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from Freedom in Christ Ministries

December 2


To all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to
you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ
(Romans 1:7).

Have you ever heard a Christian refer to himself as "just a
sinner saved by grace"? Have you referred to yourself that way?
What do sinners do? They sin! If you are no different from a
non-Christian, or even if you perceive yourself as no different,
what will happen? Your Christian life will be mediocre at best,
with little to distinguish you from a non-Christian. Satan will
seize that opportunity, pour on the guilt, and convince you that
you are doomed to an up-and-down spiritual existence. As a
defeated Christian you will confess your sin and strive to do
better, but inwardly you will admit that you are just a sinner
saved by grace, hanging on until the rapture.

In Scripture, believers are called "brethren," "sons of God,"
"sons of light," and "saints." You are not a sinner; you are a
saint who sins. "For you were formerly darkness, but now you are
light in the Lord; walk as children of light" (Ephesians 5:8).
According to that passage, we don't have an identity problem; we
have a walk problem.

We become saints at the moment of salvation and live as saints in
our daily experience as we continue to believe what God has done
and as we continue to affirm who we really are in Christ. If you
fail to see yourself as a child of God, you will struggle vainly
to live like one, and Satan will have little trouble convincing
you that you are no different from who you were before Christ and
that you have no value to God or anyone else. But appropriating
by faith the radical transformation of your core identity from
sinner to saint will have a powerful, positive effect on your
daily resistance to sin and Satan.

Lord, open my eyes that I may see myself as You see me. Then
enable me to walk as a child of light.

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Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD. Psalm


Thank you, Lord of Heaven and earth,
For your perfect love and abundant goodness.
You are gracious and compassionate,
Full of loving kindness, ready to forgive,
Patiently considerate, and generous beyond imagining.
I rejoice that you have chosen me
And brought me near to you, to dwell in your courts.
Thank you that you are my God, my King, my Friend,
My Refuge in trouble and danger,
My Father to care for me,
My Shepherd to guide,
My Bridegroom to delight in me.

Because Thy loving kindness is better than life,
My lips will praise Thee.

Today, families all over the world will gather to celebrate
Thanksgiving, my favorite time of the year. It is a simple holiday; one
that seems to have escaped the death grip of materialism and
side-stepped the greed that often permeates the holiday season.
Laughter and love fills homes and hearts swell with fresh hope as
families gather around mountains of food to remember and celebrate all
God has done. The rich heritage of relationships – family and friends –
is revisited then tucked away as a precious gift of strength for the
days ahead.

Man set aside one day to be thankful. God set aside a lifetime. Yet, I
find few Christians whose lives are filled with thanksgiving. I think I
know why. Because we do not understand the true meaning of praise, we do
not understand the accessibility of thanksgiving. Many Christians
neglect praise entirely because they are afraid, shoving it down into a
dark corner of their spiritual journey. On the other hand, some
Christians base their entire faith on praise, neglecting the bible and
leaving service to someone else while they are busy praising God. Both
viewpoints are wrong and out of balance. The truth is that praise and
thanksgiving are acts of spiritual obedience and should be practiced by
every believer.

Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will
praise you as long as I live, and in your name, I will lift up my hands.
Psalm 63:3-4

Praise is not optional for a fully devoted follower of God. It is
essential to a vital faith and a command from Him! Praise is more than
spoken words; it is the natural fruit of a heart wholly devoted to God
and bound by a love relationship with Him. Praise is powerful and can
alter life’s parameters to include trust and acceptance in the face of a
crisis. The power of praise can also make this holiday season one of
true celebration and new meaning. To understand the importance of praise
we must first recognize the power of praise.