When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you...”
Our purpose as resurrected lives in Christ Jesus, is to live to glorify and exalt Him, just as Christ lived to glorify and exalt God. His mission was obediently filled with love and adoration to God the Father. Jesus’ sacrifice brought freedom from death, and invited the presence of God to dwell with mankind. Everything He did while ministering on earth was an act of worship. Everything we do, our very purpose for living this new life in Christ, is to follow Him. Do you live each day, in all you do with the soul purpose of lifting Him up, so all may see His glory in you? Do you rise above your circumstances and praise Him wholeheartedly, even in the midst of tribulation? Do you look at your life and like John the baptist proclaim, “He must increase, but I must decrease”? Live a new life in Christ. One that is firmly rooted in Him, zealous for His Kingdom, intent on worshiping Him at all cost. A life that is obedient, faithful, humble, merciful, hungry for righteousness, desiring peace, and pure of heart. Do all you do for the glory of His Kingdom. He has chosen you and bought you with a price. Lay down your life for the One who laid down His life for you. Glorify Him.
“Bring Him forth, each day I live and leave me in the tomb.
I seek no other glory here,make not the smallest room
Blessed anonymity, count my life but loss.
Jesus the One, and Only, tread over me dear cross.”
(from “Jesus, the One and Only” by Beth Moore)
Holy LORD, my feeble words cannot express the immense gratitude I feel for You, and all You sacrificed for me. Like the psalmist cried out, “what is man that you care for him, the son of man that you think of him? Man is like a breath; his days are like a fleeting shadow.” God I live to praise You, to worship You, and to give You the glory You deserve. May You increase daily in me, and my life bring glory to You. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.
This concludes our Lenten devotional Revealed. It has been an incredible blessing to me to have the opportunity to walk through the gospels and share some thoughts God has been revealing to me. I pray that God has been glorified, and that you have been awakened to His word, and it has brought you in closer relationship with Him. Keep abiding, keep praying, keep seeking Him. ~ Mary O’Connell
"Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.”
Do you believe that all things are possible when you put your trust in God? Do you believe that you are able to do the same works that Jesus did? Is it not stated so in His Word? Why do we fail to believe that God has a plan to work through us to accomplish great things? Through His death and resurrection, Jesus gave us more than eternal life and forgiveness of sin. He sent His Spirit to equip us to do the works He came to do.
The Spirit is the powerhouse of God, and like in the creation of the world, “the earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” (Genesis 1:2) It takes faith and belief that God will intervene. When God appears in a situation anything is possible. The key is are we expecting Him to show up, and do we eagerly await His Spirit to act? Have you settled for mediocrity, unwilling to let God reign in your life? Remember, you are His instrument and can be likened to the formless earth.
The Spirit of God is awaiting you to harness His presence, to invite Him to intervene. It takes an unwavering faith, a belief without doubt that God is willing and able, and in His sovereignty will work accordinglyl. We need to faithfully believe that our purpose is to be His vessel through which His Spirit will be enabled, and not be distracted by our own desires in the process. Doing so only puts limits on what we believe God is able to do, grieves His Spirit, and leads to doubt and lack of faith. When we live resurrected lives intent on exalting God in our daily walk, we need to remember that it takes incredible faith and love for God to believe that “all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
Sovereign, Mighty LORD, it is for You that I live. My purpose here is to exalt You by possessing a faith that can move mountains, and an unwavering belief, because You have chosen me as the dwelling place of Your Spirit. I pray that I will not become a crutch, by my lack of faith, that inhibits the presence of Your Spirit. Humble me LORD and help me see my need for You. May I walk before You in the power of Christ, and be a witness to Your greater works through me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
“ Now he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for all live to him."
When you look upon the Cross what does it represent to you? Is it a symbol of death to you or new life? Living at the cross means sacrifice, abiding, servant hood, and forgiveness. Has the term “living for Christ” represented a significant change in you, or is it a trite expression that you disregard, unwilling to fully grasp? A new life in Christ Jesus means we embrace the cross and all it represents. We are willingly partnering with Him daily in putting to death what He came to abolish in us. It means living to know Him, seeking Him continually so you will grow and mature in faith. Exalting Him through our humility and wanting to serve others out of love.
The cross stands for forgiveness, and we are to likewise live without offense, pardoning others because He has pardoned us. Mostly the cross represents joy, the joy Jesus could see before Him, and the joy He gave to us at the resurrection of His death. The joy we have is from knowing we have been rescued and given a new life. Christ died so you would live again in the presence of God, therefore abiding at the cross reminds us who we belong to, and who we are living for.
No longer are we dead in sin, with no hope and no future. Christ is yours and you are alive for Him.
Almighty Father, by Your merciful grace and sacrifice at the cross do I live today. Your cross represents my new life and the incredible joy I have knowing that death has no power over me. I am Yours, O God, and it is for You I live. Hide my old self in Your tomb, and fill me with Your glorious presence. Be exalted in me today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
“He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.”
What an incredible blessing we have in Christ Jesus, that He will never leave us or forsake us. We have been given His Spirit, who will lead us into righteousness and declare the secrets of God to us. It is the Spirit who brings forth the power of God and causes the transformation in us. He is the one who will reveal the Word to us and convict us in righteousness, making us desire to live obediently in Christ. How important it is that we do not quench the Spirit if we are to be effective witnesses for Christ!
When we make that decision to abandon sin at the cross, when we are firmly rooted and established in Christ, then surrender to the Spirit’s leading will become possible. You see, you cannot keep the Spirit contained like a guest in a house. To truly live “Spirit-led”, He requires all aspects of you and your life. If you find it’s difficult to get right with God, it’s because you have not given up your sin nature. The Spirit’s work is to glorify Jesus, by changing the lives of those who believe in Him, to emulate the One who has redeemed them.
Our walk must be a daily “letting go” so the great full life of God will invade us in every part. We are to live lives “dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:11).
LORD God, may I live today alive to Your Spirit, letting Him reveal the truth of Your word to me, and changing me to live reborn in Christ. Let the power of Your Spirit invade every aspect of my life, so I will live in my life with integrity, being true to my belief and faith as a child belonging to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
REVEALED : EXALTED
Our new life in Christ Jesus is to exalt and glorify Him. We are chosen to a life set apart from sin, called to be holy, and to praise and worship the One who has redeemed us.
Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.”
There is an innate hunger for God that has been put inside all of us. Many try to deny it, striving to satisfy it through pursuits of the flesh, but find their life incomplete and meaningless. Until we give our life and what we are living for to Jesus, and abide in Him, we will never experience the oneness of relationship with Him.
When you truly “know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:19), your motivation and reason for existing, will be transformed. It is a life that desires holiness and one of purity, spent on living to exalt Jesus and please the Father. It is a life transformed by the Spirit, which feeds on the Word and gives glory to the One for whom it was created. No longer is life occupied by the pursuits of self-gratification, but one that is united with Christ, being nourished by steadfast faith and belief in His Word. Are you living hungry, or are you feasting on the true bread of life?
You have been redeemed from death and reborn into a new life through Christ Jesus. Live to glorify the One who has paid a price for your birth, exalt the Name above all names in all that you do, and find fulfillment and satisfaction in a life set apart for His glory.
I praise You Jesus, the One who has redeemed me from the power of hell, and blessed me, a new creation, with eternal life. You satisfy me with Your love, O LORD, and I will feast on Your Word, the true bread of life. As You offered up Your life for my sake, I offer my life to You, for Your honor and glory. May all I do exalt Your name, and may my reason for living be to know the oneness of relationship with You and to magnify Your holiness throughout the world. In Your precious name, Amen.
Jesus said, "Take away the stone." Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, "Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days."
When you are faced with something seemingly unchangeable, is your first reaction to doubt the unimaginable? Do you live, expecting miracles to happen? Or do you struggle with weak faith, unable to see the forest beyond the trees? It’s hard to see God’s way in a situation, when we are relying on our limited human knowledge and filter what we experience through our senses only. What is standing in your way to great faith? What are the stones that you have allowed to block the power of the Holy Spirit in you? Jesus tells Martha to remove the stone, so she will see and believe that God’s power is far greater than anything she could possibly conceive. What stone has He been asking you to remove, that has prevented you from witnessing His glory in you? The LORD wants to work miracles in us, but we must be willing to rely on His power, and believe that with Him all things are possible, even the unimaginable. An unwillingness to surrender, a hard heart, and fear will keep you from God’s blessings. In order to see miracles we must be willing to remove the obstacles of our faith. Living each day ready to experience His Kingdom means that we don’t let our doubt, fear, and ignorance become a hindrance that prevents us from seeing the power of God at work.
Almighty Father, I know and believe that with You all things are possible. And I confess there are times when my faith is weak and I am unable to see beyond my human knowledge. Help me to break free of fear and remove the obstacles that I let keep me from completely surrendering to You. I want to experience Your Kingdom and see Your power at work today. I want to live free of any stones that will hinder the maturing of my faith. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Speaking to the people, he went on, "Take care! Protect yourself against the least bit of greed. Life is not defined by what you have, even when you have a lot."
If we are to be a witness for Christ, to live sent and set apart for His glory, desiring to share the Good News and bring others into a relationship with the One true God, then it is important that we live without hypocrisy and show by our own lifestyle we live out what we profess to believe. It means living at the Cross and all it stands for - denying self, lusts of the flesh, the pride of life, and our glorification. Jesus warns us to flee from greed. If we are going to be a light to others and testify of God’s work in us, then why would we covet the riches of the world? If we didn’t truly believe that His blessings far outweigh the comfort of material things, how can we possibly expect to draw others into seeking God? Ask yourself, are you living for Jesus today? Or does a great mansion stand in your way?
Don’t allow yourself to be led astray from your purpose for God because of temporary abundance. Be concerned with your image, if what you project on the outside lines up with what you believe on the inside. Live honest in being approved before God, not men, and faithful to the One whose glory you are testifying about. Don’t be half-hearted in obedience, or wavering in faith. If you don’t truly believe God is the way, and that He will provide all your needs, your lack of faith will crumble your witness. God does not bless us with material possessions to make our life easier, and define who we are. Don’t elevate the importance of wealth in your life. Instead, use it as a tool for His edification, and to define the person on the inside God’s desires you to be.
Where is your faith? Believe and testify that He has all your needs covered. Therefore, you can be free to live for His glory, knowing that the riches you accumulate are eternal and far exceed any temporary rewards in this life.
LORD, God, protect me from being caught up in the passing riches of this world, and for weakening my testimony of your faithfulness to others. You said how difficult it will be for a rich man to enter into Your Kingdom. Help me to live with integrity the faith I have in you, and to deny the lusts of my flesh. You truly provide all I need and have promised to never leave me or forsake me. Your blessings are eternal and far surpass all the world could offer me. Guard my heart, and may all I desire be in truth for Your Kingdom. In Your Name, Amen.
Jesus answered, "It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work.”
The time is short. As anyone can attest, we get so caught up in our day to day business, we often miss out on spiritual opportunities because we fail to act. Living sent means we take serious obedience to Christ. We cannot experience the blessing if we are unready to act; if we are not abiding and testifying, and recognizing opportunities as they present themselves. God longs to reveal Himself to us. The disciples questioned Jesus about the man’s blindness, assuming that it was put on him as a form of punishment for sin. They were looking at it through human eyes, rather than as a tool for God to be revealed. Imagine if we approached all difficulty, all sin situations, all hardships, as a glorious opportunity to see God? We naturally fear obstacles, confrontations, and disasters because they disrupt the rhythm and the comfort of a familiar routine. We are drawn to security and ignore the ugliness of life, but in doing so, we put an obstacle in the way of our faith. Then In a moment of crisis, how hard it is not to look with human eyes and emotions, rather than with the eyes of Jesus, intent on seeing God work a miracle? By living in a zone of safety, unwilling to go out to face the unpleasantness of life, we damper Jesus’ work. We need to live each day mission-minded, expecting to see God work, while we work the work Jesus revealed in us to do. Greet each moment with an attitude toward the unfamiliar, and believe that by your testimony and obedience to Him, He will “draw all men to Himself” (John 12:32).
Heavenly Father, help me to see You reveal more of Yourself today. Help me not to put my hope in my comfort and in the security of my life now, but to live out each moment, knowing that the day is short and night is approaching, and I don’t want to miss any opportunity or blessing You have for me. Use me and put me in situations where I am out of my comfort zone. Empower me by Your Spirit to be obedient, to be faithful, and to act when You lead me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
Do you let your light shine to lead others to righteousness, or do you keep it to yourself because you are afraid of being looked at as an offense? Jesus is God’s agent, who confronted man without trepidation, and revealed truth into the hearts of those who sought Him. He illuminates the radiance of the Father to those who choose to be unveiled. He fulfilled His mission at the cross, and is the gateway through which all must come to and live at, if they are to know complete oneness with the Father. Jesus has delegated us, His people, with the task of multiplying His work. To be the salt that permeates blandness. If we choose not to obey, the people won’t experience godliness. When we live in spiritual readiness for His Kingdom, we let our light shine in all things we do, for His glory. It’s as if you are an agent of God on assignment in a foreign world. You have been entrusted with a very valuable mission: you are being sent to deliver His message. Your Master is counting on you for the survival of His people. You have a special gift in your possession, but you cannot contain it, if you are to accomplish your task. You have been counted as a trustworthy agent, and your Master longs to reward you. Your Master accomplished the work He came to do. Now He commands you to communicate His work, and enable it to light upon those you come in contact with. Live in readiness, sent, prepared to shine His light in the dark places you will encounter today.
Almighty God, You have chosen me for a very special purpose. Who am I to regard lightly the mission You’ve entrusted to me, and not elevate it as the most important charge of my day? LORD, give me the power of Your Spirit to shine forth Your glory in me. Let me be the light that pierces through the darkness, walks without fear, and does not prevent others from seeking You for themselves today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
God has chosen to reveal His Son in You. Are you living, looking unto Jesus? Be aware of His presence in You, and live your life in spiritual readiness for His Kingdom.
“You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect."
How we live out our spiritual life each day reflects the measure of faith we have and what is important to us. Do you operate in a state of readiness, where each day is a gift and another chance to obediently live for Christ knowing He may come at any moment, or have you adopted a complacent attitude of unbelief, without purpose for Him, uncommitted, and wavering in faith? Being in readiness means we are living prepared to serve Him at any moment. We have pledged ourselves to becoming “vessels of honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.” (2 Timothy 2:21) We have adopted obedience to Christ, and are living as if His Kingdom has already come. We are living prepared, clothed in truth, and not unaware of the evil of the day. If He were to return today, are you ready? Can Jesus count on you to be dependable, pure, and doing your job faithfully for His glory?Seek to desire more of His Kingdom than you have been given. Live, striving to be that “fragrant aroma” to God, who when He comes, finds you the loving committed servant He’s chosen you to be. Prove your faithfulness to Him, so that when He returns He will say blessed are you good and faithful servant.
Almighty Father, sanctify me in truth and encourage me by Your Word, so that I will live desiring Your Kingdom. I know that the days are evil and as Your servant, I must prepare myself for any obstacle that may cause me to sin. Knowing Your Word enables me and sets me apart as a vessel for Your honor. I will live today prepared for Your coming, committed and cleansed, ready to serve You, by the precious blood of Christ, Jesus, Amen.