Walk by the Spirit

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

2 Corinthians 5:17

When I came to know Jesus as my Lord and Savior, my life was radically changed. Having lived for my own desires my whole life, I was as far from walking by the Spirit as possible.

On December 8, 2013, I wrote, “.. I have not completely dedicated myself to His word and received him. I have been living for myself. There has been a void which I have been trying to fill with things that are unable to fill. I believe Jesus Christ is the only thing that will completely fill that void.”

This was nine days after I bought my first bible. Without having an understanding about what it means to be a new creation, it was apparent that God had already began this good work in me. My old self was dead, behold I was born again!

Thanks be to our God and Father, who is abounding is love and grace, made me brand new! And if you are also in Christ, then you too are a brand new creation. Being made new, we also have been given new desires. Paul wrote to the Galatians about these desires, and what it means to walk by the Spirit.

And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Galatians 5:24

Our old desires has been crucified. Dead. Gone! We now belong to Jesus. Our desires have turned from the temporary things of this world, to the eternal glories of God.

Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Galatians 5:19-21

The greek word for evident is phaneros, which also means apparent, clear, visible, and manifest. When we are not walking by the Spirit, is is clear and visible by our life style, and by the things that we are pursuing. We try to fill our hearts with the things of this world which will never satisfy us, instead of seeking the One who we were designed for.

When we are born again, we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, who dwells within us, and is our guarantee for the day of redemption. And when we live by the Spirit, our lives will produce the fruit of the Spirit.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23

Notice the last fruit of the Spirit listed: self-control. From my ESV Study bible: Self-control is the discipline given by the Holy Spirit that allows Christians to resist the power of the flesh. We have the power we so desperately need inside of us in order that we can resist all of the works of the flesh.

And this brings me to my last point. God will never ask us to do something that we cannot do without His help.

for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

2 Timothy 1:7

The same power that created this world and all of creation, that resurrected Jesus from the dead, that saved us, is the same power that dwells within us. And by this very same power we are able to walk by the Spirit!

Thanks be to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2), who dwells within us (Colossians 1:27), has given us everything that we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). Forever worthy is He of all of our praise!

Nothing Can Compare

There are a lot of things that this world can offer.

We can find our security in our jobs, our satisfactions in our money, our love from our relationships, our protection and wealth in our houses, our status in our cars, and our escape from loneliness in technology.

All of these are just substitutes to the one and only thing that can satisfy our souls. When these things are compared to the love of God, they all grow dim in comparison.

Because your steadfast love is better than life,
    my lips will praise you.

Psalm 63:3

There is absolutely nothing in this world that can compare to the love that God has for us. His steadfast love is better than life. All of the things above are good things, and God can bless us with them and through them. But when they become a greater desire than He who created us, they will soon fall short of that deep longing within us.

One of the most quoted and known verses of scripture, John 3:16, begins with “For God so loved the world…”. It is the love of God that can truly satisfy us. And this love was revealed to us in the most perfect way. Through God himself, Jesus Christ our Lord.

so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 2:7

The riches of this world are temporary and perishable. But the riches that we have in Christ Jesus are immeasurable, and eternal.

Lies versus the Truth

Whether you know it our not, we are in a spiritual battle, all day every day.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

Ephesians 6:12

Satan is a schemer (Ephesians 6:11), a deceiver (Revelation 12:9),  a destroyer (1 Peter 5:8), a disguiser (2 Corinthians 11:14), a tempter (1 Corinthians 7:5), a hinderer (1 Thessalonians 2:18), and the father of all lies (John 8:44).

Every day I am fed lies, and I am constantly under attack. When I awake, while I sleep, when I am at work, while I’m driving home, when I’m sitting in church, while I write this blog post. It doesn’t matter the time of the day or the place, the prince of this world is feeding me lies. But God’s word is stronger, and His promises are unbreakable.

Lie: You will be alone forever…

Truth: God is with me always and forever!

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel”
(which means, God with us).
Matthew 1:23

 

Lie: You are a failure…

Truth: I am victorious in Christ!

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:57

 

Lie: Your past defines your present…

Truth: I am not condemned!

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Romans 8:1

 

Lie: You are lacking something…

Truth: I have everything I need for life and godliness!

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence
2 Peter 1:3

 

Lie: I am powerful…

Truth: The Spirit inside of me is greater!

Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
1 John 4:4

 

Lie: You can’t get rid of me…

Truth: Yes I can!

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
James 4:7

 

Lie: You can’t resist my temptations…

Truth: God will provide me the way of escape!

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
1 Corinthians 10:13

 

Lie: Can you really trust what God says…

Truth: Yes I can!

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
2 Timothy 3:16

 

 

Jesus is our Hope

As I sat down this morning to meditate on a devotional, the Lord brought me into a small bible study on what it means to have hope. This actually started a few weeks ago when I began to memorize a particular bible verse on hope.

May the God of hope fill you will all joy in peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Romans 15:13

I have been reciting this verse over and over in my mind, and I know the promise that it give us. That our God is the God of hope, and by believing in Jesus, He will fill us with all joy and all peace, and that we will abound in hope.

But what is that hope that we abound in?

 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

Romans 8:24-25

As I was reading the devotional this morning, the words “for in this hope we are saved” jumped out from the page and into my mind. I wanted to know more of this promised hope.

In the Holman Bible Dictionary, hope is defined as

True expectation, particularly with reference to the fulfillment of God’s promises. Biblical hope is the anticipation of a favorable outcome under God’s guidance. More specifically, hope is the confidence that what God has done for us in the past guarantees our participation in what God will do in the future.

So the hope that we will abound in is the confidence that because of what Jesus did for us on the cross, we have a guarantee in the participation in what God will do in the future. That through the sacrifice of His blood, we have forgiveness of sins, and that we have this hope.

To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Colossians 1:27

Christ in you is our hope. But what does it mean to have Christ in you?

In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

Ephesians 1:13-14

Knowing and believing what Jesus has done for us, we receive and are sealed by the Holy Spirit, who is our guarantee for what is to come. Hope is knowing we are saved. We received that hope when we received the Holy Spirit.

Thank you God, for giving us what we do not deserve, but desperately need. That because of by faith we have received the gift of your Holy Spirit. That we are saved from ourselves. And that we can press on no matter what struggle, circumstance, or suffering this life on the present earth bring us. In the hope of what is to come, the new heaven and the new earth.

Lord Jesus come!