Therefore if anyone is in Christ [that is, grafted in, joined to Him by faith in Him as Savior], he is a new creature [reborn and renewed by the Holy Spirit]; the old things [the previous moral and spiritual condition] have passed away. Behold, new things have come [because spiritual awakening brings a new life]. 2 Cor. 5:17 Amplified Version
A scripture verse takes on all new meaning when reading it in a different translation. What does it mean to be ‘in Christ’? It might be hard for any child of God to explain it apart from the more general context of what it means to ‘become a believer’. So what does it mean to be grafted in?
Valuable relationships are usually described as ones that enjoy a special connection. Those connections can’t be made without forming a relationship. The same is true when considering moving closer to Jesus. To be in Him, grafted, and connected to Him, there must be a relationship and He spells out what will open the door for that to happen. You and I must be joined to Him by faith in Him as Savior. It’s not enough to believe that He is a Savior. (Many are banking on that as evidence for their supposed salvation.) I must have faith in Him as my Savior. A world of difference between the two.
To look for a Savior means that I have come to realize that I am powerless to save myself. I do not have the skills, talents, innate goodness, to bring about the forgiveness of my sins. I am powerless to facilitate an intimate connection with God because I need a Savior to take care of my sin problem. I’m terminally ill, spiritually, with the disease of sin. Only a Savior, Jesus, can forgive, cleanse, justify, and change me into a person who can be reconciled to God. Without a Savior, I am disconnected and I am God’s enemy.
This year – devotionals will only make sense to the ones who have been reborn and renewed by the Holy Spirit. I will be teaching through my repertoire of seminar topics, in small chunks, all year long. Each is a primer on how to live as one who is grafted into Christ. Each provides a piece of the manual on how to live as a daughter of promise. I’ve come to realize that I’ll never visit all churches, speak to all women’s groups, but the message can go out through this daily devotional to reach the 34,000 women who receive it. They, in turn, often forward it on to their small groups and bible study partners.
Jesus loved women. He elevated them in value. They funded His ministry ventures and were pivotal in early church leadership. Nothing has changed. He is invested in this ministry and in you ~ as you embark on this brand new year. Together, we will step onto the pathway that is reserved for the chosen ones. Though narrow, it is blessed. Though steep, it is graced with His presence and favor.
We are your daughters, grafted into You. We are reborn, restored, and renewed to follow You. This year, teach us how to live as your children, not orphans. Amen