Walking in the Spirit

~~ a devotional ~~

by tkbrown

22 — “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,”

23 — “meekness, temperance: against such there is no law,”

24 — “and they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.”

25 — “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”

Galatians 5:22-25 — Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)

In Galatians 5:22-25, Paul tells the church at Galatia, the Spirit works to increase love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance in those who live and walk in the Spirit. Based on this text, Paul tells us it is possible to “live in the Spirit” but not “walk in the Spirit.” Some might differ with this interpretation of these words. However, I would direct your attention to the last part of verse 25. There Paul says, “let us also walk in the Spirit.” Since the first part of the verse notes, “If we live in the Spirit,” Paul is telling us we can “live in the Spirit” and not “walk in the Spirit.” Thus, if we “walk in the Spirit,” others can see a difference in the pre-Christian person we were and the Christian person we are continually becoming.

Let’s look back up to verses 22 and 23. Here, we see, “the fruit of the spirit is: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.” Then in verse 24, Paul says, “”and they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. ” Thus, if we ‘walk in the Spirit,’ we belong to Christ and have ‘crucified’ our “fleshly affections and lusts.” This does not mean we will automatically exhibit the traits associated with walking in the Spirit. It means we must do something to achieve those traits as a part of whom we are becoming. We must crucify the cravings and fruit of the flesh in order that we might “walk in the Spirit.” Looking at verse 16 of Galatians chapter 5, Paul states, “if we walk in the Spirit, we will not fulfil the lust of the flesh” — in other words, we will “crucify the flesh.”

16 — “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.”

17 — “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.”

Galatians 5:16, 17 — Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)

In verse 17, we read: the flesh and the Spirit engage in behaviors contrary one to the other. Thus, if we belong to Christ, we cannot do the things that we would in the flesh–we will “walk in the Spirit.” As we continue to “walk in the Spirit,” we will see an increase in the “fruit of the Spirit” in our own behavior and a decrease in the affections and lusts of the flesh displayed in our lives.

These verses tell us: belonging to Christ means we will strive to emulate Him in our daily living. The term, “American,” means I am a citizen–a member, if you will–of the United States of America. When we look at the word, “Christian,” in this same light, being a Christian means we are a citizen of–a member, if you will–of the kingdom of Christ, (Acts 11:26). As such, we strive to abide by the laws, guidelines, and statutes set forth by Christ for the New Testament churches of Christ. Paul established churches of Christ among the Gentiles; there were seven churches of Christ in Asia. The other apostles established churches in the area where Christ lived, taught, healed, and preached. Each church was taught, by the apostles, to emulate the life of Christ as they grew in the faith.

“And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.”

Acts 11:26 — Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)

Thus, as we grow in the faith, we will see our lives increase in: “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.” We will begin by “crawling,” as newborn babes in Christ. Then–just as a babe must grow from toddler to young child, older child, pre-teen, teen, young adult, and finally to adulthood–we must grow as Christians. It will be a life-long endeavor if we continue in the faith and hope of an eternal life in heaven with God and Jesus Christ–God’s Son.

1 — “Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,”

2 — “as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:”

3 — “if so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.”

1 Peter 2:1-3 — Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)

First, we nurture a babe with milk, then with puree of solid foods, and finally he/she is able to digest solid food. In like manner, we must also nurture our Spiritual Self by “laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speaking.” Then, “as newborn babes [in Christ], desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby [in Christ].” In 1 Peter 2, verses one through three, we see: “if we are able to lay aside these fleshly affections and lusts,” then we “have tasted that the Lord is gracious.”

My daily prayer is that I might continue to lay aside my worldly lusts and affections of the flesh and grow in the nurture, the admiration, and the wisdom of the Lord. I ask that God strengthen me in the faith, hope, knowledge, goodness, and graciousness of Christ Jesus that I might live a life pleasing unto Him and ultimately be granted an eternal home in heaven.

May God be with all who endeavor to live for Him through the name of Christ Jesus.

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Source:

Eds. Bible Gateway. (1993). Acts 11:26. “Holy Bible: King James Version (KJV).” biblegateway.com. (25 April 2021). Acts 11:26 KJV – And when he had found him, he brought – Bible Gateway.

Eds. Bible Gateway. (1993). Galatians 5:16-25. “Holy Bible: King James Version (KJV).” biblegateway.com. (25 April 2021). Galatians 5:16-25 KJV – This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, – Bible Gateway.

Eds. Bible Gateway. (1993). 1 Peter 2:1-3. “Holy Bible: King James Version (KJV).” bible gateway.com. (25 April 2021). 1 Peter 2:1-3 KJV – Wherefore laying aside all malice, and – Bible Gateway.

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Photo Above: By Ferhat Deniz Fors @Unsplash.com.

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Living in Today

a devotional

~~ by tkbrown ~~

Scripture Source: Holy Bible — New King James Version (NKJV)

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Matthew 6:34 — “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

Holy Bible — New King James Version (NKJV)

So often we hear someone refer to tomorrow and what it may bring, or another may rue something that happened a year ago. Do we not realize that when we are worried and fretting about what has already passed or what will happen in the future, we are forgetting–even neglecting–what is happening right now?

For those familiar with the 12-Step Program, the phrase, “One Day at a Time,” is heard often. It is a reminder to quit worrying about what is over and cannot be changed or what has not even arrived yet. It is a reminder to focus on “today” and the events occurring “right now.”

Some, who prefer a more crass reference to the thought might say:

“If ye have one foot in yesterday and ye other in tomorrow, ye are a-peeing all over today.”

Michael J Fox

When you think about it–crass or not–there is much truth in this saying. We simply cannot address, enjoy the events of, or resolve the problems of today, if we are rolling around on the ground wailing about yesterday or tomorrow. “. . . Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That is why it is called the present,” Alice Morse Earle.

“The clock is running. Make the most of today. Time waits for no man. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.”

Alice Morse Earle — as per Travis Dultz (below).

So, in this light, I would like to bring our attention to the woes presented in the media today. Each–and every–day, the media complains about what one politician or the other has been doing or saying. If not about what has been done or said, then about what will be done or said. We cannot do anything about the many speculations and even falsehoods found in modern media, but we can change our response to it. While it may be important to be aware of what is being touted as real in the media, it is also important to realize most of it has either already happened or is yet to occur–if it does present itself. So, worrying and fretting about what the media says does no one any good.

  • It can raise your blood pressure. — Not good for you!
  • It can cause a heart attack or stroke. — Not good for you!
  • It can drive you to drinking or doing drugs, if you are so prone. — Not good for you!
  • It can make you depressed. — Not good for you!
  • It can lead you into actions you might never consider if you had not read it or heard it on the news.

So, why does the media have such power over our lives in this day? Perhaps because we have lost the ability to focus on those thoughts, events and concerns of “this day.” When we lose this perspective, today becomes “lost” in the quagmire. Are you guilty of this?

If so, I challenge you to “grab hold” of your focus and shift it back to its intended position. Practice focusing on what is happening right now. Give “it–right now” your undivided attention! You cannot change what happened yesterday, and you cannot do anything about what may or may not happen tomorrow. So, focus on what you can do something about–whatever is happening “right now.” Only when you regain control over your focus can you do anything about the concerns that are most important–the people, places, and things in your life right now.

Yes, sometimes it is important to remember the positive events of the past to help us through the trials and tribulations of the present, but we must limit our past focus to those memories we can utilize to improve the present.

Regarding what the media is saying in reference to this or that politician, I would refer you to the thirteenth chapter of Romans (NKJV), verses one through seven:

Romans 13:1-7
  • 1 — “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.”
  • 2 — “Therefore, whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.”
  • 3 — “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same.”
  • 4 — “For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.”
  • 5 — “Therefore, you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake.”
  • 6 — “For because of this, you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing.”
  • 7 — “Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.”

As we, here in America–and in other parts of the world–adapt to new leadership styles in new governing authorities over the next months, many are predicting failure and trepidation. Others are touting the reduction of governmental authority and power. Which will it be? Only time can tell the true tale of what lies ahead. One thing is certain, living in a mode of fear and dread will only exacerbate the situation and make it worse. Therefore, I would caution against deciding now what next month, or next year, will hold. In Matthew 6:34, Jesus said, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Sometimes we make the events of our lives worse than they would normally be by worrying and creating a “Self-fulfilling Prophecy.” Sometimes we actually create the very problem we worry might occur.

“In 1948, Robert K Merton coined the term, “self-fulfilling prophecy” to describe a false definition of the situation evoking a behavior which makes the originally false conception come true. . . . “

Derek Schaedig.

It will help us to remember, God says He put the current leaders into power, and we are to be subject to them. We are not to denigrate and denounce the powers that be. We are not to oppose the powers that be. That does not say we cannot work for change, but if we do, we must do it in a respectful manner toward the present powers that be–because those powers are ordained of God.

Hopefully, the thoughts presented in today’s devotional will help with some problem you are facing today. If it does, please let me know that in the comments section below. Just a general summary statement is good–do not feel you are being asked to give personal details. This might make you uncomfortable, and I would never intentionally do that. If you like what has been presented here, click the “Like” button and share it forward. Thank You Much!

I pray that we might always be reminded to keep life as simple as possible by focusing on the “right here, right now” instead of allowing the past or the future to complicate things. May we always look to God, His Son, and His Word for guidance in coping with concerns of this day! Blessings!

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Sources:

Dultz. Travis. (27 August 2015). “Who said ‘Yesterday is history tomorrow is a mystery today is a gift?'” Yesterday Tomorrow Today Phrase Origin. yesterdaytomorrowtodaypresent.blogspot.com. (15 November 2020). http://yesterdaytomorrowtodaypresent.blogspot.com/2015/08/yesterday-tomorrow-and-today-phrase.html.

Schaedig, Derek. (24 August 2020). “Self-Fulfilling Prophecy and The Pygmalion Effect. Simply Psychology. simplypsychology.org. (15 November 2020). https://www.simplypsychology.org/self-fulfilling-prophecy.html#:~text=A%20self%2Dfulfilling%20prophecy%20is,ways%20which%20confirm%20the%20expectations.

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Photo Above: from Public Domain Images @ pixabay.com.

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