just as guilty as the rest looking at momentary struggles and temporary trials as more than just a test for authenticity of faith and evidence of confident hope in my life. Wrapping my life up in the world rather than releasing it from bondage and allowing the Spirit of the Lord to overtake it, change it and use it for His Glory. The treasure of my heart is nothing more than a cardboard box of childish trinkets like a found rubber band, gum wrapper or trading card rather than containing the Glory of God that has been prepared for. Until we begin to understand the true process of life, we will never discover God’s Purpose and Plan for our life but rather remain transfixed on creating a better life now rather than focusing on forever. I don’t want to be mistaken when I face Jesus one day realizing I missed the goal and failed to receive the price of righteousness that He has prepared for me.

In the process of life, the human race has used their intelligence to build a thick façade of comfort and control that few will ever give up. Computers are now a part of each home. When the processor within the computer is working to complete a task, it will produce a spinning circle. This little icon tells the user that it is “thinking”. During that time, I often grow impatient and begin to click the mouse endlessly or poke this key or that key which cues an even longer wait time as the computer attempts to respond to the additional requests of the user as well. I have learned that if I wait for the processor to finish its work and use self-control not to begin hammering the keyboard then it will complete faster and finish the task. The process that God has created for your life is from beginning to end. He wrote it all down before you were born. (Psalm 139:16) The Lord is determined to see you through even when we become impatient and act as impetuous children who decide to exit the process constantly moving in and of darkness and light undecided if God loves us or if we love Him at all. God wants you to have a perfect life despite our great imperfection. Are you willing to forget what lies behind and strain forward to what lies ahead? Those who decide to press on toward the goal to win the prices to which God is calling us upward through Jesus Christ will begin a lifelong process of transformation that will result in the perfection of your body, mind and spirit. It will never end so I think you should know this before you begin to follow Him.

Matthew 3:11-13 (AMP)
I indeed baptize you in (with) water because of repentance [that is, because of your changing your minds for the better, heartily amending your ways, with abhorrence of your past sins]. But He Who is coming after me is mightier than I, Whose sandals I am not worthy or fit to take off or carry; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing fan (shovel, fork) is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear out and clean His threshing floor and gather and store His wheat in His barn, but the chaff He will burn up with fire that cannot be put out.

The beginning of our process in the Lord is called repentance. Many have lost sight of what true repentance is and watered down grace. Repentance is changing our mind for the better, heartily amending our ways with abhorrence of past sin causing us to leave it behind and live in the Righteousness of God through Jesus Christ. As John the Baptist was baptizing new converts in the Jordan River, he warned the people of the process by which we are saved and the great necessity to begin. Jesus Christ came to take away any excuse that mankind had from living in a deep and abiding relationship with God through His Son. No excuses. You are either in or you’re out. It is not about padding a comfort zone for people on earth, but keeping them from being burned up in fire. It is not about increasing your finances, but the contents of the human heart to be filled with the Love of God. We keep missing the point of His Sacrifice and abort the process of redemption that is being activated in our life by the Spirit. We want a better life now rather than eternal life forever but that is not the purpose of Jesus Christ when He came to the earth. He came to set us free from death forever. Those who endure to the end will be saved and experience the prize of the process called redemption. It all depends what you are after…

Luke 18:6-14 (AMP)
Then the Lord said, Listen to what the unjust judge says! And will not [our just] God defend and protect and avenge His elect (His chosen ones), who cry to Him day and night? Will He defer them and delay help on their behalf? I tell you, He will defend and protect and avenge them speedily. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find [persistence in] faith on the earth? He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves and were confident that they were righteous [that they were upright and in right standing with God] and scorned and made nothing of all the rest of men: Two men went up into the temple [enclosure] to pray, the one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee took his stand ostentatiously and began to pray thus before and with himself: God, I thank You that I am not like the rest of men—extortioners (robbers), swindlers [unrighteous in heart and life], adulterers—or even like this tax collector here. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I gain. But the tax collector, [merely] standing at a distance, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but kept striking his breast, saying, O God, be favorable (be gracious, be merciful) to me, the especially wicked sinner that I am! I tell you, this man went down to his home justified (forgiven and made upright and in right standing with God), rather than the other man; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.

We must come to know and recognize the difference between religion and a relationship with Jesus Christ. It is a fine line that few will discern as we use the written Law of God and all its rules and regulations to do the right thing and live the right way but never becoming righteous living in such a fashion not to mention failing miserably whether you even know it or not. See religion gives us false gratification that we can somehow earn the Grace of God rather than accepting it as the free gift that it really is given to us by our Savior – Jesus Christ. In doing so, we reject the Lordship of Christ which is detrimental to human pride and fleshly desires. When Jesus Christ comes He will not look at our long list of accomplishments or credentials but looks much deeper in the human heart hoping to discover persistence in faith called endurance that kept us committed to loving the Lord and serving Him even in the most desperate situations of our life. When faced with our last ounce of energy, what did we do with it? Those who have remained true to the process of salvation and redemption will invest it wisely into faith and trust in Jesus Christ as Savior AND Lord of their life. God created us in His Likeness. Human begins are complex and intelligent creatures sometimes too smart for our own good! God is looking into each person examining their heart closely for true repentance and a deep longing for redemption that keeps us in the race until the end. What if your process never led you from the pit to the palace – would you still want Jesus Christ?

Romans 8:2-4 (NLT)
And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. The Law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.

Sin no longer controls our life as we are now free to follow Jesus and walk in the Spirit of God living in us. The choice is most definitely ours whether or not we submit to the transformation process that redeems us from death to live in the Light of His Amazing Love. But make no mistake – life is a constant process and not a moment should be taken for granted as each one holds the promise that He is working it out for our benefit. (Romans 8:28) The Life-Giving Spirit frees us from sin to enter the process of repentance and redemption which are both lifelong. It is a constant process of change that includes every single step of our natural life. It is a systematic series of actions directed to the certain end of Eternity for all God’s People. The process is a continuous action in a definite manner all according to His Plan for your life. Each step leading to positive change and/or development in our life never one left out or without potential. The process you are in is a forward movement so do not give in, stop or give up. It is a method that is producing God’s Plan and Purpose for our life which always leads to perfection. Your process will cause you to be perfected and lacking no good thing as you receive an abundance of life everlasting.

John 13:1-5 (NLT)
Before the Passover celebration, Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father. He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end. It was time for supper, and the devil had already prompted Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him.

Jesus Christ knew the next step in his procession to the Cross. He knew that it was his hour of glory to leave this earth and return to the Father. He knew the steps that lie ahead to do so successfully each brutal one. In that moment, He chose to serve His Disciples one last time. What would you do if you knew what was coming and you couldn’t prevent it? What would you do if you knew the process of securing more faith and trust in the Lord would cause you to walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death with a loved one? What if you knew to love God more than this world you would lose everything you once cherished here on earth? What if you had become poor to recognize the true value of His Great Love and Care for us? Would you still seek the Lord? Would you still follow Jesus? Would you still call on the Name of the Lord to be saved? We are in the process of giving our life away first to Jesus Christ and then the rest of the world. He came to this world to love us not condemn us. It is our responsibility to enter the process of redemption and wait until He comes serving Him humbly with our whole heart now and forevermore.

I Corinthians 1:7-9 (NLT)
Now you have every spiritual gift you need as you eagerly wait for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will keep you strong to the end so that you will be free from all blame on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns. God will do this, for he is faithful to do what he says, and he has invited you into partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

You have everything that you need to enter God’s Process of Salvation successfully completing it on the Day of Redemption. He has given us His Spirit to empower us to be strong and remain faithful until the end as validity for our confident hope. Are you eager for Jesus to return? You should be. He will keep you strong to the end if you choose to depend on the Lord and remain free of all blame. Sin has to be left behind and your primary purpose in life must be to know the Lord more and more each day! He is faithful even when we are not. He is perfect when we fall way short. He is merciful even when we don’t deserve it. His Grace is enough for all you believe. Faith brings us into the underserved privilege of God which does not necessarily put a check in the mailbox or a money tree in the backyard. It is in the place that people discover the vast relief called the Glory of God filling us with peace, joy and satisfaction. We are overcome by the Love of God and therefore are successfully in developing endurance. (Romans 5:2-5) “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.” (I Corinthians 10:13)

Mark 13:12-13 (NLT)
“A brother will betray his brother to death, a father will betray his own child, and children will rebel against their parents and cause them to be killed. And everyone will hate you because you are my followers. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.”

Have you abandoned the Process of Repentance, Redemption, Salvation or Transformation in your life today? One tell-tale sign is the fact that it is almost impossible to discern the believer from nonbeliever any more. The church of today is not making an impact on the society in which we live. If it were, then people would hate us. Not because we are rude but simply because we have chosen to take our life and follow Jesus. If you are not facing any opposition in life, it is time to examine your existence in comparison to Christ. Endurance is born of opposition and resistance forcing us to press on. Life is a process and immediately on the day that you die – it will be apparent who or what your life was all about. Only those choose to follow Jesus Christ implicitly creating a perfect partnership making Him Savior and Lord will be safe when the end has come. Where will you be? Will you be complete lacking no good thing? Or will you still be processing?

Matthew 28:19-20 (NLT)
“Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

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