Stagger Not at the Promises

Romans 4:20-21

Morning Mediation: Stagger Not at the Promises of God- Fully Persuaded!

I was praying with my sister this morning and Romans 4:20 popped in my mind. I love this King James Version (KJV) in the photo which is what I memorized long ago. I am putting the entire passage (New Living Translation) for full context! What a promise we have in God.

“Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping—believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, “That’s how many descendants you will have!” And Abraham’s faith did not weaken, even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead—and so was Sarah’s womb. Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises. And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous. And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn’t just for Abraham’s benefit. It was recorded for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.” Romans‬ ‭4:18-24‬ ‭NLT‬‬
https://bible.com/bible/116/rom.4.18-24.NLT

fullypersuaded #staggerNot

Morning meditation: Galatians 5:25 Keep in Step!

Galatians 5:25

“Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”
‭‭Galatians‬ ‭5:25‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Throughout Galatians 5, we really learn the freedom and liberty that walking/ living in the Spirit brings. We can be free from unruly emotions, bad habits and other outside challenges that seek to distract or derail us from the abundant life that God wants for us.

This verse says that since you are living by the Spirit, keep in step with the Spirit or follow the Holy Spirit’s leading. The visual I received was of a dance partners in ballroom dancing /hand dancing, which requires a lead partner who, with a nudge from their hand at the back, determines the direction, pace and flow of the dance. There must be close proximity and lots of practice to understand what the nudges mean to keep in step with the lead partner. But as we see in those dance competitions, the results are flawless, seamless and extraordinary execution. I love dance!

Sometimes we may want to lead or not move at all, and that can get us out of alignment with the flow of the Spirit. I took ballroom dance lessons with my son for a program he was in, and it took a lot of practice to learn the steps and to follow his lead. Even when we messed up because I followed him it wasn’t too bad because we were in alignment.

God wants us to keep close to Him, allow His Spirit to lead us, match our pace to His because His timing is always perfect, His direction sure and His execution is flawless! #KeepinStep #HolySpirit #LiveintheSpirit

Morning Meditation: Galatians 5:24 Intention

Galatians 5:24

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.”
‭‭Galatians‬ ‭5:24‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I am so thankful that I don’t have to deal with my wayward tendencies – sinful nature on my own. I bring them to the cross and nail them there, because He alone endured the cross and was crucified for our sins. My job is to make sure that they are nailed on that cross.

It can be so hard to to let go of behaviors that may be comfortable, but harmful or detrimental to our growth. But we can bring them to Christ who carries that burden for us.

Nailing things down has a sense of permanence, a long-term resolute intention compared to simply casting off, or even tacking them down. When we nail the sinful nature, we are saying good riddance- it is a permanent separation from that former life.

It may feel like you are giving things up, but you are really setting yourself free from things that were weighing you down. Putting aside those “weights and the sin” that try to encumber us as we run this race.

Paul said, “No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”
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Lord , help us to nail our sinful nature, desires, bad habits etc to your cross and leave them there in Your capable hands. We want to be free in You and walk/ run unhindered in the life that comes by abiding in Your presence.

Morning Meditation: Galatians 5:22-23 Fruit of the Spirit

Galatians 5:22-23

“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” Gal.‬ ‭5:22-23‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Many of us have heard about the fruit of the Spirit, and when we read that listing, we all want them present in our lives. Who doesn’t want love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control operating in full measure in our lives. But like any fruit, it comes from seeds that have to cultivated, watered, sometimes fertilized in order for them to grow. Many times branches have to be pruned so that more energy can go into making fruit. There is definitely a growing season, because fruit certainly doesn’t happen overnight.

Seed ✨Time ✨Harvest!

And this fruit isn’t just some extra fluffy candy – like sugar on top. Love never fails and is a sign of maturity, the Joy of the Lord is our strength! Peace guards our hearts and minds and brings wholeness, Patience brings endurance. Kindness/Goodness reveal compassion and the very nature of God toward us. Faithfulness is one of God’s attributes and requires trust in Him to follow His example. Gentleness ( meekness) is a sign of humility and Gods character, and Self control – the discipline to rule oneself, David said was greater than someone conquering a city. The Holy Spirit, our helper, empowers us with all these to live a victorious live.

This passage concludes that if we were all operating in these fruit, there is no law against it- you don’t even need a natural law! These spiritual laws are above them.

Lord, help us yield to your Spirit and allow these fruit to be developed in our hearts to bring abundant life. Have your way Holy Spirit in our lives.

Morning Mediation: Galatians 5:19-21 Self examination

Galatians 5:19-21

When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.” Gal. ‬ ‭5:19-21‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I resisted posting this yesterday because I wanted to stay in the theme of walking in the Spirit. But this morning God led me back to this passage because when we see evidence of these in our lives we have stepped out of alignment with God.

some of these results seem obvious to be avoided like sorcery, but we often brush others aside or make light of them. When we see that we are arguing more or “blowing up” – examine yourself. I joked in the previous post how my daughter could tell if I had prayed that morning, because of my mood or I was easily provoked. But it was an indication that my shield of faith needed polishing, or I needed to adjust my shoes of peace to walk calmly in rocky times.

The culture today promotes do what YOU want, whatever YOU want, whenever you want by any means necessary — bringing colder uncaring hearts toward others. Things like sexual immorality, impurity and lustful pleasures all center on gratifying self at the expense of others.

Dissension, division, strife are also prevalent today, especially in the church. James 3:16 says “For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.” We see self righteous anger, outburst and cruelty and the Word says human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.

Self examination is hard but vital to our growth. When we see any of these things in our lives , it is an indicator that we need to spend more time with God. God knows us so well and He says, when you focus on Him , His goodness & great love for us, we wont have deal with the sinful nature. He is so very faithful to build us up in the Fruit of the spirit to overcome our sinful nature.

Morning Meditation: Galatians 5:16 Live by the Spirit

Galatians 5:16

“So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.” Galatians‬ ‭5:16‬ ‭NLT‬‬

This sounds so simple and yet Paul describes in the following verses and elsewhere in Romans 7, the battle that we wage with our flesh to follow the Spirit, to walk in the right path, to do the right thing. There is a war within us and that’s why it’s so hard sometimes to walk in the Spirit.

I am reminded of the Native American tale of two wolves that battle inside each of us. One is evil and the other good. The one who wins is the one we feed. We are to feed the Spirit- live and be guided by the Spirit – then we won’t be moved by harmful destructive desires. My daughter used to be able to tell whether I prayed or not in the morning because I was calmer, lest hyped up.

Sewing to the Spirit in prayer, reading the word of God, fellowship with others, singing spiritual hymns and songs all magnify the sovereignty of God is every situation and put us in His presence. When we experience that peace it gets harder and harder to be shaken and distracted by life’s challenges that may have formerly caused us to derail.

Lord, help us to walk in Your Spirit where there is liberty, life and freedom, so much so that we are not tempted to cave in to sinful ways. Thank you for hiding us and strengthening us as we practice and walk this out in our daily lives. In Jesus name! #WalkintheSpirit #FeedtheSpirit

Morning meditation: Galatians 5:13 Freedom to Serve others

Galatians 5:13

For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.”
‭‭Galatians‬ ‭5:13‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I really love how Paul builds on this narrative about the freedom we have in Christ. But it comes with some parameters. After exhorting us to stay free & warning us to keep from enslaving false doctrine, this passage now provides guidance to use this freedom God provides, not just for our own benefit but to humbly serve others.

This is counter culture which glorifies serving and indulgence on selfish desires ( beyond self care). Now that we are free we should use it to love and serve others.

As Toni Morrison famously quoted “ The function of freedom is to free someone else”. This is a good paraphrase of this scripture.

Now that God has made us free. We should be conduit of Grace, love, mercy, service and freedom for others. Help us O Lord, to walk in this kind of freedom with a heart to serve and liberate others.

Morning meditation: Galatians 5:7-10 Course Correction: Who’s holding you back?

Galatians 5:7-10

“You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth? It certainly isn’t God, for he is the one who called you to freedom. “This false teaching is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough! I am trusting the Lord to keep you from believing false teachings. God will judge that person, whoever he is, who has been confusing you. Gal‬ ‭5:7-10‬ ‭NLT‬‬

There is so much in Galatians 5! This passage immediately follows the exhortation in vs 5 Christ has set you free! NOW make sure that you STAY FREE! Like a good. friend, Paul continues in verse 7 paraphrasing , You were doing so well – WHO is detracting you from the truth which guides your purpose, goals, (insert whatever else).

This is a pause to examine your relationships or whoever you have been listening too! The news? A new distraction? Paul is clear it is a WHO. In this case, he is calling out false teaching that was requiring an old practice of circumcision as a requirement of righteousness. It had an “appearance” of a good thing to show off our intention, but Paul called it out as false principle that was gaining traction!

This distraction is clearly not from God either, who is calling us into Freedom! God knows us so well and our propensity to fall into performative works based religion, rather faith-based relationship!

Likewise, it may not seem like a big thing to you ( or it may even appear like it’s in alignment) but as Paul notes, if it is not judged it is like yeast where a tiny bit permeates the whole loaf! We must nip this thing in the bud!

As we bring these things to God, He will keep us from believing whatever may cause us to detour, AND HE will judge the person who caused the confusion. So thankful that God gives us counsel and provides these course corrections to keep us on the path of Freedom #Thankful

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Morning Meditations: Galatians 5 Stay Free

Galatians 5:1

“So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.” Galatians‬ ‭5:1‬ ‭NLT‬‬

When I read Galatians 5 at the end of October, I was really provoked to study it during this November, my birthday month, because so many verses were encouraging, spoke to self reflection, and walking in freedom! Holy Spirit Activate!

From the first verse, it starts off with a bang, proclaiming now that Christ has set us free, we need to make sure we STAY FREE! This means we have do our part in maintaining the freedom that Christ brings! And the first thing to avoid is not getting entangled in the legalistic performance based mindset of earning our way to freedom. The law of do’s and dont’s. And it says don’t get tied up AGAIN, which means that is is something that we have struggled with before. It takes effort to cast off old mindsets, unhealthy beliefs, etc to fully embrace that Christ brings!

Now thankfully, the scriptures tell us that His burden is light and that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. If we keep our focus on Christ Jesus, we are consumed with His light, His glory, His peace, His limitless possibilities and those former things no longer have power over us. Hallelujah!

Galatians 5 verses in a nutshell in following posts:
✨Stay Free
✨Who is holding you Back?
✨Use your freedom to Serve
✨Live by the Spirit
✨Fruit of the Spirit in you
✨Follow the Spirit’s Leading

Psalms 92:12-15. FLOURISH

Psalms 92:12-15

“The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those who are planted in the house of the Lord Shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in old age; They shall be fresh and flourishing, To declare that the Lord is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.” Psalms 92:12-145 NKJV

Psalms 92 closes with a great promise to God’s people of growth, prosperity, productivity and fruitfulness even to old age. It uses the word flourish 3 times in this passage!

FLOURISH: 

1: to grow luxuriantly : to achieve success: : to be in a state of activity or production: to reach a height of development or influence

Unlike the wicked which was compared to withering grass, The righteous are likened to trees which give a sense of longevity and strength. The righteous FLOURISH like resilient, flexible, fruit-bearing, palm trees which not only withstand storms but grow in many places. The righteous GROW asThe cedar of Lebanon: one of the grandest and stately of trees whose longevity is measured in centuries not just years. It takes over 30 years for it to began branching out and it keeps growing.

We , the righteous, FLOURISH when we are planted in the House of the Lord bearing fruit until old age. So much of this culture glorifies youth, but here God promises productivity, fruitfulness and freshness as we get older, flourishing as we abide in Christ.

WHY? To proclaim and declare God is just and upright- that He is Our Rock and there is no evil in Him. We are created to worship and praise our God!

Psalm 92 starts with praise and ends with a personal praise and testimony! That is how we ought to live to begin each day. You are our Rock!