Your hand-to-hand combat is not with human beings, but with the highest principalities and authorities operating in rebellion under the heavenly realms. For they are a powerful class of demon-gods and evil spirits that hold this dark world in bondage.
Some people may think their lack of joy, broken relationships, and failures in life originate with them, when in reality their troubles come from following the whispers of the enemy but they’re not unaware of it.
Life according to the flesh, which is under constant harassment by Satan and his lies, always brings pride, discord, and division.
Life according to the Spirit always brings humility, peace, and unity!
For I know that nothing good lives within the flesh of my fallen humanity. The longings to do what is right are within me, but willpower is not enough to accomplish it.
When you grab your skateboard and head to the skate park, you’re knowingly taking a risk. If you end up with a broken leg due to a miscalculation or equipment failure, you’ve received the results of that risk.
Adam and Eve sinned. God didn’t punish them by exiling them from The Garden, they were simply reaping the results of sin.
Thankfully, we’ve received the Holy Spirit as our Helper. Our sin nature has been conquered by Jesus’ sacrifice and our acceptance of His free gift. The Holy Spirit allows us to move farther and farther away from our sin nature every day! The results of our sins have been wiped out by!
…but I train like a champion athlete. I subdue my body and get it under my control, so that after preaching the good news to others I myself won’t be disqualified.
1 Corinthians 9:27
The race. The race we run is our own. We focus on God, we read His Word, and with discipline we focus our spiritual life and desires on heaven.
The athletes Paul refers to in prior verses were extremely disciplined. The prizes they were focused on winning were public recognition for themselves and their families. They would be lavished with gifts, high positions, and lifelong rewards.
We have a much higher prize! We have a personal relationship with Jesus and eternity as our prize! We must run this race with self-discipline and focus because this prize means everything!
Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
When we accept God’s free gift and believe in Jesus Christ, we are gifted with the Holy Spirit. But God can only work within us to the extent we are willing to give up control of our lives to Him.
The chorus of Colton Dixon’s song “More of You” begins, “More of You, Less of Me…”. This the key to how much God will work through you. The more you let go of the “old you”, the more you’ll see of God’s presence in your life.
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
I was thinking about how God sees me the other day. With all my flaws, how can he still love me the way He does?
When God looks at those who follow Jesus, He sees Jesus. He doesn’t see our failures or mistakes, our shortcomings or outright disobedience. He sees His Son in us! That is the result of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. By taking our place, God no longer sees or sin, He sees His beloved Son.
When you send forth your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground.
The Holy Spirit (whom Abraham Kuyper calls “the one omnipotent Worker of all life and quickening”), holds all things in His hands. He holds every molecule of every living thing together. From the day the Earth was formed, he’s been present.
Included in this feat is all of mankind, believer and non-believer alike. The only difference is, those who believe have eternity securely held in their grasp. This is why it’s so important to share the Gospel with others in the hope that they would also possess this free gift.
… hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
God’s love is like fresh oxygen to our lungs, it sustains us, gives us strength, and allows to share that overflowing love with others. It is our foundation and what reassures us that God is with us always.
“Life is like a flight. Jesus is our captain. Our relationship with Him is our proverbial oxygen mask. On Jesus Airlines, when the storms hit and lightning strikes, there will be times of turbulence until we land in His kingdom.” — Mark Driscoll
Anyone who is among the living has hope —even a live dog is better off than a dead lion!
We tend to focus on what the world deems to be joy. When asked how our lives are going we may rattle off a list of the good things while not exposing the trials we are facing.
In biblical times, lions were considered to be majestic and strong, while dogs were considered lowly animals vying for your table scraps. This verse tells us that as long you have breath, there’s always hope.
What the writer of Ecclesiastes is saying here is that as long as you are living, your response to the question, “How’s your life going?”, should always be, “My life is awesome!”