Today’s Scrip-Bit   7 March 2023 Galatians 5:16.

Galatians 5:16.        This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

And now that we’ve skillfully handled intimidating Monday, kicked it into the dustbin of history, (smile) it’s time to turn our attention to easy-going Tuesday, that’s opened up bright and sunshiny though somewhat chilly and windy. And isn’t it surprising that after we’ve been through Monday, all the other days of the week seem like child’s play. 

That’s apparently because it’s the first day of work after a break, and the first of anything usually brings a li’l doubt, trepidation and fear. But since the Lord has not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind, (2 Tim. 1:7) we don’t have to feel awed or intimidated by anything that comes against us, even for the very first time! 

And if we remember these words of assurance from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, life won’t seem as fearful and intimidating. He says it very calmy and reassuringly: ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as he world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) 

Yes friends, the enemy is always trying to induce or introduce fear into our daily doings, but with Jesus as our solid foundation, the rock on which we’ve built our lives, we have a most potent antidote to the enemy’s wiles and evil schemes. And what’s that antidote you ask? Listen as John describes it in his first epistle. ‘There is no fear in LOVE; but perfect LOVE casteth out fear: because fear hath (involves) torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in LOVE.’ (1 John 4:18) 

Oh my people, the great antidote to fear is LOVE; the LOVE of God, which caused Him to send His Son Jesus Christ to die for us on that old rugged cross so that we could be saved from our sins. That LOVE for us was so powerful that our Creator could not resist the call to save us. And Jesus states it so clearly and plainly in this scripture that we all know so well. ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:16-17) 

Now that’s the measure of God’s LOVE for us His disobedient and lawless children! The Lord must certainly have had a heart bursting, overflowing with compassion for us to do such a revolutionary and unexpected thing. And Jesus confirms the powerful effect that LOVE has, with these immortal words to the disciples. ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’ (John 15:13) Then He went out and laid down His sinless life for those He considered His friends. 

But please note how you get into that category of friendship with Christ. He said: ‘Ye are my friends if ye do whatsoever I command you to do.’ (John 15:14) So you see, to be a true friend of and to Jesus necessitates doing whatsoever He commands us to do. And that’s not always easy, convenient or even makes a lot of sense. But His command is His command, and He won’t command us to do something and then not give us the grace or the anointing to do it. So, even if the command seems farfetched, and out of this world, His divine help will enable us to do it. 

Now that’s where our faith comes in: believing in Him enough to do whatever seems hard, or unreasonable, be willing to make the sacrifice that it entails to be a true disciple of His. And that’s where so many of us fall down. As the old saying goes, our spirit is willing, but our flesh is weak. Jesus Himself stated it to the disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before His crucifixion, when they couldn’t stay awake and watch with Him. ‘What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.’ (Matt. 26:40-41) 

And indeed, so often we sincerely desire to do stuff, but just can’t dredge up the energy, the fleshly energy to do it. We need to do like Jesus says though, ‘watch and pray that we enter not into temptation,’ because it’s at our weakest, most tired moments that the tempter comes a calling, and when we are most vulnerable to his advances. That’s why in his epistle to the church at Rome, Bruh Paul could write: ‘For that which I do I allow not (don’t understand): for what I would (want to do),that do I not; but what I hate, that I do.’ (Rom. 7:15) 

Yes my brethren, we all suffer from the temptations of the flesh, our basic carnal nature, and oftentimes find ourselves doing the stuff we don’t want to do, while not doing the right stuff we desire to do. And that controversy between our flesh and our godly spirit will always be there while we’re alive on this earth, and thus we need to fight it mano a mano, each and every day. 

And that’s why Bruh Paul advised us re the works of the flesh in his letter to the Galatians. ‘This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things ye would. But if ye be led of the spirit, ye are not under the law (carnal mind).’ (Gal. 5:16-18) 

Ah my fellow believers, it’s a constant struggle to fight off the desires of the flesh, some of which Bruh Paul listed in Gal. 5:19-21, then goes on to list the fruit of the Spirit in verses 22-23. I’d strongly suggest we take some time today to refresh our minds on those two subjects, since they play a very big part in our lives, and manifest if we are truly living for Jesus. 

Now, for those of us who are doing our best in that direction, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting all and sundry know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. As one strong and sincere voice: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with my immediate neighbours, as well as with the whole wide world! Glory be!’ 

Now let’s go out and share that amazing LOVE and friendship of Christ with those we meet, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like do! Much LOVE!

…the flesh and the Spirit are natural enemies…but with God’s help…our spirit can certainly win… 

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