Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Crucifying the Flesh

"But God, I really don't want to..."

Have you ever said that or thought that way about something in which you thought God was asking you to do for someone else?

I know that I have at times. It is in those kind of instances that I realize... I have not completely crucified my flesh. Oh, my! Even worse, I have not completely received what Christ has already done for me.

"Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires." (Gal 5:24, NIV)

I know that it is my flesh rising up on the inside of me saying 'No' to something I think that God wants me to do because...

"For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want." (Gal 5:17, NIV)

I also keep thinking about it and saying 'No' to the thoughts.

There are many reasons my flesh may say 'No' to something God wants me to do too. Perhaps, the other person chose to fall into temptation. Or...the person chose to sin against me. Most importantly, they chose to sin against my Father God. Therefore, my line of comments or questioning of God sounds something like this...

They deserve what they get! They knowingly and willfully sinned against you and me!

They strayed away from the faith! They fell into the tempter's liar! They can get themselves out of it!

Really, God? You really want me to go and help them?!?! They are not helpless! They are adults. They can choose to make the right choices.

We can know the works of the flesh by God's word. The Apostle Paul wrote about them saying, "The acts of the flesh are obvious...hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition..." (Gal 5:19-20, NIV)

Paul goes on to write, "I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God." (Gal 5:21b, NIV)

I do not know about you, but I certainly want to 'inherit the kingdom of God'. By receiving the 'kingdom of God', we can have the eternal life not only in heaven but here on earth. (Matt 6:10) I definitely want to experience the abundant life that Jesus died to give me. (John 10:10b)

The Apostle Paul encourages us, "So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh." (Gal 5:16, NIV)

He also speaks about the fruit of the Spirit which are by-products of our relationship with our Father God.

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." (Gal 5:22-23, NIV)

When we learn and grow more in the Spirit, our flesh becomes less obvious in us and in our lives. Paul says, "But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law." (Gal 5:18, NIV)

Then, when we are even more spiritually mature, it will be even easier to live by the Spirit. "Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit." (Gal 5:25, NIV)

Paul tells us that we are brothers and sisters who are "called to be free". However, he makes a point of saying, "But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” “(Gal 5:13-14, NIV)


Father God, thank you for who you are to us. We realize that we can do nothing without you. (John 15:1-8) Help us to crucify our flesh! Help us to die to ourselves! We want to be the people you created us to be for your purpose and plans. (Jer 29:11-13) We want to receive everything that Jesus died to give us. (Eph 1:16-23) In Jesus' name. Amen!

Copyright 2012 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I See Dead People!

The video clip that you just saw was from the movie The Sixth Sense.  Bruce Willis portrayed one of the main characters, Dr. Malcolm Crowe.  Haley Joel Osment, portrayed another main character who was the doctor's young patient.

The young patient told the doctor his secret that "I see dead people!"

I will let you in on a little secret of mine.  I see dead people!  However, it is not the kind of dead people that the young character saw in this movie.  He saw physically dead people!

I see spiritually dead people!  Perhaps, I should say those people who act like they are spiritually dead.  It is not people that you would think either.  It is born-again believers!  Children of God!  Disciples of Jesus Christ!  It is happening in the body of Christ.  The people who are not spiritually dead, but they are acting like it. 

Knowingly and willfully sinning against God!  Continuing in sin!  Acting spiritually dead!

God's word specifically says that Jesus "died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again."  (2 Cor 5:15, NIV) 

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!"  (2 Cor 5:17, NIV)

Why are God's people acting the old creation?  Why is the body of Jesus Christ acting like the rest of this world?

Do you not know that you are a new creation?  Have you not truly received God's truth?

I really do not understand it.  I do not like it either.

We are set apart from this world!  We are salt and light!  (Matt 5:13-16)  We are more than conquerors!  (Rom 8:37)

I want to be able to see and say that "I see alive people!"  People who are spiritually alive!  People who act spiritually alive!  People who are living out God's word...His truth!

Please receive His word...His truth!  Then, walk it out in your life!  (2 Cor 5:7)

Copyright 2012 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Jesus Loves You!

You just viewed a video of Whitney Houston singing 'Jesus Loves Me'. After her death earlier this year, there was a television special about her and her life. I remember part of it where Whitney was stating that Jesus loved her. However, to me, that kind of statement seems ironic and contradictory given her history of drug abuse and the coroner's ruling as to the cause of her death.

If Whitney really understood...if she got a true revelation...of Jesus' love for her, she would have had a much different and better life while she was here in this world. Her premature death would not have happened either. Her death also would not have been caused by drugs or anything similar.

You may say...How do you know? Why would you say such things?

How do I know? I know from personal experience as well as from God’s word. I know that when people get a true revelation of Jesus' love for them they live for Him. His love for them causes them to live for Him! They die to themselves! (Matt 16:24, Col 3:3) He is everything to them! Their life becomes more holy, pure, and righteous.

It is not part of a religious checklist. It is a by-product of their relationship with Him. Jesus' love for them makes people desire to live for Him. It makes them want to be more holy, pure, and righteous. As a result, their lives become more holy, pure, and righteous. Jesus also takes away any desires that are not of Him. He takes away any earthly and worldly cravings. He fills any voids in people's hearts and lives.

Unfortunately…based on Whitney's behavior, life, and death...she did not comprehend the magnitude of Jesus' love for her. It is also really unfortunate and sad that she did not understand fully His love for her because her behavior, life, and death would have all been different. Whitney would have had a much better outcome in life and ultimately in death.

However, I hope that by her example it causes everyone to look at themselves and their lives. I hope that it causes everyone to seek Him. (Matt 6:33) I hope that it causes everyone to comprehend the magnitude of His love for them. (Rom 8:38-39)

Why do I say it? Once you really understand and get a true revelation of His Love, He will ultimately change you and your life for the better.

Do you really know deep down inside of you that 'Jesus Loves You'?

Copyright 2012 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Setting the Captives Free

Are you being held captive? Are you in a prison?

A prison is not necessarily a physical confined space as you may think of today. It can be more than just that kind of confinement or restriction. People can be confined or restricted by the way they think as well. People can be free physically and still be in a mental prison. Likewise, people can be free mentally and still be in a physical prison. Either way, you are being held captive either physically or mentally. It does not have to be that way though.

When the Apostle Paul was confined, he was in a physical prison with Silas. (Acts 16:23-24) However, Paul was not confined or restricted mentally. In the midst of his temporary circumstance, Paul was still able to praise and worship God. (Acts 16:25) It can be the same for you.

The Apostle Paul says to cast “down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God” and bring “into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ…” (2 Cor 10:5, KJV)  However, you first must know God’s word. You must know His truth!

By continually renewing your mind in God’s word, you will be able to know more fully His truth. (Rom 12:2) God assures everyone that His truth will set him or her free! (John 8:32) You can be free in your mind, your situation, and your life. To be free, you must read and study His word on a daily basis though.

Then, you will be free mentally and physically. There will be no more prisons in you or in your life. You will not be held captive in your mind and in your life any longer. (Luke 4:18) “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” (John 8:36, NKJV)

Copyright 2012 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Run, Children, Run!

The video clip that you just viewed is from 1994's movie "Forest Gump" where Tom Hanks portrayed the main character. After being hit in the head, Forest's friend, Jenny, tells him to 'Run, Forest, Run!' Then, young Forest begins to run away from the boys who are causing the trouble for him.

Hopefully, it does not take being hit in the head or other people causing trouble for us to run away from either the people or the problem though. This part of the movie reminds me of a part in God's word which says, "Run from sexual immorality!" (1 Cor 6:18a, HCSB) There have been previous times in my own life when I have either observed others or experienced this kind of trouble myself.

Now, I just want say to others who may be in this kind of trouble...Run, _____________, Run!

Whoever is currently in this type of situation, know that God can and will help you out of it. You must do your part by choosing to obey His word...His truth. Once you know the truth..."the truth will set you free." (John 8:32b, NIV) Do not stay and try to fight the sin of sexual immorality! It will not work for you. The more you try to fight in your own way and in your own strength, the deeper you will be in this particular sin. There is only one way to get out of this type of situation. "Flee from sexual immorality." (1 Cor 6:18a, NIV)

As in the movie "Forest Gump"...Run, (insert name), Run!

Copyright 2012 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.