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Life by the Spirit

How does a Christian keep away from sin and grow in Christ? I place those two statements together because they belong together as simultaneous actions. In Galatians 5:16-26 Paul gives the answer. He begins by saying we should, “Live by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature” (v. 16).

Overcome adversity with gifts God has given us

Once, while going through a youthful crisis my father asked how I was holding up. I answered him, “Considering the problems many people have, I shouldn’t complain…” I went on to list a few examples of people with problems I perceived as being greater than my own.

A Few Parting Words

The Apostle Paul, writes in 2 Timothy the last letter he would pen before his martyr’s death, a few profound statements that at first glance might be overlooked.

A Lenten reflection

When my father died I was devastated. I was relatively young, as was he, and we were close — even though my parents were divorced and I lived with my mother in another community. The loss was enough to cause me to register shock. One of my coping devices is to compartmentalize, which I did in this case. As a result, I did not have to deal with my emotions until much later.

Start your day this way

Everyone has a morning routine to jump start their day. A good prayer to pray every morning is Psalm 139:23-24: “Search me, God, and know my heart. Test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

Look at your true reflection

I have been overweight most of my life, with periodic bouts of relative thinness. The unfairness of being overweight, for me at least, is that there is no way to hide the excess — it’s out there for everyone to see. Most people’s over indulgences, or “issues,” can be hidden or masked, not so when you are overweight.

Conviction verses condemnation

God does not work in condemnation, guilt, and shame. He doesn’t say, “Shame on you” but “shame OFF you.” Condemnation, guilt, and shame are tools of Satan meant to tear you apart. Satan is a thief and his goal is to steal, kill, and destroy your life (John 10:10a).

Love fully, judge not

As a little boy I would think in terms of the future, often to the exclusion of the present. Of course, children and young people think they have forever to live… No different than my friends, I was always looking forward to something that was days or weeks away. Saying things like; “I can’t wait until Christmas,” or “until my birthday,” and the universal, “I can’t wait until school is out!”