Love God ... Love People ... No Limits
With Mission Possible right around the corner, it’s time for us to focus our energy and attention on this opportunity to serve our community. Beyond the planning and the legwork required to get the event off of the ground, the real work begins when we all (clad in bright yellow shirts) invade the streets of our neighborhood in the name of Jesus. That is the song in our hearts, and the words on our lips as we serve the God of our salvation. I will never tell you working Mission Possible is easy (few things involving sacrifice are), but I will tell you it will be one of the most rewarding works you have experienced. It’s hard to fathom the depths of appreciation many of our homeowners feel and express. Who else offers them what we do? No one, because no one offers what Jesus does. So, as you look ahead to the 3 grueling days of Mission Possible, consider the great privilege we are given to represent our Lord; And then go out there and give it your all to be light in places of darkness. To be hope where there is only despair, to bring joy where there is only sorrow. So as we love God and love people with no limits, I thank you for your willingness to carry the cross on your back for 3 straight days, so those needing Jesus can see it. May God bless you for being selfless, and joining in this great effort. It will be life changing for all, so let us all rejoice and praise God!! Blessings.
The Fruit of Truth
We have reached the end of our journey of “fruit inspection,” through the writings of the Apostle Paul in Galatians 5:22. If you found any of the previous manifestations challenging, then fasten your seat belt as you approach this final attribute of the spirit. So, let’s dive together into “self control.” While (self-most things), is usually challenging, self-control sits alone at the top of the list. Perhaps it is because self-control is so vast. We can exhibit self control when applied to our attitude with others, eating, activities, vices, even sleeping. Few things escape the encompassing umbrella of self-control. I find the challenge of self-control the greatest, in the moments when I need to exercise it the most. Self-control doesn’t give you much room to blow off steam, and never at another person. However, only the wisdom of God could see how the insertion of self-control, would add balance to our life. In fact, it balances all of the other attributes. It’s like perfectly seasoning food, or doing something sufficiently, without being exorbitant and going overboard. Self-control carries within it’s grasp ”restraint.” It can be clearly seen, that lack of self-control in any area of our lives can be damaging. At the same time, when used as an offensive weapon, it becomes our greatest defense. Interestingly, it is both an offensive and defensive weapon at the same time. In a heated moment between two raging personalities, only self control can cool the moment, and control the escalation. Perhaps the complexities and challenges of self-control, is why God uses this as one of the marks of his children. Goodness, patience and kindness could not manifest themselves without self control. This week, be cognizant of moments in your life, and evaluate your level of self control. Purpose to serve God and walk like Jesus. The world can only see God through our self control. Blessings.
The Fruit of Truth
If you have been following us, we have been looking at the fruit of the spirit because its’ our demonstration, not our proclamation that identifies us as followers of Jesus. The world has heard us, now they are looking for the evidence, therefore we are in the middle of a wonderful fruit inspection. It’s only through an honest evaluation can we know who we really are. Our work in previous weeks, have brought us to the last 2 attributes listed in Galatians 5:22. Today, our discussion focuses us on “Gentleness, also accurately translated “Meekness.” The Greek word “prautes” in the text speaks to the inward heart of a person as it relates to God. We have a tendency to regard it as our outer layer- how we relate to others. However, prautes is much more than outer actions. It is our allowance of God to tame our hearts (think of a wild horse) and bring us into subjection to his will. When we exhibit a spirit of prautes, we proudly proclaim full and complete trust in ALL God does in our lives- even the tough things we don’t understand. Prautes gives life to the Romans 8:28 statement that “ALL THINGS work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.” Meekness is not weakness as some believe. Meekness says God is always right, and I accept God’s dealings with me without bitterness. Meekness stands up and says, I must always accept what He sends, and I must always do it with gladness of heart. (W. Glyn Evans).
Do you want to grow in meekness? Be intentioned to Trust God fully! Blessings.
The Fruit of Truth - Faithfulness
When we consider the term “faithful” there are many words which define faithfulness such as; loyal, reliable, dependable responsible, conscientious, and truthful. While all of these definitions are accurate none hits the mark in the life of a Christian like an addition definition “fidelity.” We understand and demand fidelity in our marriages but often neglect such a concept when consider our relationship with Christ. When we walk in Christ as his bride, he is calling us into a relationship that demands fidelity. Fidelity to what? And from what? Simple. He paid a price for us at Calvary and for that is asking for our total allegiance; the same as we do our mate. This thought begs of us to take a heart inventory and ask our self, am I being unfaithful to the Lord? If so, what is it that is captivating me and stealing my heart away from God? Jesus warned us emphatically not store up treasures for ourselves on this earth, because he knew we would. He knew our love for them would drag us away from our commitment to him. The John echoed those words in 1John 2:15 not to love this world or the things of this world. Are you a child of God? Can you stand up to the “faithfulness test.” Either you will love the things of the world, or the things of the kingdom. I believe it is time for us to check our fruit. Blessings.
The Fruit of Truth - Goodness
When Paul wrote in Galatians 5:22 defining the fruit of the spirit, his intentions were obvious. Just take a moment to examine Galatians 5:20-21 and you will see what he compared the fruit of the spirit to. In his urging the church at Galatia to walk in the spirit and not in the flesh, he enumerates how fleshly walking looked. What a list. Can you think of a person who embodies these attributes? Sexual immorality, impurity, debauchery; idolatry, witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, envy; drunkenness, orgies, and such like. It is little wonder he said those that do these things will not inherit the kingdom of God. It’s in light of this list that we consider “goodness” today. So, just how does goodness factor into our attributes? Isn’t it much like kindness? Not really. In comparison, kindness speaks of the attitude of our personality. God is calling us to be kind, not crabby or “hot-headed.” Goodness on the other hand speaks of how we reach out to others. Goodness speaks of our generosity, charity, fairness, unselfish actions, self-sacrificing, compassion, sympathy and mercy. When compared to the fruit of the flesh, goodness serves others while the fleshly fruit is self-serving. Every day when we rise we are given a choice. Are you going to exhibit the fruit of the spirit or the fruit of the flesh? As Jesus said, “by their fruit you will know them.” Choose wisely. Blessings.