I've been giving some extra thought to a couple of verses from the New Testament. The Letter to the Galatians has held a lot of 'good stuff' for me for several years, now. I'm not sure just when it was, but I read book by an evangelist who contended that many Christians, if not most, were being deceived. His premise was pretty straight forward.
The Holy Spirit of God is pouring out His spirit on all who are willing to receive it - but many / most are too prideful to accept it. We have been deceived into settling for less than God has for us. He uses verses from Galatians to drive home his points.
In the letter to the Galatians, Chapter 6, Verses 7-8, it reads:
7Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.
8The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. NIV
Pondering these verses has caused me to examine just where and what I've sowed. Determining, then, that I have both a sinful nature and a holy nature to cultivate and feed - which one is by my choice - I've been led to, and pondered at great length, the passage in Galatians, Chapter 5, verses 16-26, where it is written:
Life by the Spirit
16So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.
17For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.
18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.
19The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;
20idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions
21and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.
25Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
26Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
My reflections here have shown me where I need to feed ... and cultivate ... and from where I need to sow. That which then grows in me will reflect the Holy Spirit of God, and not my sinful nature, which I struggle to kill. Then, I can truly portray an image of Christ for others to perceive.
God willing, others may then be drawn to accept the pouring out of His Holy Spirit - by seeing inside my cover: my essence, my soul, my being.
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So much for my personal thoughts today, but it has been awhile since I've made time to post much of any substance ... and these thoughts were on my mind.