Fridays are always a good day. Worshipping the One who bled on a tree, conquered death, and has set me free is the best way to spend a day. Last night we jumped through several passages, but I’d like to share what I gleaned from them.
The first passage was John 15:10-18. In this passage, I couldn’t help but focus on verses 15-17, where Jesus is speaking and says:
Notice the emboldened phrases… Jesus not only calls us friends because He has made known to us what the Lord does, but He also calls us chosen. Our purpose is to bear fruit and to keep bearing fruit. We are to love one another. Keep that in mind as we move on.
1 Peter 4:1-11
Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.1 Peter 4:1-2
We have died with Christ. Our old man has been crucified. We have been called to a higher calling. We have decided to walk in the footsteps of Christ. This is absolutely the most difficult path any human could take since we willingly are signing up for constant spiritual inner tug-of-war.
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.Romans 7:18-20
Translation: I war constantly with my flesh so what I wish not to do, I often do because of this tug-of-war.
We have been called to put away our old selves and put on Christ. We have been crucified with Him. We have been called to walk in the Holy Spirit and bear fruit. The first fruit is love. How ironic! We serve a God of love. If anyone knows Him, we will know it by their love for other people. Love is the first fruit because if we are in a community with the God of love, we will exemplify His love to those around us. Without the God of love nothing else good can come out of us. We, as the church, have left our first love – even though we do missions and send money to good organizations. We are in strife with each other. We need revival. If we walk in His Word by submitting to His will and feeding the Spirit, we will starve the enemy and kill the fleshly desires.
Living a life we are called to
1 John 3:8 says “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.” Jesus came to destroy the old man, the sinful creature we have been in bondage to. Once we accept His reign as King in our hearts, we must feed the Spirit and walk in Him daily.
Which are you feeding: the Spirit or the flesh? If you want the flesh to win, give it what it wants. Let the Spirit dwindle and die of starvation. However, if you are tired of doing what you wish you wouldn’t do, feed the Spirit. Make Him strong so that we may live as the body of Jesus on earth.
It is a constant battle and a SLOW process of sanctification… the forge is slow. I have used this metaphor before but I find it very relatable. A goldsmith heats up the gold to scrape off the infirmities until he can see his reflection. Jesus is testing the church. How will we respond? The first church in Revelation resembles the church of America in various ways. Read this and notice the emboldened phrases:
He who has an ear, let him hear. How does the church overcome? Love as Jesus would love. Do not approve of what is unBiblical and do not support those who are against the Word of God. Loving the world is telling them the Truth! What is the Truth? There is hope. There is a better future. Jesus has paid your debt. Choose Him and you will have life!
Life is a battleground. Pray and live like it. Show the world what real love looks like. God is Love, and without Love, you cannot have Justice. He is a God of Love but He will come as a Judge and as a Lion when He returns. Let us spread His loving Truth so that the number of people who choose death dwindles. May we show the world that the church is stepping up to her calling: to love God and your neighbor as yourself so that others will know Who you serve.
Love before the world gets cold.
And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.Matthew 24:12-14
One thought on “By This, They Will Know You”
When God wrote this (Romans 7:18-20) through Paul God knew the impact He would make. God knew the believer would battle their flesh with the Spirit until He calls us home. Unfortunately, believers have no excuse (myself included) because The Word (Jesus) has told us how to refuse the flesh and submit to the Spirit. Another statement you made, “We are in strife with one another,” so very true. We should seek first the kingdom of God instead of focusing on the worldly things. I find it so much easier to give advice to others instead of myself. 🙂 Thank you for your post tonight.