Monday, September 12, 2011

September 12, 2011 … Focusing on Scripture and the Lord

Passage of the Day: Galatians 5: 16 … So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

My Journal for Today: All Christians know or learn that we will have to deal with the wiles of Satan and his system, the world, in our day-by-day walk with the Lord. However, probably our most dangerous spiritual enemy is found in today’s verse – “the desires of the sinful nature.” [In other translations, that phrase is translated, “… the desires of the flesh.”]

To counteract our personal anti-Christ desires, or even to deal with Satan and the world, Paul exhorts believers to “…live [or ‘walk’] by the Spirit.” That is strong rhetoric; but what does that command entail?

Well, John MacArthur in his Strength for Today devotional on this date posits that such a walk (or life) must first/foremost involve the daily intake, meditation, and yes, even the memorization of God’s word. Psalm 1: 2 says that the Godly man or woman delights in God’s word, “…meditating in it day and night.” And that was the same formula for spiritual prosperity and success given by God to Joshua as he was about to undertake the monumental task of taking God’s people across the Jordan and into the promised land (see Joshua 1: 8, which I really hope you have memorized). So, to follow MacArthur’s first premise, assuming all Christians desire to have spiritual success [i.e., to follow Christ’s mandate of Luke 9: 23], we must ask ourselves, “ Are we into God’s word with the consistency and with the intensity directed by God’s word itself?”

And the second point made by MacArthur in this regard concerns the seriousness or intensity of our commitment to live for God in God’s way; and MacArthur contends that we’ll never experience the full effect of the life-transforming ministry of God’s Spirit if we don’t CHOOSE to focus on God by becoming the “LIVING SACRIFICE” written about by Paul in Romans 12: 1 – 2 [and that is a memory verse which I really implore you have in your heart]. Our lives as Christians – which is our worship of our Lord - must become a 24/7 lifestyle of discipleship and worship in the Spirit (see also John 14: 23 – 24).

What God, the Holy Spirit, wants to do is to take our surrender and turn it into Christlikeness [see Phil. 1: 6]. So, what we have to decide is how much we want Him to do that!

My Prayer Today: I walk with You, precious Spirit. Transform me! Amen

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