Good morning St. Louis!
We begin today by asking a question. “Are we walking in the spirit or in the flesh?” The Apostle Paul says that the answer lies within. Is Jesus Christ within us or not?
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
Regarding St. Louis a few weeks ago, we were shocked to learn that 8 murders occurred in our area on one single day, not to mention robberies, gang fights, drug usage, vandalism, extortion, fraud, etc. We have no trouble identifying such actions as works of the flesh running amuck in our locality. But these are extreme examples of works of the flesh and fall under the category of yielding one’s self to the powers of darkness. Notwithstanding, forgiveness by God is as much available to one that has committed murder as it is to one that has stolen a pencil. Sin is sin and Jesus bore all sins of all kinds on the Cross of Calvary for each and every one of us.
But let us say that Christ is in us but we have let slip some actions He has suggested we do. In fact, doing the opposite of His teaching in many ways has become so common place in our lives that we are actually sewing more weeds among others than wheat. After all abiding in the flesh is so much easier than abiding in the spirit, and what the heck, everyone else in our church is doing it. Everyone at our place of work is doing it. All of our family members are doing it. We thrive on those deeds common in our society that are no longer seen as wrong.
In fact, as in St. Louis and elsewhere many of us if not most of us would rather practice the works of the flesh than do the works of the spirit. Why? We fear being ostracized. It really isn’t politically correct to do right these days generally speaking, especially where our Lord is concerned. An excess of sin abounds in all nations, and our souls are preoccupied with many novelties given to us by a world bent upon satisfying the desires of our flesh, and dragging us all down into hell. It seems we must always occupy our mind with the ever increasing iniquities of the world. We must have our toys and diversions to appear in tune with the correctness this world demands of us. If we continue in these things what hope is there for us to move our soul toward the spiritual direction of salvation?
Let’s examine one area of our lives that could be cleaned up in a hurry. It is called unforgiveness. Ohhh…, we don’t just get mad, we get even. Ohhh…, we can’t forgive so and so because…I’m not ever going to be friends with…..again because….and so on and so forth, and so on and so forth. On and on it goes. We let our flesh feed us unforgiveness. Why, Katie bar the door! Ohhh…, unforgiveness and our anger gives us power over that/those other person(s). We need unforgiveness. We have to have it in order to justify our sinful approach to living this life. Unforgiveness is the world’s answer we choose to gain power over that person(s) “that done us wrong.” We choose unforgiveness because it fills the void of being made to feel powerless. Our flesh reigns.
However, where our eternal destination is concerned, unforgiveness is a terrible place for us to be in. It is of the flesh. It is a snare to our soul. It robs us of our walk with God. It separates us from Christ within. It ties us in knots, robs us of our sleep, raises our blood pressure and hurts others. Worst of all, it robs our soul of life in the spirit. When we abide in unforgiveness we abide in death. Our Heavenly Dad will not forgive us if we do not forgive others. If we desire to know for sure that Jesus Christ lives within us, we must forgive all, all. Only a child of God can do this. It is the second most profound action a person with Christ Jesus our Lord in them can do to prove His existence in there.
Love forgives. To give others our Lord’s love, we must give forgiveness, as it is through Him we have been forgiven. He that loves forgives, and he that forgives God loves. We can rest our souls if we forgive, for we know Jesus Christ lives in us. This is the season of forgiveness. Let us forgive one another so our soul may rest in God.