Remembering God’s Faithfulness

orange petaled flowers

 

We find it so easy to quickly forget the benefits of living as part of God’s family (Psalm 103:2). We grumble more than we express gratitude to our benevolent Father. We put our church attendance and ministry on the bottom of our to-do list, and it is rarely a priority in our life.

 

However, a viable relationship with God and His family is vital to the health of our spirit and soul. When we take a break from fellowshipping with God’s Saints, we put both our soul and spirit in jeopardy. We slip into the danger zone of our love for God growing cold (Matthew 24:12).

 

Conversely, living in unity with one Body of Believers gives us a support system; a means of spiritual maturity through corporate prayer, praise, and hearing the Word of God taught; as well as an opportunity to help others through their storms in life.

 

These tempests often shipwreck our faith in God’s faithfulness. We do not value this opportunity to grow closer to God, to view His purifying work in our life, and to improve the depths of our union with Him. We develop more fear, anxiety and doubt, especially if we shun the support we have from our local church Body.

 

With a spiritual viewpoint and focus, we realize that storms have the potential of strengthening our faith, increasing our unity with God, and deepening our enjoyment of His presence – within us and all around us. Unity with God comforts, encourages and supports us in each moment of every day.

 

The fierce gales that come against us provide us with the opportunities to trust God and to see His salvation rescue us from every trauma, tumultuous event, and time of need. These are opportunities to immediately see God’s power, wisdom, provision and purpose in every one of them.

 

Prayer:

Father God, teach us to embrace a heavenly perspective during the trials of life. Help us to see Your purpose in them, and to look for the seed for a miracle that You plant in every one of them – even when one negative event follows another, and we are weary of pain, disillusioned about our prospects, and insecure in regards to our future.

 

Help us to learn to embrace the pain of life, rather than to run from it, or to pretend it does not bother us. We learn, as Jesus did, to allow patience to have its perfect work in us during times of suffering (James 1:4-8). We praise You in every situation. Help us to maintain our faith in Your faithful intervention, provision and reassurance through it all.

 

Thought for the Day:

When we accept our circumstances – both the advantageous and the challenging – they are both beneficial in helping us to grow spiritually mature, and to access God’s supernatural strength within us; He already knows the outcome, and He is equipping us with His wisdom and power to thrive and to succeed during every moment of our life.

 

 

 

 

Proving Biblical Truth

pink cherry blossom tree during daytime

 

Christianity is not a blind faith. It is the only belief system that can prove itself. There is a great deal of scientific and archeological evidence that supports the Bible. More and more proof comes out all the time.

 

The Bible proclaimed that the earth is round; but it took science years to realize this truth (Isaiah 40:22). Even archaeology proves many Biblical prophecies, especially prophecy dealing with entire nations, or the drowning of Pharaoh’s army, or Noah’s Ark, or the walls of Jericho falling straight down, etc.

 

Archaeologists also found evidence that Biblical prophecies were written down many years before they were fulfilled. The famous Dead Sea Scrolls are one example of the Old Testament evidence.

 

Additionally, up to this point, over 20,000 known manuscripts document the New Testament text as well. More proof is discovered every day. This makes the New Testament the most reliable document of ancient times.

 

In spite of the geographical differences between Bible authors, as well as the dates that they were written, the New Testament texts all agree with each other and with the Old Testament. There are even secular documents, which support the Bible’s historical facts.

 

Sources of secular history had no record of the existence of one particular king mentioned in the Bible. Recently, archeology discovered proof that this king did exist, and verified again the accuracy of the Biblical record.

 

Manuscript evidence is yet another proof of Biblical truth. The Old Testament was written between approximately 1450 BC and 430 BC. During that time, many predictions of the future were recorded in the Bible by God’s prophets.

 

One of the strongest arguments for the authority of the Bible is the fact of its 100% accuracy in predicting the future. Today’s newspapers are old news, because the Bible recorded much of what is happening today in its prophecies.

 

Just because other cultures have prophecies does not negate the fact that Biblical prophecy is 100% accurate. One day, EVERY knee – even the scoffers – will bow to Jesus as Lord. I look forward to that day with all of my heart (Philippians 2:10-11; Isaiah 45:23; Romans 14:11).

 

Prayer:

Father God, remind us that of the prophetic events which have already taken place, every one of them eventually happened literally, just the way Your prophets predicted they would. We are in awe of Your Word, because no other writing, or person’s prophecy has such perfectly accurate predictions of the future.

 

Help us to see that in order to live life, one has to have faith. It takes faith to sit in a chair without conscious thought. We do this because we believe it will hold us up. We put the key in the ignition of a car, because we believe it will function properly. We go to sleep, because we believe that we will wake up again – refreshed. Help us all to put all of our trust in You.

 

Thought for the Day:

It takes as much faith to believe in any other source as it does to believe in Jesus Christ as my Savior and yours; therefore, I prefer to place my faith in the proven winner…the King of kings, and the Lord of lords…my friend, my future husband, my brother…Jesus Christ

Treasure in Broken Vessels

pink flowers

 

Life beats us up pretty badly at times, but God is still in control, giving strength to the weary and power to the weak (Isaiah 40:29-31). Prior to coming to Christ in repentance, we may suffer a great deal more, because He is attempting to get our attention off our self and to redirect it to His wondrous face.

 

After salvation, God may allow us to suffer bruises, but He never breaks us (Isaiah 42:3), especially if we maintain our trust in Him alone. He gives us treasures in our darkest times, so that we realize and come to enjoy His presence in us and His intimate union with us (Isaiah 45:3).

 

Even when Satan whispers his lies to our soul, when we have more doubt than trust, when fear is drowning out our faith, and when we are so weary that we can barely hold up our head, God is our glory and the lifter of our head (Psalm 3:3-4).

 

We often allow obligations, stress, and our own goals and agenda to strangle out our time and attention on the Lord, and we feel more defeated than ever. Yet, when we walk in the Spirit and access His power available to us all, we feel fulfilled from the successes of our day.

 

We choose to cast aside the discouragement from the devil, and to stand on the promises of God’s Word. Our relationship with Him allows us to wait patiently for His intervention in our circumstances. He always hears our prayers; and in His timing and way, He delivers us out of the quicksand of life.

 

He sets us safely on the Rock of Christ – our firm and sure foundation. He puts a new song in our heart. He uses our trust in Him as an example to other people of what faith in Christ can do for us all, especially when Jesus is our whole life (Colossians 3:3-4; Psalm 40:1-3).

 

Prayer:

Father God, we often feel weary in life, exhausted from our over-commitments as well as the pain of our sorrows. Help us to consider our priorities, to evaluate our schedule, and to remove the inner and outer physical, emotional, social and relational clutter that bogs us down. We want to enter into Your rest, and to experience the total freedom in which You intend for us to abide.

 

If we will wait on You and live according to the guidance of Your Holy Spirit, You always equip us and prepare us in body, soul and spirit to face the challenges of life (Galatians 5:15-25). We completely trust in You to have our best interest at heart as we abide in Your presence each moment of the day (Psalm 132:7-8).
Thought for the Day:

Life’s circumstances are cluttered with inconceivable hurdles for us to jump over; in our own strength, we fail every time, but by the resurrection power of Christ in us, we can do everything that He calls us to do, and we flourish as we conquer every trial that life throws at us.

 

Our Center of Solitude

trees painting

We start our day in a place of physical stillness in order to find a center of solitude within our own spirit. Then, we dwell there continually, with a deep sense of peace, as we leave our prayer closet and go out into the world.

 

Regardless of what our outward circumstances are throughout the day, we abide in the Vine, Jesus Christ, through our connection between our spirit and the Spirit of God. We come to a place of submitting solely to the leading of the Holy Spirit moment-by-moment throughout the day.

 

We exclude all busyness in our life, and we include only that which God directs us to do, to say, and to acquire.  We simplify our life by eliminating everything that clutters our mind, homes, work and church life. This eradicates our stress, and allows God’s peace to reign in our heart.

 

As we do the will of God for our life, we will always be in the right place at the right time to be a part of the huge miracle of God’s timing and direction. Our life is part of the flow of God’s power in the earth, and we silence those who foolishly condemn the Gospel of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2:15).

 

When we see God’s hand in our lives, we often call it “a God thing,” or a “divine appointment.”  That is the blessing of walking in the Spirit moment-by-moment. In being led by the Spirit of God we not only reap blessings for our self, but we are a testimony to others as well.

 

We are free from the law, but that does not give us permission to live in habitual sin. Instead, we live as those who are free to do only God’s will at all times (1 Peter 2:16). When we do the will of God, He makes even our enemies at peace with us, and everything we do will prosper (Proverbs 16:7).

 

In our center of solitude, we are controlled and guided by the Spirit of God. We have the ability to resist the urges of our fleshly, carnal nature, and we walk in God’s will. He establishes peace for us, and everything that we accomplish during our lifetime is the result of what He does in us, through us, and for us (Isaiah 26:12).

 

Prayer:

Father God, if our former sinful nature controls us, we cannot please You; yet, when Your Spirit lives in us, and we submit to His direction, He controls us (Romans 8:8-9). When our mind is focused on sin, we abide in death; however, when we allow Your Spirit to control our thoughts, emotions and choices, You give us life and peace (Romans 8:6-7).

 

Help us to see that doing Your will brings with it not only spiritual blessings, but physical and emotional blessings as well. The fruit of righteous living is fulfillment, and in this place of solitude we find quietness and confidence. You give us peaceful and secure homes, as well as undisturbed places of rest along life’s way (Isaiah 32:17-18).

 

Thought for the Day:

Our delight is in the law of the LORD, and on His law we meditates day and night; then God plants us like a tree by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither, and we realize that whatever we do in Christ prospers.

– Psalm 1:2-3

The Word of God

brown mountain under gray sky

The Word is part of the Trinity of who God is, and He was with God since before time (John 1:1). Jesus is the Word of God and He became flesh to die and pay the penalty of our sins. He rules over heaven and earth and will dwell in New Jerusalem with us for eternity (Colossians 1:17).

 

Jesus is our hope of glory in this world and the next (Colossians 1:27). We can surrender to God’s will for us, because we know that is where we find perfect peace and joy in this life as well as the next. Our intimacy with the Trinity increases as we trust Him.

 

Our God is faithful to us in every situation. We owe Him the same allegiance and love, because of His love for us. In all of our trials, we find His joy, as we patiently wait in faith to discover His seed for a miracle in every one of them (James 1:2-4).

 

Like Paul, we have the same power of His grace, which makes us perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). God always has our best interest in His mind (Romans 8:28). Even if He takes us home to heaven, though our loved ones will miss us, we will abide in His physical presence forever.

 

Jesus revealed Himself to the world in person for thirty-three years, although few accepted Him as God in the flesh – not even His own family. Anyone with a heart untainted by the philosophy of the world will experience God now, and will see God when our life on earth ends (Matthew 5:8).

 

Our Father blesses us, Jesus abides within every authentic Believer, and the Holy Spirit sanctifies us throughout our lifetime. This allows us to enjoy His loving presence each moment of our day, and to live by faith in His faithfulness.

 

Prayer:

Father God, You desire to abide in each of Your Saints and to fill us to the brim with Your presence (Ephesians 3:16-19, Amplified Bible). Sanctify us fully, so that we are a holy Temple in which You can dwell. Our body is Your outer court, our soul is Your hoy place, and our spirit is Your most holy place as we surrender to Your sanctifying work within us.

 

With Your presence in us, we have access to You and Your benefits each moment of our day (Exodus 29:42). Teach us to live as a living sacrifice for Your service, that is holy and acceptable to You (Romans 12:1). We relinquish the control over our life to Your Holy Spirit, who knows what we need and when we need it, and what Your perfect will is for us.

 

Thought for the Day:

In the presence of God, we are cleansed of our sin, and filled with His Spirit; this empowers us to accomplish for Him every service, which He designed, before we were even born, for us to do through His Trinity within us.

– Ephesians 2:10

Our Identity in Christ

white bear on body of water

Before Christ came into our life, our natural man had no comprehension of the meaning of spiritual things (1 Corinthians 2:14). Believers were foreign to us, and we made fun of them. How could we respect a person who believed in an unseen God?

 

Before we surrendered our life to Jesus Christ, our human nature controlled us. We were slaves to sin and death. However, when we came to Christ, He gave us victory over Satan and destruction (Romans 6:2-6). Now God’s love always surrounds us, fills us and lifts us.

 

Our former, carnal self died in Christ and we are now hidden in Christ with God (Colossians 3:3). Although we still live on this earth, it has no more power over us. We are justified, as if we had never sinned, and God’s Spirit is sanctifying us from one stage of glory to the next (2 Corinthians 3:18).

 

We live by the faith of Christ, who loves us and gave Himself over to a cruel death for our sake (Galatians 2:20). This free gift is not the result of our goodness or any works, which we perform (Ephesians 2:8-9). It comes from Jesus, through whom we are crucified to the world and the world to us (Galatians 6:14).

 

The world and the lusts of it have no power over, or attraction for us anymore. The nature to sin is replaced by the divine nature of Christ (Ephesians 2:1-3; 2 Peter 1:4). We live in the Spirit now, rather than in the flesh (Romans 8:8-9).

 

As a new creation, our life is transformed from sin and deprivation to righteousness, peace and joy through the Spirit (2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 14:17). We rest in God’s love and stand firm in His power, devoting our self to His Kingdom (1 Corinthians 15:58).

 

Prayer:

Father God, knowing that Christ crucified our flesh on Calvary’s cross helps us to choose to live in holiness rather than in disobedience to You. Your Spirit provides us with Jesus’ divine power to live a Godly life, and He accomplishes Your victorious life in and through us (2 Peter 1:3; Ephesians 2:10).

 

Remind us that once we are Born Again, we only sin when we fail to acknowledge You and seek Your plans for our day (Proverbs 3:5-6). Thank You for directing our feet on the paths of life; and for protecting, guarding, directing and loving us with Your amazing grace and love.

 

Thought for the Day:

When we choose to sin, we act out of character with our new nature and new identity in Christ; we open the door to more devastation and demonic influences; however, when we walk in the Spirit, we no longer desire to walk in sin.

– Galatians 5:15-25

 

A Good Marriage – Value Each Other’s Viewpoint

brown and white eggs

 

 

When we view life only from our own perspective, we find it hard to understand our spouse’s viewpoint. Something that they are very passionate about, or that is extremely important to the health of their soul should be as important to us as it is to them.

 

Yet, we often overlook the issue, dismiss it as irrelevant, have little concern over the outcome of the matter, make fun of it, and/or ignore their mentions of it in their conversations with us. A hug and a heart-felt, “I am so sorry that you are experiencing this” goes a long way in affirming our spouse’s worth.

 

This lets our mate know that they, as well as the state of their thoughts, emotions and concerns are important to us as well. We all need to feel needed and desired. Men also need to feel admired, adored, respected and appreciated. Women need to feel loved, cherished, enjoyed and special.

 

This affirmation takes very little time and effort. Just a few heart-felt words in an email, card, text, or spoken while we snuggle on the loveseat together. We all love it when we hear words of affection and confirmation floating toward us from across the room or from the next room.

 

Out of nowhere, and for no particular reason, we hear the words, “I sure do love you.” or “Thank you for marrying me.” Or “You make me feel so … happy (safe, secure, loved, wanted, cherished, etc.).” or “I admire you for … taking that stand (having those feelings, using your talents for the Lord, providing for our family’s need, etc.)

 

“You sure are handsome/beautiful, and I am so glad that you married me” is better than any expensive gift, elaborate meal at a pricey restaurant, etc. Nothing can ever replace the love that accompanies words full of affection and kindness.

 

Let’s not get so distracted by our responsibilities at work, with our children, or in our ministries, that we neglect our spouse’s welfare. Keeping our marriage as a priority in our life – second only to our quiet time with the Lord in prayer, devotion and praise – will plant seeds of contentment into our future.

 

Prayer:

Father God, warn us not to marry someone simply because we are attracted to them physically, or because they “look good on paper,” or they have the proper pedigree, college degree, and upbringing. We want to hear Your Spirit directing us in our choice. Teach us that enjoying each other’s company, laughing together, sincerely caring about one another as best friends, spending undistracted time together, etc. will ensure a lasting love relationship throughout our marriage.

 

Then, as the years progress, help us to remember why we fell in love in the first place. Do not allow us to get so busy that we take time with each other right off our to-do list. Warn us when we start to take each other for granted, so that we can change our attitude to one of gratitude, admiration, compassion and cherishing. We depend on You to keep our flames of love for one another burning in our hearts.

 

Thought for the Day:

Neglecting our self or our mate is as detrimental as attempting to walk through a mine field with our eyes blindfolded; something is bound to unexpectedly blow up in our face, and cause us real damage that will negatively impact us for the rest of our life.

 

God’s Life in Us

pink bougainvillea flowers

There is good news for those of us who realize that in our self there resides not one good thing (Romans 7:18). God is not looking for adept, super humans to carry out His will in the earth. He tends to choose the base and foolish to confound the wise (1 Corinthians 1:27).

 

As long as we have one ounce of human effort left within us, He cannot use us (John 5:19-20). He does not want our experience, training, knowledge, common sense, abilities, talents or human effort. He simply wants empty vessels to fill (2 Corinthians 4:7; Philippians 3:8).

 

Without the Spirit of God residing within us, we do not belong to Him (Romans 8:9). As we forsake the corrupt flesh, the earthly philosophies, and the devil’s plan, we enter into the fullness of the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33).

 

Once we realize that without Christ we can do nothing (John 15:5), we place our total reliance on Him. Even in this world filled with anxiety, we have rest in Jesus (Hebrews 4:10); therefore, we lay down our life and take up Christ’s life instead.

 

We reject all doubt and completely resign our will to His. We totally surrender our goals and desires to His. God’s fire burns in our heart, uniting us to His purpose for our life (Mark 1:15). We learn obedience through tribulation, just as Jesus did (Hebrews 5:8).

 

We grow by persistently walking in His Spirit, who leads us in God’s perfect will for us each moment of the day. We do not waste our time, resources or efforts partaking in worldly pleasures, but instead we follow the direction of God’s Spirit (Galatians 5:6, 25).

 

Rejecting fear’s control, we trust in God’s faithfulness and become like little children, trusting our Father as He furthers the Kingdom of God (Mark 10:15). With Christ in us we trust Him and His hope for our eternal freedom (Colossians 1:27).

 

We do not have to wait until eternity to live continually in the Spirit. In Him, we live and move and have our entire being (Acts 17:28). As we boast in our weakness, Christ’s strength is made complete in us (2 Corinthians 11:30). He fills our body, soul and spirit with Himself (Galatians 2:20).

 

Regardless of tribulation or discouragement, we rise above the natural world because Christ lives completely and abundantly in us. We enjoy God’s presence and grace as He removes our doubts and fill us with His faith and love.

 

Prayer:

Father God, You faithfully fill each of our moments with the security and love of Your ever-present Spirit. We vow to only perform the works, which You designed before the world began, for us to do (Ephesians 2:10). With our whole heart, we accept and enjoy the blessings that You prepare for us in each new day. These wonders benefit every Believer as we unceasingly abide in Christ.

 

Teach us not to focus on the trials and stresses of an earthly existence, but to live every moment in abiding fellowship with Christ by Your Spirit within us. You are able to do infinitely more in and through us than we can even imagine, because of Your power that works in us (Ephesians 3:20-21). We look forward to spending eternity with You.

 

Thought for the Day:

Jesus brought total salvation on the cross for everyone humble enough to accept it, because His divinity dwells within our spirit, and affects our body and soul – our mind, will and emotions.

 

A Life of Serenity

 

tall green trees and mountain

 

I lived most of my life with my stomach in knots, and taking very shallow breaths. Trauma occurred so often that I felt like I would burst if I held my breath a minute longer! However, God taught me how to change my focus, and this stressful reaction changed.

 

Jesus showed us by example how to relate to our circumstances. He learned obedience through the things that He suffered during His lifetime, ending with the scourging and crucifixion on the cross of Calvary (Hebrews 5:8).

 

As I prayed about my fears and anxieties over life, I realized that so far my circumstances had not yet killed me! So, hope must be hidden in my circumstances somewhere. Like Paul, I wanted to learn from Jesus’ example, so I turned to the Bible (Hebrews 12:2).

 

Jesus, when He entered his time of prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, focused on taking the sins of every human ever born to the cross; and He began to sweat blood, as well as water. He cried out in anguish and tears.

 

Yet, when Jesus changed His focus to eternal matters, the earthly matters faded into the distance. By changing His focal point (Hebrews 12:2), He was able to endure the cross, as well as our Father turning His back on Him, because of the shameful sin that Jesus took for us.

 

We too can take our eyes off our negative circumstances and put them on the joy that Jesus provides in the midst of those situations. As we go through life, we can pay close attention to what our body, thoughts, and feelings are trying to communicate to us.

 

Then, we ask God to show us what is causing the negativity. The Serenity Prayer gives us a guideline here (See “Thought for the Day” below). We pray that God will give us the wisdom to know what situations we can change, and which we must leave in His capable hands.

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for giving us the strength to deal with the issues that You reveal are our responsibility, and for giving us the courage to turn the rest over to You with an attitude of acceptance about them. If we cannot change them, we praise You for them, in them, and through them.

 

Remind us that changing our focus from an earthly perspective to an eternal one will bring us joy unspeakable that is full of Your glory (1 Peter 1:8). By doing this, we walk in serenity. If You do not show us how to change our circumstances, then we ask You to help us to change our focus about the dilemma, so that we can accept it as Your will for us at this time.

 

Thought for the Day:

The whole Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr

 

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

 

“Living one day at a time. Enjoying one moment at a time.  Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace. Taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it.

 

“Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will; that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him forever in the next. Amen.”

 

 

No Longer a Slave to Sin

brown wooden house near trees

Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, the Holy of Holies (Hebrews 9:3). The Holy Spirit lives through us in the perfection of Christ and according to the will of our Father God (Colossian 2:9). We are no longer sinners chained to the flesh, but Saints created in God’s image for His glory.

 

Christ is our righteousness, deliverance, redemption, sanctification and so much more (1 Corinthians 1:31). He challenges us to hunger and thirst after righteousness (Matthew 5:6). He gives us His power and desire to work out our own salvation (Philippians 2:12-13).

 

If our flesh is tempted to sin, we simply remember that it is dead and hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3; Romans 7:25). When we view any temptation through the eyes of the Spirit living within us, the sin loses its appeal for us (1 Corinthians 10:13).

 

As we mature spiritually, and walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:15-25), we realize that we would much rather live righteously through Christ than unrighteously through our old, dead flesh. We are a new creation freed from the power of sin through the divinity of Christ who dwells in us.

 

In the same way, if we attempt a ministry for the glory of God, and the Spirit did not lead us to serve in that area, we will never find His anointing in it. We will spin our wheels, tire our body, and stress our soul instead.

 

When Jesus lived on the earth, He suffered trials in every area, and had just as many temptations as we do. Yet, in each instance, He drew from the strength of His divinity; and in the end, He conquered sin, death and hell for us all (Revelations 1:18).

 

Every Born Again Believer lives in divine union with this same Christ. Even though we still live in a body of flesh, we now live by the faith of the Son of God, who cares for us and sacrificed Himself for us (Galatians 2:20). We are no longer slaves to sin, but instruments of righteousness for the glory of God.

 

Prayer:

Father God, our finite mind has such trouble understanding what we cannot see. Yet, faith is all about the spiritual concepts explained in Your Word, which we cannot see. Help us to walk in Your truth by the faith of Your Son, Jesus Christ, who dwells within us by Your Spirit (Galatians 2:20), so that we no longer think that we have to sin; and instead, we may bear fruit for You (Romans 7:4).

 

We limit Your use of us on this earth by our watered-down concept that we are still sinners and will always be sinners weighted down by our sinful, fleshly nature. Remind us that this old nature is already dead in Christ, that we are new creations by Your Spirit, and that we are now spiritual beings and slaves to righteousness.

 

Thought for the Day:

Once we make Christ our whole life, we are no longer sinners hindered by sin and our flesh, because the power of the spiritual law of life through the Holy Spirit has set us free from the power of the fleshly law which once held us in bondage to sin and death; Satan is no longer our “father”, because we no longer obey his temptation of our flesh, but we walk in the Spirit instead.

– Colossians 3:3-5; Romans 6:14, 6:18, 6:22, 8:2; John 8:36; Galatians 5:15-25