Walking through this life as a follower of Christ is not always easy. My flesh rises up and wants its way. My natural tendency is to be lazy and selfish. I must daily decide that as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. I must daily lay down my desires and to-dos and ask God for His desires and to-dos. I love Jesus, and I just want Him to be pleased with me. I want my life to bring glory to God and to be spent hiding treasure in heaven for eternity. I don’t want to watch all my earthly works burn up in the fire. I want to be met by Jesus when I die and to hear Him tell me, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
To know God and to know His desires and to know how to follow Jesus, I must know God’s word. I must hide it in my heart – it is my sword in this spiritual fight. (Hebrews 4:12, Ephesians 6:17) His word is filled with commands and instructions for living a godly life – one filled with faith and obedience. A life lived that demonstrates to all those watching that I am God’s kind of person. A life surrendered and in agreement with the work of God’s Holy Spirit that is in me. For it is Christ Jesus who lives in me.
The Fruit of the Spirit
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-25 ESV)
The Love Chapter
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 ESV)
The Hall of Faith
These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city. (Hebrews 11:13-16 ESV)
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:3-4 ESV)
And all of the “One Another”s that are found in His word tell us over and over again that life isn’t about us. Life is our opportunity to make it about God and His kingdom. Life is our opportunity to be used by God. We are to love others well. We are to boldly speak the gospel to all the world. We are to bear with one another, encourage one another, forgive one another, meet together, eat together, worship together, serve others together, teach, admonish, confess our sins to one another, but most of all LOVE one another.
I have discovered that not everyone is loveable. Myself included. It can be difficult to love a prickly, negative, angry person. But they need it. We don’t become prickly, negative, and angry when we are lavished with God’s great love for us. It is when God’s love has been lacking in our interactions with others that we harden. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions. Have. Past tense. It seems to me this is an ongoing process of continuing to crucify my flesh.
I have to be emptied of self to be filled by Him. I must be filled by Him in order to overflow His love, mercy, and grace to anyone around me. Sit for a few moments today at the feet of Jesus. Listen to His heart of love for you. Fill yourself with His peace. Then go out and love others well in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Be encouraged. Press on!