Extra Post: New Man – How to live the New Person we are in Christ… Permanently

maitouline lighthouse croppedThe New Man. What is the ‘new man’? How can I walk in the new man every day, all day, forever? I’m saved by grace, but don’t I have to work hard to be a Good Christian? The answer is simply, “No, you don’t.”

“Give me back my stuff,” said Jesus to Author and Prophet Graham Cooke in a personal encounter.

What is stuff? Stuff is the anxiety, worry, anger, hostility, fear, bitterness, resentment…. Stuff is all of the negative thoughts and feelings that are not a part of the Kingdom of God. They are dead, as dead as Jesus was on the cross. And they belong to the Old Man, the man you were and the man I was before accepting Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. The old man is dead (Romans 6:6). The new man lives (Ephesians 4:22-23) and we can allow him to reign in us, by the power of the blood of Jesus and of the Holy Spirit.

We can discern the thoughts and the feelings of the old man versus those of the new man easily enough. Negativity is from the old man. Whatever is not holy, heavenly, delightful, life-giving is not the new man’s thinking or emotion. The fruits of the Spirit which are: love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, gentleness, patience, faithfulness, self-control, are linked with the thoughts and feelings of the new man.

When Jesus died he took all of our stuff, so that we wouldn’t have to carry it anymore. When we fall into negative thought or emotion, we are taking back what Jesus died to overcome; we are taking back the stuff he died to have, so we wouldn’t have it anymore. He wants us to live in the new man, and let him keep the stuff of the old man.

Although the old man rises up inside of us, we don’t have to allow what is dead to be resurrected. We have the authority and the power to reject the dead man. It is not true that it is a part of us.

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:1-2)

Recognizing the old man as dead and that his negative emotions and thoughts are not actually a part of us is an understanding that comes to the transformed mind. We are no longer ‘dead’ in our sin. Saved by grace, we have access to the thought-life and emotional life of Heaven.

The old man, as cited in Romans 6:6 is, “crucified with Him,that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.”

Continuing, “For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:7-11 NKJV)

Meditate on this. Allow it to sink into your mind and spirit, to transform you from the inside.

Paul’s reference to sin includes thoughts and emotions that are not life-giving.  They are dead, just as we were dead before we knew Jesus. And we do not have to accept them as a part of us any longer. Instead, we choose to turn a corner and to walk full of the newness that life with Christ offers.

The new man is described as, renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him” and we are to ‘put him on’ (Colossians 3:10). Now, “The new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:24 NKJV) is described as, “as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering” (Colossians 3:12) is the person we have become through salvation, whether or not we realize it. We no longer need to walk in the futility of our minds but we have a new mind. Saved by grace we no longer live in despair or darkness except by ignorance.

Becoming Christ-like isn’t about wrestling with our bad habits to overcome them so we can behave more “Christian”. Becoming like Christ is living in the new mindset we’ve already been given supernaturally. We are not only saved by grace, but we are also sanctified by grace. And so let us with this information, walk in the new man, leaving behind the patterns, habits and trappings of the old man. Let us run the race set before us (Hebrews 12:1) with joy, peace, faith and love, knowing the old stuff is false and the new is our true identity, already accessible. We are alive in Christ. So, let us help each other to walk in that new life, knowing the old has passed away and the new is here to stay.

Studies in the world have proven that we will often manifest what we expect. Let us expect a life free from strife, filled with joy, and moving toward the Kingdom of Heaven which has come down to Earth and has already saved us from sinful selves so that we can live in the freedom of our true selves, free to be the people God created us to be.

My favourite scripture is this:

“Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14

Ready: Take time to unclutter your mind and discover who you are in Christ.

Set: Choose to be resolute. Trust and surrender is letting go of hard work and doubt. It is tenacity at it’s best. It is hope and faith in action.

Go: With faith and focus like flint and with a face to match, I’m going forward in the knowledge and love of Christ, to be the new man, full of God’s grace, truth, hope and joy. Please, will you join me?

FOR THIS AND OTHER POSTS PLEASE VISIT MY WEBSITE: www.LarusPress.com/category/larusblog and sign up for the free week,ly newsletter too.

Larus Press: Building the Kingdom, one reader at a time.

Larus Press: Christian-based books, blogs and literature, to inspire, encourage, equip and empower your living spirit.

A Calling Recognized and Fulfilled

My Hope and God’s Promises Fulfilled:

I have launched an upgraded website: http://www.LarusPress.com To know what really makes me tick have a view of the video on the home page.

Please know my heart: it is not to be famous or noted (I’ve been there, tried that – another story there). It is to serve.

I believe, after years of seeking mentorship support, direction to fulfill words spoken over me years ago, that I have finally matured sufficiently to be trusted with a mentor beyond my darling hubby Alan Tun (thank you Tony Marino) and a fuller picture of what God wants to use me for…

This is simply to encourage, uplift others who seek to know God’s will and purpose for their lives and to offer application of Biblical scripture to readers seeking to fulfill their purpose – their reason for being put on this earth at this time.

It’s a tall order. It isn’t me. It’s Christ who lives in me. To subscribe to the free newsletter Soaring Post see:

http://www.laruspress.com/about

In Christ we live and move and have our being. So, let’s grab hold of the promises He has for us. Looking forward and not back, pressing in and not being pressed upon. Believing and hoping that all He promises has been fulfilled for us and will be fulfilled in and through us.

Bless you Guys!

Sarah

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Lighthouse morphs into Larus Press

FINDING YOUR IDENTITY, FULFILLING YOUR PURPOSE IN CHRIST:

Larus Press

Larus Press

I am relaunching my website: www.LarusPress.com. The new site has a newsletter, Soaring Press, and a 4-strand blog, called LarusWalk. The Walk offers 4 aspects to our Christian walk: Wholeness, Witness, Word and Worship&Warfare. As we think, pray, walk we soar (larus = gull in Latin)! At Larus Press, the aim is to build up every believer, so we discover and fulfill our unique identity and purpose – to be all God has created us to be, in order to do all God has created us to do.

For some time now I’ve been chatting, posting and blogging on various platforms. My first blog began in 2011 and I’ve gone a bit wild with Facebook pages, LinkedIn, Goodreads, Twitter and Google+ and WordPress.

Google and WordPress have been instrumental in enabling me to launch blogs and write meaningful posts for readers. Having learned a lot, met lots of terrific people and exchanged many ideas, notions and hilarity, it’s time to morph through merging: I’m becoming streamlined… at last.

This of course has been done through prayerful consideration, mentoring assistance and enthusiastic effort. In other words, I’m attempting to follow God’s lead and am grateful for other people’s advice and help.

Thanks to WordPress and Google Blogspot. Thanks to Rebecca Tun for getting me started and Natasje Van Niekerk for saying it was fairly easy (if I’d known how hard it was all going to be I’d never have started). Thanks to Corina Koch McLeod for offering techie wisdom, experience and enthusiasm, and Tony Marino for encouragement, expertise and mentoring this Canadian gal.

Thanks so much to God, for inspiring me, challenging me, birthing in me a ministry to help others who face the same challenges I’ve faced – and more.

Moving my blogging to Larus Press is exciting. I won’t close the Lighthouse, though I don’t expect to post to it. It is a reference point and may, perhaps, be reborn in a new form at a later date. Who knows? God knows.

May all your plans and purposes be a part of God’s light and may you choose to join me at: http://www.LarusPress.com where you’ll find Soaring Press – a weekly newsletter and the four-strand blog LarusWalk offering Wholeness, Witness, Word and Worship&Warfare. 

Larus Press is a publishing ministry to Build Believers through Books, Blogs and Literature, to inspire, encourage, equip and empower your living spirit. Find us there now. First edition of the weekly Newsletter to be released next Thursday, 6th May. I hope you’ll subscribe and invite your friends to take a peek. God bless and until next week…

Gull, Symbol of Survival and Freedom to Soar

Gull, Symbol of Survival and Freedom to Soar

 

The Ultimate Goal

The Ultimate Goal:

‘One thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal, for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.’ Philippians 3:13b-14 (loose translation)

When I was in Discipleship Training some twenty years ago, I was encouraged to know that suffering was for the purpose of building character and building character led to usefulness and crowns in Heaven.

Now I realize that the ultimate goal will not necessarily lead me to any victory, blessing or usefulness on earth, but that the only reason for suffering may be to bring me closer to the character of Jesus. I may not be otherwise blessed at all.

So much for prosperity gospel. So much for victorious living and God’s blessings. Is being like Jesus enough?

This past year, 2013, has been the most difficult year in my 30 years as a believer and follower of Jesus Christ. I have my health, I have a safe and warm home, I have my family; I am blessed in many ways. But what I have ‘lost’ is the belief that I will one day achieve something for the Kingdom which is of lasting benefit and significance. I have, as one friend said recently, experienced the ‘death to the dream’ or as Dr Larry Crabb puts it, I have experienced Shattered Dreams (Waterbrook Press, Colorado Springs, Colorado, (c) 2001).

This past year has been a year of expectations disappointed, of strain with no resultant achievement, of realization that just because I believe and work hard does not mean I will succeed in finding a job or finding an audience for my writing. That’s been a difficult lesson.
I’ve watched others in similar situations, faithful brothers or sisters in Christ, who have experienced similar. Some tell stories of God coming through in the end. Others are still waiting. For myself, I’ve stumbled upon a new reality: Jesus came to save from sin – which is both a one-time finished salvation and also a slow process of self-discovery and sanctification which may have no other end but purity.

I wonder how many believers have faith in ultimate goals being realized: hopes and ambitions that God will train us so that we can be better people in our work and ministry, only to discover eventually that life hasn’t panned out quite how they expected. And if any of those disappointed that their own dreams – what they believe or believed were the ‘desires of their hearts’ – will not be realized, have become bitter or disillusioned. My own sense of self-importance, which dies hard, has thought I will one day minister and be fruitful in producing writing that will speak to millions and change lives. Now I’m thinking that will not be how God uses me and that He may not even use me at all. Realizing this has been hard. But do I still love Him, in spite of thinking my secure middle class existence and hope for notoriety is speedily coming to an end?

Yes, I do. I may not love Him as much as I thought I did, but the seed is still there. Thank you, LORD. And I will persevere, in spite of discovering there may be no reward but the assurance I am saved by His grace. And I will love Him all the more as I see the ugliness of my selfish ambition and know He still loves me.

The ultimate goal is not to reap prosperity, nor even to be involved in the conversion of others to the knowledge of God’s ultimate gift in giving us His son Jesus. The ultimate goal is simply to be transformed to be more the likeness of the Son. And that is sometimes a hard journey.

Dr Larry Crabb’s subtitle to his book Shattered Dreams is not a promise and not a reason to persevere, but it is a hope; Shattered Dreams is God’s Unexpected Pathway to Joy. I wouldn’t urge others to persevere for the sake of it, but it is helpful to know there is a hope at the end of the tunnel. As I grow in Christ, as I journey in my faith, the tunnels seem to get longer, but so far they’ve always ended. I’ve no reason to believe the one I’ve lived in during 2013 will end on 1st January 2014, but I do have every reason to believe it will, one day, ‘burst forth into glorious day’!!

God bless and Happy New Year!

There is always Hope

There is always Hope

Brokenness

Joy is supernatural. So we can’t drum it up.

But what if joy seems to disappear? Is that because the LORD has departed? Or have we ignored Him for a prolonged time and therefore He has be relegated to the back burner, leaving our fire, passion – and joy – behind as we trudge ahead in our own strength? Or has some reality crept in that robs us of joy as we navigate between the world, the flesh and the devil?

I seem to be in mid-life crisis. At 54 I guess that means I’m running a little behind. I just recently woke up to the fact that I’m over 50, aging and I’ve not accomplished what I hoped to do and time is running out!

The clock seems to be running and I’m slowing down.

My joy is only in the LORD and it is complete in Him. I haven’t slipped from obedience, faith or love for Him. But reason is telling me I need to make a shift in my strategy for living. Not because I’m tired, because I’m not. But because I doubt my ability to achieve what’s in my heart to achieve and I’m not sure how to move forward.

I think what GOD is doing is sending me a reality check: what am I doing with my time and is it worthwhile?

As the proverbial clock ticks, I’ve not got any answers. I know ‘in whom I have believed’ and of Him I have no doubts. I do have doubts about myself though. I don’t write this to receive kind words of encouragement but to share that we can all, from time to time (or only once in our lifetime), have doubt – not of the LORD but of ourselves. How I am navigating through this is probably not the way to recommend: I’m hiding. But on the other hand, in my hiding I am putting my focus on others. I’ve just got less overall intention than in the past and I’m wondering if this is a permanent change.

So, the brokenness I’m experiencing is a bit like shattered crockery – it isn’t going to go back together in the same way it existed before. My faith is the glue. Though I have little hope right now, experience teaches me that this time will pass. Scripture says “I will shine forth like gold” – eventually. As I navigate through the present, I try to enjoy a moment of solitude, stillness, and pray.

To anyone to whom this all makes perfect sense, I say we hang on together, knowing the ebb and flow of life and God’s love will carry us through. For me, I’m just not sure where I’m going to end up. And in that, is a brokenness only God can repair.

God bless.

Self-esteem and Effective Collaboration

Recently, I have been challenged in the area of relationship.

Relationship, I believe, is the single, most important aspect of our lives. We relate to Father God, Creator of the Universe; we relate to ourselves, learning to accept ourselves in entirety and to surrender to God so He can refine us; we relate to others because, surrounded by people, we must learn to get along. Relationship motivates us, excites us, gives our lives meaning and purpose.

But what do I do when I’m called to work with someone that I don’t naturally connect to? Or worse, that is so like me that I feel like I’m looking into a grubby mirror and all the worst aspects of me are being reflected back?

That is when the hard-earned self-esteem I’ve pursued and developed – after years of feeling inferior – reveals its value and I display that with God all things are possible, even learning to laugh at difficult circumstances and to surrender the outcome to Him. That is when I practice the grace I’ve received from God the Father and from His other children toward the person I find challenging. That is when I dig down and pray for the relationship and for the very best in our process together.

When I am confident in my identity, ‘I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength’ (Phil 4:13), and I can enable others to do the same by demonstrating patience, love, peace… and all the fruits of the Spirit.

Developing self-esteem is a paradox. When you discover God’s unconditional love, you recognize how perfectly He made you (see Psalm 139:16, 13). When you realize how far removed you are from His perfect creation, you aspire to be all He’s created you to be, so that the ache and shame of imperfection is washed away by the grace and love you experience from Him.

I recognize that God has created me perfectly, even though life experiences have molded me imperfectly. I can find both confidence and humility in this awareness.

We are on a learning curve, together, and the LORD is calling His children to work together. Together is how we grow and how God reflects His love and His will. In order to work together most effectively, our flesh needs to bow to our spirit, so that our spirit can yield to His Holy Spirit. We can be His hands and feet most effectively when we love one another as we love ourselves.

Let’s face the challenges the sovereign LORD puts in front of us, aware that we are just as much a challenge to others as they are to us. Let’s fight the good fight, let’s finish the race (2 Tim 4:7). Let’s enjoy one another, working together to do His will, walking His way, through the grace and power of His word.

God bless.

On the band wagon : Christian Authors

I have been writing forever and as a focus since 2000 when I felt the LORD say “write”.

I have been published for just over a year.

In that time I’ve received a tremendous amount of advice about building the writing as a business. Marketing on the social network has become a part of my day. I’m doing my best to keep up with the trends, demands, opportunities of marketing my book and my work on the net.

But

I’ve come to the realization that following the “write” command – and the encouragement for it – has been relegated to second place.

I want to go back to making it the first place – even if it’s only a hobby. Because there is joy in the writing and much less in all of the ancillary stuff.

Don’t get me wrong, please. If I hadn’t put my back into building a site (www.laruspress.com) and extended my net to reach out to many on facebook (Sarah Tun and page Free to Be – raising self esteem) and on twitter (@laruspress and @disowndredeemd) then I would have missed out on a lot of good people and their posts/tweets/ideas. But this whole aspect to building business is not for me. How do I know? Because I’m muddled rather than clear-headed, and because what I’m doing isn’t unique – as Christ is – but rather I find myself following (rather than leading as is my disposition and calling) and feeling very un-creative.

What shall I do about this? I’ll pray. How do I rectify the situation? I’ll pray. Because the truth is, ‘with God all things are possible’, and because ‘unless the LORD builds the house (I) labour in vain.

So, to all Christian authors out there, I encourage you to write on. And follow God’s lead in all that you do. May you have clarity and breakthrough, and may you be aware in your journey when the LORD is leading you to change. For me, it might be quite possible I’m in for a ‘change’. I’ll keep you posted… literally.

God bless.