I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Blessings in Christ Jesus!!!
It is crazy how critical the mind is to the happenings of the everyday human life. The mind contains the centers that control our breathing, our other bodily processes, our thoughts, our behaviors, our intelligence, our knowledge set, our judgements, our perceptions, etc.
Just as the mind is able to have a great impact on everything outside of it, everything outside of it, including everyday stimuli, people and the environment, are able to have a great impact on the mind.
When it comes to sin, it is conceived in the mind. Temptations come, and we start to ponder on whether we should give in or not. Depending on the strength of the convictions of our hearts, our minds may either be strong against temptations or weak before them.
When it comes to sin, the heart and mind are connected (Proverbs 4:23; Genesis 6:5; Matthew 15:19)
When our hearts are devoted to Christ and convicted against sin, and we have submitted to God, our minds are strong against sinful thoughts and rebuke temptations. When our hearts are not convicted, but instead enticed by sin, our minds are weak and contemplate sin. We start thinking about how it would feel or what we reward we could possibly receive if we gave in to temptation, even just a little bit.
When we contemplate sin, we ultimately make the decision to give in to temptation, and that is when sin is conceived. See, a lot of times we like to blame the devil for causing us to sin, but just like with natural conception, it takes two, a man and a woman, to conceive a baby. It is not just the devil coming in with temptation that conceives sin but also us giving into temptation. Unless we open the door for him, the devil cannot enter.
Once we decide to give in and conceive sin in the mind, unless we quickly cease the sinful contemplations and abort sin from our minds, we will ultimately give birth to sin through our actions.
For example, when a person fornicates. The sin began way before they fornicated with another individual. It began when this person was contemplating having sex even though this person is not married.
That is why Jesus says that just by lusting in the mind after a woman who is not his wife, a man commits adultery with her in his heart (Matthew 5:28).
That is also why Romans 12:2 says that in order for us to be transformed into the likeness of Christ - speaking more on our words, actions and behaviors - our minds have to be renewed. Our hearts, our mindsets, our thoughts, our perceptions, our understandings, our judgements, our emotions and basically our whole psyche. When it speaks of the mind, it speaks of the whole psyche.
Therefore, when we go through the process of not just turning from sin but also not falling back into sin, our minds have to first be strong against sin through a renewal process. Furthermore, when it comes to the renewing of the mind, first, only the Holy Spirit can do it. Second, it takes time.
Yes, Christ justifies us the moment that we come to Him. But He sanctifies us over time. Then, in the end of the days of this world, He will glorify us.
So, sanctification is a process, and the more we submit to the Holy Spirit by reading, understanding and holding on to the Biblical Word and Truth of God, by praying to God and by worshiping God, the more the Holy Spirit will have the liberty to renew our minds and transform us.
Psalm 23: 2 says that He restores our souls. 1 Corinthians 5:17 says that when we come to Christ, we are new creatures, and He rids away all old things – the evil things, the broken things, the chains and barriers – and brings new things – the good things, the holy things, the glorious liberties and freedoms.
Now, it may sound weird to talk about the Holy Spirit finding liberty, for God is sovereign, and He can do whatever He wants. That is very true. Yet, in His sovereignty, He decided to give mankind free will. That means that He will not force salvation, the work of being justified, sanctified and glorified in Jesus Christ upon anyone. But if we come before His throne and relinquish our will and submit to Him, He will enter our lives and work in our lives. Amen.
To give a picture of the process of renewal and transformation by the Holy Spirit, let us go back to the example of a person struggling with fornication.
Let us say that this individual is a Christian. This person may be a new Christian, a baby in Christ, or just in a bad place spiritually. When I say “Christian,” we can understand that this individual truly believes in the deity, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and that salvation is in Him only. This person is a child of the Father and has received the Holy Spirit into his or her heart. This person truly loves God. Yet, living in the sinful flesh, this person is struggling with fornication.
Because this person does have the Holy Spirit in him or her, the Holy Spirit is there to redeem the person from his or her sins, helping this person to see that he or she is sinning, God is heartbroken and wants him or her to turn back to Him (John 14:26).
What is this person to do?
Well, the first step is for this person to confess, to acknowledge before God in prayer that they havesinned. The second step is to repent. Repentance means to go and sin no more. It is analogous to sanctification, and again, that is a process.
In repentance, what this person is to do next is to seek out the Word for what it says on lust and fornication. The Word is the sword of the Holy Spirit against all evil things, and this person is to take this sword into the battlefield of prayer to plead God for strength against sin and to rebuke and deny any lustful desires and thoughts to fornicate (Ephesians 6:17; Colossians 4:12; James 4:7).
This person is also to flee. This can be done in two different ways. One can turn away from temptation whenever it comes, and one can stay away from what one knows to be tempting or to bring temptation (2 Timothy 2:22). Yet, The Word does not say to only flee temptations but to also go after and occupy ourselves with good things.
If sinful thoughts start to arise, thoughts of fornication, this person should occupy his or her self with whatever is pure and honorable (Philippians 4:8). This could be done in many ways. This individual could start worshiping and singing in his or her heart, think about something that God has done for him or her or go and have a conversation with someone who also seeks partake in goodness, etc.
If it is an image that is rising up sinful desires, this individual should shut it off or turn from it. If it is a song, he or she should do the same. If this individual is hearing a person that is calling him or her to sin, this individual should walk away. If it is an environment, leave.
God is so good that He really does always provide a way out. Call out to Him, and He will deliver you out of the situation (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Flee from sin and turn to something good. Turn to God.
Over time, as this individual keeps fleeing sin and turning to God, his or her mind will be renewed and strong against the temptation to fornicate. And because the mind will be renewed and strengthened, his or her life will be transformed in that he or she will no longer live a life of fornication.
To summarize, because this individual has the Holy Spirit inside of him or her and has submitted to the Holy Spirit, over time he or she would bear more of the fruit of the Holy Spirit, specifically more goodness and self-control, which will have a special impact on a specific area of his or her life (Galatians 5). Because he or she has submitted to the Holy Spirit, her or she will not give in to the flesh (Galatians 5:16).
Now, I would like to address a very important discussion. If a fornicator has repented, will her or she ever have the itch to fornicate even though he or she no longer gives in to the desire to fornicate?
If a thief has repented, will he or she ever have the itch to steal even though he or she no longer gives in to the desire to steal?
If an alcoholic has repented, will he or she ever have the itch to drink even though he or she no longer gives in to the desire to drink?
If a homosexual has repented, will her or she ever have the itch for the same sex even though he or she no longer gives in to the desire for same-sex relations?
Will sin still knock at the door? Yes.
But when it comes, we will not submit when we are strengthened in the Lord. We will not be enticed nor interested. Instead, we will be disgusted and evasive.
I believe that the devil is without any shame even though he is continuously shamed. Even when he has lost an entire war, he still tries to find a victory though he knows there will be none. Even though the door will no longer be opened for him, and he will no longer be welcomed, he will still knock on the door.
The Bible says that after an evil spirit leaves a person, it roams around, but then comes back around, trying to see if it can enter that person again (Matthew 12:43-45).
Just the same way, even after gaining victory over a sin, temptations will come knocking. But instead of conceiving sin by giving into temptation and contemplating sin with a weak heart and depraved mind, we will rebuke sin by standing against temptations and by destroying its seed with a dedicated heart and strong mind.
This is something that is extremely important for everyone to understand. No one should ever boast of being strong enough and therefore not putting up a guard against sin.
Yes, we do have power in Christ, but let us always consider ourselves weak in the flesh and always needing to hold on to Him even more closely and needing even more of His power (1 Corinthians 10:12).
Let us always understand that our hearts always need to be more devoted to Jesus, our minds always need to be even more renewed and strengthen in Jesus and our lives even more transformed in Jesus.
Let us never stop fleeing sin and occupying ourselves with Christ. For the temptations will come, and we always need to be ready to withstand in Jesus Christ. Amen.
Lastly, should a person who has fornicated in the past but is now redeemed in Jesus Christ still call his or herself a fornicator? What about one who was a thief or an alcoholic or homosexual or any other?
Going back to 1 Corinthians 5:17, in Christ, we have a new identify. Not even new identifies but A new identify and that is, “child of God.” His blood has washed away our past sins and has justified us before our Father (Romans 5).
We are no longer identified by our past sins. They no longer make up our identifies. We now share an identity with Christ and will one day share an inheritance with Him as children of God (John 1:12; Romans 8:16-17).
Do not allow the devil to steal your identity from you by making you believe that you are still this or that. For, he knows that that which we claim to is that which has the power to bind us.
We claim to Christ and His power is upon us. Amen.
Much love and blessings,
Emery in Christ
He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He opened not His mouth;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.
And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” 43 Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him.
Reputation by Junie Joseph
Striding with pride across the desert valley,
Letting everyone know that the king of the jungle has
Hiding behind the bushes, isolating myself from everyone,
Feeling pale as a ghost.
What is there to say?
When you are the mute lamb out of the animal kingdom.
I am the sound that you’ll never hear,
For the lion’s roar over powers me.
He keeps me in check of my position and expectations.
His words dictate my mind and actions like a leaf that is powerless
To the raging sea,
Having no control of its own destination.
Waves of words whisper orders in my ear, cornering me to the walls of wrath,
Making me weak and weary.
But I’m still content and meek.
I’ll follow your orders, laws, and not a word form from my mouth shall speak.
I was created to be inferior towards giants like you.
And inferior I’ll continue to be.
Fulfilling your wishes and commands, until I reach
The ancient age.
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, I’ll become.
Finally, mother earth will take me back in her arms, cradling me to sleep
To the angelic melody of her voice.
Telling me that I did well, all in a day’s work.
What's else left to say?
When I have fulfilled my role in every way.
It was not a choice I could have made.
It was an expectation that needed to be
Copyright 2018, J.J.
May the Strength of the Lord be with you!
“Shall the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him?
He who rebukes God, let him answer it.”
My health fades away.
My riches have gone their way.
So, they call me the Job of this present day.
My friends become my enemies.
Those who exalted me come to condemn me.
They ask me to confess.
With their judgements they suppress
Any hope that I could possess.
Therefore, my heart calls out to death
To take away my last breath.
I cry out: “God, how could You punish a good person?
Have You lost all good reason?
You have made my soul its own prison.”
He answered me with the truth:
“Who on this earth is good?”
I sought and sought for a soul without ruse.
I looked to see if there was one, just one,
Who desired to know Me through law alone.
There was none.
So, then, I gave my Son, Jesus.
He died to give them freedom.
Yet, they say, ‘We don’t need Him.’
My child, if there is any good in you
It is Me in you
Establishing you in truth.
This is why I make you suffer.
Testing you in deep waters.
I just want to bring you closer.
Open your eyes to see
That I am setting you free.
Listen, this I want you to hear:
My love is ever so real.”
May the Lord, Christ Jesus, cover you.
1 Corinthians 10:12-13
So watch yourself! The person who thinks he can stand against sin had better watch that he does not fall into sin. 13 You have never been tempted to sin in any different way than other people. God is faithful. He will not allow you to be tempted more than you can take. But when you are tempted, He will make a way for you to keep from falling into sin.
Sin calls out to me, O, Lord.
Bless me to be deaf to its voice.It says, “Come to me. Come and rejoice.”
But the truth is that it only holds pain and sorrow.
Oh, trust me, I have been there.
My soul has been in its most deceitful snare.
It knocks at my door. My heart beats.
My flesh feels a need and such an intense heat.
It pleads me to let it in.
But the thing about sin is that it likes to barge in.
So, it pushes itself against the door.
Increasing in strength till it seems like I can’t take it anymore.
It breaks off the bolts and the hinges.
Through a crack it places its foot and says, “Please, just let me in.”
Then, it steps back and with all of its strength it pushes against the door.
It believed that the entrance would be wide open with the door on the floor.
What it did not know is that behind the door stands the Holy Spirit.
More powerful than any knowledge, existence or being.
Nothing, yes, nothing, not even sin.
Can push against Him and win.
Copyright 2018, S.E.
But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
Jésus répondit: Il est écrit: L'homme ne vivra pas de pain seulement, mais de toute parole qui sort de la bouche de Dieu