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The Making of a Disciple June 2024 Designed by Freepik www.freepik.com

As a true disciple of Jesus, do not allow the sinful cravings of your flesh to rule over your body

The Making of a Disciple
The Traits of a Disciple – Part IV

Scripture Reading: 1 John 2:1-6

Key Verse: 1 John 2:6 NLT
Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.

A third trait of a true disciple of Christ is denying the sinful cravings of the flesh.

Once we confess our sins and receive Jesus as our Savior, we are new creations in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). Being new creations in Christ, God gives us new desires to live differently and to please Him.

However, our sinful nature still cries out to be satisfied, and we must continually deny these sinful cravings. Like our emotions, God gave us the cravings of the flesh, cravings such as food, rest, sexual satisfaction, and many more.

The problem came when sin entered the world. The evil one took what God gave us for our good and twisted our cravings into temptations to use them in the wrong way. For example, our food cravings can turn into sinful gluttony. Our craving for sexual satisfaction can turn into selfish lustfulness.

The Apostle Paul battled with his sinful nature, and here is how he handled it:

No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. (1 Corinthians 9:27 NIV)

The New Living Translation puts it this way:

I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified. (1 Corinthians 9:27 NLT)

Certainly, both translations tell us that a true disciple of Jesus does not allow the sinful cravings of the flesh to rule over their body.

As our Key Verse reminds us, if we want to live for God, we must discipline ourselves to live as Jesus did.

Every born-again Christ-follower has God’s Spirit in them, and the Spirit lets us know when misuse a craving of the flesh. God’s Spirit normally uses the guilty feelings of our conscience to communicate that we have done something that is not good for us and not pleasing to God.

There are two extreme opposites to these guilty feelings.

One side comes from parents not instilling any sense of right or wrong in their children. As adults, these children must rely on Scripture more than feelings to choose between right and wrong.

On the opposite side are people who had very religiously strict parents. This can give a child a strong sense of guilt over traditions rather than true scriptural instructions. These children, as adults, must also rely on the Scriptures for their code of conduct.

Father, help me to discipline my body to glorify You. In Jesus’s Name I pray, amen.