Rotten flesh is no good to no one

Posted: October 10, 2014 in Uncategorized

Grace, peace and God’s richest abundance to all of you out there! After taking a much needed hiatus from blogging for a variety of reasons, I hope to be sharing with you periodically as time allows once again. In the meantime God continues as always to move, astound, amaze and be the awesome yet often unexplainable God He is. He is good!
So a little over a week ago I had the privilege of participating on a medical panel for a Career Day hosted by the Lenox Road Baptist Church. It was truly an honor to sit among such an esteemed group of men and women from such diverse professional backgrounds. Even better that like myself, they were all prim

arily of Caribbean descent (proud Jamaican!).  Truly a delight! One of the best parts about that experience was the opportunity to do this panel with some very dear friends of mine. Some I have known as long as 20 years and others less than five, but all very special to me.

Throughout that day and more often in general I find myself reflecting and thanking God for the blessing of my support network. My family is blessing enough. But to form friendships that span such a vast time frame and develop bonds as strong as family ties, is invaluable. Like anyone I have my own struggless– but to this point my friendships has rarely been one of them. Which is why this particular verse has been sitting on my heart so frequently lately:

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends John 15:13 (NKJV)

It forces me to wonder: Have I been a good friend? Have I been as good to or better to these people as they have been to me? Now don’t get me wrong–I dont think Jesus is saying you have to go to the extreme of taking your own life for a friend. Jesus literally did that when he payed the debt for the sins of all humankind by giving his life on th cross so that we have the opportunity not only for eternal life, but relationship with God and all of the benefits of being a child of the most High. That work is finished and it need not be repeated. But when Jesus says lay down your life for a friend could he mean lay down, as is known in Christianity, your carnal life? Get rid of those fleshly ways?

A prominent theory is that we as human beings are made up of 3 main components:

Body (flesh), soul and spirit. According to the Scriptures it is the carnal flesh that causes us to sin. But dont think of it literally as your physical body per se that is sinning or doing wrong. But the bible says “..the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.” (Romans 8:7, NKJV). This verse is saying that our flesh is literally hostile toward God and it fights hard against the laws or ways of God. So when we refer to the flesh or to being carnal, we are referring to a state of mind. It is the fleshly state of mind or state of being that causes us to sin. It is the flesh that causes us to be the opposite of what God wants us to be. It is the fleshly state of mind that drives us to lie, cheat, steal, be prideful, jealous, envious, greedy or engage in all manner of evil. But when Jesus says to lay down or get rid of this state of mind, this is the greatest way we can show love to others.

And how do we do that? By living or operating in a healthy spiritual state.  But this is not something that you can accomplish based on your own gifts or your own will. This is where by you surrendering to God, accepting Jesus as your personal savior and allowing the Holy Spirit, God’s Spirit to guide, mold and shape you, you begin to more easily follow the ways of God. And to be frank, God’s ways are always rooted in love. Listen, we all have faults. Even in those closest us there may be things about them that makes them not so lovable. Yet in the same grain, there are parts of us personally that make us difficult to deal with as well.

When God’s spirit infiltrates your spirit you can speak calmly to that person who offended you, not go off on your boss or husband  and be available for that friend that needs you even when your flesh says run the other way. What’s more this verse isn’t limited to loving a friend. But can be applied to anyone who crosses your path. So in other words, with no intention of altering the Word of God think of it as,  greater love has no man than this in that he gives his life for a friend, neighbor, mother, father, sibling or stranger. When you put off the old man (a fleshly mind state) and put on the new man (righteousness and holiness), you are daily transformed into the image of Jesus Christ our Lord; the greatest friend we can ever have. It doesnt mean you wont mess up and it doesn’t mean you will be perfect. Transformation of this type is a lifeling process and we will never be perfect until we get to heaven and stand fully before the presence of Almighty God. But starting in this life, when we begin to imitate Jesus, we become better people for all who encounter us. We fulfill our purpose to share God’s love, shine His light and glorify His name.  Instead of rotten flesh, we emit the beautiful fragrance of who God is.

Determined to bury the flesh to walk victorious in the spirit….and yet still I rise.

 

With peace and blessings may you continue to rise always

Stillirise323

 

 

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