Galatians 5:24 Kill The Flesh

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Galatians 5:25

Every person is born with an innate desire for sinful activities. Given the choice, people will turn towards sin and will enjoy it for a time.

The mindset of the world is to just do it. No one is to deny himself any pleasure that can be grabbed onto. To deny oneself of a pleasure, is to be harmful to one’s self. It is uncomfortable and not needed, according to the world. Every one is to live life to the fullest, whatever that means.

Paul had just listed what living by the flesh looks like. Then he showed what living by the Spirit looks like. Now he says that anyone who is living by the Spirit of God will have crucified or killed off his flesh and its desires.

Following Jesus means that one has become a new creation, a new and different person. This can be seen in how they think and act, what they say and do.

The world lives in a way that it is all about pleasing self, living in sinful ways with no regrets. All sin comes down to two types of selfishness. It is selfishness against God or selfishness against others. Too often, many believers in the church are willing to continue to live in sinful ways. There is no difference between them and the world.

The true believer is no longer living for self, but for God and for others. He is willing to kill off all selfish and sinful desires and actions within himself.

Every believer must be willing to turn away from every sin, regardless of how ‘little’ or ‘big’ it is. This must be done in a violent, crucifying manner, killing all sin and its desires.

As you take a look at your life, take note of the sinful ways in your life. Are you willing, as a believer, to live with those sins? If so, you are denying Christ and His power in your life.

If you are not willing to live with those sins, then crucify them. Allow God’s Holy Spirit to guide and strengthen you to destroy sinful desires. Allow God’s word to so fill you as to be a double-edged sword that will kill of all sinful desires in your life.

Have you killed the flesh in you?

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will live your entire life for God; that God will strengthen you to crucify the fleshly desires in your life; and that you will live to serve God with all of your life.

1 Corinthians 5:11 Avoiding False Believers

But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people. 1 Corinthians 5:11

The world is full of sinners who do not know the truth about what is right or wrong. They are unable to live a righteous, holy life in any way, because they have never been told what that is. They have no reason to live it.

Inside the church, it is a different story. Paul just got done talking about expelling a ‘believer’ who was doing things with his mother that are left only for in marriage. Now Paul tells the people to not even eat with people who claim to be a believer, but purposefully live in sin.

It is expected that those who do not follow Christ will live in sinful ways. However, those who have chosen to believe in and follow Christ, God expects something different. They are to leave their life of sin, be a new creation and live a righteous and holy life.

Many in the church claim to believe in Christ, but continue to purposefully sin in some way. Some are continued drunkards, sexually immoral, homosexual, greedy, gossipers, liars, swindlers, or more. Those who purposefully continue to live in these ways are not truly following Christ. They are only following in word, not heart and are false believers.

True believers, who strive to flee sin, must run away from all such people. False believers will bring down the church and give the name of Christ a bad name.

True believers may still sin, but they are striving to not sin. They will not purposefully continue to sin.

Start by taking a look at your life. Ask yourself if you are purposefully living in some sin. Repent of that sin and begin to flee it. Do not allow it to control you.

Then take a look at the believers you hang around with. Ask yourself if any are purposefully living in sin. Break off your relationship with those false believers who habitually live in sin, refusing to repent or change.

Do not allow yourself to be corrupted by false beliefs that a person can continue to sin and God will just overlook it. God loves everyone, but will not tolerate purposeful sin.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that God will reveal unrepentant sin in your life; that God will strengthen you to flee all sin; and that God will reveal false believers among you.

Ezekiel 9:4 Marked For Life

Cross on forehead

and said to him, “Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it.” Ezekiel 9:4 

Having a mark causes a person to stand out as different. There is always a reason for the mark.

People can be marked for many different reasons and in many different ways. Some places will place a mark on the hand to show they can enter a place. Other places put a wristband on for the same reason.

There has also been times when a marking was for a negative reason, such as during the holocaust and times of slavery.

God had given Ezekiel a vision of a man having to go through Jerusalem putting  marks upon certain people. These people were those who were weeping over the sin being done in the city. These people would survive a massacre as God destroyed the rest of the people.

God is still in the process of marking His people. These are the people who weep over their sins and the sins committed around them. They have chosen to turn away from sin and follow Jesus, becoming believers.

Every believer is to be clothed with the righteousness of Jesus showing that they have been cleansed of sin and are no longer returning to sin. God had also sent His Holy Spirit to lead and guide each believer.

Having God’s Holy Spirit inside of oneself causes that person to live and think differently than the rest of the world. The Holy Spirit is also the one that separates the believer from the rest of the world. He is the guarantee of salvation, not marking that person for death.

Without the mark of God’s Spirit in the life of a person, he is marked for death…eternal death.

If you are a believer in Jesus, you have been marked to have life. This mark is a sign that you have turned your back upon sin and the sinful ways of this world.

When  you have done this, your heart should be weeping at the sin you see around you and that you have done in your past. Work to be a witness to more people to turn them from the sentence of death to one of life. Encourage others to receive the mark of Jesus and His Holy Spirit on their lives to allow them to be marked for LIFE.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will have the mark of the Holy Spirit in your life; that people will know that you are marked for God; and that your heart will weep as God does over sin being done. 

1 Thessalonians 2:14 Who Do You Imitate?

“For you, brothers and sisters, became imitators of God’s churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own people the same things those churches suffered from the Jews” 1 Thessalonians 2:14

The church in the city of Thessalonica was not a part of Israel. They did not have to directly deal with the Jewish beliefs fighting against Jesus. The churches of Judea, however, had to deal with the Jews who still followed the Mosaic Law. Those Jews were against Jesus and would persecute the believers of Jesus. Even though the Thessalonian church did not have to be concerned with persecution from the Jews, they did have other persecution from their own people.

The churches in Judea did not back down when they were persecuted. They stayed strong in the Lord Jesus and held onto their beliefs in Him. In this same way the church in Thessalonica were doing the same thing.

In the same way there are churches, some in America and many around the world, that are going through extreme persecution. Family and friends of believers are persecuting the believers for following Jesus. In many countries it is an honor to kill one’s family member if they start to follow Jesus. There has always been some ridicule for following Jesus in America, but it is getting stronger and more violent.

The challenge is who are you imitating? Do you give in like many do in America and do or say what the world wants to hear?

Are you trying to be politically correct in what you say? Or are you speaking what God wants in His love?

As you are getting ridiculed, not beaten or imprisoned, for your belief in Jesus, there are believers around the world getting killed without mercy for their belief in Jesus.

Be willing to stand strong and true for Jesus. Imitate those who have gone on before you in following Jesus, even to the point of death. Imitate those today who are suffering for being a follower of Jesus. Do not allow the world to back you down. Greater is He who is in you, than he that is in the world.

I pray today that God will strengthen you in any persecution you may go through; that God’s presence will be with you in trials; that you will not give in to the pressure to deny God; and that you will imitate those who stand strong and true for Jesus.