It’s Good Friday. . .as I seek the Lord about my Easter Sunday night teaching at TLC,
I was led to 1 Corinthians 15:20-22:
“But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”
As I was meditating on this scripture. . .I felt the Lord leading me to write on this passage. At first, I wasn’t sure exactly what he wanted me to write about.
Did He want me to write about how Resurrection Sunday should be celebrated 52 weeks a year?
Did God want me to remind everyone that He is the greatest giver? That He gave us His only begotten Son that we might have eternal life?
Did He want me to remind everyone that He allowed the birth, life, death, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus because“. . .He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died.” 1 Corinthians 15:20 NLT
But then, at His urging, I looked up the words “. . .in Christ shall all be made alive”in the Strong’s Concordance.
What does it mean to be alive? Is it just the opposite of being dead?
According to the Random House Dictionary the primary definition for alive is:
“having life; living; existing; not dead or lifeless.”
So in essence by the dictionary definition, if you can fog a mirror. . . you’re not dead. . .therefore, you are alive.
Well, I’m here to tell you. . .there’s a lot more to being alive than not dead.
Looking up the word “alive” in the Greek word zōopoieō (G2227) opens up a definition that means so much more:
“to cause to live; by spiritual power toarouse and invigorate; to give increase of life; or of seeds quickened into life, i.e. germinating, springing up, growing.”
Would it surprise you to know that are seven keys in this verse to being alive in Christ?
Here are the seven reasons why being alive is more than just fogging a mirror.
First, He wants you to live.
There is more to living than just inhaling and exhaling oxygen, occupying space and going through the motions of a daily existence.
The Message Bible translation of Ezekiel 18:5-9 provides an excellent picture of the kind of life we should be living.
“Imagine a person who lives well, treating others fairly, keeping good relationships—
doesn't eat at the pagan shrines,
doesn't worship the idols so popular in Israel,
doesn't seduce a neighbor's spouse,
doesn't indulge in casual sex,
doesn't bully anyone,
doesn't pile up bad debts,
doesn't refuse food to the hungry,
doesn't refuse clothing to the ill-clad,
doesn't exploit the poor,
doesn't live by impulse and greed,
doesn't treat one person better than another,
But lives by my statutes and faithfully
honors and obeys my laws.
This person who lives upright and well
shall live a full and true life.
Decree of God, the Master.”
God saved us for a purpose . . .that purpose was to look at today as a day the Lord has made … not just another day. A day the Lord has made involves so much more.
He clearly wants us to anticipate the dawn of a new day with expectancy. Greet the day with anticipation and expectation of what God is going to do in and through us if we just let Him.
He does not want us to settle for whatever and whoever comes our way.
The scripture in Luke 19:13 says we’re told to “. . .occupy until I come.”
I looked up the word, occupy, in the Strong’s Concordance (G4231 – pragmateuomai) and it means: “to be occupied in anything; to carry on in business” and “to carry on the business of a banker or a trader.”
The word occupy also comes from the root of a Greek word meaning “that which has been done, a deed, an accomplished fact” or “what is done or being accomplished.”
As I read these definitions in the concordance, it became even clearer. . .our Heavenly Father does not want us just sitting around biding our time waiting for Jesus to return.
God wants us alive and about His business of occupying or as the definition indicates … carrying on business, getting something accomplished wherever we are and whatever we’re engaged in doing.
He has given us the power to get wealth (Deuteronomy 8:18) . .realizing that we’re blessed to be a blessing.
We can’t bless anybody else if we’re broke, just getting by or hoping that the rapture will come before the first of the month since we don’t have money to pay all the bills.
We should be more concerned about growing up in Jesus than going up to Jesus.
Second, you’ve got the Resurrection Power of God flowing through you.
Here are seven scriptures which prove. . .you’ve got the power.
1. Acts 1:8 says:
“… ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you … (then) ye shall become witnesses … .”
2. Matthew 10:2 says:
“And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.”
3. 1 Corinthians 2:5 says:
“That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”
4. Matthew 9:8 says:
“But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto me.”
5. Ephesians 3:20 says:
“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.”
6. Romans 15:13 says:
“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”
It’s shouting time! The same Resurrection Power that raised Jesus from the dead. . .is alive and flowing in and through you.
7. Romans 8:11 in the New International Reader’s Version says:
“The Spirit of the One who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you. So the God who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your bodies, which are going to die. He will do this by the power of his Spirit, who lives in you.”
If you’re not taping into God’s Power Source. . .the answer could be found in the Matthew 22:29 in the New International Version says:
“Jesus replied, "You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.”
Remember, “God hasn’t left you powerless.”
Three, you need to arouse your faith and expectation every day.
You’re alive when your faith is aroused to accomplish more than you ever thought yourself capable of.
Romans 1:17 in the Amplified Bible says:
“For in the Gospel a righteousness which God ascribes is revealed, both springing from faith and leading to faith [disclosed through the way of faith that arouses to more faith]. As it is written, The man who through faith is just and upright shall live and shall live by faith.”
When you’re faithful to the Lord. . .you will be alive. . .forever more.
Deuteronomy 4:4 in the New Living Translation says:
“But all of you who were faithful to the Lord your God are still alive today—every one of you.”
Through faith. . .arouse your expectation. . .every day.
Psalm 5:3 in the New Living Translation says:
“Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.”
The second scripture is Psalm 62:5 which says:
“My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.”
Fourth, invigorate yourself. . .to a life worth living.
As the definition of alive says, He wants us aroused and invigorated by His spiritual power working in and through us.
He never wants us to experience rigor mortise of the mind or spirit to where our lives are hardened into a death life or catatonic state.
No spiritual zombies. . . maybe, I’ll write seven ways to never become a spiritual zombie.
The word invigorate does not appear as a translation in the King James Version, the New King James Version or the New International Version. However, you do find it twice in the Amplified Bible which by amplification uses all the Greek words available to bring broader meaning to the scripture.
Colossians 1:11 in the Amplified Bible says:
“[We pray] that you may be invigorated and strengthened with all power according to the might of His glory, [to exercise] every kind of endurance and patience (perseverance and forbearance) with joy.”
One more scripture.
2 Thessalonians 2:15-17 in the Message Bible says:
“So, friends, take a firm stand, feet on the ground and head high. Keep a tight grip on what you were taught, whether in personal conversation or by our letter. May Jesus himself and God our Father, who reached out in love and surprised you with gifts of unending help and confidence, put a fresh heart in you, invigorate your work, enliven your speech.”
Interestingly enough. . .the word reinvigorate doesn’t appear in the scriptures at all. However, I’m mentioning the word here because I believe it describes the fire of God that lives in your bones. According to Dictionary.Com, it is defined as: “to give vigor to; fill with life and energy; energize.”
Now that’s what I’m talking about.
Fifth, increase enriches, enhances and extends your life.
Proverbs 11:24-25 says:
“There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty. The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.”
It’s interesting to me and certainly worthy of note that the word increase appears in the King James Version of the Bible a total of 147 times.
By comparison the word prayeris in the King James Version of the Bible a total of 128 times.
While I’m certainly not minimizing the importance of prayer at all, I’m simply saying that to minimize the importance of increase would also be a mistake.
Increase is obviously important to God so it should be important to us as well.
God wants us to increase in all our hands find to do (Matthew 25). He doesn’t want us standing still or just getting by. . .He’s looking for increase.
Psalm 115:14 says:
“The LORD shall increase you more and more, you and your children.”
Our increase comes through our obedience to His spiritual laws.
So I think it’s fair to say that increase is obviously very important to God.
One last verse:
Isaiah 40:29 in the Amplified Bible says:
“He gives power to the faint and weary, and to him who has no might He increases strength [causing it to multiply and making it to abound].”
Sixth, the seed you sow today. . .will bring you a harvest tomorrow.
Your seed is anything you do that helps another. It may be information, encouragement, or even finances. Whatever it is, your seed is always your door out of trouble.
Job sowed a prayer of deliverance for his three friends. Then, God turned Job’s captivity around.
David stopped a tragedy by offering a special offering to the Lord.
When you let go of what is in your Hand, God will let go of what is in His Hand.
2 Samuel 24:25 says:
“And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the LORD was intreated for the land, and the plague was stayed from Israel.”
Luke 6:38 says:
“Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”
Luke 6:38 in the New Living Translation says:
“If you give, you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use in giving--large or small--it will be used to measure what is given back to you."
Seventh, germinating, springing up, growing. . .God’s plan for your life.
God wants us producing fruit in our lives. . .manifesting the gifting and blessings of the Lord.
He wants us to greet each new day realizing that we have the opportunity to plant “seeds quickened into life, i.e. germinating, springing up, growing.” God wants us to attempt great things for Him.
Without question, God wants us to understand John 10:10:
“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
Whereas the first part of that verse mentions the attacks of the enemy God wants you to grasp, manifest and make alive the last part of John 10:10 which in the New Living Translation says:
“. . .My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”
When you and I become alive in Christ. . .we realize we “might” have life. . .that is explained as our first choice and that we “might” have it more abundantly. . .that’s another choice.
In order to have life and experience it more abundantly . . . we must be ALIVE in Him occupying until He comes again. We must be about His business. . .which is also the business of living in the world for His glory.
You can’t enjoy the rich and satisfying life He has in mind for us. . .by just going along . . . to get along . . . so you can get by. That’s not what being alive means to your Lord and Savior.
So here’s the question. . .are you alive with spiritual power invigorating every new day that He gives you?
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