Becoming like Christ

Galatians 5:19-26

19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and 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.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

Can man change his nature?

Many use the new year to try and create a new person. People do recognize the poor qualities in their life, so there is a constant effort to renew, change, to get rid of past failures. The problem is this sinful nature is embedded in us all at birth because of orginal sin from Adam and Eve. It is called the works of the flesh. These are built-in desires and emotions that peruse self-worship, desires of the eyes, and the pride of life. These cannot be removed or covered up. You might be able to overcome their effects in your life by a focused daily routine, but they are still there, and in times of pressure, they will return with force. You do not have to teach a baby to be self-absorbed. You never have to teach a young child to say “no.” These fleshly desires are deeply embedded in all of us.   

Divine Help 

What is needed is a new nature. The need is for something more powerful than our worldly nature to come and live inside us to battle against this nature and give us hope and peace. When we give God our life, He plants into our heart, His Divine Fruit of the Spirit. This power is greater than our sinful nature and is at work, freeing us from the power of sin. The more we seek God, read His word, worship, and pray, the more powerful this fruit expands in our spirit and nature. We will not be perfect when this happens but are progressively changed to become more like Jesus.  

What if I still battle some sins?

One of the most significant words in this passage about living the worldly nature is found in verse 21. Paul writes, “those who practice such things will not inherit eternal life (KJV).” The NIV says “who live like this“, and the NLT says “anyone living that sort of life.” I like the word practice. When you receive Christ, and He begins a new work in you, you may slip up and fall back into one of your past sins. This is not practicing that nature. It is a mistake. The Christian will feel conviction and repent as the Holy Spirit helps him battle this old pattern. He is not practicing the sin, but instead fighting with human nature. Grace in sanctification is a ongoing work of the Holy Spirit. We will not be free from this battle until we are transformed at death or the resurrection.  

As the Fruit of the Spirit grows in us, there is a continued transformation becoming more like Christ. More peace, love, gentleness, self-control, and kindness as your lightnside shines out to the world.

Psalms 97 – The Lord is King!

Verse 1-3  Almighty

The Lord is king!  Let the earth rejoice!  Let the farthest coastlands be glad. Dark clouds surround him.  Righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne. Fire spreads ahead of him and burns up all his foes.

In times of darkness and doubt, we have an almighty God who is king over all creation.  His foundation is built upon righteousness and justice.  There can be no covering of His truth.  No media can darken His justice.  He sees all and is above all.  God is above all powers that seem strong on the earth.  Know, the Lord is King.  He is righteous and just.

 Verse 4-6  Power

His lightning flashes out across the world.  The earth sees and trembles.  The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,  before the Lord of all the earth. The heavens proclaim his righteousness; every nation sees his glory.

As you look up toward the distant stars and the glorious majesty of the heavens, remember, God spoke them into existence. He sustains moment by moment all creation by His presence.  All creation, no matter how strong and majestic it looks to us, is like melting wax in the presence of God.  His creation glorifies Him.  The beauty and balance of creation and animal life cycles proclaim His might, wisdom, and righteousness above all knowledge.

Verse 7-9  Above all powers

Those who worship idols are disgraced.  All who brag about their worthless gods: for every god must bow to Him. Jerusalem has heard and rejoiced,  and all the towns of Judah are glad because of your justice, O Lord! For you, O Lord, are supreme over all the earth;  you are exalted far above all gods.

All who oppose God and truth will one day bow before Him and proclaim He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  All who oppose God will be humbled.  While the darkness seems so strong, they are nothing but a passing cloud before God.  All darkness will be destroyed.  All hidden things will be revealed. Let us know and be convinced that nothing is hidden before God.

Verse 10-12   God Rescues and restores.

You who love the Lord, hate evil! He protects the lives of the godly people and rescues them from the power of the wicked. Light shines on the godly, and joy on those whos hearts are right. May all who are godly rejoice in the Lord and praise his holy name.

God is at work in the lives of all who love Him.  God is at work to rescue His people from the power of the wicked.  You may feel trapped and overwhelmed by the power of those who lie and clothe themselves with man’s power.  God is at work to rescue you.  Remember, His Light shines on the righteous.  Allow His joy to flood your heart as you rejoice in His Holy Name.

Meditate on these truths

The Lord is King!  He will never be put out of power.  Let this Psalms 97 make your lightnside shine bright with hope and eternal knowledge.

Remember to Forget

Philippians 3:13  Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.

The past isn’t always easy to forget. Whether it’s a success or failure, the past can take hold of our minds in the present day. Bitterness or dreaming of days gone by are mostly caused by looking and focusing on the past. Some of us have wrestled with words spoken to us by another who may not have intended to harm, but we may have misjudged their original intent and kept harmful words attacking our looks, talk, and acceptance.

Do you have words or events from the past that have defined some personal self-evaluation causing you to withdraw from a Biblical Truth or restrict your confidence in yourself? Most of us have these past issues. 

Today, this scripture is a turning point to free us from past bondage and refocus toward the now and future. Easy to say, hard to do.

Forgetting what is behind

“When Paul says that he forgets what lies behind, he refers to a forgetting which is no mere passing effort; it is active obliteration so that when any harmful thought of the past would occur, it would be banished from our mind. It is a constant, deliberate discarding of any harmful thought of the past. Forgetting is stronger in Greek. It means to ‘completely forget.’ To translate Pauls words, “I, in fact, am forgetting completely the things that are behind.”

F.B. Meyer wrote, “learn to forget and do not dwell upon past sin.” He explained, “There may be things in our past of which we are ashamed, that might haunt us. But if we have handed them over to God in confession and faith, He has put them away and forgotten them.” “So you forget them and the sin which blackened your record and reach forward to realize the beauty of Jesus.”

“Forgetting” is a present, active word

Forgetting is not a one time task. It is part of putting on the whole armor of God including the Helmet of Salvation (mind), the shield of faith (against the devil’s attacks about the past), and the sword of the spirit (the power you have through the Holy Spirit to rebuke the enemy. Ephesians 6:10-17 

Moving forward in faith

Straining or reaching forward should be the healthy focus of all Christians. You cannot change the past, but the future is wide open for you. What are you striving for? Where in the future do you feel God is taking you? There are five characteristics of forward-moving Christians.

  • They know where they are going.
  • They have a sense of God’s call on their life.
  • They understand the purpose of their life.
  • They focus on God and God-given goals.
  • They choose wisely from their options to move toward their goal.

Do you know Christ as your savior? If not, you are missing out on the blessings of His forgiveness and peace. You are also missing out on the help of the Holy Spirit to help guide your path. Most important, when you die, you will be missing heaven and be lost in torment without God forever.

Today, right now is the time to decide you are moving forward with Christ, God, the Holy Spirit, and the Bible. It all starts by calling out to Jesus and asking Him to be your savior. Tell Him you have sinned, and you want to repent. Tell Jesus you believe He is the Son of God who has died for you. Ask Him to come into your life right now. Tell Jesus you will follow Him for the rest of your life. If you prayed this prayer, I know you are feeling a new peace in your heart. You have a new lightnside to light your path. The next step forward is to find a church with good worship and strong preaching. 

Philippians 3:12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.

Part of this blog comes from the book ‘Loving God with all your mind’ – Elizabeth George

Worry only about today

Matthew 6:34 NKJV Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

This verse is from the Sermon on the Mount and deals with our tendency to look at massive mountains ahead of us instead of today’s small hill. Have you caught yourself worrying over all that needs to get accomplished in the coming weeks and it ruins your sleep and energy? It can be overwhelming! So today, we deal with only today. This verse is a type of practical planning from Christ to deal with the mountains of the future by taking planned steps each day.

 Prepare the night before

Do what you can at night to prepare for the next day. Clean up, decide what’s for dinner, and put out what is needed. If there are special requirements for tomorrow, help get things in order before you go to bed. then rest

 Plan ahead 

Take a look at the long-range mountains and plan what can be done in small steps on designated days to accomplish the goal. Break down and put small tasks on a calendar or a todo app. This helps fix our today. Once written down, don’t worry about it; when the day comes to take some steps, you will be ready. So don’t worry about it today.

 Start each day with prayer

Four transactional prayers (1) I give God everything. Say out loud “Today Lord, I give myself to you.” God is ready to assume responsibility to bless and help me. (2) I give God my home, possessions, my time, my body, and my mind. (3) I give God the people in my life. My spouse, kids, in-laws (and out-laws), employees, friends. (4) I give God my plan A for the day using my schedule I have worked on to move my projects forward. I also give God my plan B…His plan if He decides to change my day. It is OK to move with plan B as God opens doors or leads me into a separate direction by the Holy Spirit. I will be willing, available, and ready for plan B; otherwise, I start with Plan A.  

1 Peter 5:6-7 NASB Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, [7] casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.

 Move forward

After preparing, planning, praying…proceed. Take the first steps. Begin working plan A until interruptions from plan B happen, which is OK. It is God at work, and we switch to plan B until we return to plan A. No worries, we move forward. Interruptions and sudden problems are how God moves. Flow with them. Tomorrow’s plan A may contain some of what was not finished today, no problem…move forward and don’t worry about tomorrow, deal with today. Use small goals as you move through the day.  


Have faith in God and His Word. Know He is in control, and His word is true.

God provides wisdom James 1:5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. [6] But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.)  

God provides Strength Philippians 4:13  I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. 2 Peter 1:3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.

God will provide our needs Philippians 4:19 And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

When we move out in faith, God supplies, guides, and provides. 

This blog has material from ‘Loving God with all your mind’ by Elizabeth George.  It has helped me and I trust you will be blessed following this truth.  It will make your lightnside shine “happier.”