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Seeing a bowl of cereal always brings me back to memories from my childhood on those mornings before school when most children, I assumed, were eating it for breakfast. But what I recall are Mom’s words… “If you eat cereal for breakfast- you will be hungry again before lunchtime.”  So, I grew up on eggs and toast, oatmeal, or pancakes. And of course, I thought the kids eating Froot Loops were pretty lucky. As always- Mom was right. Eggs and toast helped me concentrate more on my schoolwork and less on  when the lunch bell would ring. My hungry little stomach was much more satisfied after a proper breakfast than it would have been after being filled with brightly colored crunchiness!

I have thought about that lesson so many times. How many things in this world do we want to fill our lives with or spend our time or money on? How many things do we look to for satisfaction… even though our Heavenly Father has warned us that the pleasures of this world will only last for a season?  We go through our days desiring to be filled- to be satisfied- to feel blessed… yet we are sitting down to feast on the emptiness this world has to offer instead of the fulfillment that God promises will come from a life pleasing to Him.

Jesus tells us, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” (Matthew 5:6) We have a promise from God Himself that we can be filled! Our lives can be blessed! We can have contentment, satisfaction, fulfillment! What wouldn’t anyone give for just one day filled with the peace of God on their heart? We can have a lifetime of it, and God has already given us the key in His Word: to hunger and thirst after righteousness.

Think about your desires today. What are you hungering for and thirsting after? What do you desire to fill your time? What thoughts do you allow to linger in your mind? How do you spend your days, nights, and weekends? And remember this- it is not as much about what we are doing, but rather what our desires are. Many times we are going through our lives filling the roles we are expected to fill… while our mind is wandering far from it. Maybe those around you cannot see- but surely the Lord sees the smallest and deepest desire of your heart.

What are your desires? If you need to make a change- start right now. The first step is always prayer because we truly cannot  do anything right in this life without God’s help. Ask Him to show you what you are desiring now and what He wants you to desire. Ask Him to give you a hunger for righteousness. To be right with Him. To be right in your relationships. To be right with your time, your talents, your every thought! For when you begin to hunger and thirst after His righteousness- you will be filled! There is no satisfaction in this entire world that will be worth more than a life FILLED by following after the Lord. Take God at His Word and live a full life!

 
 
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Have you noticed the variety of things listed in the works of the flesh? Many of us would agree that Murder and Envy are not even close; though envy left unchecked does sometimes lead to murder… every one of us who has been envious has certainly not killed somebody!  And in our culture today we are so quick to accept people if they are “good” even though they believe a false gospel, false religion, or false doctrine- yet in this same list with Adultery, Witchcraft, Drunkenness… we see Heresy!! Can we explain that? They all have one thing in common: they are works of the flesh. “Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like:”

Achieving and maintaining the fruit of the Spirit should definitely be a major life goal for any Christian. Yet… HOW?  Is it as simple as learning about “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance:” and trying to show them in our lives each day?  What if we’re good in one area- yet constantly struggle in another? You see- there are many works of the flesh. We each have certain ones that we struggle against. But the fruit of the Spirit is
just one. Yes, there is a list of nine ways it will show itself- but it is just one fruit from One Tree.

You see- as much as we like to point out the grey areas in life, the truth is much more clearly seen in only two dimensions. Light & Darkness. The Works of the Flesh vs. The Fruit of the Spirit. As much as we may want to live in our imaginary 3rd dimension of enjoying our life in the flesh “as long as we aren’t hurting anyone else…” we can’t really support this with Scripture. Each step we take, each decision we make, each and every day we are either living according to our flesh or our spirit. If we are saved- we have both. And until we reach heaven’s shores it will be a daily battle.

When we are born again the Spirit of God moves within us. It is then up to us to crucify the flesh “with the affections and lusts” and “walk in the Spirit.”   You see, “the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other.” And yet the Bible encourages us to, “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” So many times we struggle daily with controlling our words, our temper, our attitudes, on and on… yet the only things we can truly do are crucify our flesh and walk in the Spirit. Everything on the outside will naturally follow the Spirit if we are led by the Spirit. If we are daily feeding the desires of our flesh- it is no wonder when we cannot control our words, thoughts, attitudes, or actions.

We might think we just have a little problem with patience… but we’re doing good in all the other areas. Or maybe we lack faith, but see ourselves as achieving in love and goodness.  Let’s read through Galatians 5 and 6 with an open heart and prayer towards God that His Light would shine through our hearts and show us where we need Him.  We need His fruit in our lives. And we need to acknowledge that His fruit comes as a WHOLE. When we are walking in the Spirit He gives us “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance:” ALL OF IT!!

If you are struggling today with the fruit of God’s Spirit in your life- seek Him!

Crucify the flesh.

Walk in the Spirit.

 
 
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Each of my children has a little box from Grandma. They call it their “special box.” It is a place to keep their birthday cards, old Hersheypark tickets, and small mementos from places we visit. From time to time I will find them with their Special Box out looking through their treasures. It is a great time to remember the fun times we’ve had- and read an old note from someone who loves them!


God has a special place for memories too! I’m not sure what all He puts in it- or when He reads through it… but I hope there is something there from me!!  He tells us in Malachi 3:

“Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.  Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.”


The Lord knows our thoughts and He hears what we are talking about. It pleases Him so much when we are speaking to one another about Him that He puts it down in His special book. I hope that He hears me tell of His goodness and speak of His love. I hope He hears me sharing the Gospel with my mouth and praising Him with my lips!!  


It’s not just about how we live or what we do- but are our thoughts truly on the Saviour each day? Are we speaking good things about our Great God? He hears every word… and He remembers!!!

 

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