Sunday, November 29, 2015

"Walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.." Galatians 5:16

Fleshin'-out is ugly and leaves regrets. It doesn't represent well. Seen him, and sometimes the enemy be me.

Man!.. why do I sometimes act the way I do? 
O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death.——Paul, Romans 7:24
Just need to refocus on the living Word.. Christ ..cuz He has actually freed us from sin’s penalty. Yup, His Spirit frees us from self, from the power of sin, from Satan, and the old fleshly nature! 
Have failed.. have stumbled before. I tell my wife that she's a much better Christian than I am. I blow it, like when I get cut off on the road. I haven't given the anyone half a peace sign backwards as is often seen, but I have sure felt like it. It's not a daily thing, but it has happened. Bad-dumb attitude.. so been there. O wretched man that I am--I'm not supposed to be a hypocrite! But I have acted that way before. You know after the first time of turning away from sin to Christ, repentance really needs to be an ongoing posture with me... cuz I'm still under construction. Ain't done, just ain't there yet. I have a long ways to go. 
I am not proud to say, but I know that walking in the Spirit sure beats walking in the flesh! Wanna be ready daily.. and take preventative measures early so it's easier to do the former rather than the later. 
Why be all self-confident or cocky like a proud cock towards others.. that gets into one fight after other with individuals? We can fight the good fight of faith instead and win. 
How can you or I win over the circumstances of life, or even begin to win others if we can’t even get a grip on how to win over our old fleshly nature? 
You’ve undoubtedly heard how centuries ago, some Roman emperors all about inflicting the hideous punishment of binding the corpse of a murderee (the murder victim) to the back of the person who was convicted of doin’ that crime–it was on the murderer until it rotted on his back, and on into his flesh. 
The attacker now became physically attacked by the now dead attackee that he or she made that way (dead).. bringing a consequence to the sinner. It sends a message to all other would be attackers who would see this.. to leave innocent citizens alone and safe.     
Under penalty of death, no one was allowed to remove the dead body from the condemned person–the soon to be killed person. I know this sounds so gruesome and uber-macabre a practice, but it does call to mind the words of the apostle Paul. You remember what he said in the Bible–Romans 7 don’t you? It’s as if something dead were strapped to him and that accompanied him wherever he went. How does one deal with that old person, that death giving consequence? 

 Who will deliver me from this body of death?
Jesus can. And the people of Paul’s day knew what he was talking about. His illustration was so fitting. Yes, for new Christians of every era who didn’t want and don't ever want to be brought down into defeat by that old nature with them.
The flesh says do what you would do—
 Just be what you would be;
 But Christ says do what’s right and true
 If you would be like Me. —DJD  

Ain't nothin' good in yo flesh, or in mine. Nope nothin'.

Did you see “Creed”.. that Rocky 18 movie?
Not really sure how many Rocky movies there are now--several! But boxing oughta remind us of the ongoing fight we are in--the good fight of faith. 
There’s a point in there where the now older sage, Rocky Balboa, says to young Adonis, “See this guy here” pointing to his reflection in a mirror, “That’s the toughest opponent you’re ever going to have to face. I believe that is true in the ring and I think that’s true in life. Now show me something.”
That was a key line and those words reminds me and my Dallas friends here of what I.. yes, what we each as Christians, must deal with. That is until the day we arrive home with the Lord.
“Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” James 4:1-4
It’s so easy for me to get unfaithful–so self-confident, depending upon my own flesh if ya will. I hate that.
“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit’; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.’ But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.” 14-15
What are the three enemies of every believer? 
1.) The old fleshly nature–that sinful nature inside that tells ya to do what it tells ya to do. It’s in opposition to the Holy Spirit at work inside of you by His anointing.
2.) This world system–all about this life here that opposes the Lord and the work of Christ.
3.) The devil, including all his fallen angel minions.

Is there anything good in your fleshly nature? Nope. The Bible, Gods word clearly says so. The Bible says...
“For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that [it is] good. But now, [it is] no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but [how] to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will [to do], I do not do; but the evil I will not [to do], that I practice. Now if I do what I will not [to do], it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.” Romans 7:14-20.
I’ve heard false teachers error by tellin’ me, “No Kurt, there is no fleshly nature in the Christian now. You just need to confess it better and receive your blessings.” 
Now it’s true that when we repent and are know of the Spirit.. we each get a brand new nature inside us from Christ. Free of charge--don’t have to earn anything. And that’s why it’s way important for each of us to have the fear of God as we sow to the Spirit ......instead of sowing to the flesh. I mean choosing right.. to live disciplined and built up spiritually so that we can win over that black dog (old nature) inside us so to speak. Read your Bible daily, pray everyday, fellowship with growing Christians, avoid sin and all those places where you used to, and sharing your faith. No time for mixed sowing to the world or dead religion which is part of this world’s system etc.
And other people have told me, “O Kurt, our flesh is good not bad.” Well, to me it’s kinda like my car, and I am indeed grateful to God that He gave me this body to get around in down here. I love to explore places.. and one day soon I’ll have a brand new body, an updated 2.0 version, but I’m really talking about my old sinful nature here. Don’t wanna walk in the flesh but in the Spirit. Ain’t nothin’ good in my flesh, or in yours. See what God says about it…  

“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.” ~ Paulv. 18

Think about it. Go do a study on this looking at these verses in their whole context. You know that people sin in three areas of temptation: 1.) The lusts of the flesh, 2.) The lusts of the eyes, and 3.) The pride of life. Go look at those in the Bible who sinned and see that each involved.
So, what is it that draws us toward God over and over again? It’s His grace. The Spirit gives this grace to the humble, not to the proud or rebellious. It’s by grace–that’s how we get saved aka born again, and how we daily walk in victory by the Spirit ..instead of walking in defeat according to the flesh.
Submission is so important with this as well. But submission to the right Person instead of to the wrong persons. We submit to Christ, and to delegated authorities over us (short of doing sins). Yes we appeal to them so we can to things the right way instead of spiritually compromise.

How can you or I expect to have peace and joy and love, or expect to influence others in the right direction if we are not strong in the Lord? 

We are to resist the devil and all his fallen-angel-buds that keep trying to tempt us. We deny ourselves. We run to the Cross so to speak–we mortify the works of the flesh and then receive newness of life. Resurrection life to not remain dead here. Submission brings order, not problems so let’s apply the word, pray the word, meditate upon the word, and daily speak the word when tempted. Jesus did that. Enjoy winnin’ in life this way--and winnin’ others to Him

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Easily addressed--such impossible problems. Fixed! He's done it before and Christ can do it again. Healing on all levels.

There’s too many so called faith-healers out there, but people still need Christ’s healing.
And during the holidays it’s a good time to take some time for people.. to pause, to listen, to focus, and simply pray for them regarding their needs. Just had someone over for lunch who brought one of those sports bottles for water. I thought, they must be trying to lose weight or somethin’. No, after asking.. I heard that the water was supposed to help against migraine headaches and I never knew this person suffered with those. Prayed!  
Basically.. all needs can be easily addressed by God when we go to Him first ..with those needs. Yes, such impossible problems.. fixed! Of course He might direct us to a doctor if it’s some kind of physical chemical imbalance or something like that. 
Been lookin’ at how Christ met needs back in the day. Yes, He’s done it before.. delights to!.. and the Lord can do it again for you. Been thinking about His healing ..on all levels. And you know He doesn’t always heal us physically down here pre-rapture n all. And He has good reasons for that cuz He knows best, but He will eventually do that.. if we just live for Him. Daily, we can trust the Lord to meet our needs. What happens with carnal Christians is that they start looking elsewhere.. like to this world first to meet their needs. Or looking half to the world to meed their needs and they cool off. Doesn’t need to happen like that. Many of us can start to depend upon ourselves too much–I’ve done that before.  
Me thinks it’ll all be good for believers that suffer.. sooner than we know. Been lookin’ lately at this old story about different types of healing too. 
There was this man in need, but he had some decent friends who cared. And when they couldn’t reach Jesus directly the normal way through the entrance.. because of the packed crowd, “they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on.” Mark 2:1-4
Are you willing to help, or to get unconventional for others?

When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” v. 2:5, and then came the words “Get up, take your mat and go home” v. 11. Done, over, past.. the start of a whole new life. I love it! you do too. Such an easy fix for Jesus. How cool was that! And Christ hasn’t changed–He’s the same yesterday, today and forever. What He’s cared about in the past He still cares about–people!

Forgiven and healed of his incurable condition! That’s how the man was after he met Jesus. But as friends of needy people, we too have the privilege of praying for them and bringin’ em to Jesus who can easily address any and all of their needs.

God cares about your needs today, and those of your friends around you. He’s indifferent to none of them. What, where, or which need do you have for the Lord to address today? Being forgiven is most important! What do your friends or enemies need? Have you prayed about it, for prayed for them? 
I say.. don’t forget to find a healthy Christian church that has a heart for need-meeting too. Refuse to listen to the false teachers–for sure, cuz there are some sound ones out there. Listen to the Lord’s word most and obey Him. You’ll be so glad you did. He can heal your headaches or whatever is whacked or hurts.  

“But to you who fear My name the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings; and you shall go out and grow fat like stall-fed calves.” Malachi 4:2 
"Bless the Lord , O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies, who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” Psalm 103:2-5