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11/07/2021 03:00 - 12/07/2021 02:00

“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh” - Gal 5:16 (NIV)

When we allow Christ to come into our lives, the Holy Spirit begins to work and reform our character. Every person who accepts Christ comes with a baggage. The baggage could be where those “acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like” (Galatians 5: 19-21). Someone might have been struggling with any of these, but powerless in overcoming either.

The Apostle Paul writing to the Galatians explains that one must be willing to sacrifice the flesh in order to overcome the corruption of these evil influences. He writes, “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (vv 24). But how does one do that, anyway? It is only by allowing the Holy Spirit begin the work of reformation that we experience change. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (vv 23- 24).

It is of no doubt that any of us may experience the corruption of the flesh in various ways. For some the struggle is with sexual immorality. There are those where it is idolatry of money. Some it is fits of rage. Some people struggle with unbridled ambition. There are those who are given to drunkenness. Some, even as believers, are quick to cause dissensions. Since Paul does not exhaust the list, we might as well add, gluttony and the use foul language. In fact, later he adds, “Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other” (vv 24).

Paul does not say that a believer can’t suffer from any of these. Indeed, occasionally, we do find a person who has walked with Christ for years, but still burdened with “self ambition” or given to “hatred”! For all, Paul he urges us not just to recognize that these are the works of flesh, but even more, to know, “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit” (vv 24-25).

The life of a believer is one of constantly realizing these works of flesh in us, bringing and surrendering them to the Lord!

Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I submit to you that my life is led by your Holy Spirit who gives us the power to overcome the works of the flesh, so that I am led by the Spirit, this I pray in Jesus’s name.

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    "And your life will be brighter than the noonday; it’s darkness will be like the morning. And you will feel secure, because there is hope; you will look around and take your rest in security”  (Job 11:17-19.)

    Philosophers and writers have long pointed out that without hope mankind would long be gone. The philosopher Victor Frankly who survived the Holocaust where he lost his entire family found hope was the most important weapon that enabled him come out alive. He wrote, “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how!”
Hope can sustain any of us through the darkest of times. This is what happened to Job when he lost everything he possessed. “Though he slay me, I will hope in him; yet I will argue my ways to his face” (Job 13:15).

    King David when he was being pursued by his enemies never lost hope. “For you have been my hope, sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth” (Psalm 71:5). The Apostle Paul who faced countless perilous times during his missionary journeys including jail and shipwrecks never lost hope. Writing to the Corinthians he reminded them, “He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers” (2 Cor 1:10-11).

    As believers God has given us hope that our lives are not empty and meaningless, like so many others. He has given us the hope to carry us through the lowest of moments. “I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in His word I put my hope” (Psalm 130:5).
    Today, may that hope that you have in Christ sustain you through whatever circumstances you may be facing.

    Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I pray in the wonderful name of Jesus that the hope I have in you lifts me up and sustains me in all situations as a conquer, in whose name I pray.