My December birthstone = Blue Topaz/Turquoise.
Psalm 139: 13&14 ESV “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”
John 1:13 ESV “who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”
Ever since the fall of Adam & Eve [see Genesis 3 through Revelations 22], living simply through our natural birth is insufficient before God, with death as the end result. Death would be defined as not inheriting the kingdom of God. Galatians 5: 19-21 helps me see this clearly: “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealously, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Because we are born in the flesh- our natural birth, this is who we are. Just in case this list is not sufficient, the portion of it states, “…and things like these.” Oh, it’s so difficult, or even impossible to try to reign these things in. How does it work? How do we not give in to the sins of the flesh that are vying for our affections/emotions/longings? Is there an answer to this dilemma?
Yes, there is! It’s Jesus! The answer is Jesus. He is able to rescue us from ourselves; our natural birth. He obeyed God. He came in the form of man. He lived perfectly, and without sin. Later on, He was sentenced to death on the cross because that’s how God wanted it to be. While on earth, Jesus talked about the Holy Spirit that would come and comfort/guide His disciples and all who believe on Him in John 16. Then in Acts 2, the Holy Spirit filled those who God ordained before the foundation of the world (see Ephesians 1:3-10). The evidence of the Holy Spirit at work in us is found in Galatians 5:22-24 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”Our new, spiritual birth brings about this fruit. How is this possible? It’s because the Holy Spirit resides in us. We are not our own anymore. 1 Corinthians 3:16 “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” It’s God’s Spirit. It’s not our own will that can ever cause sustained, genuine fruit that is only given by the Holy Spirit. The marks of the Christian found in Romans 12:9-21 are only possible because of the Holy Spirit at work within us. Ephesians 2:8&9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
What is my responsibility with this truth? It’s found in Ecclesiastes 12:13 “The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.”