I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20
The world does not like to have rules and commands placed up them. No one minds setting down rules for the other person, but never for themselves. Rules restrict their freedom to do what they want, when they want and how they want. In the eyes of the world it is a death sentence to real living.
God had laid down some rules for man to follow, yet even with the simplest of rules–don’t eat of a certain tree–man was unable to keep that rule. The law then had power of death over the person and all of mankind. Jesus had come to die on the cross to break that power of the law and make it possible for a person to live for God.
In order to live for God, a person must die to self and the power of the law. He must crucify himself and die.
A dead person cannot do anything on his own. His body is lifeless and of no value in itself. For that body to move, someone else must do the work.
Once a believer has been crucified and died to self and sin, he can no longer do anything on his own. He needs some outside help to move, think, speak and act.
This is where Christ and His Holy Spirit comes in. God has sent His Holy Spirit to come and live in the believer. His Holy Spirit is what gives the body the ability to live, move, think, speak and act. God’s Holy Spirit will only act the way God acts.
In this way, a believer will be able to live according to God’s commands. He will have God’s power to give him strength to turn from sin and to do what God wants.
If you are having problems following God’s commands and struggling to do what God wants you to do, allow yourself to be crucified. Die and let God resurrect you by His Holy Spirit. Let God’s Holy Spirit guide you and speak and act through you.
Live by faith, trusting God knows what is best for you to say, think, and do. Be a dead man walking in Christ.
I pray today that you will live for God alone; that you will allow the Holy Spirit to guide you; that you will live in the strength of God; and that you will live by faith in God.
Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. 1 Corinthians 8:9
During the biblical times, there were many rules on foods that a person could or could not eat as a believer in God. Food was often used as a sacrifice to idols, thus people were not to eat any food that had been sacrificed.
Paul just pointed out that food sacrificed to a false idol was no different from any other food. As a believer in Jesus the people could eat any food as long as they gave thanks to God for it.
Now he states that people should be careful in this knowledge and their freedom to not cause anyone else to stumble.
Newer believers often struggle with knowing what their freedom is in Christ. They are still working on removing themselves from the ways of the world. Doing the things that they have freedom to do, can cause them to fall back into sinful ways, or they may still see them as sinful.
Freedom to do what a person wants to do, regardless of what others think, is a common thought in this world. Believers are not to live like that. They are to be concerned first with God’s thoughts, then for the other person.
In Jesus there is a lot of freedom in doing things. However, they must be done with the proper motivation. They should not be done with the mindset of that it is the person’s right to do it. Rights need to be put aside to build others up.
It is all about love of the other person. That is what God did in sending Jesus and what Jesus did in going to the cross, it was about love. Love builds up, rather than demands personal rights.
In your own personal life there may be things that God has helped break the bondage to. This allows you to work with those things, without sinning or being pulled away from God. One example is drinking alcohol. You may see it as allowable, while another still sees it as sinful or dangerous.
However, there may be others that still struggle with it. Put those things aside to keep them from struggling and stumbling before God.
Be willing to put your own rights aside, so that you may build someone else up. Do not allow yourself, on purpose, or on accident to cause anyone to stumble in any way.
I pray today that you will know the freedom that you have in Jesus; that you will know the love God has for people; that God will guide you in the proper use of your freedom; and that you will not be a stumbling block to anyone.
Here is a blog by Glenn Kaiser, who I follow. He puts out some very good points on homelessness and believers. Please check out his blog.
Homeless: Sheep Vs. Goats
With permission, I snuck in and sat in the back (next to my wife!) of a kind friend’s seminar on homelessness today. “Snuck in” because it was Deeply Rooted, a women’s fellowship, worship and teaching gathering.
I had no idea Beth was going to discuss The Bonus Army [see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonus_Army ] or key issues of African-Americans immediately after the American Civil War as elements of history to help us understand homelessness.
Indeed, today, Veteran’s Day in the U.S., far too many vets are in deep trouble!
Jesus in Matthew chapter 25 lists 6 things we need to be concerned with if we profess to love God and neighbor; indeed if our attitudes and choices reflect being one of His or not:
To read the rest of the article please go to: Homeless: Sheep VS. Goats
“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.” Galatians 5:13
As has been stated multiple times, people love their freedom. God has built it into people to desire to be free. The reason for that is that people are called by God to be free.
When God had created Adam and Eve, He had made them free. They were free to roam about the Garden of Eden and eat any fruit that they wanted. There was only one rule and that was to not touch a certain tree. There was no large rule book with a bunch of things to do or not to do. They knew what true freedom was.
However, they fell into sin, which became a bondage to slavery. Every person since then has been subject to that bondage. No one has been free since, in their own power. This still did not negate the call God had on people’s lives to be free.
As a believer, you are still called to be and live a free life. This freedom, however, is not a license to indulge in the flesh. Indulging in the flesh is living to please yourself. It is serving yourself rather than others.
Most believers will say that they want to serve God. Serving God also means that you will serve other people. This is to be done with humility and in love. Realize that you are not deserving the life you have and serve others out of gratefulness to God for the life He has given you. Serve out of love for others and for God.
Use your freedom that God has given you to meet the needs of others. Do not be like the world and use your freedom to just build yourself up and have fun. This freedom in Jesus is greater and more free than any freedom that the world can give you.
I pray today that you will know the freedom Jesus has called you to; that you will use your freedom to serve God and others; that you will have the love God has for others; and that you will choose to live in true freedom for God and not to yourself.
And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.” 2 Corinthians 5:15
In this world everywhere a person looks the views of most people are what is in it for themselves. Each person wants the best for his own life.
When a person goes to purchase a new car at a dealership, he is trying to get the lowest price possible. He is thinking about his own money, rather than thinking about the salesman who is trying to make a living for his own family. It is about himself, not someone else.
There are some wealthy people who give lots of money to some great organizations to help others. Although it looks good, often the purpose of giving the money is not so much to help others, but to get a tax write-off. Again, it is about self, not others.
When Jesus left the glories of heaven to come to earth it was with you and all others in mind. As He walked on this earth, He was focused on doing God’s will with you in mind. Ultimately Jesus died on the cross for you. Jesus died so that you might live.
Never once was Jesus living for Himself. His entire life on this earth was always about you and everyone else. His purpose was to save everyone.
Jesus died and rose again for you. No one can give or do for you anything more than He did. As a believer, you should live your life in the same way. You should be living to serve Jesus and others.
If you are living to serve Jesus, your whole purpose in this life will not be about yourself. It will not be about how much you can get or do. It will be about how many you can reach for Jesus. It will be about how many you can compel to follow Jesus.
When you are living for Jesus, He will provide for you. You will not have to worry about yourself. Your focus will be on Jesus, and His focus will be on taking care of you.
Die to yourself today, and live for Jesus, the One who died and rose again for you.
I pray today that you will know what Jesus has done for you; that God will show you how to live for Him; that God will reveal to you ways to reach the lost; and that God will build His kingdom through you.