CONFESSION

REFORMING MY FLESH OR KEEPING IT DEAD

…FATHER, I know that my natural disposition must be crucified with CHRIST (that is, my flesh must die). The word, “flesh” means my human nature which is “under the control of animal appetites” and is sensuous (ref#150, NT:4559). “Flesh” is defined as my earthly nature apart from divine influence (ref#150, NT:4561).

Flesh is the part of me I must inactivate—kill by neglect. But I am anchored so in it I naturally choose to reform it instead of kill it.

It is intuitive to me to want flesh tamed. Therefore I strive to educate my flesh—teach it to be righteous. I happily give myself over to rules and methods (ref#33, p92). Intensive church activity is a way of attempting to reform flesh. It is frightening to realize that my own flesh can produce acts that appear Christian (Matt 7:22-23) yet they are without the help or consent of You, FATHER (ref#63, p706).

While teaching my flesh to be righteous I concentrate on one sin or a file-folder of sins. I fall into using my flawed self to try to become more like CHRIST. By doing this, I am in the business of trying to conquer and refine my old-nature flesh. I try to get flesh and SPIRIT to cooperate!

But, I cannot, and You, FATHER, will not reform my flesh—even the priceless blood of JESUS can’t cleanse the flesh. The HOLY SPIRIT does nothing to improve flesh; in fact, He will not even dwell in the midst of sinful flesh. The SPIRIT will abide in me for only one reason and that is for warring against my flesh (ref#33, p94).

O LORD, continually bring me to understand the difference between operating by my flesh and working with the SPIRIT—the difference between reforming my flesh and killing it by neglect. It is only by faith and dependence on the SPIRIT that I can put to death the deeds of my flesh (Rom 8:13).

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SUPPLICATION

NON CHRISTIAN Resisters

[We all have friends and family that do not want anything to do with Christianity so it is up to us to pray for their salvation. Here’s an opportunity to pray for them. Fill their name in the blanks.]

SAVING FAITH

…FATHER, though I did not know it, You sought me long before I sought You, enabling me to believe in You. You worked in my heart in a mysterious way, making possible my belief before I trusted You (ref#63, p 708).

Having chosen me, You called me to come to You, and when I came, You declared me ‘not guilty,’ filled me with CHRIST’s goodness, gave me a right standing with Yourself and promised me Your glory (Rom 8:30).

I have come, but I perceive ____ has not. But, if You have chosen (him/her), (he/she) will come. Not only will (he/she) come but come turning away from (his/her) former pattern of living, seeking to have (his/her) sin and guilt removed, and looking forward to entering into a genuine relationship with You that will last forever (ref#63, p710).

FATHER, I pray these three requests for ____:

  • That (he/she) obtain basic knowledge of the facts of the Gospel and approve of what (he/she) hears (ref#63, p712).
  • That (he/she) trust in CHRIST knowing that He is the only way to You (ref#63, p712).
  • And that all this leads to a decision of (his/her) will to depend on and put (his/her) trust in CHRIST as (his/her) Savior (ref#63, p712).

Thomas, the Apostle, did not make a personal decision to trust CHRIST wholeheartedly in the years he was CHRIST’s disciple or even immediately after CHRIST’s resurrection (John 20:24-28). I pray in hope that You will cause ____ to, in (his/her) time, reach the point of willfully choosing to enter into a relationship with CHRIST.

“…whoever did want him, who believed he was who he claimed and would do what he said, He made to be their true selves, their child-of-God selves. These are the God-begotten,…not flesh-begotten…” (John 1:12-13 MSG).

ADORATION

Chord Progression: (C F Fm C) (Ebdim Dm G7 C)

I SOUGHT THE LORD, AND AFTERWARD I KNEW

“I sought the Lord, and afterward I knew

He moved my soul to seek him, seeking me;

It was not I that found, O Savior true,

No, I was found of thee.

 

“Thou didst reach forth thy hand and mine enfold;

I walked and sank not on the storm-vexed sea,

‘Twas not so much that I on thee took hold,

As thou, dear Lord, on me.

 

“I find, I walk, I love, but, O the whole

Of love is but my answer, Lord, to thee;

For thou wert long beforehand with my soul,

Always thou lovedst me [anonymous, 1904],” Systematic Theology (ref#63, p708).

THANKSGIVING

ELECTION

screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-4-27-07-pm…FATHER, Your Scripture presents a history of man in a state of sin and rebellion and Your plan to bring man back to Yourself (ref#63, p490). Before creation You selected from the human race those whom You would redeem, justify, sanctify, and glorify in CHRIST (Rom 8:29-30) (ref#56, p1630).

“…man is free in that he can and does choose what he desires or is inclined to choose. But man lacks the desire for Christ and the things of God until God creates in his soul a positive inclination for these things” R. C. Sproul (ref#80, p165).

Without Your gift of electing me I would have been unable to choose You for I simply would have not been interested. My nature from birth was to sin constantly.

Therefore I write this page thanking You for loving me and making it possible for me to love You. I also thank You for the opportunity to exercise my faith (ref#152, p136) as I pray You elect all my family, friends, and my enemies.

You forgive me and give me membership into Your family, as well as grant me growth in the Christian life. You keep me faithful to Yourself throughout life as I purpose to respond to You in faith and repentance (ref#63, p669). Thank You, FATHER, for giving me reason to live.

Blessed are You, LORD—

You daily load me with benefits.

You are my GOD of salvation;

and to You belong escapes from death (Ps 68:19-20).

 

The pillars of the earth are Yours,

and on them You have set the world.

You guard my feet

for not by might shall I prevail (1 Sam 2:8-9).

ADORATION

REGENERATION

screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-4-13-20-pm “Ever-flowing Fountain of love,

words fail me;

I cannot forget You,

You who promised

to remember me;

when I teetered on the edge of destruction,

You rescued me and

relieved me beyond my fondest hopes…” Thomas a’Kempis (ref#147, p140).

Your rescue, FATHER, You call “regeneration”—the part where You act alone to bring me my spiritual new birth (Titus 3:4-7). “This new birth is viewed by Scripture as something that God does within us in order to enable us to believe” Wayne Grudem (ref#63, p703).

You work in my heart in ways I could not comprehend but the result was that You enabled me to believe You, to seek You, and to trust You (ref#63, p708).

“The new birth is no mere turning over a new leaf, but is the inception and reception of a new life. It is no mere reformation but a Complete transformation. In short, the new birth is a miracle, the result of the supernatural operation of God. It is radical, revolutionary, lasting” Arthur W. Pink (ref#152, p91).

FATHER, Your Son enables me to live a new life. I now can identify myself completely with Him. “…My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress…” You, FATHER (Gal 2:20 MSG). With joy I throw away my needs for fame to proclaim Your excellencies (1 Pet 2:9).

ADORATION

JESUS IS ONE PERSON IN TWO NATURES

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 3.25.23 PM“…Jesus is one person in two natures…all that is in us, as well as all that is in God, is and always will be truly and distinguishably present in the one Christ” The Reformation Study Bible (ref#56, p1510, “Jesus Christ, God and Man”).

 “He is the Sovereign Lord of the natural creation and of the new creation, so that He is intimately allied to us” T. C. Horton, Charles E. Hurlburt (ref#158, p125). “We can never be separated from Him because He lives in us and we shall live and be with Him forever” (ref#158, p140).

CHRIST, since Your ascension nothing has changed about Your relationship with man.   But, since Your departure, the SPIRIT now resides in man. I can communicate with You in heaven. As the disciples who literally walked with You two millenniums ago, I walk with You now.

FATHER, You have willed that now both, Your Son and I, His little sister, can commune with one another.

“Jesus did not temporarily become man, but that his divine nature was permanently united to his human nature, and he lives forever not just as the eternal Son of God, the second person of the Trinity, but also as Jesus, the man who was born of Mary, and as Christ, the Messiah and Savior of his people. Jesus will remain fully God and fully man, yet one person, forever” Wayne Grudem (ref#63, p543).

Time and space cease to be hindrances; through the SPIRIT, CHRIST is not aloof and far off. He in heaven and I on earth can be together constantly forever.

FATHER, Your CHRIST is still fully human and able to be with me as mentor and companion as well as Savior. This always has been Your plan.

THANKSGIVING

BLESSING OF THE COVENANT OF GRACE

Screen Shot 2016-05-18 at 11.19.07 AM…LIFE GIVING FATHER, JESUS my Messiah has come! He has lived and died and risen and atoned for my sin (ref#63, p522). He now is in heaven—in Your very presence appearing before You on my behalf (Heb 9:24). “…He has once for all at the consummation and close of the ages appeared to put away and abolish sin by His sacrifice [of Himself]” (Heb 9:26 AMP). The Covenant of Grace is now established.

FATHER, CHRIST has revealed You to me. He is the sole expression of Your glory—Your radiance; He is the perfect imprint and very image of Your nature (Heb 1:3).

CHRIST, in making possible the fulfilling of Your covenant of grace, has poured out the HOLY SPIRIT. He is a SPIRIT of power (Acts 1:8). He is the power to strip off and take away the veil between You and I, FATHER, when I turn in repentance (2 Cor 3:16). He is able to constantly transform me into Your image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another (2 Cor 3:18).

FATHER, another blessing of Your Covenant of Grace is that You imprint Your laws—upon my innermost thoughts and understanding. You engrave them upon my heart (Heb 8:10). By experience I perceive You; I know You (Heb 8:11).

And, this new covenant is an eternal Covenant of Grace (Heb 13:20). FATHER, how Your great love humbles me. Through this covenant You give me CHRIST so I might have fellowship with You forever!

ADORATION

 

COVENANT OF GRACE

Screen Shot 2016-05-16 at 12.58.27 PM“…after the story of the fall in Genesis 3 is the story of God working out in history the amazing plan of redemption whereby sinful people could come into fellowship with himself” Wayne Grudem (ref#63, p519).

FATHER, as Your first covenant (the “covenant of works”), Your “covenant of grace” promises that You will be my GOD and I will be Yours (Jer 31:33). But, in this covenant You introduce a “mediator”—one needed for me if I’m to uphold my end of the covenant.

JESUS CHRIST fulfills the conditions of the covenant for me; He reconciles me to You, FATHER. It is called, the “covenant of grace” because it is entirely based on Your grace—Your unmerited favor toward me (ref#63, p520).

The “works covenant” of following rules is intended to lead me to faith in CHRIST. In attempting to keep all the works rules, I realize I can’t and thus need a Savior. Even the Old Testament people were not saved by following laws set down by You, they were saved by looking with faith forward the work of JESUS who was to come (ref#63, p519). I am saved by looking back in faith to CHRIST.

From faith to faith, You say the righteous shall live by faith (Rom 1:17). FATHER, I pray You give me such a strong faith that I continue all my life in faith. I want to prove I have faith by following Your direction in accomplishing deeds and actions of obedience to back up my faith (James 1:17). This is the result of You enabling me to keep the second covenant—good works that pour from a changed heart. FATHER, I want no more of the first covenant of works where I continually frustrate myself by trying to please You with my good deeds.

“…I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn’t work. So I quit being a “law man” so that I could be God’s man. Christ’s life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him….I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God…” (Gal 2:19-20 MSG).

CHRIST is the only one perfect as You are perfect (Matt 5:48). Thank You, FATHER, for sending CHRIST and seeing to it Yourself that I keep Your “covenant of grace.”

ADORATION

 

COVENANT OF WORKS

Screen Shot 2016-05-16 at 11.49.35 AM“Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners….” (Rom 5:19 NLT). “This divinely chosen arrangement whereby Adam determined the destiny of his descendants, has been called the ‘covenant of works,’…” The Reformation Study Bible (ref#56, p13, “The Fall”).

My natural-born condition of wanting to decide for myself what is good or bad is the reason this covenant exists. FATHER, I am prone to establish for myself a collection of activities I consider good and bad and then work to do the good. Left to myself, without Your input, FATHER, it makes sense to me that if I work at being good You will bless me; this is the “covenant of works.” My part is to be as good as I can, Your part is to bless me and invite me into heaven—I hope—if I can just do enough good to satisfy You…

 “…the human heart would much rather offer to God its works, no matter how costly, than humble itself to confess sin. That is the reason why man is always predisposed to go the way of works;…” Roy and Revel Hession (ref#100, p 80).

You, FATHER, established the “covenant of works” with Adam and Eve in the Garden. You were to be their GOD and they were to be Your people; You gave commands and they were to follow them. And You warned them about the consequences if they did not follow Your commands: “…you shall surely die’” (Gen 2:17 ESV).

The “covenant of works” requires obedience (Lev 18:5); perfect obedience leads to life (ref#63, p517). But now, as with Adam, if I break this covenant “the punishment…is still in effect…death” Wayne Grudem (ref#63, p517-518).

Since I do not have the ability to obey every one of Your commands, my only choice is to give up directing my own life and put myself under the Lordship of CHRIST. If I trust Him to fulfill all Your covenant requirements for me, then I shall live forever and never die.

For this I am humbled, LORD GOD; JESUS is my escape from the covenant of works that I cannot keep. You are Jehovah-Jireh, my Provider.

“O HEAVENLY FATHER,

Teach me to see…

that Christ does not desire me…

to live in self-confidence in my own strength…”

The Valley of Vision (ref#76, p57).

THANKSGIVING

COVENANT OF REDEMPTION

Screen Shot 2016-02-26 at 2.49.19 PM“Theologians speak of…a covenant that is not between God and man, but is among the members of the Trinity. This covenant they call the ‘covenant of redemption.’ It is an agreement among the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit…On the part of the Father, this ‘covenant of redemption’ included an agreement to give to the Son a people whom he would redeem for his own possession…” Wayne Grudem (ref#63, p518).

The Son agreed to “pay blood for blood, suffering for suffering, agony for agony, and death for death on behalf of His people” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, February 27th PM). “When Christ died, he secured for his people not only new hearts but new security. He will not let them turn from him. He will keep them….The blood of the covenant guarantees it” John Piper (ref#92, p47) (John 6:37).

“…the Holy Spirit in the covenant of redemption…agreed to do the will of the Father and fill and empower Christ to carry out his ministry on earth…and to apply the benefits of Christ’s redemptive work to his people after Christ returned to heaven….” Wayne Grudem (ref#63, p519).

TRIUNE GOD, I am blessed to possess the understanding of Your “covenant of redemption.” There are not enough words to express my gratitude. Day by day in my personal life I observe Your efforts in fulfilling Your goal decided upon before You set the foundations of the earth.