April 12, 2015

I’ve heard many positive comments about the sermon series, “Faithful Living in a (Seemingly) Faithless World” just completed, which focused on the call for us to live with faith; joy; love; peace; and hope.  I appreciate the encouragement, and even more the application!

If you missed any of these lessons, or would like to listen to one again or pass it along to a friend, they can be accessed on our web site, http://www.southforkcofc.org/ where you can get to Sermons and Family Page articles (“Blog”) and other, um, fun stuff.  We will be glad to make you a CD of any sermon as well.  Just contact Nancy Russell by calling the church office, emailing her at [email protected] or filling out a Request Form in the Foyer and leaving it in the wire basket across from the New Classroom and Library.

Sunday we begin a three-week series that will be a quick walk through the story and message of the Bible, centering on the Old Testament; the Gospels; and then the remainder of the New Testament.

This week our Bucky Shipman shared an article that had been sent to him about a week ago by his manager.  Sadly, his manager died this past Tuesday of a heart attack at age 52, which gives these words an even more urgent and powerful message.

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, “My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.  The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, generosity, empathy, truth, compassion and faith.” The grandson thought about this for a minute and then asked the grandfather, “Which wolf wins?” The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”  [Source: legendsofamerica]

As I read these thoughts I couldn’t help but think of the Deeds/Works of the Flesh contrasted with the Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:16-25, and the battles between the Flesh and the Spirit described in Romans 7-8.

The Cherokee parable above puts the responsibility squarely on the shoulders of the individual person.  We are the ones who are responsible for choosing our behavior—“the one you feed” is the way of life that will ultimately triumph.  Scripture puts it this way in that passage from Galatians 5:

“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.   Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:24-25)

As we consider the story of Scripture over these next few weeks, let’s be reminded that the Word of God enables us to understand what these are—good and evil, right and wrong, the deeds of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit—if we will consider its teaching.

And this same Word of God calls us to choose the good, the right, the Spirit.

Sometimes that’s a difficult choice for us.

Let’s be sure we’re feeding the Good wolf.

Bill Allen

Dr. Bill Allen preached at South Fork from 2005 to 2015. He received a Bachelors degree in Bible from Oklahoma Christian in 1978, a Masters in Bible from Abilene Christian (ACU) in 1988, and a Doctor of Ministry from ACU in 1992. He now preaches at the West Erwin Church of Christ in Tyler, Texas.

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