Bible Top 1000

Are We Following the Spirit or the Flesh?
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Not very long after an individual becomes a Christian, he or she begins to sense an inner struggle. They begin to realize that there's something within their members that wants to have its own way. While the Spirit of God is trying to lead and direct them one way, the flesh is trying to direct them another way. It boils down to this: Will we walk in the Spirit or after the flesh?

Throughout the Word of God, the Apostle Paul exhorts the Churches to listen to the Spirit, live and walk in the Spirit, and obey the Spirit. As it was a problem in Paul's day, so it is a problem in our day. One of the most difficult things that we have to do, as people who profess to love the Lord, is to let the will of God have the right of way over our will. Wherever we find Christians, there will always be a need to remind, exhort, and admonish them to a more intimate walk in the Spirit.

The reason for the urgency of such exhoratations and admonition is, if we're not careful, we can very easily be kept from being what God wants us to be. We'll never achieve what God wants us to achieve, and we'll just dangle as loose ends with no purpose of mind. It's time well spent that we take another look at our spirituality and at our walk. Am I living in the Spirit? Am I walking in the flesh? Am I walking in the flesh and trying to live in the Spirit?

Paul said in Galatians 6:1, "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness..." In 1 Corinthians 3:1, he says, "And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual..." He implies that there are Christians who live on a higher plane than others, and we know this is true. There are Christians who just don't walk in the Spirit as well as other Christians. Yet, it is the desire and the will of God that every Christian, everywhere, walk in the Spirit and on as high a level as he possibly can with the understanding in which God has given him.

Are We Grateful?

A little boy said, "Salt's what spoils potatoes when it's left out." Using the same kind of negative definition, we can say, "Gratitude is what spoils life when it's left out."

A disposition of continual thankfulness comes from an unshakable confidence in God's wisdom, power, and goodness no matter what our circumstances may be. People who possess the quality of gratitude may be poor in this world's goods, but they're truly rich spiritually.

Some of the most grateful people I know, have few material possessions and little money in their bank accounts. A character in one of Charles Dickens' stories remarks, "My not knowing at one meal where I shall get the next is a great help to thankfulness."

Riches, on the other hand, may be a handicap. A wealthy woman told her doctor that she was frustrated by a restless desire to accumulate more and more things. He replied, "These are the usual symptoms of too much ease in the home and too little gratitude in the heart."

No matter what our circumstances, let's count our blessings. Psalm 105 reminds us, "Give thanks to the Lord!...Remember His marvelous works" (vv.1,5). The salt of gratitude helps to make all of life taste better.

The Part of Me I Like Most

I’ll not forget the picture I once saw of Jesus. He was standing, dressed in a rust-colored robe, open in the front, revealing a white garment underneath. A halo circled his head. His brownish hair had a tint of red. His face was not the golden-brown you see in most portraits, but a whiter skin. Then I saw it. The skin. The hair. The structure of the face. The shape of the eyes.

He looks like me!

Not exactly like me, but remove the halo, cut the hair, shave the beard, put on some bifocals, add twenty years, and there was a definite resemblance.

We're told that one day “we will be like Him.” It seems a destiny too incredible to imagine, let along believe. However rough the sketch appears, we are works in progress on our way to becoming masterpieces.

It's difficult, perhaps impossible, to be objective when we talk about ourselves. At least it is for me. But I do know that I have a great tenderness in my heart for the missing (the people Jesus misses), as well as the underdog—those people who don’t fit in, who have been left on the outside.

I gravitate to such people. I don’t think about it beforehand, nor do I pat myself on the back afterward, but these are the people I find the most comfortable to be around. It is their eyes I want to make contact with. It is their heart I want to touch. I want to listen to them the way Jesus would listen to them, communicate to them by listening in a way that their stories matter, their pain matters, they matter.

I think of Jesus and the people he gravitated toward. It wasn’t the rich, the religious, the intellectuals, or the powerful. By and large, it was just the opposite. This is the part of me that is most like Jesus. And the part of me I most like. But I never really thought about it until I saw that picture of Jesus. In it I saw something of myself. Through it I saw something of His delight .