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Archive for October, 2012

Verses 19-23: “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you just as I have forewarned you that those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”

My son, as we speak, is working on a science experiment on how to fireproof a balloon. Apparently, there is a process using water and air, to show that a balloon filled with air will pop when a fire is applied to it, but one with water will not pop. Somehow (and I’m curious as to how this works), the water is a change agent to prevent a normally combustible balloon from popping.

We, as sinful human beings, produce sin. When left on our own, no matter how “good” we are, the deeds of our flesh are listed above. On our own, we can’t earn our way to heaven…our righteousness is as “filthy rags” before God. Only when we invite Jesus into our lives as Lord and Savior, does the changing agent of His grace make us “fireproof”, so to speak. Then working with the Holy Spirit (because we can’t do it on our own), the fruit we can produce is that of the Holy Spirit…also, listed above.

Have a blessed day in the Lord!

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Verse 16: “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.”

In the Rankin-Bass production of The Hobbit (one of the first VHS tapes I ever bought), there is a scene after Gandalf, Bilbo, and the dwarves are rescued by the eagles and deposited outside the Forest of Mirkwood. Fretting over how foreboding and dangerous the forest looked, Gandalf reassured them to follow the path on the map, and it would take them straight through safely. “Do not stray from the track, or you will never get out of Mirkwood.” Gandalf cautioned them. Obviously it didn’t take much coaxing to convince the company to follow Gandalf’s instructions.

In that scene, staying on the safe path keeps one safe from the dangers around them. This is a similar analogy to what Paul cautions here. Only by trusting in Jesus and walking in the Spirit, do we avoid the temptations and the situations that could lead to sin. Think about all that surrounds us on earth today. The temptation to sin is a powerful tool that the devil wields against us; we can’t fight that by ourselves, but only through the help of the Lord. One of the ways the Lord helps us avoid those situations is by instructing us to walk “the straight and narrow” path.

Something to think about.

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Verse 13: “For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”

I had trouble remembering a classic set of lines from the movie Jurassic Park, so I consulted http://www.imdb.com, and found the quote in question. This takes place between John Hammond and Ian Malcolm before the party takes that fateful tour into the park (the reference link is http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0107290/quotes ). They are discussing the problems that Dr. Grant, Dr. Sadler, and Malcolm see with Hammond’s dinosaur park:

Dr. Ian Malcolm: If I may… Um, I’ll tell you the problem with the scientific power that you’re using here, it didn’t require any discipline to attain it. You read what others had done and you took the next step. You didn’t earn the knowledge for yourselves, so you don’t take any responsibility for it. You stood on the shoulders of geniuses to accomplish something as fast as you could, and before you even knew what you had, you patented it, and packaged it, and slapped it on a plastic lunchbox, and now [bangs on the table]
Dr. Ian Malcolm: you’re selling it, you wanna sell it. Well…
John Hammond: I don’t think you’re giving us our due credit. Our scientists have done things which nobody’s ever done before…
Dr. Ian Malcolm: Yeah, yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should.

Ever heard the old expression, “just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should do it?” As Christians, we are saved from sin’s punishment by Jesus. However, just because our eternal salvation is assured, doesn’t mean we can party like sinners the rest of our time on Earth. Paul is encouraging the Galatians in just this; to use their freedom to serve Christ, not serve the flesh. We might be the only Christian witness someone sees…you don’t want to damage your credibility.

Something to think about.

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Verse 6: “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.”

I am the President of the United States…can I be saved through Jesus? “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.”
I am a homeless person…can I be saved through Jesus? “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.”
I am a rich and famous celebrity…can I be saved through Jesus? “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.”
I am a person no one has ever heard of…can I be saved through Jesus? “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.”
I am African-American. I am Asian. I grew up in a Muslim household. I am a woman. I am a good person. “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.”
I am the criminal on the a cross beside you, Jesus…can you save me? “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.”
I am Saul, the man who killed countless Christians…can I be saved through Jesus? “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.”
..and by the way, remember that Saul, once converted, became Paul.

It doesn’t matter who or what you are, who or what you did; accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and you will be saved, your life transformed!

Have a blessed day in Jesus!

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