2 Corinthians 12:9a “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Here is the dilemma of our lives. How do we earn a living, use the best of our talents, and not cave into pride?
It is OUR choice whom we will serve because each of us has a Free Will. Many Christians are saved, but have no power from the Holy Spirit in their lives. Pride is of the flesh and is powerful for self, but destructive to a Spirit-led life. Let’s look at what the flesh desires.
“The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:21
What does the Spirit desire?
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” Galatians 5:22, 23
So how can we live by the Spirit and not the flesh?
Living by the Holy Spirit means that we give up OUR rights and invite Jesus to have full control of our mind, will and emotions. Our Flesh is our body, muscles, joints. Our soul is our mind, will, and emotions. Our Spirit is the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ when we are saved and we ask for the Lord to give us His Spirit. So we are distinctively three parts. The battle is in our soul. The soul will either gravitate to the deeds of the flesh or to the fruit of the Spirit.
“But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit,” Jude 1:20
To build up our faith we need to pray IN the Spirit and not the flesh. Praying in the flesh we can all do. We just pray with no emotion and our prayers feel as though it is a rote prayer. Praying in the spirit is a wonderful gift Jesus has given to each of us.
It is only when our mind is free and uncluttered that the Holy Spirit can start to crucify the deeds of our flesh. We need to get in a quiet place and ask the Lord to pour out His Holy Spirit upon us. We need to allow the Spirit to teach us and lead us into all truth. I have been praying and the Lord will bring up someone for me to call or a scripture passage to go to. That does not happen when I pray in the flesh. The key to praying in the Spirit is surrendering all you have and all you will be to the Lord. When your total dependence is on Him great – and I mean great – things will happen.
“Lord please help EVERYONE reading this right now to be able to pray IN the Spirit. Through your Spirit, may all the strongholds people have been bound by, be stripped away and crucified. We cannot do it by Will Power, but only by the power of your Spirit. Forgive us, Lord Jesus, for a heart that many times wanders and does not seek you. Help us today to start a new path to you that is not side-tracked any longer. I know that so many reading this, Jesus, want to be close to you, but they do not know how. I pray right now that those who try to draw close to you today in prayer – that you Jesus, will reveal to them the peace that comes through your Spirit.” Amen
Please find a quite place to pray, worship, praise, and thank the Lord. Abundant life is in the Holy Spirit, NOT the flesh.
Faith versus sight
By: Charles Spurgeon
‘For we walk by faith, not by sight.’ 2 Corinthians 5:7
Suggested Further Reading: Proverbs 31:10–31
In Scripture we often read of men who, by faith, did great exploits. ‘By thee I have run through a troop: by my God have I leaped over a wall.’ Now, this is a very great thing to do; and some Christians are always fixing their eyes upon exploits of faith. The apostle Paul did cut through troops and leap over walls, but in this place he speaks of the common actions of life. It is as if he said, ‘I not only leap walls by faith, but I walk by faith; I not only break through troops by faith, but I go and do my business by faith.’ That man has not yet learned the true spirit of Christianity who is always saying, ‘I can preach a sermon by faith.’ Yes, sir, but can you make a coat by faith? ‘I can distribute tracts, and visit the district by faith.’ Can you cook a dinner by faith? I mean, can you perform the common actions of the household, and the daily duties which fall to your lot, in the spirit of faith? This is what the apostle means. He does not speak about running, or jumping, or fighting, but about walking; and he means to tell you that the ordinary life of a Christian is different from the life of another man; that he has learned to introduce faith into everything he does. It was not a bad saying of one who said that he ‘did eat and drink, and sleep eternal life.’ We want not a home-spun religion, but a religion that was spun in heaven, and that will do to wear at home and about the house. ‘We walk by faith.’ The Muslim worships at the ‘holy hour;’ the true Christian calls all hours ‘holy’ and worships God always.
For meditation: Do you regard your Christian faith and worship as being just a matter of Sunday services and church activities? True faith should extend to what we eat, drink and wear (Matthew 6:25,30–31) and true worship should include the manner in which we eat, drink and do anything else (1 Corinthians 10:31).
Room to Grow
MAY 22, 2019
“And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” Luke 2:52 (NIV)I love watching the natural world come to life each year.
Sometimes it seems like everything turns green overnight. But when I see a rose bush burst
with red blooms or an apple tree heavy with fruit, I remember growth in nature takes time
and requires ongoing nourishment: water, sun and nutrients from the soil.
Our spiritual growth works the same way. We require several key ingredients in order to mature in our faith.
This process is exemplified by the ways that Jesus grew: in wisdom, in stature, in favor with God and others. Luke 2:52 says, “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.”
While we don’t know the specific details about His growth in these three areas, it’s clear He didn’t just wait around for it to happen.
In order to grow in wisdom, Jesus likely studied His culture and faith on a regular basis, just like most other Jewish boys growing up. While children and teens often enjoy learning, as adults we need to sustain the same hunger for knowledge and intellectual curiosity. Too often, we’re satisfied with what we already know. We become complacent and stunt our own growth.
Wisdom is one of the fruits of growing in our faith. One of the easiest ways to stimulate growth toward wisdom is to learn from the wisdom of others. Being curious about people, observing them, respecting their different ways of doing things and their different perspectives — all of these help us stretch ourselves. Spending time reading and studying God’s Word is also crucial to cultivating wisdom.
We notice that Jesus also grew in stature, becoming taller and stronger as He passed from childhood into adolescence and adulthood. While physical growth may seem natural, it also requires practicing habits that keep us healthy. Our bodies require nutritious food, clean water, regular exercise, fresh air and plenty of sleep.
Once we reach adulthood, we may be tempted at times to ignore our body’s needs, especially for proper nutrition and adequate rest. We eat fast food on-the-go and push through our exhaustion. But over time, our bodies always remind us of our physical limitations. While they’re resilient and amazing, they’re also fragile and temporary. If I want to grow in all areas of my life, then I have to take care of my body.
Healthy physical growth requires taking control of my schedule. Not everything that’s doable is sustainable. We have to learn to discern between what’s truly important and what’s merely urgent. Physical health also requires obeying God’s command to take a sabbath, a designated day of sacred rest. While the sabbath doesn’t have to be the seventh day of the week, or even always on a Sunday, setting aside this time weekly allows me to recharge my soul and do things that refuel my tank.
Finally, Jesus grew in favor with God and man. This kind of growth implies that we’re designed to change and mature through our relationships. Growing “in favor with God” requires spending time with Him — through prayer, praise and worship, time in His Word and serving others.
To grow in favor with others, I must be intentional and invest in key relationships. It’s so easy for busyness to skate on the surface, even with people I love and want to enjoy. Healthy growth requires putting down roots and doing life together with others. If we’re not deliberate about nurturing close relationships, we can accidentally insulate ourselves and miss a crucial component of our personal growth.
If we’re not growing, then we’re resigning ourselves to stagnation and settling for less. But this is not God’s intention for His children! Jesus told us He came to bring us life to the full (John 10:10), overflowing with joy, peace, passion and purpose. No matter where we are in our spiritual journey, God always provides room for us to grow!