Dealing With The Stony Parts That Are Still In Us

I Corinthians 6:19-20, “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

We have all learned many things through trial and suffering over the years, but it has not been all pain and agony. At various times, we have abounded with joy, contentment, peace, and growth as well, and we should thank God who has engineered and authored these blessings. However, beyond honestly identifying how far we have come, we also need to recognize and acknowledge the stony parts that are still in us, repenting before God with our whole hearts.

Solomon writes in Proverbs 4:23, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” The heart, the mind, is the storehouse of our character. We must spend time in meditation and in prayer asking for insight from God to reveal to us exactly who we are inside where normally only God can see. We must implore Him for understanding about who we really are right now in His eyes. We need this information to understand properly our relationship with Him.

Remember, God may be a consuming fire to His enemies (Hebrews 12:29), but to His own children, He is a boundless provider and loving Father (Ephesians 3:14-21). He is quick to forgive if we freely confess our sins to Him (I John 1:9).

Adding Power To Our Prayers—“In Jesus’ Name”

“In Jesus’ name” is a phrase of confidence. It shows we believe that our prayers will be heard and answered.

We can learn to pray in accordance with God’s plan by abiding in His Word and letting it influence our thoughts.

In Jesus’ name. These three words powerfully touch the Father’s heart. Using them is a mighty prerogative we have as children of God. Let’s exercise this privilege well.

What Is Love?

What is love? Love is doing what is right from God’s perspective. Love is being responsible, honest, loyal, trustworthy, faithful. Love is being zealous toward God, and it is many other things as well.

In 1 Corinthians 13 also known as the “love chapter” in the bible it says what love is—Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not arrogant, is not rude, is not self-seeking, is not irritable, and does not keep a record of wrongs. Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.

I think that’s why Jesus said that the greatest commandment is to love God with all our heart, mind and soul. The second greatest commandment is we are to love our neighbor as we do ourselves.

Let those around you see your love for God and for them.

How To Fight & Win Against The Urge To Sin—Advice From One Christian To Another

When you have a tremendous urge to sin, what do you do? Do you give in to it and say to yourself, “God will forgive me” or do you fight it with scripture verses and prayer? The devil is really devious when it comes to introducing the thought of sin in your head. He paints a picture that creates an overwhelming desire within yourself so that it seems like you’re powerless to stop yourself. You’ve committed the sin before and it felt so good but what about after? How did you feel about yourself?

If you’re like most, once the pleasure of the sin is over you begin to loathe yourself and wished to God you could have exercised more power to stop yourself. I’m here to tell you there is power to stop yourself and it comes from within as the Holy Spirit. He is there for you all the time waiting for you to call on Him and ask for help.

Learning scripture verses is also definitely helpful. You should find the ones that are suited to your personality and emotional state. I will suggest one verse that is very effective. It is Isaiah 40:31. Here is the verse: “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They will mount up as with wings of eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not grow faint.” Read that first line again. You will renew your strength! God is in the fight with you but you must do your part.

The battle to not sin is ever present within our head. As Paul said in Ephesians 6:12, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this world’s darkness, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” In other words you’re fighting with the devil.

You CAN do it! You CAN win! Trust me, God has got your back.

More scripture verses to help you fight sin.

Romans 7:25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

Romans 8:1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Hebrews 9:14 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!

Matthew 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Luke 11:11-13 What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?

Jealousy—A Disagreement With God

“A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy on the other hand is like cancer in the bones.”

“Jealousy is a sentiment which is born in love but which is produced by the fear that the loved person prefers someone else.”

Jealousy has destructive power. It’s actually a disagreement with God over something we don’t have that He has chosen to give someone else. Or, in some cases, it results from fear of being replaced in a relationship or job. To overcome this attitude, we must first acknowledge that we have a conflict with God. We should confess our wrong mindset, repent, and then turn away from it.

One of the most helpful things we can do is focus on what the Lord is doing in our own life. This brings us back to the path He’s chosen for us. God has our best in mind, but it may be that we’re missing His blessings because our mind is elsewhere. The more we delight ourselves in Him, the more our desires will align with what He wants for us.

What Does God Expect From Me?

And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you? He requires only that you fear the LORD your God, and live in a way that pleases him, and love him and serve him with all your heart and soul. And you must always obey the LORD’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good.— Deuteronomy 10:12-13

Have you ever asked yourself, “What does God expect from me?” Moses gives us a summary that is simple in form and easy to remember. Here are the essentials: (1) Fear God; (2) Live in a way that pleases him; (3) Love him; (4) Serve him with all your heart and soul; and (5) Obey his commands. Too often we complicate our faith with man-made rules, regulations, and requirements.

Are you frustrated and burned out from trying hard to please God? Concentrate on his real requirements and find peace. Respect, follow, love, serve, and obey. When you do these things life doesn’t seem quite so difficult.

Walking even as Christ walked—without sin.

In Romans 7:14-25, Paul is not confessing that he continually practiced sin in his daily life, but that the threat of practicing it was always with him. He always had to be on guard against it to keep it from breaking out. And, at times, it did indeed break out, reminding him not only of its presence, but also its strength. There is no doubt Paul was a mature Christian. Therefore, Paul’s example serves as a reminder to us that, no matter how spiritually mature we become, human nature will still always be with us.

Thus, because we are similar to Paul, and despite the wretchedness we may feel, we have assurance, knowing we will be delivered from this peculiar situation, one that is somewhat akin to having a dual personality. Our deliverance is through Jesus Christ; there indeed is an end. However, unlike many Protestant groups that proclaim that we do not have to keep the law because all is done for us, we know that we must strive to walk even as Christ walked—and He never sinned.