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Devotionals :: Day by Day by Grace :: Today's Reading

Hoekstra's Day by Day by Grace (April 11th)

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Christ Being Formed in Us

My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you…Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? (Galatians 4:19 and 2 Corinthians 13:5)

When we take the truth of the gospel to others, that they might be born again, we often enter into spiritual birth pangs on their behalf. They are wrestling over issues and questions. We are agonizing with them, that they might embrace the truth they need to become a child of God by faith. "For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:26).

When the Apostle Paul took the gospel into the region of Galatia, he labored in this manner on behalf of those who would become believers in Jesus Christ. Later, he is writing them, telling them that once again he was in spiritual labor for them. "My little children, for whom I labor in birth again." This subsequent agonizing was not concerning their initial salvation. They had already been born again through faith in the Lord Jesus. Now, he was laboring "until Christ is formed in you."

It is the will of our Heavenly Father that we invite His Son into our lives. "As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God" (John 1:12). Furthermore, it is His will that we allow the life of His Son to be expressed in and though our lives. As we face life day by day, we become engaged with issues, opportunities, challenges, responses, ideas, relationships, values, priorities, etc. The Lord Jesus Christ died for us in order to live with us through all of these aspects of living. "For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us that…we should live together with Him" (1 Thessalonians 5:9 [9-10]1). In every situation of life, the Lord Jesus is with us, dwelling within us, wanting to express His life through us.

Although this great reality is described in many places throughout the word of God, many of God's people seem not to know it. "Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?" Either they have not heard it, or they have forgotten it. What a great privilege it is to share these grand truths with others. The process will not be without difficulties. "To this end I also labor, striving [agonizing] according to His working which works in me mightily" (Colossians 1:29). Though we may experience spiritual birth pangs for others, God will see us through, as He touches their lives.

1. Edited by BLB [The scripture quoted also includes verse 10, but the reference wasn't given. This has been added by us.]

Lord Jesus, my indwelling Savior, please express Your life in and through me. May there be no area of my life that is just me doing my best or me fulfilling my will. Also, Lord, be my strength, enabling me to share these great realities with others, in Your mighty name, Amen.

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