I AM DEVOTIONAL – Part 3 Our Enemies Along Our Christian Journey

The third enemy that we will face immediately is the lust of the flesh…

The flesh is without a doubt the toughest enemy, it’s that evil tendency of our inward self. Accepting Christ as our Savior and surrendering our all to Him does not ensure that sometimes our old, sinful cravings will not return. The Bible teaches that the old nature, with all its corruption, is still there and that these evil temptations come from nowhere else. In other words, we are our own worst enemy. War has been declared!

“For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want”
Galations 5:13

It is the battle of the self-life and the Christ-life. This old nature cannot please God. It cannot be converted, or even patched up. Thank God, when Jesus died He took us with Him, and the old nature can be made inoperative and we can …“In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” Romans 6:11. This is done by faith.

This is a life long process, because all sin begins as a thought in our mind! We cannot fight the inward self without “knowing the Word” I’m not talking about memorizing scripture…I’m talking about hearing God speak to us through His Word! Pressing into Jesus will bring freedom, the Holy Spirit will bring the power to destroy that “old nature”. Paul warns us…“Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.” Romans 13:14

Now the Bible says in Matthew 10 “we have been given the authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness”! So with that authority we can speak to our flesh and tell it “no more”. With that authority we can destroy anything that will prevent us from completing the work set before us by Jesus Christ therefore the devil, the world nor our own sinful nature can separate us from our Lord when we confess to Him and seek His forgiveness and love!

Be Blessed, Laurie

Light Bulbs, Turkeys and Atheists

coffee cup and Bibleby Cy Ricker

Over the past couple of days I’ve been thinking about a variety of things.   John chapter 8 gives account of Jesus challenging the Pharisees about casting stones at a woman found to be in sin.  Then in John chapter 10 we see how the thief comes to steal, kill, & destroy. This morning at city life church a friend of mine pointed something out to me about this particular passage. Our thoughts on this passage have always been directed towards the devil, being the thief Jesus is talking about. But at a closer glance, I see that Jesus could be speaking about the Pharisees being the thieves here as well as He did in chapter 8.

How often do our actions and words contribute to the death of something we don’t understand or agree with. There is, after all, life and death in our tongues.

Last week I mentioned seeing turkeys and that God had shown me something through that experience. The simple version is that everywhere I’ve been people are the same. We are all alike. As Christian people we want everyone to experience God the way we do. The reality is this, not everyone will experience God the same way.

This has been a blister with believers for a very very long time. It’s such a bitter-sweet spot. Some experience the fullness of God through worship, while others experience Him through a Word, while others experience Him through both. Some experience His healing through confession while others experience it through silence. Some want the Kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven while others say His Kingdom is already here.

The commonality I find with almost every personal subjective view is thisAll believers want to see people set free. To see people saved.

I think the enemy gets great pleasure out of watching Christian people argue over how a person is saved or how their walk should look.  I’ve made plenty of mistakes in my past as a believer. Sometimes the mistakes have been because I spoke too soon and other times it’s been because I didn’t speak at all.

This morning Pastor John at neighborhood fellowship/city life church spoke about how he once defended the Gospel to someone in his Bible study who didn’t quite see things the way he did. Through the experience he found that Holy Spirit was a much better defender of truth than he had given Him credit for.

At Pentecost all the people were in one accord. Shortly thereafter things were scattered out again so the gospel could reach the ends of the earth. God is still looking for people who want the same thing, for the lost to be found, and the found to be in unity.

My message to everyone from now on is simple…once we get a hold of the love of God and the kind of love He has for us, nothing else matters because our existence is supposed exude or display that very same thing or love towards each other.

In no way shape or form do I want to perform like a Pharisee. Even though my actions don’t and won’t affect the sanctification Jesus has given me, I want to act in a way that’s pleasing to Him.

Some of my thoughts might seem a little scattered out throughout this post, but the one thing we have to get out of this life is that Jesus goes to great lengths to meet each individual person where they are to draw them into a deep and rich relationship with Him. We can’t limit or criticize how that’s accomplished.

Brother Cy pastored a Cowboy Church in Kansas and is currently evangelizing in the Midwest by bringing speakers together to minister at revivals.  You can read more and follow him on Facebook at Chainbreakers Alive https://www.facebook.com/groups/1266878356715062/permalink/1401767416559488/

I AM DEVOTIONAL – Part 2 Our Enemies Along Our Christian Journey

The world is the second enemy because it has a tendency to lead us into sin…

This is going to sound harsh, unfortunately truth isn’t always easy. The world uses our everyday contact with family, friends, pleasures, lifestyle, and goals to blur our focus making us vulnerable sin.

When we accept Christ as our Savior we initially feel excited to spend time in our Bibles, listen to Christian music, openly sharing our love for Jesus. We are full of hope, looking to please God with our every decision in daily life. We reach a point within our thoughts… “What would Christ think about our amusements, recreation, books, social media, movie and television choices?” “Could I ask Christ to go along with me watch this movie?” The point is, should you? So the pressure is on our desire to grow in our relationship with Jesus is met with the “real world reality” the world we live in is the devil’s playground and it will take the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit to help us stay the course. Many non-Christians have accused the Christian life as being a set of rules, taboos, vetoes, and prohibitions. This is another lie of the devil. It is not a series of “don’ts,” but a series of “dos.”

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.” 1 John 2:15

Our goal should be as our love for Christ grows our life should become so busy in the work of Christ and so completely satisfied with the things of Christ that we do not have time for the things of the world. Our love will attract those round us bearing fruit full of lives changed through Christ in us.

We need to let the Bible be our weapon against those or things that would tempt and distract us, in God’s word truth for any situation is found. The Bible needs to be seen as an instruction for life on earth manual. We must be careful with our attitude…remember being a Christian doesn’t make us any better than the person next to us.  Instead with humility be friendly, courteous and gracious being careful to not allow the world to pull us down to its level. Today there are so many professing Christians who are walking hand in hand with the world making it difficult to tell the difference between the Christian and the unbeliever.

My devotional with a little help from Billy Graham.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Romans 12:2

Be Blessed,  Laurie

I AM DEVOTIONAL

Something to ponder today…
Outside the influence of the cross there is bitterness, intolerance, ill will, prejudice,
hatred, crime, and war. That is why—if the world does not turn to Christ, and Him crucified and raised from the dead—we could see the judgment of God falling upon
our world.  Thank you for those wise words… Billy Graham

     “Now if there is no resurrection, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized for them?  And as for us, why do we endanger ourselves every hour?  I face death every day—yes, just as surely as I boast about you in Christ Jesus our Lord.  If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus with no more than human hopes, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised… “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”  Do not be misled… “Bad company corrupts good character.” Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God—I say this to your shame.  1 Corinthians 15:29–34

Have you met Christ at the foot of the cross, turned from your sins, and put your life
completely under His control?

Be Blessed, Laurie

IAM