What’s that smell? Christ In Me (by Jeremy Camp)

Empty me of myself, Lord, so I don't stink up the place. Fill me with You. Devotion & Music video of CHRIST IN ME by Jeremy CampWhat’s that smell?


Putrid
is an excellent word. Not only is it fun to say, it also sounds like what it describes.

I once left a flower vase of roses and peonies on the counter when we left for vacation. I returned to putridness. 

Think bottom of a rotting garbage can.

If sin had an odor, it would be even worse than putrid.

And that’s what’s born in us.

Lovely.

This explains why ugliness has poured out of my mouth more than a time or two. (And that was just last week. It’s Monday morning right now, so I’m doing fairly well so far this week.)

With that putridness in us, what chance do we have of not acting out in rotten ways?

Our only chance is Christ in us.

In John 4:10-14, Christ refers to Himself as Living Water. 

If my flowers had been resting in life-giving waterthey’d still be fragrant today.

It’s the same with us. 

The life of Christ in us washes the putridness out, filling us and the air around us with the fragrance of life.

Christ has washed the stain and penalty of the believer’s sin away, but our stinking sin nature remains to rot another day. 

This explains why selfishness, pride, anger, bitterness, and other rancid traits still rise up from within Christ followers and fouls up the air around us.

We’re filled with Christ and His Spirit at Salvation. We don’t need any more of Him nor Him “plus anything else” for salvation. We have all we need for life and eternity forever.

But we need a fresh bath every day.

We don’t need a gentle mist or splash. We need a full-under dunking of Christ’s Spirit. 

Empty me of myself, Lord, and fill me fresh with You.


Let the fragrance of Your grace, mercy, love, and compassion mark my life; not the putridness of my sin. 

May the world see Christ in me.

“He must increase; I must decrease.”
John 3:30

Jeremy Camp’s song “Christ In Me” is my prayer for you and for myself. May Christ’s life fill us fresh today.

As you watch this music video, let Jeremy’s song inspire you to let Christ have His way with you: [Read more…]

Jesus said, “Abide in Me, and I in you.” I said, “Huh?”

If you've ever wanted to understand Jesus' parable of the Vine and the Branches, you've found the right place. David Tryon explains it well. (www.JeanWilund.com)

Jesus said, “Abide in Me, and I in you.” I said, “Huh?”

Then He said, “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

That sounded important, yet still my response was, “Huh?”

Maybe if I’d lived on a vineyard in Italy this would’ve made sense, but I grew up outside of Atlanta, GA, better known for peaches, peanuts and red clay.

I couldn’t wrap my brain around how one could actually “abide in Christ.” Until . . . David Tryon and his article “The Vine and the Branches.”

Tryon made sense of this confusing, but life-changing truth.

I re-wrote all of it into more modern English, but I have no idea where it’s disappeared to, so I’m including the version my dear friend and mentor Grace gave me years ago.

Yes, this is long, but I didn’t want to leave any of it out for those of you who, like me, desperately want this truth to sink in and make a difference.

For those who don’t have the time to delve into this long article, I’ll be addressing this in much shorter clips soon, but please consider studying this. It changed me.

If God can use this to change me, why would He not do the same for you?  


 THE VINE AND THE BRANCHES

By

David Tryon

 

There are many Christians, struggling to live the Christian life, who have never discovered where the strength to live that life is to be found.

There are many earnest believers, young and old, who are continually being disappointed and cast down because they are finding their own resources so inadequate to meet the demands of real Christian living.

There are hundreds of Christians of all ages who are hungering and thirsting after a fuller, deeper life than that which they now experience. [Read more…]

Too Broken? Too Many Scars? Everything Comes Alive (by We Are Messengers)

 

Click to watch music video "Everything Comes Alive" by We Are Messengers and hear lead singer Daren Mulligan's powerful testimony via www.JeanWilund.com

People said I’d never be anything.

They said I was too broken.

They said I had too many scars.

I was so dead in my sin, but when I acknowledged who I was and who God is, I came alive.

~ Darren Mulligan of We are Messengers

In 2003, Darren left his upbringing, his home country of Ireland, and his longtime girlfriend Heidi for America. He wanted to chase fame and fortune in the world of heavy rock as a guitarist. 

Heidi called him one day to tell him she’d become a Christian.

Anger filled his heart and spewed out on Heidi for three months.  [Read more…]

Sometimes I Can’t Look Myself in the Mirror, and It’s Not Because of My Haircut ~ FLAWLESS by MercyMe

Click to listen to "Flawless" by MercyMe. The Cross Has Made You Flawless. Amen!

Sometimes I can’t even look myself in the mirror.

It might be because that new hair cut was a mistake, but usually it’s when the past jumps up to haunt me.

That “past” may only be a few seconds ago.

The past can pop up when a song on the radio transports me back to a moment in time I’d hoped to forget — forever — back when I was a much different person.

Or when I overhear a conversation about someone who did something to someone else that I’ve also done. My shame reminds me I could’ve been that person they were talking about.

Other times it’s when I knew I should keep my mouth shut, but refused. I said it anyway and can’t take it back.

My thoughts love to torture me over the sheer number of times I bring outright shame to the name of Christ through the countless things I say and do.

Guilt wants to crush me, but the cross has set me free. [Read more…]

Facing an Epic Battle? This Could Be Your FINEST HOUR (Monday Music)

Are you facing an epic battle? This could be your Finest Hour Click to view music video FINEST HOUR by Wayne Watson. via www.JeanWilund.com

There’s going to be an epic battle tonight.

First there was David and Goliath near the Valley of Elah.

Then Aragorn and the Orcs in the Battle of Morannon.

Tonight, it’s Clemson and Alabama in the NCAA National Championship Game.

I mean no disrespect to Alabama by comparing them to Goliath and orcs. I only mean that Clemson is picked by most to lose.

Sure, on paper, it looks daunting.

Who am I kidding? It IS daunting.

But it’s no less daunting for Alabama to defeat undefeated Clemson.

They’re both facing an epic battle.

So. Much. Pressure.

Except, not according to Clemson’s coach Dabo Swinney.

“Football is not pressure. This is a game. That’s the message I try to instill in our players all the time . . . 

. . . understand through this game you have a chance to bring some joy to people who really have pressure in their life, who really have problems . . .

. . . when you have the cross as the foundation of your life, football ain’t going to bring no pressure. I promise you that . . .

That’s why it’s fun. This is a game. It’s fun.

(Excerpt from: WATCH: Dabo Swinney says there is pressure in this world, but none on his team.)

 

Real Pressure

The apostle Paul knew real pressure.

He was imprisoned, beat, shipwrecked, and faced death repeatedly.

But the unshakeable foundation of the cross didn’t fail him.

Paul continued to rejoice. The guy just couldn’t be kept down.

In the midst of his epic battles, Paul experienced his finest hour:

“We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia.

We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself.

Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death.

But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. . . .

We have done so, relying not on worldly wisdom but on God’s grace.” 

(2 Corinthians 1:8-9, 12 NIV)

 

Faith Releases Power

Faith releases God’s power to work in our lives — to bring peace and power in the midst of pressure.

I don’t mean it releases power like a magic wand. Faith is simply agreeing with God that He’s able and willing to accomplish all He’s planned.

Our faith is proven when we face our battle.

Do we march onto the battle field despite the odds against us, confident that God is about to move?

Or do we grumble and complain about what’s going wrong?

Do we walk forward expecting God to work?

Or do we curl up, paralyzed and defeated by our circumstances?

Faith is a game-changer.

 

Sara’s Finest Hour

Every day Sara Frankl faced a real battle and her finest hour.

Sara developed ankylosing spondylitis, leukopenia, and Cushing’s syndrome.

This basically means that for the last several years of her life she faced severe chronic pain all day every day.

And she faced it all with joy.

Pain couldn’t shake her from her sure foundation — Jesus Christ.

Sara wrote:

I’ve come to understand that the only thing I can control is whether or not I open my heart.

Open it to embrace my circumstances.

Open it to be who He needs me to be in the here and now rather than assume happiness can come from the “If only…” and “When I get…”

 

This could be our FINEST HOUR

Football’s not pressure.

A National Championship game isn’t even pressure.

It’s a fierce, fun game, and I’m phenomenally grateful, win or lose, that my beloved Tigers are playing in it, but it’s not pressure.

I confess I forget that. A lot. God is still working on me.

No matter who wins the epic battle on the field tonight, the greatest battle both teams can win — that we all can win — is the battle of faith.

Depending on what we choose, today could be our FINEST HOUR.

Watch this music video of Wayne Watson’s powerful song Finest Hour set to The Lord of the Rings hero Aragorn battling creepy orcs. It’s the perfect fit for those of us facing our own epic battles.

Listen to Wayne Watson’s lyrics. Let them sink in. Then walk in them: [Read more…]

Rivals for a Day, Friends for Life: Conformed to Christ Through Football (Thanks, Samoa.)

Rivals for a Day. Friends for Life. I don't have to hate your team to love mine. Conformed to Christ through Football.

Football’s back! Life is good!

But before we put on our school colors, we’d better put on Christ.

So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, . . .
Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.

~ Colossians 3:12-14 NASB

Don’t worry. I’m not looking for football players to pass out hugs and flowers on the line of scrimmage. But I do want them to let Christ rule their hearts as they square off.

The stands is a different story. We could use a whole lot more hugs and flowers there.

We fans need to stop acting like we’re on the line of scrimmage and that the other team’s fans just stepped on our puppy.  [Read more…]

Freedom Behind Bars: The Charles Livingston Story ~ One Year Anniversary

 

What would you do if you'd been put into prison for 33 years for a crime you didn't commit? Click the photo to read the inspiring story of Charles Livingston ~ Free Indeed (via www.JeanWilund.com as featured in Reach Out, Columbia magazine)

Charles Livingston ~ Free Indeed (Featured in “Reach Out, Columbia” magazine)

Charles Livingston has felt the joy of freedom from prison for a year now.

In honor of the one year anniversary of his release, I’m reposting his amazing story.

Freedom Behind Bars: The Charles Livingston Story

What would you do if you’d been put in prison for 33 years for a crime you didn’t commit?

Charles Livingston knows. He lived that nightmare.

I had the pleasure of meeting Charles and writing his story for Reach Out, Columbia magazine.

Since the article came out in April 2015, God’s been moving through it in exciting and unusual ways.

I’m proud to share Charles, the article, and what God’s been doing through Charles below: 
[Read more…]

What If We Lived What We Say We Believe? (Guideposts Blog Post)

Click to view post: What if We Lived What We Say We Believe? (Guideposts: Deadlines, Grocery Lines, Laugh Lines, August 17, 2015)

“Not always easy, but always right.” 

That’s what one Facebook reader wrote in response to my question: “What If We Lived What We Say We Believe?”

Michelle Medlock Adams, an author, speaker and generous friend, writes an excellent column for Guideposts called “Deadlines, Grocery Lines, Laugh Lines.” She graciously featured my blog post in her column on my birthday no less!

I’ve been thrilled by the response. The number of people on Guideposts’ Facebook page who’ve shown that their hearts are also set on living out authentic faith has been amazing.

It’s encouraging to see the passion of so many who want to present to the world an accurate reflection of Christ in all they say and do. 

Read my Guideposts blog post by clicking on the link below, then come back and share your thoughts as well.

Join the Journey!

What If We Lived What We Say We Believe? (on Guideposts: Deadlines, Grocery Lines, Laugh Lines)

Click to view post: What if We Lived What We Say We Believe? (Guideposts: Deadlines, Grocery Lines, Laugh Lines, August 17, 2015)

Click to view post: What if We Lived What We Say We Believe? (Guideposts: Deadlines, Grocery Lines, Laugh Lines, August 17, 2015)

 

 

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