Fresh Produce

When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. – Galatians 5:19-21 (New Living Translation)

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! –Galatians 5:22-23.

Jason M. Alexandre, Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Jason M. Alexandre, Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

I discovered recently that gardening is no easy feat! It might even be considered by some as physical exercise. Needless to say, that after a long arduous day of pulling weeds, pouring mulch, and plowing the flower bed I was spent! However, my spirit was pleased to imagine the fresh produce that would soon be coming after planting seeds. Do we have fresh produce in our lives? Does our spirit resemble the fruit that the Holy Spirit produces mentioned above?

How can we truly say that we worship and have a relationship with God if our lives resemble our sinful desires i.e. the works of the flesh? For Jesus Christ once told us what God is like. He said, “For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship him in Spirit and in truth.” –John 4:24 God’s Spirit is Holy and the Bible says “but as he who called you is Holy, you also be Holy in all your conduct. Since it is written, you shall be Holy, for I am Holy.”1 Peter 1:15-16. My dear friends following the desires of your sinful nature are bondage. You’re not free if that’s your lifestyle. “And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”                     –Galatians 5:24 “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” –Galatians 5:1

A yoke is a wooden bar that allowed two (or more) draft animals to be coupled (yoked) so that they might effectively work together. The Bible frequently uses the word ‘yoke’ metaphorically to refer to work or bondage. However, it could also be associated with divine judgment. Sin was the reoccuring cause of Jerusalem miseries and the complaint they made toward God of their calamities. “He wove my sins into ropes to hitch me to a yoke of captivity. The Lord sapped my strength and turned me over to my enemies; I am helpless in their hands.                    – Lamentations 1:14 “An evil man is held captive by his own sins; they are ropes that catch and hold him. He will die for lack of self-control; he will be lost because of his great foolishness.” –Proverbs 5:22-23

fruit of the spirit

When we live in the flesh, i.e. by our sinful nature, we invite death into our lives, primarily spiritually. We are rendered useless to give God glory not yoked for service, but for penance, tied neck and heels together. I’m so glad there is a yoke we can put on! It is one that is eternal! One that gives our souls rest! For Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world said to us, “Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” –Matthew 11:29-30

Stick to Jesus! Cling to him! He will produce in your heart and in your spirit that fresh produce that can fellowship with God and with His People as we wait to be led into the Kingdom of God. Amen

-Jason

Jason’s vision is for the gospel to continue to spread throughout the world and believes it is Christian’s responsibility to carry out this mission effectively. To learn more about the organization for which Jason volunteers, please visit www.HaitiChristianity.org.

Learn more about Jason M. Alexandre here.

True Freedom

Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” –John 8:31-32 (New Living Translation)

Jason M. Alexandre, Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Jason M. Alexandre, Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

I will walk in freedom, for I have devoted myself to your commandments. –Psalm 119:45 If someone were to ask you, “Are you free?,” could you answer them honestly? On what basis is freedom found? The truth is we can never be truly free until we are spiritually free. Many people are hurting deeply inwardly. Though we’d like to think optimistically about our world and communities, the truth is we are living in a depraved society faced with daily uncertainties. And my friend, if you are living with uncertainty today then you know that it’s not real freedom, its bondage.

There is a solution. It’s a solution that more and more of the world is coming to know. His name is Jesus Christ. He said, “Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” –John 10:9-10 The truth that sets us free begins with the cross.

It is a deciding choice that we make that sets our spiritual position in order. Will we choose to trust in Jesus Christ or not? He came to earth to seek and save the lost. He came to set those who are in spiritual captivity free. Money, accomplishments, or people can’t save you but a personal relationship with the living God, Jesus Christ, will set you free.ManCross300_7k

And for those who have come to trust in Christ, we know that God has given us his nature. He’s provided everything that we need to live a godly life. The Bible says, “By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires. -2 Peter 1:3-4

I pray that the spirit of God will release us from emotional bondage such as unforgiveness, bitterness, insecurities, prejudices, anxieties, and many more emotional hindrances. I pray that the spirit of God will release us from evil habits such as lying, deception, sexual immorality, drunkenness, drugs, slothfulness, profanity, and whatever it might be that is keeping us from truly engaging in an intimate, loving, purposeful, and thrilling relationship with Jesus Christ. Friend, he loves you unconditionally and wants the best for you. He is the great stabilizer in our lives and my prayer is that we start seeing things from God’s point of view rather than our own. Only then, will we start getting free. God bless you. Amen

-Jason M. Alexandre

 

About Jason M. Alexandre

Jason Melchizedek Alexandre was born in November of 1989 in Brooklyn, N.Y. His family later moved to Philadelphia, Pa., and he now resides in Limerick, Pa. In May of 2014, Jason obtained his Master of Social Work degree at Widener University. Professionally, Jason counsels persons who are homeless, parents, veterans, and others who suffer from various kinds of abuse. Although Jason’s career is Social Work, his spiritual passion is missions. Jason believes in actively answering the Great Commission call Jesus gave all Christians for the Gospel to be spread from person-to-person and nation-to-nation. Annually, Jason travels primarily to Haiti on a mission trip with Haiti Christianity Inc. Each year, Haiti Christianity, Inc., visits cities and/or villages in Haiti bringing children educational supplies, clothing, and medical supplies. They also facilitate conferences in which bible study, budgeting tips, financial planning and most importantly, evangelization takes place. Jason is currently the organization’s public relations director. Jason’s vision is for the gospel to continue to spread throughout the world and believes it is Christian’s responsibility to carry out this mission effectively. To learn more about the organization for which Jason volunteers, please visit www.HaitiChristianity.org.