Monday, August 30, 2010

Two Lists

There are a couple of lists that I would like you take take a honest look at:

Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these.

the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness, self-control;

Honestly now, which list has more descriptors of your everyday life? Before you start, however,let me take away a couple of customary "excuses". Remove sorcery and drunkenness from the list. These can divert us from this honest exercise.

One final caution. Idolatry is not just what we tend to suppose it is. Scripture defines idolatry as simply something that we place in priority over the living God.

So, in your mind, circle the remaining words in both lists.

How honest were you in this test?

We so easily overlook our issues. We justify our anger, our jealousy and our impurity; "I am only human" after-all!

Jesus said, "A good tree does not produce bad fruit". No justifying bad fruit allowed.

Delightfully, scripture never presents us with a problem without delivering, with it, a glorious answer.

I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.

We can not defeat the flesh's fruit by will or by determination. List number two begins by declaring that it is "fruit of the Holy Spirit". The tree of the Holy Spirit brings good fruit.

For many, many years we have trained ourselves to walk in the world's way. We attempt to make ourselves "better" and we tend to excuse our screw-ups.

God has opened up to us a new life. This life is completely different from the former life. We mus learn to "walk by the spirit".

You are familiar with how a young child learns to walk. It is a process involved with bold attempts and hard falls. As practice continues the attempts become stronger and the falls less frequent.

The amazing truth, however, is that we don't have to rely on our own efforts to learn to walk by the spirit. It is God's desire and His will that we walk in that manner. He will give us every advantage in our attempts.

The final thought that must be addressed is that "walking in the spirit" requires with living by faith. There is no shortcut.

(Thoughts from Galations chapter 5)

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