Yet God's kingdom can only come and His will be done in us, when self is "crucified." In what areas of your life are you hearing the hammering of the nails? Those are the un-surrendered areas; they are the ones that give you and me the most trouble, right?
Paul addresses the struggle between the flesh and the spirit that we all face daily: "Among those who belong to Christ, everything connected with getting our own way and mindlessly responding to what everyone else calls necessities, is killed off for good-crucified. Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives"
(Gal 5:24). what does it mean to be "crucified with Christ?" In the book "Tell Me Again, Lord, I Forget" by Ruth Calkins she writes: "At first, Lord, I asked you to take sides with me. with the Psalmist I prayed, "The Lord is for me... maintain my rights, O Lord." But with all my pleading I lay drenched in darkness, until in total surrender I cried, " Don't take sides, Lord Just take over," and suddenly it was morning. It is said that one day Martin Luther answered a knock at his door. "Does Dr. Martin Luther live here?" a man asked. No, " Luther answered , "He died; Christ lives here." Your rights, your ego, and your comfort levels, no longer matter. You say, " What does?" Dying to self, and making Jesus Lord of your life is what really counts.!
And because we have been crucified with Christ, we know His the blood cleanses us from all sin. (John 1:7) writes: "If we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin." This Scripture gives us three ways to stay clean and live a crucified life in a spiritually polluted world:
1. By walking in the light. That means striving to be so honest before God and man, that you wouldn't be ashamed to have anyone read in tomorrow morning's newspaper, what you did today!
2. By being accountable. To grow strong in an area of weakness, sometimes we need someone mature enough to deserve our conficdence, gracious enough to put up with our inconsistencies, and honest enough to confront us. Above all, they should be committed to us in love.
3. By dealing with our sin right away. The moment that act brings the consciousness of sin, it should lead to repentance and confession of it. At that point we must believe that "the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin." Then we must get up and go on with God; not wallow in self-condemnation.
If there is something rotten in your refrigerator you know it every time you open the door.You may not know exactly where it is located, but the smell tells you it is in there. Our lives are like that. If there's something wrong with us, those we come into contact with are going to sense it, whether or not they know what it is or why it is there. It gives off an odor that's detectable, That's why we must continually open ourselves to God and allow the Holy Spirit to come in, cleanse our hearts, and remove whatever is hindering us in our walk with HIm.
It is Holy Week and we are getting closer to Good-Friday and to Resurrection Sunday. Enjoy the rest of the day and:
"Don't Forget To Say Your Prayers."