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Facts of the Matter

A weekly letter of encouragement and challenge to business and professional men and women
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Dear Colleagues,

THE BLESSINGS OF INTIMACY WITH CHRIST

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The Apostle Peter encourages us to know Christ intimatelyMay God bless you with his special favor and wonderful peace as you come to know Jesus, our God and Lord, better and better. As we know Jesus better, his divine power gives us everything we need for living a godly life. He has called us to receive his own glory and goodness! And by that same mighty power, he has given us all of his rich and wonderful promises. He has promised that you will escape the decadence all around you caused by evil desires and that you will share in his divine nature. (2 Pet. 1:2-4 NLT)

Peter also informs us that God offers us five wonderful blessings that spring from our intimacy with Christ

1)  Gods favor:  Favor is simply another word for the grace of God. That is, God accepts us, finds pleasure in us, and acts graciously on our behalf: May God bless you with his special favor (2 Pet. 1:2) 

For out of His fullness (abundance) we have all received [all had a share and we were all supplied with] one grace after another and spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing and even favor upon favor and gift [heaped] upon gift. (Jn. 1:16 Amp)  (See Rom. 3:24, 24-31; 5:15-17, 20, 21; 1 Cor. 15:9,10; Eph. 1:6,7; 2:8,9; 2 Tim. 1:9; 2:1)

QUESTION:  Are you making it a practice to appropriate and rest in Gods favor?  Or are you still struggling to earn it?

2) Gods peace: Amidst the harsh, tumultuous realities of modern day life, it is Gods intention that we live in his peace: May God bless you with hiswonderful peace. (2 Pet. 1:2)

In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the worldLet the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.  (Jn. 16:33; Col. 3:15) (See Psa. 298:11; Isa. 26:3,4; 54:13; Rom. 5:1; 8:6; 15:13; Eph. 2:14; Phil. 4:7)

  QUESTION: Are you choosing to allow His peace to rule in your heart? Or are you living in bondage to your anxieties?

3)  Gods power:  Power here means dynamite and has to do with Gods  force, might, miracles and strength. Its all ours, if we choose to act on it: His divine power gives us everything we need for living a godly life. (2 Pet. 1:4)

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (2 Cor. 12:9) (See Lk. 6:19; 9:1; 1 Cor. 4:20; 12:28)

  QUESTION: Are you learning to draw upon His power? Or are you still grinding it out on your own? 

4)  Gods promises:  The Scriptures abound with assurances that if we will respond in obedience to Gods word, his blessings will follow:  By that same mighty power, he has given us all of his rich and wonderful promises. (2 Pet. 1:4) 

[God] has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desiresWewant you toimitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.  (2 Pet. 1:4; Heb. 6:12; 2 Pet. 1:20, 21)

  QUESTION: Are you seeking out Gods promises for your life, your family, your business, and the ministry God has entrusted to you? Or are you relying upon your wit and wisdom to pull it all off?

5)  Gods divine nature: It is Gods intention that we take on his holiness:  He has promised that you will escape the decadence all around you caused by evil desires and that you will share in his divine nature  (2 Pet. 1:4b; Heb. 6:12) (See 2 Cor. 3:18; Eph. 4:13-15, 1 Jn. 3:2)

QUESTION:  Do those around you see evidence that you are growing into Christlikeness?  Or is self still king?

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