Christ Formed in You (Sept 18)

September 18

Christ Formed in You

Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalms 105:8-15  | Isaiah 28:14-30:11 | Galatians 3:23-4:31| Proverbs 23:19-21

Today’s Scripture Focus: Galatians 3:23-4:31

“My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you” (Galatians 3:19 NIV).

The law was given to us as our tutor or guardian to lead us to Christ. In Christ, we find freedom as heirs to the promise by faith. We are adopted as sons and the Spirit of God within us cries out “Abba, Father.” The Christian life is not one of bondage to rules and regulations, but a life of freedom and fullness as we live in freedom as the children of God.

While some might try to steal our joy and place us in bondage, Christ has come to set us free. “What has happened to all your joy?” Paul asks (4:15). Imprisoned in a rigid system without freedom and life, we hang on to the form but deny the power of God. The misplaced focus saps us of our joy. Often we steal the joy of others when we try to get them to play our religious game.

Paul points us to the alternative: Christ being formed in them—Christ living his life out through them.  It’s a life lived by grace through faith. It’s a life of freedom and joy. And it’s all found in a dynamic, ongoing, intimate relationship with Jesus. As we spend time with him, as we pursue spiritual disciplines such as prayer and Bible study, we are formed spiritually. We become more and more like Jesus.

Open your heart to Jesus today, enjoy his presence and allow him the freedom to bring life abundant—life lived to the full. There you will find freedom and joy. There you will be formed more and more into the likeness of Jesus.

Jesus, help me to grow in grace and in the knowledge of you that I might truly be formed into your image. I know it is a process, but help me to press forward, step by step, day by day. Help me to find joy in your presence as I walk with you in the yoke of discipleship. Amen.

About pastorjeffsneighborhood

Born and raised in Minnesota, I have served in churches in Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon and California. I am a graduate of Crown College (MN) and George Fox Evangelical Seminary (OR). I have also done additional graduate studies in New Testament Studies at the Center for Advanced Theological Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary (CA). I am also a graduate of the College of Prayer. Having served as the Academic Dean and Program Director at Horizon Institute of Los Angeles for several years, I have returned to the pastorate and serve as Pastor of Big Trees Community Bible Church in Arnold, CA.
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