Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Passing the Salt

You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? ~ Matthew 5:13

There is a riot of colour, right outside my kitchen window. The pineapple sage is in full bloom, and to say that it has bright red flowers would be an understatement. It is the most vivid scarlet, irresistible to humming birds, butterflies and bumble bees. Red just does something to the senses. It is extravagant, reminiscent of celebration and warmth. At a time when nature seems to slow down and prepares for winter, it is an exclamation mark in the Autumn song. Like salt and spice - making a feast of a bland meal.

Last week, after listening to a teaching which touched on speaking the Truth in love,  I started thinking about "salt". Sodium Chloride (NaCl). How it alters, purifies, preserves. I was taken back to an incident which happened when I was about nine. My brother took a bad tumble off his bicycle, free-wheeling at a crazy speed around the traffic circle close to our home. He limped into the house, with bloodied arms and shins and a grim look on his face. My mother took one look at him, took a deep breath, and filled the kitchen basin with hot water. She took a bag of salt out of the cupboard and emptied an alarming amount  into the basin. My ashen-faced brother was gently but firmly led to the basin and the raw abrasions were pushed into the salt solution. He roared with the pain, but the wounds were cleaned, and healed without infection. She "inflicted" pain with love. And the result was healing.

The role of salt in the Bible is relevant to understanding Hebrew society during the Old Testament and New Testament periods. Salt was a necessity of life - a mineral that was used as a seasoning, a preservative, a disinfectant, a component of ceremonial offerings, and as a unit of exchange. The Bible contains numerous references to salt. In various contexts, it is used metaphorically to signify permanence, loyalty,durability, fidelity, usefulness, value, and purification.

In Genesis 19:26, we read of the fate of Lot's wife, who was turned to a pillar of salt. Her heart still in Sodom, she failed to obey God's command when given the opportunity (God's grace) to escape the depravity of the city (sin of the world). She looked back (reluctance to leave old self behind). The salt wind from the sulphur rain (God's wrath) which destroyed the city, enveloped her and the pillar remained as a warning that deliberate sin and disobedience can lead to death (consequence).

Leviticus 2:13 and Ezekiel 43:24 illustrate the requirement of salt as part of ancient Hebrew religious sacrifices. Leviticus 2:13 reads: "And every offering of your grain offering you shall season with salt; you shall not allow the salt of the covenant of your God to be lacking from your grain offering. With all your offerings you shall offer salt."

Salt was widely and variably used as a symbol and sacred sign in ancient Israel. Numbers 18:19 and 2 Chronicles 13:5 illustrate salt as a covenant of friendship. In cultures throughout the region, the eating of salt is a sign of friendship. Salt land is a metaphorical name for a desolate no man's land, as found in Psalm 107:34, Job 39:6, and Jeremiah 17:6. The land of defeated cities was salted to consecrate them and curse their re-population, as illustrated in Judges 9:45.

But in certain Eastern cultures, the salt covenant is actually much more than a covenant of friendship. It is an irrevocable pledge and promise of fidelity. Those who have taken salt together would rather die before they would break their covenant. The penalty for violating such a covenant would be death.

Newborn babies were rubbed with salt. A reference to this practice is in Ezekiel 16:4: "As for your nativity, on the day you were born your navel cord was not cut, nor were you washed in water to cleanse you; you were not rubbed with salt nor wrapped in swaddling cloths." The significance of rubbing a newborn with salt was to indicate that the child would be raised to have integrity, to always be truthful.

The Sermon on the Mount makes reference to salt. In Matthew 5:13,  Jesus refers to His disciples as "the salt of the earth." The reference to "salt that has lost it's taste" is salt that is contaminated with other minerals, causing a weakness in flavor or a bland unpleasant taste. For me this was very important to note, for it is a symbolic reference to what happens to believers when we deviate from Scripture and the gospel, especially due to the adulteration of its teachings and lack of discernment.

In a world filled with sin and deceit, it is possible for one to become contaminated and thus "useless" at being an effective disciple. It serves as a warning for disciples (us) to be on our guard; to be in the world, but not of the world.

Mark 9:49 speaks about the salting of the condemned, which is a rhetorical device (a way of speech) showing the severity of the punishment. Mark 9:50 reads in part: "Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another." The salt in this verse refers to the goodwill that "seasons" positive relationships between people. This is also a play on the covenant of salt, indicating friendship and compassion. Colossians 4:6 uses the metaphor of salt seasoning speech to indicate speaking with discernment and wisdom.

It does not mean that Christians have to "spice up life" for people. The world is decaying like rotten fish or meat, but true Christians can be a kind of "moral antibiotic". We can bring a moral clarity (think of William Wilberforce and the abolition of slavery in Great Britain). Christians can have a restraining influence on society (ie. immoral trends of sexual freedom and abortion, to name a few). With Jesus we can have a sanctifying influence (1. 1 Cor. 7:14, “For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.”).

Christians who actually live the beatitudes (Sermon on the Mount) are salt and light to the world. They will have an influence on the world, instead of letting the world influence them. Not influence in status or importance, but in altering through humble submission to Christ, their own lives, which will flow over into the lives of others.

A mouth full - but what we can conclude is this: Now, more than ever before, being the "salt of the world" does not just mean to add a tasty pinch to a bland society. The world is rotting. God's cup of wrath is filling up. The rot is spreading at an alarming rate. Inside and outside of churches all around us. No longer can the stench be covered up by sweet messages of love and tolerance and accepting everything under the cloak of unity and the misuse of: "we should not judge".

Being salt, representing Jesus Christ to the world in purity and with scriptural Truth, rather than gentle philosophy, does not equate to being judgemental. When someone feels passionate about woman's rights or abortion or child abuse etc., and stands up for it, they are not seen as judgemental. They are seen to be courageous.

Being "salty" means loving and living courageously. Loving like Jesus did, not to be loved but to save. It means to be willing to feel the bite in an open wound to remain untainted. To submit to the unconditional and just way in which God loves, even if it hurts. To use the "salt" of His Word to reach people's hearts, not their emotions. It means being discerning by staying in step with the Holy Spirit. It means so much more than words can say. But Jesus can.

Listen, He is drawing near. He longs for you, His beloved, and for His beloved to remain pure for Him. Regardless.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

The Apple of His eye

I am in Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ is in me.

On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you ~ John 14:20


Today, as I walked by,
I saw the brown leaves dropping from their tree
In a still afternoon,
When no wind whirled them whistling to the sky,
But thickly, silently,
They fell, like snowflakes wiping out the noon;
And wandered slowly thence
For thinking of a gallant multitude
Which now all withering lay,
Slain by no wind of age or pestilence,
But in their beauty strewed
Like snowflakes falling on the drying clay.

                             ~ Margaret Postgate Cole

The wind moans around our cabin today. The trees bend this way and that. Our boys blow in through the kitchen door, smelling of wood-smoke and apples. My reverie is broken by their exited babblings of an autumn bonfire and of how the gangly gardener helped them pile the dry branches high until they could not reach anymore. I had been reading poetry, listening to Chopin and thinking about a way to write what has been growing in my heart for the last few days.

When the days shrink and cold nights reach further into each new dawn, there is often a kind of nostalgia that gathers like drifts of leaves around us. We turn towards preserving, preparing, and parting from the wonderful freedom of Summer. As nature slows down and the light softens, I am once again drawn to the Psalms. Last week I read a phrase that made me pause... Since then, day by day, this wonderful truth has been reaching into all my unbelief.

In Psalm 17, David is once again pleading with God to deliver him from his enemies, to let His "eyes see what is right" (v2). I can picture him on his knees, the king of Israel, a man with doubts and fears just like me, and praying - 

I call on you, my God, for you will answer me;
turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.
Show me the wonders of your great love,
you who save by your right hand
those who take refuge in you from their foes.

He has seen God do great things, He has found refuge in the shadow of His wings, He has been delivered from the hands of those who hotly pursue him. He calls out to Him to do what He knows God can and will do.

But then in verse 8, he asks for something more intimate:

Keep me as the apple of your eye...

Originally this term simply referred to the "aperture at the centre of the human eye" - the pupil. The phrase refers to something or someone that one cherishes above all others.

But then I turned to the Hebrew meaning and found something even more precious:

The original Hebrew for this idiom, in all but Zechariah 2:8, was 'iyshown 'ayin (אישון עין), and can be literally translated as "Little Man of the Eye." This is a reference to the tiny reflection of yourself that you can see in other people's pupils.

This Hebrew idiom is surprisingly close to the Latin version, pupilla, which means a little doll, and is a diminutive form of pupus, boy, or pupa, girl (the source also for our other sense of pupil to mean a schoolchild.) It was applied to the dark central portion of the eye within the iris because of the tiny image of oneself, like a puppet or marionette, that one can see when looking into another person's eye.

God looks at us and sees a reflection of Himself - Jesus - in us. But then I look at Him and see: merciful Father, God Almighty, Creator, Ruler, Saviour, King. Protector, Friend.

And there, in the eyes of my Redeemer I see: a reflection of myself ... This is one of those concepts which the bible would refer to as "Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain" (Psalm 139:6).

I believe I found two ways to interpret this, and trust both to be beautiful and true.

The prophet writes God's own words in Zechariah 2:8 -

For this is what the Lord Almighty says: “After the Glorious One has sent me against the nations that have plundered you—for whoever touches you touches the apple of His eye.

This grand chapter is a forecast of a Jerusalem so populous and prosperous and secure that it will overflow its walls, since God Himself is its protection....What Christ will do for his bride, shall be an evident proof of God's care and affection. He that touches you, touches the apple of His eye. This is a strong expression of God's love for His bride. He takes what is done against her as done against the tenderest part of the eye, to which the least touch is a great offence and pain.

The second meaning is still more intimate and speaks into the deepest part of each human who has ever doubted their self-worth. This meaning has to do with the me in Him. For most believers it is possible to believe that God lives in us, has made us new. But then He turns to us and says: You are in Me also.

"On that day you will realise that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you." (John 14:20).

("That day" referring to the day that Jesus returns, which we know to be soon.) Only then will we be able to fully attain/understand what this means, when all God's glory is revealed and those who remain faithful, will find themselves one with Him and glorified with Him.

Until then, I shall take this lofty truth and hide it in my heart - to let it grow and flow into all those places which I have ever felt were not enough. "Remain in me" says Jesus.

For: The less we know about our position IN Christ Jesus, the easier it is for Satan to keep us bound in emotional and spiritual prisons we may not even realise we're IN, let alone know how much God wants to free us from. The less we know of the authority and priestly position we have in Him, the more we will be believers who have a "form of godliness, but denying it's power". ~ 2 Tim 3:5

When you accepted Jesus Christ of Nazareth as your Redeemer - God the Father declared you as legally holy and righteous as you can possibly ever be. 

Look into the face of Jesus, into the apple of His eye and find yourself there. Know that you are seated in heavenly places with Him. Literally, a new creation. Not just with an external make-over, but with a soul and entire being which has been changed, altered - to live large, for Him. As one who's soul was and is more important to God than the life of His only Son. Yes, it is "too lofty to attain", but I dare you to try. It will be a beautiful journey of discovery.


PS. If you would like some reminders of who you are in Jesus on this journey - I have found a list of who we are "In Jesus" with scripture references, and copied it below. Don't be intimidated (as I was when I went through it) by the length. You may print and/or use them as daily reminders or points for further prayerful reflection at your own pace and as the Holy Spirit shows you.


IN the real Jesus Christ ... not a false Jesus Christ - this is what God the Father says about me. They are promises of His New Covenant rights to us who are in His Son Jesus Christ ...

In Jesus Christ, I am justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. ~  Romans 3:24

In Jesus Christ, I am God's child for I am born again of the incorruptible seed of the Word of God which lives and abides forever. ~  I Peter 1:23

In Jesus Christ, I am able to endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. ~ 2 Timothy 2:3

In Jesus Christ, I'm forgiven of all my sins and washed in His shed Blood. ~ Eph 1:7; Heb 9:14; Col 1:14; I John 2:12, I John 1:9

In Christ Jesus, I have eternal life. ~ John 3:36

In Jesus Christ, I have passed from death into life. ~ John 5:24

In Jesus Christ, out of my innermost being will flow rivers of living water. ~ John 7:38

In Jesus Christ, the truth shall set me free.~ John 8:31-32 (Knowing who you ARE in Jesus Christ is a huge and profitable revelation of that truth!)

In Jesus Christ, if I ask what God has promised, in Jesus name, He will do it. (As long as it is the Father's will for me, of course. What we can miss in reading John Chapters 14 & 15 is that God desires above all things that we make it our number one purpose as Christians to strive to allow the Holy Spirit to grow Christ-like fruit in our lives. [See: Galatians 5:22-24 to know what these "fruits" are]. Because God above all else is looking for Christ-like character growth in our lives, we sometimes struggle wondering WHY God doesn't grant us whatever we ask of Him. Though many will disagree with me, which is their right, I have yet to find one ironclad guarantee in the Bible that will motivate God to answer every prayer I pray the way I want Him to answer it. Neither have I met a Christian who can confidently convince me that God answers every prayer they pray the way they want Him to answer it. God desires that we have confidence when we pray to Him, but He also desires that we honour Him by our acknowledging that we accept however He responds to our prayers, simply because He's the only one who knows all things, understands all things, and knows what is BEST for each of us at any given time in light of eternity, and for others we pray for). ~ John 14:14; John 15:7-8

I am in Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ is in me. ~ John 14:20

In Jesus Christ, peace is mine. ~ John 14:27

In Jesus Christ, I am loved by the Father. ~ John 16:27

In Jesus Christ, I belong to God. I am His. ~ John 17:9

In Jesus Christ, I am protected from the evil one. (John 17:15). Implementing Ephesians 6:10-18 greatly secures God's protection for me. This is not to assume I am exempt from demonic attacks. The Apostle Paul wasn't, and he is the one the Holy Spirit used to write the book of Ephesians, among other Books where Paul speaks of the persecution of Satan he faced primarily through the religious people who opposed Jesus, though the ruling Romans showed little love for him either. The Apostle Peter also experienced spiritual warfare, which fully qualified him to write by unction of God the Holy Spirit: "Be sober, be alert, because your adversary, the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour." [See: 1 Peter 5:8]. Peter is not writing this to the unsaved. He is writing it to the Body of Christ, the Church - born again believers. As the balanced counsel goes forth from mature believers: Christians are never to fear what Satan can do them, but neither are they ever to become complacent, nor ignorant of his devices and strategies to rob them of their peace and joy and faith and spiritual and emotional life (love for God; zeal to keep doing God's will; determination to walk in obedience) in Christ Jesus).

In Jesus Christ, I am being sanctified by the truth of God's Word (as I believe it and obey it). ~ John 17:17
I am in Jesus Christ and loved by the Father. ~  John 17:23

In Jesus Christ, I have forgiveness of sins through Christ. ~ Acts 13:38; 1 John 1:9

In Christ, I am among the called of Jesus Christ. ~ Romans 1:6

In Christ, I am beloved of God, called to be a saint.~ Romans 1:7

In Jesus Christ, I have been justified by faith, and I have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. ~ Romans 5:1

In Jesus Christ, I am saved from eternal punishment for my sins solely by God's grace and the faith God gives me to trust Him for my salvation. Beyond trusting, there is absolutely nothing I could possibly do to earn that salvation, nor must I ever think that I somehow deserve this salvation. Salvation is the gift of God, from God.~ Ephesians 2:8

In Jesus Christ, I have perseverance, character and hope, when I purpose to glory in my tribulations, (rather than constantly complain about them, or become angry and bitter at God for allowing them to happen to me, which is what demonic spirits serving Satan delights seeing happen to you and I!) Romans 5:3-4

In Jesus Christ, the love of God has been poured out in my heart through Jesus' death.~ Romans 5:5

In Jesus Christ, I will eventually reign in life through the obedience of Christ Jesus to the Father. ~ Romans 5:17

In Jesus Christ, I have been made righteous through the obedience of Christ. ~ Romans 5:19; 2 Corinthians 5:21

In Jesus Christ, because I have been given the righteousness Christ had and has, I now am commanded of God to diligently strive daily to live up to this righteousness that Christ secured for me. (Not giving into temptations to sin, in other words, walking in obedience to the Word of Truth). ~ 1 Timothy 6:11; 2 Timothy 2:22
In Jesus Christ, I died with Christ when He died. Therefore I have Christ's power in me to help me stop sinning. I have the right to appropriate this power to conquer areas of sin in my life, for it is clearly God's will that I stop sinning. ~ Romans 6:2

In Jesus Christ, because Christ rose from the dead, I have been raised from the spiritually dead to walk in newness of spiritual life through Christ. ~ Romans 6:4

In Jesus Christ, I no longer need to be a slave to sin, because God has given me His power in Christ to became a vessel to holiness and obedience. ~ Romans 6:6

In Jesus Christ and through the strength and power of Christ, I AM an overcomer. ~ Philippians 4:13; 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

In Jesus Christ, what I purpose to do daily is seek the help of the Holy Spirit to help me understand when I am sinning; help me understand why God doesn't want me committing that sin; and then help me overcome that sin(s) in my life. ~ Romans 8:13

In Jesus Christ, I am not under law, but under grace. Before Christ died for sinners on the cross, I was under the law. To be saved, I was to try to obey the 10 commandments (which the Bible says no one can do, though Christ did). After Christ died for sinners on the cross, I was under grace. Under grace, I no longer had to try to obey the 10 commandments to become saved, but rather, trust that Christ paid full penalty for all my sins, taking my full punishment for them. And because I'm now under grace, I realise there is nothing to lose and everything to gain by my keeping the Ten Commandments, but without the resurrection power that is imparted to us in Christ and by the help of the Holy Spirit, we won't be able to faithfully obey the Ten Commandments anyway for very long. Yet I must always remember lest the devil try to deceive me as the book of Galatians addresses, trying to keep the 10 commandments will not, and will never, save me from my sins, nor will it save anyone else. Neither will restoring any daily sacrifice as was practised in Old Testament times by the Jews save me or anyone else from my or their sins. ~ Romans 6:14; Galatians 5:18

I once was a slave to sin before I was saved, but now that I am secure in my salvation in Christ, I desire to be a slave of righteousness (addicted to righteousness; right-relationship with God, in other words). ~ Romans 6:18

In Jesus Christ, I have now no condemnation because of who I am in Christ, (though I have Holy Spirit conviction when I've offended God, because all sin offends God.) ~  Romans 8:1

In Jesus Christ, I have been set free from the law of sin and of death. ~  Romans 8:2

In Jesus Christ, I have spiritual life in my mortal body through His Spirit who indwells me. ~ Romans 8:11

In Christ Jesus, I am a child of God. (When I wasn't in Christ Jesus, I was a child of Satan). ~ Romans 8:16

In Christ, I am an heir of God and fellow heir with Christ. ~ Romans 8:17

In Jesus Christ, all things are working ultimately together for my good, as I walk in God's purposes and His will, in love. ~  Romans 8:28; 1 John 5:3

In Jesus Christ, I have been justified and glorified in the mind of God, and I now strive to walk in obedience to the Word of Truth to glorify the One (Jesus Christ) who secured my justification and glorification. ~ Romans 8:30

In Jesus Christ, I have a humble perspective of the faith God has distributed to me. ~ Romans 12:3

In Jesus Christ, I have been given gifts, though I also know that I'm to desire supernatural gifts at all times imparted by the Holy Spirit, to glorify God. ~ Romans 12:6; 1 Corinthians 14:1

In Jesus Christ, I am to desire spiritual gifts, but diligently PURSUE love, because it was love that motivated and keeps motivating God to pursue me and you. ~ 1 Corinthians 14:1

In Jesus Christ, whether I live or die, I am the Lord's. ~ Romans 14:8

In Jesus Christ, I am a sanctified saint, (but living it out daily is a different matter, though it is God's will that I eagerly strive to do so, with the help of the Holy Spirit and God's Word!) ~ I Cor. 1:2

In Jesus Christ, I have been given the grace of God. ~ I Cor. 1:4

In Jesus Christ, I have been enriched in every way. ~ I Cor. 1:5

In Jesus Christ, I am called into fellowship with God. ~ I Cor. 1:9

In Jesus Christ, I qualify to be given wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. ~ I Cor. 1:30

Because of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ and my choice to identify with Him, I have been given God's Spirit so I can understand what God has freely given. ~  I Cor. 2:12

In Jesus Christ, I am God's fellow worker, I am God's field, God's building. ~ I Cor. 3:9

In Jesus Christ, I am a temple of God in which the Spirit of God indwells, though I also realise that I can grieve the Spirit of God by giving place to ongoing sin...disobedience...teaching false doctrine...twisting scriptures out of context and/or improper scripture application. (Grieving the Holy Spirit for any length of time almost always brings chastisement and discipline upon us, which is always painful to one degree or another). ~ I Cor. 3:16; Ephesians 4:30

In Jesus Christ, I am a holy temple of God (but my flesh is likened to an unholy temple where demons frequent when I continue in sin!) ~ I Cor. 3:17

In Jesus Christ, I am one spirit with God's Spirit, (though my sinful flesh begs to differ far too often!) ~ I Cor. 6:17

In Jesus Christ, my body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in me, and because God says it is His temple, I strive to make it a holy temple daily through the help of Christ's strength in me to walk in the Spirit rather than the flesh. However, as a word of caution, no matter how much a person conquers areas of sin in their life, this is not, nor will it ever, be what saves them from their sins. BELIEVING what Christ accomplished for us on the cross is what saves us. Nothing less. Nothing more. We are not saved from the penalty of our sins, by our good works. We are saved from the penalty of our sins by our trusting; and we are saved to do good works. ~ I Cor. 6:19

In Jesus Christ, I have been bought with a price, and I desire to honor God with my body, (which encompasses my spirit, my soul, and my physical body). ~ I Cor. 6:20

In Jesus Christ, I am Christ's slave (though I'm not so arrogant nor naive to believe that my selfish and fleshly carnal nature has been stripped fully of its power to keep me from being a slave to it's sinful desires, which is why I need to daily purpose to walk in the Spirit, so I don't fulfil the lusts of my flesh). ~ I Cor. 7:22; Galatians 5:16-17

In Jesus Christ, I will be raised from the dead imperishable. ~ I Cor. 15:52

In Jesus Christ, I will put on immortality. ~ I Cor. 15:53

In Jesus Christ, I am comforted by God, so I can comfort others. ~ 2 Cor. 1:4

In Jesus Christ, I am delivered from the peril of spiritual death, providing I'm willing to give my ALL to God in obedience to maintain my deliverance. ~ 2 Cor. 1:10

In Jesus Christ, He anointed me, and put His seal of ownership on me. ~ 2 Cor. 1:22

In Jesus Christ, I am a fragrance of Christ to God among both the saved and the lost, as I behave like Christ would behave. ~ 2 Cor. 2:15

In Christ, I am a letter of Christ being written.~ 2 Cor. 3:3

In Christ, I am a minister of the new covenant of the Spirit of life. ~ 2 Cor. 3:6

In Christ, I am being transformed into the likeness of the Lord Jesus ever increasingly with glory from God the Father by the help of the Holy Spirit as I walk in obedience to His Word of Truth. ~ 2 Cor. 3:18

In Jesus Christ, I have received mercy, and do not lose heart through Christ who strengthens me and by the help of the Holy Spirit. ~ 2 Cor. 4:1

In Jesus Christ, I have the Holy Spirit in my body. ~ 2 Cor. 4:7

In Jesus Christ, the life of Jesus is manifested in my body, as I diligently work in cooperation with the Holy Spirit to help me. ~ 2 Cor. 4:10 See: Romans 8:13

In Jesus Christ, my inner man is being renewed day by day. ~ 2 Cor. 4:16

In Jesus Christ, I have a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. ~ 2 Cor. 5:1

In Jesus Christ, I live by faith, not by sight. (That is, I live by faith in God's wisely applied promises in His Word. Otherwise I may be living by presumption and/or assumption without even knowing, which can give demons an open door to trip me up). ~ Cor. 5:7

In Jesus Christ, I am a new spiritual creation; old things have passed away, and all things have become new. ~ 2 Cor. 5:17

In Jesus Christ, I am reconciled to God, and I have been given the ministry of reconciliation. ~ 2 Cor. 5:18

In Jesus Christ, I am an ambassador for Christ, imploring people to be reconciled to God. ~ 2 Cor. 5:20

In Jesus Christ, I am the righteousness of God. ~ 2 Cor. 5:21

In Jesus Christ, I have grace from God so I can abound in every good work. ~ 2 Cor. 9:8

In the love of God, I am Christ's. ~ 2 Cor. 10:7

In God's love and mercy and grace, Jesus Christ is in me. ~ 2 Cor. 13:5

I am crucified with Jesus Christ, as the Apostle Paul was qualified to state, so I too in Christ want to be able to confidently proclaim this. I no longer live but Christ lives in me, and the life that I live now, I live by faith in Christ." ~  Gal. 2:20

I am a son of God through faith in Christ Jesus. ~ Gal. 3:26

I am one in Christ Jesus with all believers. ~ Gal. 3:28

I belong to Jesus Christ. I am an heir through Christ according to the promise. ~ Gal. 3:29

In Jesus Christ, I am a son of God. ~ Gal. 4:6

In Jesus Christ, I am no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God. ~ Gal. 4:7

In Jesus Christ, I have grace and peace. ~ Eph. 1:2

In Jesus Christ, I am blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. No matter how difficult life may have been for me up to this point, or how difficult it might get in the future ... nothing changes the fact that I am blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. Once I'm in "heavenly places," my faith will become sight - hallelujah! ~ Eph. 1:3

In Jesus Christ, I am chosen in Him. ~ Eph. 1:4

In Christ Jesus, I am holy and blameless in God's sight. ~  Eph. 1:4

In Jesus Christ I have redemption and forgiveness. ~ Eph. 1:7

In Jesus Christ I have obtained an inheritance. ~ Eph. 1:11

I have been sealed in Jesus Christ with the promised Holy Spirit. ~ Eph. 1:13

In Jesus Christ, I am loved by God, and because I am loved by God, I demonstrate my love for Him and others by earnestly striving to keep His New Covenant commandments. Yet keeping God's commandments does not motivate God to love me more. In Christ, I ALREADY have all of God the Father's unconditional love. Obeying God's New Testament commandments will bring God's increased favour and/or blessing one way or the other in God's timing and God's ways, not His love. ~  Eph. 2:4; 1 John 5:3

In Jesus Christ, I have been made alive together with Christ. ~ Eph. 2:5

In Jesus Christ, I have every right to feel confidently secure that I have been raised with Him and seated with Him in the heavenly places. ~ Eph. 2:6

In Jesus Christ, I have been saved from my sins by grace through faith -- this salvation of His forgiveness for my sins is a gift of God. ~  Eph. 2:8

In Jesus Christ, I am God's workmanship created for good works. "Good Works" as in striving to obey the New Testament commandments to be more Christ-like in every way possible. ~ Eph. 2:10

In Jesus Christ I have access in one Spirit to the Father. ~  Eph. 2:18

In Jesus Christ, I am no longer a stranger and alien, but I am a fellow citizen with the saints. ~  Eph. 2:19

In Jesus Christ, I am a fellow heir and fellow member of the body of Christ. ~  Eph. 3:6

In Jesus Christ, I am a fellow partaker of the promises of God. ~  Eph. 3:6

In Jesus Christ and through faith in Him, we have boldness and confident access to God the Father. ~  Eph. 3:12

In Christ Jesus, I am strengthened with power through His Spirit in my inner man. ~  Eph. 3:16

In Jesus Christ, I have a power source within me which is able to do abundantly beyond all that I ask or think. ~ Eph. 3:20

In Jesus Christ, I have been given grace. ~ Eph. 4:7

In Jesus Christ, I have been forgiven, so I forgive others through the strength (ability) Christ provides when I need it. ~  Eph. 4:32; Phil. 4:13

In Jesus Christ, I am confident that He who began a good work in me will perfect it until the day (return) of Christ Jesus, (or the moment in time when I stand fully in the presence of God). ~ Phil. 1:6

In Jesus Christ, God is at work within me both to will and to work for His good pleasure. ~ Phil. 2:13

In Christ Jesus my Savior and Lord, I am a spiritual light in the world. ~ Phil. 2:15

In Jesus Christ, the peace of God guards my heart and mind as I pray with thanksgiving in everything. ~ Phil. 4:6,7

In Jesus Christ, I can do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens me. (In accordance with the Father's will, of course) ~ Phil. 4:13

In Jesus Christ, God shall supply all my needs (not necessarily all my wants) according to His riches in glory. ~ Phil. 4:19

In Jesus Christ, the Father has qualified me to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light, as long as I remain faithful to Him until my time is done on this planet. ~ Col. 1:12 (For the "once saved - always saved" folks who believe it is impossible for them to lose their salvation ... they are highly exhorted to diligently seek God for full revelation of what Jesus meant when He said: "But he who endures to the end shall be saved." (Matthew 24:13).

In and through Jesus Christ, I have been delivered from the domain of darkness and transferred to the kingdom of His beloved Son. ~ Col. 1:13

In Christ Jesus, I have redemption and the forgiveness of sins. ~ Col. 1:14

Jesus Christ is in me, the hope of glory. ~ Col. 1:27

In Jesus Christ I have already been made complete, yet until I reach heaven, I'm to live UP to that completeness! ~ Col. 2:10

In Jesus Christ I have been buried with Him in baptism. In and through Christ I have been raised up with Him through faith. ~  Col. 2:12

In Jesus Christ, I have been made spiritually alive together with Him. ~  Col. 2:13

In Jesus Christ, all my sin debt to God was paid in full at the cross. ~ Col. 2:14

I have been raised with Jesus Christ, and I set my heart on things above (things that are most important to God). I have died (to my carnal, fleshly sinful nature), and my life (whatever pleases the Father) is hidden with Christ in God. ~ Col. 3:1-3

In Jesus Christ, I have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of the Creator. ~ Col. 3:10

In Jesus Christ, I am taught by God to love others (treat others the way I want to be treated, in other words). ~ I Thess. 4:9

I am loved by the Lord. God has chosen me in Christ from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. ~  2 Thess. 2:13

The faithful Lord will strengthen and protect me from the evil one because of who I am in Jesus Christ (but I must also use my Ephesians 6:10-18 weapons of warfare that God has given me to use...not to let them sit in some dark corner of a closet to collect dust, so to speak.) ~ 2 Thess. 3:3

In Jesus Christ, I have been called to eternal life. ~ I Tim. 6:12

Because of who I am in Jesus Christ, God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind -- which happens to be nothing less than the very mind of Christ. ~ 2 Tim. 1:7; 1 Cor. 2:16

The Lord has saved me and called me to a holy life, not according to my works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted me in Christ Jesus for all eternity. ~ 2 Tim. 1:9

I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day (He returns to earth for His Bride, or when I die a natural death) because of what God secured for me in and through Christ Jesus the Word. 2 Tim. 1:12

I have been justified by His grace in Christ and made an heir through Christ in having the hope of eternal life. ~ Titus 3:7

In Jesus Christ, I am a house of Jesus Christ. ~ Heb. 3:6

I have become a partaker of Christ through the divine will of the Father. ~ Heb. 3:14

In Jesus Christ, I have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens. ~ Heb. 4:14

In Jesus Christ, I have a high priest who can sympathise with my weaknesses. ~ Heb. 4:15

In Jesus Christ, I can approach the throne of grace with confidence, so I may receive mercy and find grace to help me in my time of need. ~ Heb. 4:16
In Jesus Christ, I have been made holy through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (Although I realise that as long as I'm on this planet prior to Christ's physical return, the sanctifying (purifying) work of the Holy Spirit will be ongoing in my life). ~  Heb. 10:10

In Jesus Christ, my heart has been sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and my body washed with pure water. ~ Heb.10:22

Because of Jesus Christ, I have a great cloud of witnesses surrounding me who are also in Christ. ~ Heb. 12:1

Because I belong to Christ Jesus, God disciplines me for my good that I may share His holiness (this is referred to as the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit). Positionally, in Christ, I have already been made holy and righteous. Because of that truth, I am now to pursue holiness and righteousness, seeking to imitate the character of Jesus Christ in every way - daily. ~ Heb. 12:10; 2 Cor. 5:21

In Jesus Christ, I have received a kingdom which cannot be shaken, and I am thankful and worship God. ~ Heb. 12:28

In Jesus Christ, God generously and without reproach gives to me wisdom if I ask Him, but I must be patient to get it sometimes, and I must be willing to seek Godly counsel from others at times or it may not be given to me. ~ James 1:5

In Jesus Christ, God has promised to me the crown of life when I persevere under trial. ~  James 1:12

In Jesus Christ, I have obtained an inheritance which can never perish, spoil, or fade away, reserved in heaven for me. ~  I Peter 1:4

I am protected by the power of God through faith until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time because of who I am in Christ. ~ I Peter 1:5

In Jesus Christ, I am a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a person for God's own possession, that I may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called me out of (spiritual) darkness into His marvellous light. ~ I Peter 2:9

In Jesus Christ, I am part of the family of God, and I have received mercy. ~  I Peter 2:10
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved. ~  Ephesians 1:3-6

But God (the Father), who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. ~ Ephesians 2:4-7

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God (the Father). Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. ~  Colossians 3:1-4 

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. ~ Ephesians 2:10

In Christ Jesus, and by His wounds I am healed. ~1 Peter 2:24.