How many of us have a list of “memory verses” that we know by heart? We pick and choose certain lines that give us that boost or encouragement that we need. But I am discovering more and more, that sometimes we need to get those verses in context, and see the bigger picture.
Thanks to a cute little song that we sing with the youth night kids at church, I have memorized Galations 5:22-23: But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
But when is the last time you read verse 24? The NLT says, “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.” Whoa. I must admit, it stopped me dead in my tracks.
Those who belong to Christ Jesus (that’s me, right? Well, that’s supposed to be me)….have nailed the desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. (Uh, have I done that? No? Hmmm…..)
I recall a time at one of the several spiritual retreats I’ve attended (Youth Councils, CBLI, something…) where we wrote down our sins/problems on a piece of paper, and then we came up on stage, and literally nailed them to a cross. It was a great moment. But v. 24 says, “the passions and desires of my sinful nature.” You want to know what the desires of my sinful nature are? Chocolate. Buffets. Eating something because it tastes awesome but the rest of me feels like crap.
No more. I don’t have a actual cross that I can literally nail it to tonight, but I just got on my knees and I asked God to crucify the desires of my sinful nature.