Choices of the Flesh

Today’s Readings:  Genesis 37; Mark 7; Job 3; Romans 7

There are many times when I catch myself saying something not Christ-like. I can act in a way that I know I shouldn’t, or have a thought that makes me wonder. Why God? I then reflect and proceed to pray and ask for forgiveness and wisdom to not repeat my shortcoming.  There has been many times where I make a bad decision and would point the blame somewhere else.  I now understand my insecurity a little more and try to just own it.  In today’s readings I’m reminded about my poor actions and thoughts.  I’m so grateful for our God who gives us Grace we don’t deserve. My desires to do right are always there, my mind and “flesh” have different plans sometimes.

Romans 7:18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.

I now try to pray throughout my day knowing any moment I could be led astray. I also try to pray in the moments before, during, and after my “flesh” is only thinking about myself and not around God.  Unfortunately, sometimes  my response is – “I’m sorry God, I failed again”. My wife Jennifer and I were baptized at Eastview in the last few years. It has dramatically changed our lives. Being born again through faith happens in seconds, becoming like Christ is a lifelong process.  I tell kids all the time, one of the hardest things we do in life is admit when we do something wrong.  We always want to be right and please yourself or others.  The truth is our actions and thoughts need to be more focused around God. The more we focus on Him, the less likely we will revert to our own ways.  He has given us a story that provides numerous examples of the way we should love others. We must depend on Christ to guide, support, and direct us in ours.

Romans 7:25 I serve the law with God in mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. In our weak earthly moments turn to God and give thanks to God for who He is.

In Mark 7:15 it reads There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him. 

This verse reminds me of the my choices I have in allowing what goes into my heart, mind, and body. But, it also reminds me what comes out is also from me. I pray in my responses and actions in our earthly life I act in a manner that was set by our greatest example Jesus.  It’s easy to say and can be encouraged when you start your day with the Word.  But our flesh doesn’t always allow this to happen.  The more you are reading and living in Christ your works will mirror your faith. Philippians 4:8 tells us whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything  worthy of praise, think about these things. Practice these things.

In Genesis 37 Joseph’s brothers sell him because of their “flesh” responses to his dreams. In Job 3, Job’s “flesh” response from the attack by Satan has Job question his own birth. In the unbelievable story of Job, he later goes on to confess and repent for his thoughts and actions.  We to need to do the same.

Job 42:2 I know you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.  

Romans 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 

Dear God, I am humbled, grateful, and broken.  You restore, comfort, and love us us like children.  Help us to be centered around you and not our own desires. Thank you for being the Father who picks us up when we are crying out. Thank you for being such a grace-filled  Father.  Amen