“And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” Galatians 5:24
Although the flesh is alive still and frequently stirs — yet it cannot fulfill its desires when it is fastened to the cross. The crucifying of the flesh is something we have to do as long as we live.
The cross enhances the value of the Word of God. Therefore, O my soul, be always prepared to endure it. If no cross from without should present itself, you may still carry on the crucifixion of your own will, in everything that is contrary to the will of God. Painful and hard as this may seem to be at first — yet it will certainly very soon grow easier and be a matter of real joy. Blessing and peace will attend your ways and steps; and you will glorify God for having been guided, not by your own will — but by His good will and pleasure. Self-will, on the other hand, creates nothing but vexation, trouble, and uneasiness. It places the sinner in the place of God and sets at naught the spirit of discipleship. It is punished by itself, deprives us of all real blessings, and therefore deserves to be broken and crucified in its first motions.
See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down;
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.
Devotion by Karl Heinrich von Bogatzky (1690—1774)
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