“A New Spirit In Us”

9 “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked.  Who really knows how bad it is? — Jeremiah 17:9 NLT

We are all very familiar with this verse from Jeremiah.  Since this verse is true and God says that He will give us the desires of our hearts, how do we reconcile the two verses?  As is usual, there are very few verses in the Bible that stand alone and these verses are examples of this.  The verse from Jeremiah is describing the heart that we are born with. Those hearts belong to the master of sin and only desire those things that please the flesh.  So, to reconcile these verses, we need to have a change of heart. We find a clue to God’s solution to the enigma in a passage in Ezekiel. This is an Old Testament verse that points to a future event.

26 And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations. — Ezekiel 36:26, 27 NLT

Before Jesus died, He made a promise to us to send a Comforter and a guide to lead us into all truth. After He arose and ascended, He sent us His Spirit as promised in Ezekiel and by Jesus Himself.  Once we receive Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we receive the Holy Spirit into our hearts.  It is at that point, that the reformation of the heart begins.  We now bow to a new Master, Jesus Christ. Our heart is changed so that the desires of our hearts are now pleasing to God.  First, He gives us a new heart with new desires and then He can give us what our hearts desire.  The heart is new, but the reformation does not come overnight. It takes a lifetime of mortifying the flesh and when we come to the end of our life as a human, we will still be fighting that battle.  

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 03-10-2019

Changed From the Inside out

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The Spirit of the Lord will come upon you, and you’ll prophesy with them and be changed into a different person. – 1 Samuel 10:6 
 After Moses and Joshua had died, God raised up Judges in Israel.  The Israelis would turn away from God and God would allow the enemies of Israel to be successful in battle against the them  When they wept and repented, God would raise up a judge to deliver them and to govern over them for a time.  Each time this happened, God had someone prepared to be the judge for the next few years.  Samuel was the last of the judges.  This was because the Israelis wanted a king over them, so they would be like the nations around them.  By asking God for an earthly king, they were rejecting God as their king.  Through Samuel, God warned them of the negative things that would happen if they chose an earthly king.  Still, that is what the people wanted and that is what God gave them. He chose Saul to be their king.  Before Saul could take his position as king, God gave him a new heart and filled him with His Spirit. God never chooses any of us to do something for Him and His Kingdom without the proper preparations.  If we are not already prepared, He will prepare us and give us everything we need to do His bidding. When we feel a special call from God, we may very well feel completely unprepared to complete the task.  But, we can be assured that by the time God puts His plan for us into action, He will have prepared us to do the job better than anyone else could possibly do it.  God chooses ordinary people and turns them into His extraordinary servants.  All He wants or expects from us is our willingness and obedience, He will do the rest.
10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. — Eph. 2:10 NLT
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 12-03-2018

A Change in Our Ancestry

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42 Jesus told them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, because I have come to you from God. I am not here on my own, but he sent me. – John 8:42 NLT
We are born of the flesh and thus we follow after the lusts of the flesh just like the crowds in the day of Jesus. We follow the advice of our fleshly father, satan. Yes, we may have earthly parents who have accepted Jesus, but unless we have made that decision for ourselves, we are still children of the flesh, just as the people were then. If we were truly children of the living God, we would not live a lifestyle of sin. We would follow the example Jesus set for us. We should know and understand that when we accept Jesus, our lifestyles will change. When we have been born of the Spirit, we walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh. Yes, we will occasionally sin, but it will not be our lifestyle. Christianity is not a religion, it is a relationship with a living Lord. It is not a negative lifestyle, but it should be the most positive of all lifestyles since we, and we alone, have the hope of eternal life with Jesus. Jesus came to us from the Father to redeem us from sin and show us the way to the Father. If God is truly our Father, we will tell others about our hope in Jesus because we will be overflowing with hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.

13 I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.—Romans 15:13 (NLT)

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 09-26-2017

The King’s Kids

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10 So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the devil. Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers does not belong to God. – 1 John 3:10 NLT

A child of God is anyone who accepts Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. When we do that, our sins are forgiven and we become a new creation. We are filled with God’s light and where there is light, there can be no darkness. Does this mean that if we sin or fail that we are no longer God’s children? Not at all, each of us will fail at times. The question is not about a single sin, but a lifestyle of sin. If our salvation experience does not change our lifestyle then we need to question whether it was a real life-changing event or merely an emotional experience that we had. Don’t be deceived, God is faithful and just. Getting saved is a rational, logical experience. There may be emotions and feelings involved, but the true experience is a decision that we make to trust our souls and our future to Jesus. If we have done this, then there will be changes in our lifestyle. Some immediately, some as we mature in our walk with Christ. Our lives will bear the fruit of the Spirit.

Galatians 5:22-26 NLT


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 07-10-2017

Pious Self-Denial

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18 Don’t let anyone condemn you by insisting on pious self-denial or the worship of angels, saying they have had visions about these things. Their sinful minds have made them proud — Col. 2:18 NLT

In the Old Testament, God established certain traditions and feasts for His people to observe at specific times of the year. He had very specific rules as to how the sacrifices were to be prepared and offered. These things were shadows of the sacrificial work of Jesus in the New Testament. But as time went by, the ruling religious class added thousand of rules to what God had given. These additional rules are why Jesus rebuked the Sadducees and the Pharisees. They laid too heavy a burden on the people. Jesus fulfilled the law and many of the prophecies of the Old Testament. We are no longer required to observe all the feasts and traditions. Jesus gave us a very simple plan of salvation. But, just as corruption came into the old law because of prideful humans, it has crept into the plan that Jesus gave us. False prophets have arisen and they go about preaching all kinds of requirements that Jesus does not place on us. Study and meditate on the Scriptures daily so that you are not taken captive by such drivel. The path is narrow and the way is straight, stay on the true path guided by God’s Holy Spirit.


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 03-07-2017

We’ve Only Just Begun!

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 11 In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us. — Col. 3:11 NLT
 
God’s Holy Spirit abides in us and we abide in Christ. We are now filled with and fully clothed by God Himself. Therefore, we have access to the same attributes as Christ Jesus Himself. Just as we accepted God’s Gift of salvation, we can accept (access) His attributes or we can use our own vain imaginations. The question is this: What thoughts are we going to allow to control our words and actions? “Wrong” or “right” thinking, that is the question.  Will we continue to let our old fleshly nature control our thoughts and actions or will we allow the Holy Spirit to do His work in us?  Will we allow Him to teach us and guide us into all truth?  Will we allow Him to sanctify us on a daily basis?  The flesh says “no” so we must put to death the flesh and follow after the Spirit.  Jesus wants to be Lord over every area of our lives, not just part.  The journey begins when we accept Jesus as our Savior and continues until we meet our Savior.  It is onward and upward and it gets sweeter every day.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Post 11-28-2016

 

Change Is Good

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May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord. — 2 Peter 1:2 NLT

We have all heard the story many times of couples that live together for years. As time passes, they take on each other’s attitudes and characteristics.  They even get to the point that they can finish each other’s sentences.  As we spend time with our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, we do the same thing. We start to take on His characteristics of grace, godliness, affection, and His love for others.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to finish God’s sentences?  We will  never get to that point, but we can become more like Him every day, if we will just commit to spending time with Him and meditating on His Word.

After You have talked to Him, allow plenty of time for Him to talk to You. He has a lot to tell you and He has an unending stream of love that He wants to lavish on you.

Be still, wait on Him to speak, and really, really listen. When just knowing about Him isn’t enough and you get to the point of wanting to know HIM, your attitude toward others and your outlook on life will begin to change for the better.

As we spend more time with God, we are slowly being changed into His image.
Post 10-12-2016

Rooted In God’s Love

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19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
— Ephesians 3:19 NLT
God is love and everything that we experience is designed to show us His love.  In the rough patches, we don’t feel that that statement is true because we don’t and never will understand the greatness of His love.  God wants us to strive to get to the point that we realize His only motivation is His love for us.  He wants us to be like Christ whose only motivation for dying on the cross for our sins was love.  Not every lesson we learn will be enjoyable.  I am sure that being persecuted, beaten and hung on a cross was not an enjoyable experience for Jesus but it was necessary to show God’s marvelous love for us.  Learning to love the “unlovable” and those that mistreat us is a necessary lesson, not only for our completeness but to show others the immeasurable love of God.  Jesus showed His love for us by giving His life for all of us while we were still sinners.  We must show that same kind of love to those around us each day.  As Paul says in the passage above (and I paraphrase) God places the Holy Spirit in our hearts and our roots must grow down into God’s love which will enable us to show that love in every situation.
Post 09-29-2016

Clean It Up!

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12 It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning. — 1 Cor. 5:12

A few generations ago, when someone in the church membership was known to be living a lifestyle of sin and that fact was affirmed by two or three witnesses, that person was first warned and counseled by the leaders of the church.  If he/she refused to change their ways, they were brought before the congregation for disciplining.  When they were found guilty and refused to repent, they were asked to leave the church.  It is not only scriptural for us to do that but it is our responsibility to do it.  First, we must make sure that there is no yeast in ourselves and then we can judge those of the household of faith.  It is not our responsibility or business to judge non-Christians, that is God’s business and He will take care of it in His own time.  A church body with sin in it is a weak body and it will not attract unbelievers to Christ.  In fact, outsiders will turn away from that body because of the hypocrisy.  We, as church bodies, don’t do this much anymore.  I believe that is one of the biggest reasons for the decline in church memberships and that fewer people attend church.  Let us be sure that we are not living a lifestyle of sin ourselves and then make sure that any yeast or leaven is removed from the church body.  No one wants to be around a body that is going through the process of putrefaction.  We need to clean it up and shine for our Lord and Savior, that light will attract others to Christ.

Post 08-24-2016

Give Me the Sense to Obey

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73 You made me; you created me. Now give me the sense to follow your commands.
— PSALM 119:73
This verse is a prayer that I need to pray every day.  When I find myself getting irritated, I need to pray this verse so that I do not hurt others with unkind words.  When I find myself judging others, I need to pray this verse.  When I find myself criticizing, I need to pray this verse.  When I see someone in need and I don’t take the time to help them, I need to pray this verse.  When I feel the nudge of the Holy Spirit to speak to someone about Jesus and I refuse to do it, I need to pray this verse.  When I spend money for things that I don’t need, I need to pray this verse.  When God says “no’ or “wait” and I run ahead of Him, I need to pray this verse.  Most of all, I need to pray this verse when I think that Jesus has done something or allowed something to happen in my life that is not for my benefit.  Because that thought violates the highest command to “love the Lord your God with all of your heart”.  You get the idea, I need to pray this verse a lot.  Hopefully, the rest of you are better at allowing the Holy Spirit to control your thoughts and words than I am, if not, then just join in and pray this with me, “Now give me the sense to follow your commands”.
Post 08-23-2016