The Power of Together | Part Eight of Navigate: How to Successful Journey Through Life and These Times

Sunday, October 24, 2021 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments



Key Scriptures:

Ecclesiastes 4:9, Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up. 11 Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; But how can one be warm alone? 12 Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Proverbs 17:17, A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.

John 13:34, A new commandment I give unto you, That you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

We are going to learn about the Power of Together highlighting four words:

Better, Bigger, Braver, and Bolder

Eccl. 4:9, “Two are better than one…”

You can do more with others than you can by yourself.

Eccl. 4:9, “They have a good reward for their labor…”
NLT, “…For they can help each other succeed.”

We usually think of bigger as large size or quantity –– more. We should think of bigger as higher quality.


Day 21 | You Have the Goods! – "Who I Am In Christ" Firm Foundation 21-Day Devotional

Thursday, October 21, 2021 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

PERSONAL NOTE: Thank you for going along on this journey and using this resource as part of your devotional practice. I pray you were blessed, encouraged, and inspired to grow closer and deeper with Christ! #Navigate

Colossians 3:1, If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.

Jesus resurrection is the greatest event of human history. His resurrection verified and ratified everything God promised to humanity after the fall of Adam. His resurrection also proved that Christ's work was “efficacious,” meaning that He was effective and successful in producing a desired or intended result.

This was the backdrop to Paul writing, “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above.” Everything God requires of you, He provides. Your can live in a “resurrected state” where you are designed to live free from the effects of death, sin, and defeat. Certainly, the challenges we all face are significant, but Paul's response was, “Set your mind on things above.”

You have the “goods!” You only need to use what you have in Christ. Paul gives another perspective when he wrote, “For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”(Colossians 3:3)

New Living Translation makes it clearer: “For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.“

The final and most glorious truth from this text is this: We will personally appear with Jesus, face-to-face, when He returns! We've not been “having church” in this life, we've been enjoying a relationship with God through Christ that culminates in heaven!

Reflection Questions:
1. How do you "seek those things which are above?"
2. Why is Jesus' resurrection so powerful?
3. What did it mean when Paul wrote, "For you died?"

Action Items:


Day 20 | "My God Shall Supply All Your Needs" Not Written to You, But... – "Who I Am In Christ" Firm Foundation 21-Day Devotional

Wednesday, October 20, 2021 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Philippians 4:19, And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

The text above were among the last words the Apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the Philippian church. This is a very positive and popular verse today. It is important to remember that that Bible was not written with chapters and verses. This is a verse that needs the context in which it was written.

First of all, Paul was not “talking” to you, me, or anyone reading this text today. He specifically wrote to people in the Philippian church. (They were the “your” of the statement). Certainly, as Scripture today, this text can have application, but it must first be understood in its context.

God supplying every need of the Philippians “according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” was a conditional promise. Many things that God does is attached to prior conditions. Certainly, His love is always unconditional, but God can love you and still let you fail and suffer need. Obedience to God matters.

What Paul wrote to the Philippians explains their path to blessing:

1. How one prays: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” (v. 6)

2. How one thinks: “Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” (v. 8)

3. They were givers and supported the ministry: “But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity...” (v. 10-16)

4. Learn contentment: “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.” (v. 11)

These were the types of faith-filled behaviors and mindsets which contributed to Paul's declaration over them, “God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” 

It will be true for you and me if we walk the same faith-filled path.

Reflection Questions:
1. Why is Philippians 4;19 misunderstood? 
2. How do you need to build faith-filled obedience to God?
3. Why is context important to reading Scripture?

Action Items:


Day 19 | Two Kinds of Peace You Can Have Now – "Who I Am In Christ" Firm Foundation 21-Day Devotional

Tuesday, October 19, 2021 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Philippians 4:7, And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

There are not many things better in life than peace. There are a couple of important ways to understanding peace as it relates to God and your spiritual life:

1) Peace is a state where one is in right relationship with God.
2) Peace is a mental/emotional state where there is an absence of conflict and freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts. We call this “peace of mind.”

In this text, the Apostle Paul primarily refers to the first type of peace––with God. It is good to have peace of mind, but a right relationship with God is most helpful. As a benefit of this relationship, there is the promise that the peace of God will “Guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

There is something mysterious about possessing the peace of God: It is difficult to describe. Paul said, peace “surpasses all understanding.” It is both tangible (real to your senses), and intangible (beyond your senses).

Ways to get into the peace of God (which leads to peace of mind) include:

•  Prayer
•  Worship and singing on your own (doesn't matter how it sounds!)
•  Reading Scripture
•  Thinking on good things and crowding out bad thoughts (Read Philippians 4:8)
•  Reading other inspirational and educational materials
•  Walking and looking at nature (God's creation)
•  What can you think of?

Reflection Questions:
1. What are the two kinds of peace and what are some examples? 
2. How will you walk in the Peace of God today?
3. Why is peace difficult to describe?

Action Items:


Day 18 | Near, No Longer Far Away – "Who I Am In Christ" Firm Foundation 21-Day Devotional

Monday, October 18, 2021 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Ephesians 2:13, But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

Ephesians Chapter Two is an amazing study on who you are in Christ. The Apostle Paul begins with the words, “You he made alive...” The chapter ends with the words, “You also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.”

In Christ, you are on the move! You go from being “far away” to being “near.” Because of our own sinful nature we were far away from God's community and covenant in the following ways:

• Dead in your transgressions and sins (v.1)
• Sons of disobedience (v. 2)
• Dead in trespasses (v. 5)
• Foreigners and strangers (v. 19)

Because of God's love and Jesus' work (suffering, shed blood, death, resurrection) on our behalf, we have been brought near:

• Made us alive together with Christ (v. 5)
• Made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus (v. 6)
• Show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus (v. 7)
• We are His workmanship (v. 10)
• Fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God (v. 19)
• Built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit (V. 22)

I enjoy travel, but there's no place like home, especially if the journey involved some challenges. No matter how “far away” you may be––in one way or another––God's love wants to bring you “near.”

Reflection Questions:
1. How did Jesus' blood bring you near
2. In what ways are you near today?
3. What type of mindset should you have today?

Action Items:


Day 17 | Why Love? – "Who I Am In Christ" Firm Foundation 21-Day Devotional

Sunday, October 17, 2021 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

John 13:34, A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

Love is a feeling––and it is more than a feeling.

When the COVID vaccine became available, I signed up to receive it in February of 2021. As a pastor, I was given consideration as clergy/caregiver, in the group following first responders in priority. My motivation for getting vaccinated was love for others. 

Until today, many have refused the vaccines for a variety of reasons mainly revolving around politically motivated “personal freedom” and/or fear. Long before the present COVID pandemic, we faced many perils from other viruses, social problems, financial meltdowns, severe weather, and more. Facing difficulties with love for others in your heart is your best guide. Selfishness, listening to conspiracies, and making excuses mainly amounts to a lack of love.

Professional basketball player Kyrie Irving, who has refused the vaccination (as of this writing) wrote, “This is about my life and what I am choosing to do...” This is not a new mindset, not even during a public health crisis. My thoughts after reading 
Irving's statement, “I would not be in a good place today if the people who raised me and supported me over the years thought like this.”

I wish people everywhere would embrace Christ and be motivated by the love of God.

The Apostle John wrote, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18)

“Perfect love” is not love by your measure.  It is God's love and care for you––which is perfect. We carry that same love for others.

Reflection Questions:
1. What is love? 
2. Why is love the best motivator?

Action Items:


Day 16 | A New Look for a New Life – "Who I Am In Christ" Firm Foundation 21-Day Devotional

Saturday, October 16, 2021 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Ephesians 5:22 (NLT) Throw off your old evil nature and your former way of life, which is rotten through and through, full of lust and deception. 23 Instead, there must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts and attitudes. 24 You must display a new nature because you are a new person, created in God's likeness – righteous, holy, and true.

It is interesting that though we are already born again and new creations in Christ, it is sometimes necessary to “throw off” old or hindering behaviors.

Because we are new people, it is appropriate to change our surroundings and our mindset. This is like purchasing a house, then going in to take out leftover trash, repaint the walls, and remove all items that related to the previous owner.

A new life needs a new look, a new mindset, and a fresh vision. Most importantly, because of our relationship we can look like Jesus Christ in our character, live holy, and reflect His character to everyone around us.

Remember, whatever God requires, He provides.

Reflection Questions:
1. Why is it necessary, and within your ability, to throw off old behaviors? 
2. What “old things” need to go?
3. How can you reflect Christ to others through your life? (By whose ability?)

Action Items:


Day 15 | Sealed, Safe, Secure – "Who I Am In Christ" Firm Foundation 21-Day Devotional

Friday, October 15, 2021 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Ephesians 1:13, In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.

The “Word of Truth” is more than words. According to the Apostle Paul, it was (and is) the Good News (Gospel) of salvation. To be precise, it is the message of the finished work of Christ through His life, death, burial, and resurrection––not for Himself, but for you and me. Jesus did not deserve the torture and death He suffered, because He did nothing to earn it.  He was sinless. This resulted from Jesus being conceived by the Holy Spirit in Mary's womb, thus not inheriting the sinful nature of all humans since Adam.

What this means to you: When you trusted the Gospel (Good News) of Christ, you did not embrace a religion, but a life-changing relationship. This experience––and miracle––caused you to be “sealed” with the “Holy Spirit of promise.” What does this mean?

The New Living Translation makes it clearer: “And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago.”

Some mistaking think “sealed” means “sealed in,” as within an impenetrable room. In reality, the seal is Christ who “identified you as His own.” Jesus doesn't respect the requirements and religious dogmas of men forced upon people. He identifies and claims people who directly trust in God through Himself. The “Holy Spirit of promise” represents all the good things to come.

2 Timothy 2:19 (NLT) reads, “But God’s truth stands firm like a foundation stone with this inscription: “The LORD knows those who are his...”

You can rest in your relationship with God through Christ, walk with Him, follow His word, and never be troubled by religious demands.

Reflection Questions:
1. What does it mean to be sealed?
2. What is the “Holy Spirit of promise?”
3. Why is mere religious practice not respected by Christ? (There is a positive sense of religion as diligent practice––but it cannot be in your own strength)

Action Items:


Day 14 | Chosen, Holy, and Blameless: How? – "Who I Am In Christ" Firm Foundation 21-Day Devotional

Thursday, October 14, 2021 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Ephesians 1:4, Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.

We know the feeling of being chosen and not being chosen. Being chosen is a great honor and creates a sense of joy and purpose.

As a high school junior art student, I recall being chosen as the winner of a county wide poster contest. My photo and poster appeared on the front page of our local newspaper. It was a great feeling, but much different than being chosen by God.

My award was based on performance and merit. We are chosen by God based on His love for us––nothing more! The only condition is willingness to receive Christ as Lord and Savior, and that invitation comes from the grace of God, and the faith to accept comes from God. So, it is not based on your performance or merit.

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

The capacity to live “holy and without blame” is also based on grace, not our performance and merit. “Trying” to be a Christian is an exercise in frustration and failure. Recognizing who you are in Christ and living in relationship with Him is the strength of your life.

Remember the promise, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

Reflection Questions:
1. How do you know that you are chosen by God? 
2. Why is acceptance by God based on performance and merit self-defeating?
3. What is the significance of being connected (like a branch) to Christ (as the vine/tree trunk)?

Action Items:


Day 13 | One in Christ: The Impossible Made Possible – "Who I Am In Christ" Firm Foundation 21-Day Devotional

Wednesday, October 13, 2021 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Galatians 3:28, There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

There are realities in Christ that cannot exist anywhere else. I thought about our church family, New Covenant Church in Indianapolis. We are a predominantly African American congregation, but we've always had social and economic diversity. We've had White members in the past, but the differences among people are much greater than their ethnicity and nationality.

I realized that many of the members of our church would not be related any other way, if it were not for Christ. Some came to the church with family and friends. Others came without connection to persons
 in the church. Our spiritual and kingdom connection is Jesus. 

God has made us one “body” in Christ. We've learned to value Who unites us more than things in everyday life that might separate us. We've grown to value the reality of covenant relationship through the New Covenant that Jesus ratified through his life.

In principle, this reality exists for all believers in Christ, everywhere. In fact, believers have to deal with their own training, miseducation, and social adaptation. It's not enough to quote Galatians 3:28 while failing to practice love and intelligent social engagement.

For example, the cure for systemic racism is not Galatians 3:28. Spiritual practice by itself does not unify people or solve problems in society. I often hear that the answer to social ills is getting people saved. This seems right until you realize that Christians have also created systemic problems for others, by ignorance or by neglect. As Rev. Dr. King's generation understood, we cannot wait for the oppressor to get saved to stop practicing oppression. We need public policy and laws to restrain evil people and stop oppression––which is a Scriptural concept.

Galatians 3:28 is a statement of possibility based on the reality of unity in Christ. For example, the Apostle Paul never indicated that Jewish persons who became followers of Christ ceased to be Jewish. The non-ethnic, “colorblind” fallacy only serves people whose color/culture/ethnicity is dominant.

Revelation 7:9 provides a glimpse of heaven. We see diversity within unity, not uniformity:
After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands

Reflection Questions:
1. Why is Galatians 3:28 not a cure for racism or social ills? 
2. What remains for you to do AFTER reading the words of Galatians 3:28?
3. How does the possibility of unity in Christ become a reality?

Action Items:


Day 12 | What Makes Someone a Saint? – "Who I Am In Christ" Firm Foundation 21-Day Devotional

Tuesday, October 12, 2021 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

1 Corinthians 1:2, To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours.

It is good to know what God expects from us as Christ Followers (a term I prefer to use over “Christians”). The Scriptures make it clear and easy to understand, if we have hearts to know.

God dignifies people like no other. Everything God requires, He provides. The truth of the matter is: We start with NOTHING! There is nothing within us, or about us, that is “sanctified” We have no capacity within ourselves to be “saints.”

Everything good and godly is found “In Christ.” So, our connection with Jesus and the transformation of our hearts through the New Birth opened the door to things that were impossible to achieve alone.

We are “called to be saints.” Sainthood is not an attainment, it is a state into which God in grace calls people. In the religious world, saints are rare, extraordinary people who have been “sainted” by ecclesiastical figures by virtue of their good works. In Christ's church, saints are ordinary people in relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ––full stop.

The Biblical Greek word for “saint” (ἅγιος – hagios) means: “Most holy thing, separated, consecrated, a state into which God in grace calls people.” 

The word hagios is used in other Bible verses such as Matthew 25:31, “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy (hagios) angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory.”

Again, in the religious world, being recognized as a saint is a matter of attainment through much labor. It is unfortunate that simple realities have become complicated by men. The qualification for being a saint is plainly stated in our text, “To those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours.”

Being sanctified (set apart for holy use) is a work of God, with which we cooperate. As stated in a previous post, religion is no substitute for relationship with the resurrected Christ.

According to God, you are a saint––not because you've earned it, but because it is part of your New Creation in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17).

Reflection Questions:
1. Why are you a saint? 
2. What are God's expectations for you through relationship with Christ?
3. What do you expect from your life because of your relationship with Christ?

Action Items:


Day 11 | Bless, Blessed, and A Blessing to Others – "Who I Am In Christ" Firm Foundation 21-Day Devotional

Monday, October 11, 2021 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Ephesians 1:3, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.

We think and talk about blessings. We say, “I'm blessed!” What does it mean? “Bless” is a beautiful word. It is something we feel and cause others to feel. Blessing is what our God and Father provided to all through Christ.

The verb form of “blessed” (εὐλογέω - eulogeō), means: To cause to prosper, to make happy, to thank or invoke a benediction upon.

Eulogeō is comprised of two words (eu, “well,” logos, “spoken word”) meaning, “to speak well of.” Other definitions include: “To praise, to celebrate with praises.”

The noun form of the word, “blessing” (εὐλογία - eulogia) means: “consecration, a (concrete) blessing, benefit.” There are equivalent meanings in the Hebrew language.

We know it's good to bless others. We know the necessity of receiving God's blessing. We can also share blessings by our words, writings (something I hope to provide here), and our actions. This is what God did for us in Christ, so that we can do it for others.

We know how receiving a note/text of praise or “well spoken words” makes us feel. That's what we do for others, not in a spirit of flattery, but in the spirit of Christ. Blessing is one of those things that is easy to understand. It is a function of love. Blessing should not have to be earned and it is not a matter of someone being “worthy.”

There was an occasion when parents brought children to Jesus, but His disciples thought these folks were unworthy or perhaps a nuisance. Jesus strongly corrected them and used the occasion to teach the disciples about God's Kingdom as inclusive, not exclusive.

Mark 10:13, Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. 14 But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. 15 Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” 16 And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them.

Reflection Questions:
1. Who can you bless today with your words or actions? 
2. How have you been blessed by God through Christ? Be specific.

Action Items:


Day 10 | Two Types of Righteousness: Choose Wisely – "Who I Am In Christ" Firm Foundation 21-Day Devotional

Sunday, October 10, 2021 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

2 Corinthians 5:21, For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

The idea of being “righteous” carries the danger of being “self-righteous.” On the other hand, false humility might prevent one from believing it is possible to be “righteous.” The text is clear that it is possible to become “the righteousness of God in Him.”

Everything turns on this question: “Whose righteousness––yours or God's?” There are many examples of self-righteousness in the Bible. Jesus used the religious establishment of His day as an example: “For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:20)

There are two types of righteousness: 1) The type invented by men and institutions, and 2) The type given by God.

The biblical Greek definition of righteous (δικαιοσύνη) is; Right standing; The condition acceptable to God.

It is not difficult to imagine how people can easily corrupt righteousness to make it whatever they determine. Entire religions have been established and sustained on the notion that people cannot become righteous before God without their guidance/approval. This is opposite to the teachings of Christ and Scripture.

We who are spiritual leaders should help people learn, but our best work is guiding people towards a direct relationship with Christ and understanding of the Scriptures. The qualification for having the ability to make another person righteous is a tall order! “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us.” Only someone who has no sin can become the standard and giver of righteousness— that rules out every human and human institution.

Righteousness is a gift. It is given, not earned. It is received, not created.

Romans 5:17, For if by the one man’s offense [Adam] death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.

There is no by-passing Christ to find true righteousness. Pay attention to what people say/preach. If you don't hear a presentation that places Jesus at the center of spiritual matters (such as righteousness), you are dealing with a religious spirit, not the Spirit of God.

Reflection Questions:
1. Why is self-righteousness so easily embraced?
2. What are the two types of righteousness. Which one helps you and why?
3. Why is it not possible for people, preachers, or religious organizations to grant/impart righteousness to others?

Action Items:


Day 9 | A New Creation Reality: From Old to New – "Who I Am In Christ" Firm Foundation 21-Day Devotional

Saturday, October 09, 2021 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

2 Corinthians 5:17, So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what is old has passed away--look, what is new has come. 

Early in my life as a Christ Follower, I remember hearing a message entitled, "New Creation Realities." It was amazing and refreshing to consider the actual impact of being in Christ and God's Spirit living in me. In that day, long before social media and Google searches, we were more influenced by people and their philosophies. Anything that appeared in a book seemed credible, since only "credible" organizations could publish a book.

Through all of the noise and clutter, the idea of being a "new creation" (or new "creature" in KJV), seemed personal and real. On July 8, 1978 I asked Christ to be my Lord and Savior. What happened next was not a religious experience––I had many of those. What happened was an encounter with God through His Holy Spirit, and with Christ, precisely in the way it is described in 2 Corinthians 5:17. I knew that something old had "passed away," and the "new" had come!

Religion has never had the positive impact offered by relationship with Christ. My experience happened in my parent's home after my mother saw what God was doing in my heart (it's a long story!) and said, "You know what you need to do." For some reason I went to her and dad's bedroom, not my bedroom (It was a SMALL house without a family room). I knelt and prayed some kind of awkward version of, "Jesus help me. Jesus Save me." It was enough!

One of the most profound New Creation Realities is this: In Christ, you don't have "mental ascent" (which is merely thinking and feeling better). What God does in your heart changes you, the real you within. Your desires change. Your will changes. Your mind becomes clear. 

To be sure, this change comes under CHALLENGE and ATTACK. You stumble, but you don't fall back to your old self. You don't fall back because "OLD THINGS HAVE PASSED AWAY" and "ALL THINGS HAVE BECOME NEW."

In the words of the old spiritual, "You Must Be Born Again:"
You know I’ve been born again
I started to walk, I had a new walk
I started to talk, I had a new talk
I looked at my hands, my hands looked new
I looked at my feet and they did too

You don't receive ALL NEW THINGS. You and your things are changed.

This is the reality of being a New Creation in Christ!

Reflection Questions:
1. What was your experience of Jesus Christ becoming your Lord and Savior? 
2. What New Creation Realities have you discovered?
3. Is Jesus your Lord and Savior? Do you have religion/mental ascent or a relationship?

Action Items:


Day 8 | The Inheritance Mindset – "Who I Am In Christ" Firm Foundation 21-Day Devotional

Friday, October 08, 2021 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Romans 8:16, The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.

God has given believers an inheritance through Jesus Christ. We receive it through our understanding of God's kingdom and through faith in God. You should focus on receiving and living within the benefits and responsibilities of all that God has given to you, not only in the “sweet by and by” but here and now. You receive inheritance, not only for personal benefit, but for the benefit of others and for those who follow you.

There is no good reason to live below your inheritance and privileges in Christ. Why should your inheritance go unclaimed and unrealized? You need your inheritance because it is designed to be shared and passed along. Your present day inheritance includes practical things such as, peace of mind, joy in every situation, wisdom to solve problems, wisdom for your health, wisdom to help guide others, provision, and much more. In fact, “every good and perfect gift” (James 1:17) comes from the Lord as an inheritance.

You live under the blessing of Abraham, which was not only for Hebrews.

Galatians 3:14, He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.

Look at what God promised Abram (who became Abraham, “Father of nations”) Genesis 12:2

1. Bless you
2. Bless your family
3. Bless others through you
4. Bless those who bless you

Through our faith in Christ, we are also heirs of Abraham's inheritance and blessings. We carry forward these same blessings and responsibilities, through Christ, to bless our family generation.

Have an “inheritance mindset.” That's how you building a legacy.

Reflection Questions:
1. What does it mean to be a joint-heir with Christ?
2. What are examples of inheritance provided to you?
3. How can your inheritance help others?

Action Items:


Day 7 | Flying With the Spirit of Life in Christ – "Who I Am In Christ" Firm Foundation 21-Day Devotional

Thursday, October 07, 2021 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Romans 8:2, For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.

We know the saying, “What goes up must come down.” That is one of the ways that we define the law of gravity. Without some type of intervention there is no escaping the effects of gravity. What still amazes me is boarding an airplane, barreling down the runway, and having the experience of riding in a machine weighing several tons, full of people, taking off, and flying above the clouds, and seemingly defying the law of gravity. The aeronautic “law of lift” acting on the wings of an airplane causes it to stay in the air.

In a world full of death and deeds that the Bible defines as sinful, there is the presence of something much greater. The “law of the Spirit of life in Christ” can lift you above the "law of sin and death." The word law as it is used in our text speaks of a principle like the law of gravity.

People toil their entire lives trying to understand how to overcome sin, evil, and spiritual death. People practice all sorts of religions, metaphysical cults, and even decide to reject God all together. Others turn to substances like alcohol or drugs to numb their senses. None of these will interrupt the principle of sin and death at work in human nature. Certainly, we can do a lot to help ourselves and others...but all of this amounts to relief, not victory.

Many of us who have tried many religions and all sorts of activities long ago discovered the way to rise and continue to fly is through engaging with the Spirit of Life in Christ. It is not magic. It is walking with God through Christ, learning his Word, being full of God's Holy Spirit, and staying connected to other Christ Followers in God's church.

Reflection Questions:
1. In your words, What is the law of the Spirit of life in Christ?
2. How does God use principles from His word and His Spirit to sustain you
3. What are three ways that you can walk in victory and not only experience relief? 

Action Items:


Day 6 | What it Means to be a Friend of Jesus Christ – "Who I Am In Christ" Firm Foundation 21-Day Devotional

Wednesday, October 06, 2021 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

John 15:15, I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

Some of our fondest memories in life are connected to our friends. We also had the experience of being helped and encouraged in a way that only a friend could provide.

In a time when people can have thousands of Facebook "friends," those same persons know their true friends likely number less than 10. You go into a car dealership and the salesman approaches you and says, "Hello friend!" I don't recall a time when the word friend was used as loosely as it is today. It is less a term of endearment and more a term of anticipated benefit from others.

Jesus elevated the word and reality of friendship to a divine level. The disciples likely viewed themselves as only servants and followers of Christ, functioning at a low level. They lived in a culture in which society was deeply entrenched in social and religious classes. Jesus elevated and dignified the disciples by calling them "friends."

If I lived a lifestyle that required maids and butlers in our house, whenever we had family business they would not be invited. Employees and servants serve their important purpose, but they are not members of the family. Jesus made a statement of purpose that none of us should ever forget---we are connected to Christ in a way that elevates us without diminishing Him. We are family and friends with Christ—and He is still our Lord and Savior.

The apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 6:17, "But whoever is united with the Lord is one with Him in spirit..."

Living in Christ is far more than a religious experience or ritualistic mindset. As with our friends and spouses, our Union with Christ is mystical (beyond human senses) and spiritually empowered.

Being a friend of Jesus Christ is something you should think about regularly. Those thoughts will give you a strong sense of identity and security.

Reflection Questions:

1. How do you relate to Jesus as your friend?
2. How will your thinking change in relation to your friendship with Christ?
3. What types of responsibilities do you have with friends, and with Christ as your friend? 

Action Items:


Day 5 | Never Accept Condemnation From Others or Yourself – "Who I Am In Christ" Firm Foundation 21-Day Devotional

Tuesday, October 05, 2021 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Romans 8:1, There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

One of the complex and recurring problems that many people face is the feeling of condemnation. “Condemn” means, "To pronounce to be guilty, to sentence to punishment, or to pass judgment against.”

Condemnation is complex because it can present in many ways: 1) As real, 2) As imagined, 3) From others against yourself, 4) You against yourself, 5) As a demonic attack.

Regardless of the source, the feeling is the same: You feel guilty of something. You think you deserve punishment. This feeling can linger like a dark cloud blocking all light. The mind can replay bad experiences and hurtful words, long after (sometimes years and decades after!), something occurred. Recalling past pain creates another problem, because pain distorts memory. The distortion can become so severe that the mind can create an alternate reality – to include past things imagined that feel real when looking back at it. Real things that occurred in the past can torture your present.

There is no minimizing trauma and there are no easy answers if you are dealing with unresolved matters. This blog post is not your entire answer. Sometimes, you must reach out for help from people qualified to provide expert support such as pastoral or professional counseling.

In all cases, self-condemnation offers nothing helpful. When you've done something wrong, the Holy Spirit convicts you of sin. This may feel like condemnation, but it is not. Conviction of sin is a genuine and helpful feeling that you need to "get it right" with God and others. Neglecting the Lord, His Word, and fellowship with believers opens the door to negative feelings and mindsets such as condemnation.

Every feeling of condemnation is unnecessary because:

1. Jesus has forgiven your sins and changed your heart (if you received Him as Lord). There is NOTHING about which to feel condemned…not even things people say to you.

2. GRACE IS STRONG. It is stronger than your mistakes. It is stronger than controlling people who want to use feeling of guilt to control you. It is stronger than the devil who is called, "The accuser of our brothers and sisters..." (Revelation 12:10)

3. When you "walk in the Spirit' or walk with God moment-by-moment, you will find encouragement everywhere you look.

Reflection Questions:
1. Do you need pastoral or professional counseling to address neglected matters?
2. Why is a feeling of condemnation never necessary?
3. What will you do to allow grace to develop in your life?

Action Items:


Day 4 | See Yourself Like An Apple Tree – "Who I Am In Christ" Firm Foundation 21-Day Devotional

Monday, October 04, 2021 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

John 15:1, 5: I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener. I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me--and I in him--bears much fruit, because apart from me you can accomplish nothing.

We make progress much harder than it actually is. It is a matter of perspective. When we are trying to make progress on our own, it is very difficult.

Think about a fruit tree such as an apple tree. It has to be cultivated and provided with what it needs to grow. When the tree is mature and ready to bear fruit, what you never see is an apple tree struggling to produce apples. It is the nature of the tree to produce. It doesn't have to try to produce, it only needs to be true to its design.

Many of us lived some part of our lives without Christ in our hearts. The Bible says, "The way of the transgressor is hard." (Proverbs 13:15) So, we don't think of ourselves like an apple tree because we've been more acquainted with frustration, struggle, and failure.

Living in Christ does not guarantee ease and comfort. Living in Christ does guarantee that, like an apple tree, we are connected to the Source. Because of this, producing fruit is not a struggle when we allow the Lord to cultivate us.

Reflection Questions:
1. How has your perspective changed based on what Jesus said?
2. What type of cultivation do you need to become healthy so you can bear fruit without struggle?

Action Items:


Day 3 | Christ's Kingdom Inside You – "Who I Am In Christ" Firm Foundation 21-Day Devotional

Sunday, October 03, 2021 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Luke 17:20 Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; 21 nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”

A “kingdom” is a realm governed by a king or by elected leaders. For example, the United States is a kingdom. Nigeria is a kingdom. England is a kingdom. Nations have presidents, kings, queens, and prime ministers. These same nations have laws and customs that define their culture. All of us live within an earthly kingdom (nation) and live the experience and culture of our nations.

When Jesus walked the earth, the Pharisees did not understand God's kingdom under Christ. They looked for something outward, but Jesus showed them something no one had seen before. He stated that His kingdom would be "within" the hearts of people.

Things we do that are attached to something outside of us require special effort and personal strength. Things that come from within you become your strength and part of your character. A person with an artistic talent within is going to be able to do artistic work quicker and better than someone who has to learn it from without.

One of the great advantages of being in Christ is that God's kingdom is also within us. We still need to learn, but we're operating from a position of God's strength and not only human will.

1 Corinthians 1:30 (NET) He is the reason you have a relationship with Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption

Religion is generally something people do in their own strength. Religious activities can be practiced without a relationship with Christ, which is what makes it empty from God's perspective. He did not send Jesus for us to trust works invented by man more than the work God did in Christ.

Three things religion cannot provide:

1. Righteousness: Right standing with God. What does not God consider "right?"
2. Sanctification: Meaning "set apart" for holy use. It is the process of becoming better, drawing closer to God, and farther from your old life. Jesus "becomes" our sanctification since it is something we cannot do.
3. Redemption: 1. The action of saving or being saved from sin, error, or evil. 2. the action of regaining or gaining possession of something in exchange for payment, or clearing a debt. Who could redeem you if not Jesus?

This is the value of a relationship with Jesus Christ. Nothing compares to it.

Reflection Questions;
1. Describe the value of your relationship with Christ
2. Why is it impossible to redeem yourself?

Action Items:


Day 2 | You are a Masterpiece Creating a Masterpiece – "Who I Am In Christ" Firm Foundation 21-Day Devotional

Saturday, October 02, 2021 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Ephesians 2:10 NLT, For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

As a youth and young man I did artistic painting. I used oil paints, acrylic paints, and different types of brushes. Every painting started with a clean, empty canvas. An artist can decide what to paint, whether something from life such as flowers or landscapes, or something from the imagination. If the painting turns out to be your best work, it is your masterpiece---until you do something you think is better.

God created you as His masterpiece on the very first try! Every person was made in God's image, Imago Dei, which carries the potential to be realized as one of God's masterpiece works. Christ in you fulfills the potential that was born with you. People without Christ have high value, but they are living short of their full potential.

A masterpiece does not happen by accident. It is not the result of something random. A masterpiece is the result of an inspired plan. Unfortunately, the canvas of life is sometimes marked up or painted with another image that you did not choose. Sometimes people don’t get to start with a clean canvas.

Wherever you started and whatever your state now, you have the hope of being renewed in Christ: "He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago."

Reflection Questions:
1. What is a masterpiece?
2.  How are you God's masterpiece? Be specific.
3.  What does being renewed look like to you?

Action Items:


Day 1 | Christ in You. The Hope of Great Things to Come! – "Who I Am In Christ" Firm Foundation 21-Day Devotional

Friday, October 01, 2021 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

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Colossians 1:27-28, To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. 

We all have dreams and good expectations for our lives. The Apostle Paul summed up all of these desires in a single word - HOPE. Hope is the foundation for every good thing. Hope powers a life that is lived with peace, joy and encouragement. That hope is found in Christ.

The J.B. Phillips translation reads: “Christ in you, the hope of all glorious things to come."

Faith is for the present and hope is about the future. Hope paints a picture that faith in Christ can bring to pass. Sometimes we have experienced frustration and setbacks concerning things that we have hoped for. Do not let that discourage you from continuing to have hope and high expectations. Be specific about the things you're hoping for and let your fellowship with Jesus Christ help bring it to pass.

That's why we "preach" (proclaim) Christ!

Reflection Questions:
1. What are your hopes?
2. What do you believe and what are you prepared to do about your hopes? (Faith in action)
3. How does your relationship with Christ help your hope and your faith?

My Action Items: