Self-reflection can be daunting. Looking at ourselves, really looking, with eyes that see clearly. We realize that often what we see in ourselves, and others, is distorted by fear. Miracles happen when we learn to look through eyes of love. 💗
You might bind my body With social constraints Drown me in a flood Of manipulative illusions Weigh me down with Imagined oppression Heap upon me Chains heavy with lies From the father of liars But my Spirit will always Find a way To lift someone else up
You have greatness within you. You can achieve whatever you believe.
The quality of your health impacts how you achieve what you believe. Your level of fitness contributes to the quality of your health.
Choose to improve your health by improving your fitness. One tiny step at a time, doing what you can right where you are. Getting back on track when you’ve run off course. Raising the bar just a little bit when you’ve reached a plateau. Small every day choices can make a difference.
You have greatness within you. Allow it to shine through.
You don’t have to go far Just do what you can Wherever you are It won’t take long And you will see A key ingredient To any good plan That thing that brings It all together in harmony A challenging word To hold to task It will give you Whatever you ask If you just Let go of resistance And simply be Consistent
We see things imperfectly, like curious reflections in a mirror, but one day we will see everything clearly. All that we currently know is partial and incomplete, but one day we will know everything completely.
E.A. Fussell 04.12.2023
I Corinthians 13:12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
This is the fifth and final writing in this series on the body as a temple. Following is a brief review of the past four weeks:
Week One: “How does our body become a temple?”
When Christ died the veil was torn in the Temple at Jerusalem. This signified the release of the Holy Spirit and direct access to God. We no longer require a priest, or any other human, to be our mediator or covering, the blood sacrifice of Christ on the cross is our covering. For those who believe in and accept Jesus, the Holy Spirit, also called the Holy Ghost, comes to dwell in our body. Thus our body becomes the Temple, a building is no longer required to worship, praise or honor God. The resurrection signifies that we serve a living, breathing, loving God who is always with us.
Week Two: “What happens to our body once it becomes a Temple?”
Cleansing brings disturbance and disruption, the degree of which depends on many factors. When we accept the invitation of Jesus to enter our life and dwell in our body, a cleansing begins. We may find that the changes in us are immediate, recognizable, transforming. We can see them; others can see them. Or we may find that they are subtle, happening in degrees, until one day we look back and see that we have changed. We may find that some change is resistant, stubborn, rebellious, it takes more effort. There is even some change, like the thorn in Paul’s flesh, that God will not allow for His own reasons; we have to learn to live with it, just as Paul did. Cleansing and transformation is a lifelong dance with God.
Week Three: “How do we move through the resistance of our flesh to the Spirit?”
Scripture tells us that the Spirit and our flesh struggle against each other. To win this struggle we must walk in the Spirit. Keeping our Temple clean and well maintained is important in this walk. Two key factors include guarding our heart and renewing our mind.
Week Four: “How can we tell if our Temple is clean?”
We learned that gifts of the Spirit and fruit of the Spirit are different. Gifts may not all be given to one person but each one of us receives all nine characteristics of the fruit. Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, it is up to us to bring the fruit to full harvest; the more abundant the fruit, the cleaner the Temple.
Now we are at week five, the final week in this series. Easter Sunday is fast approaching. Many people call the week before Easter, Holy Week. It’s a good time for reflection, a good time to make decisions about the future. So, I would like to present three important questions to you, one for non-believers, and two for Believers.
1 What will you do with Jesus?
If you are already a believer praise God and skip to the next question. But if you are not a Believer then ponder this: every day, all day, you have a choice to make, until you are no longer breathing. What will you do with Jesus? He stands silently at the door and knocks, every day, asking you to let him in. But you must take action to accept His invitation. Your parents or spouse can’t do it for you. It is not an entitlement that you get because your great-great-grandmother was a Beliver. You must Believe for yourself. You don’t have to be in a church building to accept Christ, you don’t have to be in front of a priest or preacher or any other person to accept Christ. All you must do is confess to God, in your own way, that you believe in Jesus. This is a private intimate relationship between you and God. After that it is important to learn for yourself and not to rely on another person’s teachings. Pray, read your Bible, listen to the Holy Spirit. If you don’t have a Bible, message me your mailing address and I will send you one.
2 What will you do with God?
Believer, maybe your salvation happened years ago, maybe a few minutes ago. It doesn’t matter how old or how new you are in faith you still must answer the question daily: What will you do with God? He wants a personal, individual, intimate relationship with you. Relationships require effort. Prayer, praise, worship, Bible reading, Bible study, meditation. There are many ways for you to show God how much you want a relationship with Him. Some people feel closer to God outdoors, some in a church, some surrounded by family. Your relationship with God will be as unique and individual as you are. He loves you more than you can begin to fathom. Devote time to Him each day. As you draw closer to God, He will draw closer to you. Which brings us to the third question.
3 What will you allow God to do with you?
Believer, God has an assignment that only you can carry out. It may be small; it may be large. Trust Him, follow His guidance. Doors that no man can shut will be opened to you. Just because you can’t see the way in the physical world does not mean the path is unpaved in the Spiritual realm. Step out in faith and let God work.
Taking care of your body temple is important. Physically, spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, be aware of all aspects of your body and mind. If you don’t take care of your body Temple, then the Holy Spirit’s expression through you is going to be limited. I cannot do what is assigned to you and you cannot do what is assigned to me. Even if on the surface the assignment looks the same, or similar, we bring our own unique approach to the assignment, we will touch different souls in different ways. If you don’t allow God to work through you, someone may not be reached.
Dear Lord, Thank You for the person reading this, if they are a non-believer please soften their heart, open their mind, allow them to desire a relationship with You. If they are a Believer please bless them with a double portion of Your favor. Comfort, guide and protect them, and their family, as only You can. Easter Sunday will be here soon. Help us reflect on what you have done for us, what you offer us. Help us pursue a deeper relationship with You. Renew and revive in us a desire to do Your will. To humble ourselves and obey Your guidance. To diligently guard our hearts and renew our minds, keeping them set on You. Help us carry out your assignments. Impart in each of us Divine knowledge, understanding, wisdom, and discernment. Thank You Father for Your grace, mercy, and unfailing love.
2590 karpós – properly, fruit; (figuratively) everything done in true partnership with Christ, i.e. a believer (a branch) lives in union with Christ (the Vine). By definition, fruit (2590/karpós) results from two life-streams – the Lord living His life through ours – to yield what is eternal
The Greek word translated as “fruit” refers to the natural product of a living thing. It is singular, showing that “fruit” is a unified whole, not independent characteristics. When our body becomes a Temple the fruit of the Spirit will begin to grow and mature in us. Like physical fruit it needs time to grow, it will not ripen overnight. Like a gardener must diligently work to see the harvest, we must constantly be aware of the struggle between our flesh and Spirit in order to weed out our sinful nature and allow the fruit to flourish.
Scripture talks about fruit (characteristics) of the Spirit and gifts (talents) of the Spirit. Every person will not receive every gift but each person will receive the seed of the entire fruit. It’s up to us to bring that seed to harvest.
9 characteristics of the fruit:
LOVE True, love is a choice, not a feeling. It deliberately expresses itself in loving ways and always seeks the welfare of others. It is unconditional not emotional.
JOY A feeling of gladness based on our eternal circumstances, not on our fleeting earthly circumstances.
PEACE Freedom from disturbance. Tranquility.
LONGSUFFERING Patience, even when severely tested or tried. Enduring, persevering, uncomplaining, tolerant, forgiving.
GENTLENESS Kindness, compassion, cautious.
GOODNESS Living with good morals and motives. Nourishing, showing grace, mercy, righteousness.
FAITH Unwavering, constant, complete trust and confidence in God.
MEEKNESS Humbly conforming to the authority and will of God. Obedience.
TEMPERANCE Self-control. The ability to manage impulses, emotions, and behaviors. Subdue the flesh.
The cleaner the Temple the more evident the fruit. Scripture is also very clear about the things that we need to diligently work to keep ourselves from:
A proud look
A lying tongue
Hands that shed innocent blood
An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations
Feet that be swift in running to mischief
A false witness that speaketh lies
He that soweth discord among brethren
Just like good fruit won’t grow in an uncared-for orchard or garden, our Temple needs to be well cared for to produce the best fruit. The Sprit in each Believer seeks to produce excellent fruit but, as we talked about last week, the flesh struggles against the Spirit. We must learn how to subdue our flesh by submitting to the Spirit.
Obeying Divine direction is easy to say, but difficult to practice. Divine direction comes in many ways. Prayer, Bible reading, meditation are common to all of us but there are also unique individual ways Divine communication can occur. God desires a personal relationship with each of us. Because He understands us better than anyone else could, He can speak with us individually, in unique ways that only we can understand.
Draw close to God and He will draw close to you, the closer you get the more clearly His Spirit can be heard. It’s a lifelong continual process that ebbs and flows. As we submit to the Spirit our Temple will be cleaned and our fruit will become abundant; that abundance is meant to be shared for the benefit of others as well as ourselves.
Next week is the final writing in this five-week series. With a somewhat clearer understanding of when our body becomes a Temple, how it becomes one, and what the evidence is that it is one, we will now think about the priceless question:
“What will you do with Jesus?”
E.A Fussell 03.28.2023
P.S. The answers on how to live are in the Word. It’s a giant letter from God. Parts of it are difficult to read and hard to understand other parts are very clear. It is a lifelong tool for learning, comfort, guidance, and direction. Praise God that my dad taught me how to study it. I encourage you to read your Bible, learn how to study it, don’t rely on someone else to tell you what it says. It is a letter of love to you and there may be a message in it for you that only you can unlock. If you don’t have a Bible, I will send you one, just message me your mailing address.
Fruit of the Spirit scripture: Galatians 5:13-26
7 things God hates scripture: Proverbs 6:16-19
Draw close to God and He will draw close to you scriptures: James 4:8 Jeremiah 29:12-14
Deeper understanding scripture: Matthew 7 1st John 4
Body as the Temple scriptures: Luke 17:20-21 John 2:19-21 1st Corinthians 3:16-17 1st Corinthians 6:19 2nd Corinthians 6:16 Ephesians 2:19-22 1st Peter 2:5
If we don’t take care of our body Temple, then the Holy Spirit’s expression through us is going to be limited. We’re not going to be able to do what God wants us to do, what He assigns us to do. His work through us will be hindered. We are wonderfully and uniquely made. I cannot do what is assigned to you and you cannot do what is assigned to me. Even if on the surface the assignment looks the same, or similar, we bring our own unique being to the assignment, we will touch different souls in different ways.
The Holy Spirit was sent to guide us, and to comfort us. Scripture tells us that the Spirit and our flesh struggle against each other. To win this struggle we must walk in the Spirit. Keeping our Temple clean and well maintained is important in this walk. When we clean our home we have a routine, a place we start. So where do we start with our body Temple?
Our foundation is first and foremost the finished work of Jesus on the cross. He sacrificed His flesh so that we could be free. Who and what we identify with indicates who and what we are. We start by identifying with Christ. Our flesh struggles with the desire to serve God versus the temptations of the world. Our bodies can’t be cast out, they are our soul’s earthly home and the Temple of God, so we must learn how to subdue the flesh. Christ’s sacrifice allows us through faith and obedience, to subdue the desires of our flesh which come in many forms: over-eating, laziness, addiction, greed, etc. etc. etc.
There is no confusion with God, obedience and self-control are key. A clean organized Temple leads to less disorder, less disobedience. Disobedience brings stumbling. Deliberate, willful, conscious disobedience brings falling. We will all fall short at one time or another, but, praise God, we can choose not to stay down. We are not defeated, we are disobedient. We can dust ourselves off, repent, ask forgiveness, and continue drawing closer to our Lord through obedience. How do we keep the inside our Temple clean so that stumbling is less likely?
“Above all else guard your heart” and “be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
Thoughts create feelings. Feelings create actions. Actions create results. Results create circumstances. Said another way: Thoughts create feelings. Feelings create behavior. Behavior creates what we see. What we see creates what we experience. This is a perpetual cycle.
We can change our thoughts and create a new circumstance, a new experience. Be transformed by the renewing or our mind. Thoughts create feelings so if we guard our thoughts, we guard our heart.
That is much easier said than done. Our internal thoughts are impacted by so many things. Internal thinking, external influencers. If we aren’t thinking on purpose our thoughts will run away with us. How many times have you gotten stuck in a loop of thinking that was not healthy for you? Or your mind just aimlessly wondered from topic to topic without any real direction and suddenly you are completely off the point you were originally trying to think about? We must be aware of our thoughts and take control of them. Thinking makes the difference in the type of life we experience. Our mind is flesh. It is at natural odds with our Spirit. If we don’t take control of our thoughts, we won’t be able to clearly hear the guidance of the Spirit.
Internally we must closely gauge how our thoughts are impacting our feelings. Are they bringing us down, self-condemning, hindering, limiting. The Spirit may convict but it won’t condemn. Conviction is not the same as condemnation. There is no condemnation in Christ. If we are feeling condemned that is from the flesh or our enemy, not the Spirit. We must take control and change our thoughts. Pray, read the Word, listen to God. We were wonderfully made to experience joy even during our saddest moments. If bitterness, jealousy, or hate, cloud our thinking. Forgiveness is the answer. It is possible to forgive others, and ourselves. “With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.”
Externally we should be aware of what we are consuming, intentionally and subliminally. What we watch, listen to, eat, drink, inhale, everything we expose ourselves to. This is not as difficult as controlling our thoughts but is still very hard. The flesh is drawn to the world. Acceptance, success, love. Our ego longs for all types of pleasurable indulgences the world offers. Sugar, adrenaline, peaceful calm. Our senses long for various experiences. We must diligently monitor our environment. This will vary individually based on the weaknesses of our flesh. My weakness may not be your weakness and vice versa. Even the strongest foothold can be dealt with, often eliminated, with prayer, fasting and most importantly faith.
Most people think of fasting as it relates to food and drink, but you can choose what to fast from. Fasting means abstaining. Abstain means to choose not to do or have something: to refrain deliberately and often with an effort of self-denial from an action or practice. The duration of a fast can be a few hours or days. It’s your choice. Pray about it.
Some of us have weaker flesh than others. It helps me to remember that there are certain promises that apply to all Believers; “resist the devil and he will flee from you”; “faith as small as a mustard seed can move mountains.” And there are some practical things we can do to help us:
✅ Choose to identify with Christ, not the world. ✅ Spend time with God; pray, read His Word, sing praises, worship Him. ✅ Choose to avoid temptation; limit exposure to those things that are triggering. ✅ Chose to consume healthier food and beverages; this will help the brain function at a higher level which will allow better thought patterns. ✅ Choose to think on purpose; take control of feelings by taking control of thoughts. Thinking determines how life is experienced. ✅ Remember we are never alone, the Holy Spirit dwells in the Temple of our body to guide and comfort us. The Spirit of God is always with us.
As we go about cleaning and maintaining our Temple we will meet with certain struggles. But we are not alone, and the battle has already been won. We just have to walk in faith even when we cannot see the answers; even when we cannot understand the reasons; even when we feel like giving up. Hold onto the Word: “With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.”
Next week we will think about how we can tell if our Tempe is clean. Until then realize:
💟 You are important to God 💟 You are wonderfully made 💟 You are exclusive, one of a kind, only you can do what God has assigned to you
Spirit struggle against flesh scripture Galatians 5:16-17
Heart & Mind scriptures Proverbs 4:23 Matthew 15:18-19 Proverbs 23:7 Matthew 12:34-35 Romans 12:2
All things possible scripture Matthew 19:26
Mustard seed faith scripture Mathew 17:20
Resist and the devil and he will flee from you scripture James 4:7-8
Wonderfully made scripture Psalms 139:14
No condemnation scripture Romans 8:1-2
God is not the author of confusion scripture 1st Corinthians 14:33
Body as the temple scriptures: Luke 17:20-21 John 2:19-21 1st Corinthians 3:16-17 1st Corinthians 6:19 2nd Corinthians 6:16 Ephesians 2:19-22 1st Peter 2:5