Each day we choose to live by the flesh or live by the Spirit. Choose the Spirit and work on becoming more like Christ in all that you think, do, and say.~ Lisa Blair
This is the Application Season. Repeat, ‘I am applying the Word of God to my daily life until it becomes the first thought each morning and subsequently, throughout the day.’
Paul, God’s predominant ambassador, and author of much of the Bible focuses our attention on being saved, receiving God’s salvation and directs us to becoming ‘new’. He instructs us to become more like Christ in every action we take. We have been redeemed and our sins have been forgiven, but this is not a pass, it is the key that opens the door to becoming whole, to live a life like Christ. It provides a spirit consciousness of hope.
When we were baptized into Christ, we put on Christ. Christ is all around us and in us in the form of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit convicts us ‘on the regular’. It’s the Holy Spirit that speaks to us – beware, do not speak thoughtlessly, do not fall to the woes of this world as you walk the path of your destiny God has designed for you. Do treat you neighbors as you want to be treated, do love those who hate you, do what you can for the poor in spirit and economy. Allow the love of Christ to flow through you.
Become someone who is admired for following Christ. You know that person, the one everyone says, ‘there is something different about (name)’. People sense a peace when they are around (name). (Name) changes the atmosphere when they are present. Doesn’t that sound like Christ? Well, since He lives in us, and through us, we can emanate his love through us. People can recognize the difference, but may not recognize what the difference is. This of course is an opportunity to share who Christ is and how He lives in you when asked what makes you different.
So today, let’s look at what we are replacing to become more like Christ. The last post highlighted the replacement items. Today let’s look more closely.
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will reap. For he who sows of the flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows of the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life…Do not grow weary of doing good for in due season you shall reap what you have sown. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all. (Galatians 6:7,9,10)
17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles (nonbelievers) do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.
20 That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26 “In your anger do not sin”[a]: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.
29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:17-32, NIV)
When we grow in Christ we are growing in holiness, righteousness, and justice. We no longer are bound by our carnal nature, the flesh where our appetite is satisfied and fulfilled by: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. (Galatians 5:19-21, NIV)
Instead, always look to Christ for guidance. Walk by the Spirit. Allow yourself to be led by the Holy Spirit. As you make this exchange from living through the flesh to living through the Spirit, you will see your life change, you will no longer be a slave to your fleshly desires, yes you will be tempted, but you will possess the strength to overcome. And, should you sin, you have the freedom to repent and start anew. Isn’t God awesome. He know we are on the path and are conflicted by our humanness, but has provided the way and means to overcome and become more like His son, Christ to empower us to be overcomers.
What is the exchange? We are instructed to employ the Fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-25, NIV)
Resources: Biblegateway.com; Bible.org, 8. Virtues Leading to Christlikeness. 3/1/2021
Images: Good Morning Gifs, TENOR; LAB Photos