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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Psalm 92: 9-11 Declaration of Power- Anointed to Serve

Psalm 92:9-11

“For behold, your enemies, O Lord, for behold, your enemies shall perish; all evildoers shall be scattered. But you have exalted my horn like that of the wild ox; you have poured over me fresh oil. My eyes have seen the downfall of my enemies; my ears have heard the doom of my evil assailants.” Psalm‬ ‭92:9-11‬ ‭ESV‬‬

This passage begins with The Psalmist reminding us that the Lord’s enemies ( evildoers) will perish and be scattered in comparison with the previous verse exalting the Lord as the Most High! We should never be confused about what will happen to those who do evil – their end is certain.

Then the Psalmist declares how God has strengthened him and anointed him! The Amplified version makes it even more clear, saying,
“But my horn [my emblem of strength and power] You have exalted like that of a wild ox; I am anointed with fresh oil [for Your service].”

The wild ox has not been domesticated, and so it has unharnessed power and strength. Likewise, the psalmist declares the Lord has empowered us in the same way, and He has anointed us with FRESH OIL. This is a renewed anointing and consecration to serve the Lord. The Lord gives power and strength to DO something – to fulfill the purposes and plans He has given us to accomplish!

And in vs 11, the Lord allows us to see the downfall of those things sent to distract, disrupt, undermine or destroy us. We can’t always see it every time, but it is always a blessing to experience triumphant victory over challenges.

Thank you Lord for empowering us to do what we have been called to do with renewed passion and anointing! Thank you for your Holy Spirit and grace which causes us to overcome challenges and persevere through our own limitations!

#anointing #freshoil #victory

Psalm 92:8 The Most High

Psalm 92:8

But you, O Lord, will be exalted forever.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭92:8‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Several versions say You, O Lord are On High forever. The lord Most High is one of the names of God, Elyon in Hebrew.

This middle verse directs our attention back to God who is above all. He dwells and reigns in the highest, in all His majesty and splendor. He reigns on High forever even as other rise and fall. Glory to God! Glory to God in the Highest!

Lord we exalt You and praise Your name! You alone are worthy of our worship and praise! You are our Eternal Lord, from everlasting to everlasting. Be glorified. #TheMostHigh #Elyon #BeExalted

Psalms 92:6-7 Don’t be Stupid

Only a simpleton would not know, and only a fool would not understand this: Though the wicked sprout like weeds and evildoers flourish, they will be destroyed forever.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭92:6-7‬ ‭NLT
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This first made me laugh because my mother used the word “simpleton”. Don’t let this be you. lol!

In this passage, the Psalmist takes a brief detour for a brief PSA to say- Don’t be stupid! He has harsh words when we take our eyes off of the glory and majesty of God and start looking at why bad people seem to get ahead. He makes it plain: only those of low intelligence or foolish/ unwise would not know that the wicked will be cut down forever, even though it seems that they are prospering now. Don’t fall into that trap!

Now more than ever, this timely & relevant reminder to keep our attention on the Lord resonates. Evil is all around and so many terrible cruel people seem to be getting away with it. But God doesn’t want us to be concerned with this. He tells us in Romans 12:19, “…Vengeance is mine, I will repay.” We are to keep our hearts and mind focused on the goodness and omnipotence of God, trusting that He will take care of us and them.

Reflections Psalms 92:4-5

You thrill me, Lord, with all you have done for me! I sing for joy because of what you have done. O Lord, what great works you do! And how deep are your thoughts.”
Psalms‬ ‭92:4-5‬ ‭NLT‬‬

When we consider all that God has done for us personally and His wonderful works- His creation, His omnipotence, His salvation and His great love, we are filled with elation and joy!

David wondered in awe in Ps 8, how the God who made the glorious stars and heavens was mindful of us mere humans, to care for, empower and lavish His love on us.

Job exclaimed after his tribulations in Job 42, of things “to wonderful for me” when he finally saw who God truly was. He was complaining about His circumstances and had a limited view of who God was, but then experienced God is a new way and found joy.

The word joy is mentioned over 100 times in the Bible and “rejoice” is mentioned over 60 times. It is an essential component in our walk with God, and it’s source is derived and fueled by God Himself. This joy that God provides strengthens us to remain steadfast, optimistic and hopeful in challenging times. (Neh. 8:10)

While these verses focus on praising God for what He has done, we can always sing praises to God whether we are on the mountain top or in the valley- because God is always worthy, always good. He inhabits our praises, and in His presence there is always fullness of Joy, there is life, light and peace. Thank you Lord! #Rejoice #Joy #Praise #godshandiwork

Reflections on Psalm 92:1-3 It is Good

Psalm 92:1-2

“It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to the Most High. It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning, your faithfulness in the evening, accompanied by a ten-stringed instrument, a harp, and the melody of a lyre.” Psalms‬ ‭92:1-3‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I was originally drawn to this Psalm because it was a song of praise immediately following Psalms 91 which proclaims the Lord’s divine protection. Then I noticed the heading was directing it to be sung on the Sabbath day. How appropriate that we give praise and worship to God at this time.

The first two verses start off with “it is good” or “a good thing” which has the same connotation in Geneisis when God saw that His creation was good. It is not only right but good. Already, there is a feeling that something creative if going on!

First, it is good to GIVE THANKS unto the Lord. One of the first things we learned as children is to say thank you when we are given something. It is important to express gratitude acknowledging others benevolence, assistance and or responsiveness to a need or desire. We give thanks to God for the things He has done: His graciousness, His tender mercies and great love.

Secondly, It is also good to SING PRAISES to the Most High! We sing praises to extol and magnify God for who He is, His omniscience, to honor Him for His majesty, greatness, and power.

Verse 2 is illustrative, moving closer in, speaking directly to God. It is good to “proclaim Your lovingkindness (steadfast love) in the morning and faithfulness every night” All day our hearts are toward God, from sunrise to sunset we are to worship God acknowledging His chief virtues of love that never fails and His consistent faithfulness.

And as we give thanks, sing praises and proclaim His goodness we should be “accompanied” by musicians with instrumentation. We can’t do this by ourselves. On this day of rest, the Sabbath, we are to join others in making a beautiful expression of corporate worship to God in a variety of expressions, truly creating an atmosphere for God to inhabit the praises of His people. In His presence there is fulness of joy, light and life.

Wisdom Fruit: Journey in Proverbs 3 – the Conclusion

Proverbs 3:33-35

“The Lord curses the house of the wicked, but he blesses the home of the upright. The Lord mocks the mockers but is gracious to the humble. The wise inherit honor, but fools are put to shame!” Proverbs 3:33-35 NLT

As we close out the final verses of Proverbs 3, we see that unlike the previous verses there is no command,or exhortation, but a listing of stark consequences to those who honor God and His precepts and those who choose unrighteousness. These are spiritual realities that are also mentioned previously in Proverbs and most notably in Deuteronomy 30, so that we understand that there are consequences to the decisions and choices we make. As Deut.30:19 says so poignantly, “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!”

The Lord not only detests the wicked, but He curses the entire household of the wicked included their dealings and concerns. People who willfully harm are far from the heart of God and bring misfortune not only on themselves but their families. However, God blesses the home, the habitation, of the upright, those who follow Him. This chapter already highlights the benefits of God’s principles and He brings those temporal (physical) and spiritual blessings to the entire households of the upright.

Likewise, those who mock and pridefully scorn God’s precepts and others, bring down the Lord’s scorn on themselves. But again, we see that God extends His abundant grace and favor to those who are humble, who yield to His counsel and serve others. Humility also means that we learn to trust God and seek His help when challenges or uncertainty arise. God extends his grace and blessing to those who trust Him.

The final verse of Proverbs 3 closes with the honor ( and glory) that comes when we operate and align our lives with wisdom and God’s principles. Solomon leaves his audience with the lasting inheritance of favor that wisdom brings that has generational impact. But the foolish, or “self-confident fools” receive a legacy of shame. Because they ridicule or ignore what is right and just, they bring about dishonor and contempt.

Lord, help us to trust in You alone, and help us to embrace all wisdom to learn, act and walk in Your principles, precepts that lead to life, abundance, grace and blessing not only for ourselves, but for our families, neighbors and our communities. Our desire is to honor and please you with our lives always.