The Hardest Question

Here and here are my thoughts on this week’s lectionary at The Hardest Question.

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4 thoughts on “The Hardest Question

  1. In simple terms, flesh generally refers to our vain attempts to justify ourselves through the performance of righteous acts as opposed to receiving our justification as a gift and being a vessel through which the Spirit guides and empowers us. The flesh is our own unredeemed motives and estimations of our abilities.

    Therefore, when it says in Romans 8 that the law was weak through the flesh, it means that the flesh is unable to fulfill the demands of the law and we are ultimately unable to be governed by the law. Paul’s comment about this was, “For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.” (Romans 7:18) Therefore, that being the case, God gave us the Spirit to govern our lives and to lead us in the paths of righteousness.

    The difference between the works of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit is clearly laid out in Galatians Chapter 5.

    If we do not learn how to depend on the Spirit, we will default to the flesh with all the attendant pain and confusion that trying to serve God that way brings with it.

  2. Think of God as “GO,” the first square on a Monopoly board.

    When we stop there, we are refreshed. In Monopoly, it’s with $200 in Monopoly money. In real life, when we spend time with the Lord regularly and routinely, when we sit at his feet as Mary did when He came to her house or lean on his breast like John did in the Upper Room, we are refreshed by his love. We are then able to naturally fulfill the law of love back to Him, to others and to ourselves.

    When we do not do that, we can safely assume that our actions are self-seeking. We will have defaulted to the flesh and its unredeemed motives.

    Truly, Christianity is all about our relationship with Him and cultivating that. There is a natural outflow of good works and of blessings when we do that.

    That is why He said:

    “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. (Matthew 6:31-33)

    In other words, do not be self-seeking, but God seeking.

    The end result will either be a house built on sand or one built on a rock.

  3. Dear Carol,

    This is an open letter of thanks for talking time out of your energetic ministry to post your thoughts about the Epiphany 5 texts on [TheHardestQuestion].

    In particular your thoughts about body consciousness in the “Cut it Out” post on Matthew 5:21-37 (the Sunday before Valentine’s Day) has really hit a nerve in the Body of Christ. It continues to be our most viewed post of all time. You really touched on some critial questions for there!

    We at THQ are looking forward to more posts from you through RCL, Year A.

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