Paul said, “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want” (Rom. 7:18-19).
Hey Gang: Did you know that the Bible is filled with very effective road maps to living truly effective lives. For instance look at Colossians three and note that Paul gives us a formula for change.
But, before giving us the formula, he sets the prerequisites for implementation and success of this formula in verse one: “Therefore, IF you have been raised with Christ”. The principles in the Word are many but keep in mind there are prerequisites to receiving God’s blessings. I have been an avid teacher of the one of Paul’s irrevocable laws of God, “we will reap what we sow”….every time! (Gal. 6:7). But Dr. Luke gives us the prerequisite that riggers that principle “You must give first” (Luke 6:38).
Now, notice in that verse there is a very important trigger principle that many tend to neglect -it is centered on the word measure. It reads “For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return”. (Luke 6:38). I read that verse many times before it finally got my attention and sank into my dome of intellect. Is Paul telling us that we have something to say about the harvest?
Whether deeds and actions will bring honor and glory to God or be fodder for the dung heap?
I believe Paul clarifies this question in 2 Corinthians 9:6-9; Paul wrote, “He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly and he who sows bountifully will reap bountifully”. I read that to say- I have much to say about the harvest of my seed planting program. Now notice also verse 8- giving provides sufficiency in everything- that you may have an abundance… for every good deed.
Paul goes on to give us another principle that is tied to successful seed planting: “Keep seeking the things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth” (Col. 3:1).
He then gives us step one to the change process: “For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” (Col. 3:3-4). What a joy there is in knowing, that when we have surrendered our lives to Christ, we are literally “hidden with Him and when He is revealed, then we also will be revealed with Him in glory.” Wow! Just plain wow!
So, Paul begins by saying we must die to the old self and that requires a decision, an act of our will- but it does not end there. In verse eight he goes on to tell us that we must take a deep look inside and put aside such things as anger, wrath, malice, slander, lying and abusive speech and replace (put on) them with a “new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him” (vs. 10).
Step four of Paul’s change process is by far the most difficult step in the process –“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which you were called in one body and be thankful and let the words of Christ richly dwell with you” (15-16a). I might add that this is a forever process that continues until you take your last breath.
Sooo young folks, remember the hillbilly adage: “Your gunna get what ya always got, if ya do what ya always did’. You will make choices today – to “put off” those things that offend God- or to “put on” those things that bring honor and glory to Abba Father and, then, ‘let God” have full control of your day.
Blessings, (New post- Tues Dec 1 on grampswhatshappeningman.blogspot.com
PS: Hey Gang: The past months have been very difficult for the Hainley family and, as a pastor once said, “Tough times do not last but tough people do.” He could have added to that saying “People last, if they have the will to do so and put their trust in the right place. However, after many months of being the object of the evil one’s dart board, ones energy begin to show signs of taking a hike.
As I began to turn my attention to the coming Christmas Season, I prayed that “I would not lean unto my own understanding” that His will would be my will and His words would be my words. It has always been my prayer and intent to develop thoughts that made the reader excited to read them and, at the same time, expand reader’s faith in the Word.
That will not change, as long as the Lord gives me the wisdom to draft Gramps Morning Thoughts but, in going back through the blogs of previous Christmas Seasons, I have been a wee bit amazed with some of the things God wrote through me. All of that to say, I am going bring some of the best, out of the archives, and put Gramps out to pasture for the next month. This will also be a time for seeking where He would have me go next.
Will gramps go off the airways – No, I do not feel that is what God would have me do, but I do believe there are only a few, if any, folks out there who have been readers of Gramps messages for the past five years and have them all memorized. I am pleased to share that there are new folks picking up the messages each year, so I feel comfortable in resting my computer-brain for a season.
There is an exception to this announcement, I believe with all my heart that we are nearing something profound to happen in our nation and in our world. I will certainly keep you up to speed on some of those things I feel you need to know and will put a note on the bottom the appropriate Christmas post.
Sooooo, I pray you had a superb Thanksgiving and have developed the right focus for the coming celebration of the salvation story. Keep in mind He is no longer a Babe in a manger, but preparing to come again, as King of Kings…. soooooon.