Hello there! Did you miss me? I hope so. I have no time to waste in a world that is falling apart quickly. I must be about the Father’s business, spreading the good news of my hope in Christ Jesus, and that includes you. Jesus Christ is good news, and if anyone expressed the fruit of the Spirit well, it was Jesus.
Today, let’s look at another key verse from Galatians, chapter 2, verse 20.
20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
My footnote says, “because we died with Him, we are no longer condemned.”
Let’s look at it relationally. Relationally, “we have become one with Christ, and His experiences are ours now.”
Our Christian life began when in unity with Jesus, we died to our old life. There’s that old life again, our old self. Here’s where we should be shedding the elements of our old selves and taking on the new Christ-like characteristics. I know this brings up stress in some people, and I understand. It did for me as well. The thought of being perfect stressed me out until I was reminded there has always been and always will be only one perfect person – Jesus. My striving for perfection was useless.
Please don’t misunderstand what I’m going to say. We are human, always have been since the day we were born. Scripture says God knew us before we were born. We didn’t evolve from an ape, as is often quoted by evolutionists. We were born as human beings, either man or woman, albeit sinful human beings thanks to our ancestors, Adam and Eve. (That’s another lesson for another day. Talk about garden woes.)
Let’s face it
The temper tantrums started at a very young age. The sinful nature developed, and it runs like a well-oiled machine.
Can I share something with you?
Even well-oiled machines break down, and new parts are installed.
The long way around what I’m trying to say is this – it takes time to shed the old self. It takes time to get rid of the fleshly desires that seem to come so easily and replace them with the fruit of the Spirit.
Remember, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. These changes usually don’t happen overnight.
My changes have been in the making for many years. But I am changing and taking on more Christ-like qualities and shedding the old stuff that isn’t producing the fruit of the Spirit.
Have I perfected it yet? No. Am I there yet? No. But neither was the Apostle Paul or even Billy Graham and I am encouraged. Changes take time, and I believe we work on them for the rest of our lives until God calls us heavenward.
Word of caution: Don’t let this be your justification for never making the changes you know need to be made. This isn’t a diet plan that you’ll vow to start next week or the week after, or do for a time and then go back to eating pizza and ice cream. I believe becoming more like Christ will take the rest of our lives, and that’s a good thing. Constantly reminding ourselves of who Christ wants us to be is good.
Do you want to hear some more good news? Jesus wants you today just as you are and will help define who you are to be in Him. The Lord will give you the strength to shed the old fleshly self and become more like Him, but you have to be willing to accept His invitation. There’s no magic pill or formula.
Lord, help us have the courage we need to make bold moves toward Christ. This life offers so many things that often bring instant gratification but lead to death. Those things cause problems, maybe not now but eventually. Thanks, God, for your words in the Bible – or as some like to say – Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.
In His Service,
The Teaching Lady