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Pastor Galen's Blog
Christ in you, hope of glory
Written by Galen Wiley   
Wednesday, 16 February 2011

“To you [as saints] God has chosen to make known the glorious riches of this mystery,    which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

As the pastor of Lancaster Grace, I am passionate about living and sharing this powerful truth: “Christ in you, the hope of glory!!”This is the heart of God’s mystery story for us as believers today (Colossians 1:25-2:3).  This reality is changing my life and ministry – and it can change yours as well!!  Here are some things I have learned over the years as I have sought to understand and apply this amazing truth in every part of my life!

OUR HOPE OF GLORY:    1)         Glory of becoming “perfect in Christ,” as we become more and more like Him with His holiness and righteousness and truth.  This is not outward appearance but inward reality.  2)         Glory of living by “His energy which so powerfully works in us” so that it is no longer us struggling to become like Christ and serve Him in our efforts – but it’s Him working!  3)         Glory of discovering "all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” that are hidden in Christ, so we are no longer living by “hollow and deceptive human philosophies” (2:8) but setting our minds on things above where we are seated with Christ who leads us into ultimate truth (3:1-4).  4)         Glory in this lifetime now – and in the life to come forever!

JESUS LIVING IN US:  1)        Unleashing the power of His death.  o   Jesus died for our sins, so He can forgive us our sins and then deliver us from their power in our lives. o   Jesus died in our place, so He can free us from the fear and power of death.  This applies to spiritual death for now – and physical death someday.  2)         Unleashing the power of His resurrection.  o   Jesus rose for our righteousness, so now He can not only credit His righteousness to us but also make us truly as righteous as He is – with His righteousness.   o   Jesus rose to give us life, life to the full now and forever.  Now we can learn to enjoy life again the spiritual life now – and also physical life someday.   3)         Unleashing the power of His exaltation.  o   Jesus lives to give us victory over all of Satan’s lies and lusts that he has used to enslave and control us.  Jesus can even tear down those deadly strongholds that Satan has built to terrorize and destroy us. o   Jesus lives to bring us back home again where we can know and love and enjoy God as our Father, Jesus as our Husband, and the Holy Spirit as our Teacher/Coach – now in this lifetime and forever.    

OUR RESPONSE:   1)       We live by faith and not by works (Romans 1:16-17; Ephesians 2:8-9).  We are saved by faith and we live simply by faith in the person of Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, believing He is able to save us and set us free totally by His power and not our own.  Too often we accept that we are saved by faith and not by works, but then we live as if it’s all up to us after that.  2)         We live under grace and not under law (Romans 6:14-15).  The Law of Moses was fulfilled and nailed to the cross when Jesus died for us.  And therefore we are no longer to be living under law.  Instead we are saved and we live totally by the power of the incomparable riches of God’s grace provided by the death, resurrection, and exaltation of His Son Jesus.  And by this power we are actually able to fulfill the righteous requirements of the law (Romans 8:4).  The law could never make us truly righteous – but grace always does!!  3)         We live in the Spirit and not in the flesh (sinful nature).  We accept that we are sinners who are totally messed up and who are unable to do anything to save ourselves – even though we often try so we have something to brag about.  But when we live in the Spirit, we no longer live by our abilities, by what makes sense to us, by what we naturally want to do.  Instead we allow God the Holy Spirit to fill us and to empower us so we can hear and understand everything Jesus is trying to say to us – and then to follow Jesus as Lord through His power in every area of our lives.  That is when we have the power to be living witnesses of Jesus everywhere we go, showing off the power and glory of Jesus (Acts 1:8). 

I invite you to join us at Lancaster Grace as we as a church family seek to grow together to be authentic Christians who live our lives and lead our families and build our church solid upon the ROCK – Christ Jesus as Lord!!  That is our only hope of glory as we face the constant storms of life that threaten us (Matthew 7:24-27). 

Pastor Galen W. Wiley

God is still in control
Written by Galen Wiley   
Thursday, 24 July 2008

I have been preaching recently some truths from the life of Joseph.  I was so overwhelmed this past week with the awesome power of God - to be able to take all the terrible things that Satan and this world may do to us and to work them all together into His plan for our good and HIs glory (Rom 8:28).  Now I am convinced that God never leads people to do bad things - to us or anyone else.  God is never tempted with evil, nor does He ever tempt anyone to do evil (see James 1:13).  But God can take the bad things that Satan and people do and use those things to accomplish His greatest good.  That happened with Jesus on the cross.  Satan orchestrated a lot of bad people to do terribly bad things to Jesus.  But they ended up doing exactly what God had determined before the creation of the world should happen.  God did not make them do it - they chose to.  But God knew they would do it, and God used what they chose to do to accomplish the greatest good of eternity - Jesus dying on a cross for our sins so we can be forgiven and given the gift of life forever. 

So God took a proud father Jacob who loved Joseph more than his other children, jealous brothers who hated Joseph so much that the only reason they didn't kill him was so they could make some money from selling him, an Egyptian captain Potiphar who bought Joseph to be his slave, an immoral wife of Potiphar who tried to seduce Joseph and then lied about him and got him thrown into prison when he refused her advances, and even one of Pharaoh's officials who got in trouble and got thrown into prison with Joseph and who forgot about Joseph for two more years but then told Pharaoh about a Jewish slave in prison who could interpret dreams.  God took all these terrible things that Joseph went through over thirteen years - to get Joseph to the right place at the right time so he could do the right thing and save his family and most of the world living at that time. 

So as I think of trusting God today, I find it fairly easy to rejoice in some valleys from 32 years ago because I have seen all the good that God brought out of that.  But I find it intensely difficult to rejoice in the valleys I went through 5 years ago.  But by faith we can trust God in the valleys of life - whether the ones in the past, the ones we are walking through right now, or the ones that are looming in the horizon.  We can know that God is always with us.  And He is always working all things together for good for those who love Him and who are the called according to His purpose (Rom 8:28).  In fact, we can actully get excited in the anticipation of God's promised good!! 

It's a Mystery
Written by Galen Wiley   
Friday, 04 April 2008

I hve been intrigued a long time by God's Mystery Story.  The more I seek to understand it, the more I realize I don't.  That's why it's called "mystery."  God kept it totally hidden from the creation until after the death and resurrection of Jesus.  And then God revealed it through the apostles and prophets for all the saints.  But it is still God's Mystery.  And most still miss it.  And even those who are seeking to learn it and live it are constantly dependant upon the Spirit of God to reveal and unleash it in their lives. And no matter how much they learn, there is always more to learn. 

So I'm excited to be starting a sermon series this Sunday to force me again to bow before Jesus as Lord and to ask Him to help me to understand and live these amazing truths of God's NT Mystery Story.  The Lord has taught me so much over the years of my walk with Him, but in many ways I feel just like a child as I ponder the vastness and wonder of these mystery truths.  That's why I keep pressing on to discover and live everything that God has for me in the Person and work of His Son Jesus!!  And I'd love to see others joining me in that discovery!! And I believe God does too!! 

The God of Second Chances
Written by Galen Wiley   
Monday, 24 March 2008

One of the most powerful truths of Easter is that God is the God of second chances - and third - and fourth - and fifth.  Think of Peter.  A natural leader, strong, macho, confident.  He was sure he would never desert and deny the Lord - even if all the other disciples would.  But when the test came, Peter failed miserably - three times he denied that he even knew the Lord.  And the rooster crowed and Peter remembered.  And he was sure his life was over. 

But after Jesus had conquered the power of sin, Satan, death and hell and rose triumphant, one of the first things He did is He went to Peter and met with him all alone.  We can only assume that they must have talked about forgiveness and how Jesus went to the cross to die for sinners like Peter. And then a couple weeks later Jesus had another talk with Peter along the shore of the Sea of Galilee.  That is when Jesus asked Peter, "Do you love me more than these?"  And that is when Jesus kept telling Peter to get back to work. 

God's amazing grace can not only forgive us for the mess we have made out of our lives and the lives of others we have hurt but it also can put us back into ministry and even greater work for the Lord.  It was Peter who was filled with the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost and preached a message with such power that 3,000 believed in Jesus.  And it was Peter that faced the very leaders he had been so afraid of a couple months earlier and told them that they had crucified the Messiah but God had raised HIm from the dead.  And it was Peter that the Lord continued to use to build and lead that early church to its greatness around the world of that time. 

God is the God of second chances.  That's the hope of Easter.  That's the hope of the resurrection.  That's the hope Peter discoverd.  And we can too!! 

How to Destroy the Devil
Written by Galen Wiley   
Wednesday, 12 December 2007

According to Hebrews 2:14, Jesus came into our world so that He could destroy the devil, the one who has the power of death.  But obviously Satan is still very much alive and active in our world today.  So how does Jesus destroy the devil? 

He does it in our lives as we allow Him to set us free from Satan's lies and lusts and his control in our lives.  The reason is that when we listen to Satan, we give him control in our lives.  And since he has the power of death, that means he can unleash the pain and power of death in our lives, our emotions, our relationships, our fellowship with God, our world.  So when we give Jesus control of our lives and allow Him to set us free from Satan's control, that means Jesus can destroy the power of the devil in our lives by delivering us from Satan's kingdom of death and bringing us into Jesus' kingdom of life. 

Now Satan still has the power of death over our bodies - until the future resurrection (Romans 8:18-25).  But that's okay.  Our spirits can be free right now.  And the more we give Jesus control the more we find the life to the full that He came to bring us (John 10:10).


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