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
“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.” 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.
“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.
“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
“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.
“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
“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!
“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
“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
“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.