Peace - Fruit of the Spirit Episode 4

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22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
— Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV)

Have you ever stood under a waterfall in a quiet place? Or maybe sat by a babbling brook listening to the soft sounds of nature?

There is a ‘peace’ in that moment that we would like to hold on to. That’s the way I would describe the “Peace” of God. Of course, scripture tells us that the peace of God passes all understanding.

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7

Notice what else that verse says - the peace of God will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Let that sit a minute.

I don’t know about you, but I have experienced that peace! It’s indescribable. Much more that the opening paragraph can express!

I believe that’s what the '“peace” in the fruit of the Spirit is. It’s more than “Peace WITH God”, it’s the “Peace OF God”. You see when you have peace with God, you know your salvation is secure in Him. But when you have the peace OF God, though the earth shakes beneath you, you have peace in the midst of the chaos.

That, my friend, is a beautiful thing. Life comes at us all. No one is exempt from crises, hardships, trials or failures. With the Holy Spirit growing the fruit of the Spirit in us, we can love beyond what we are naturally capable of; we can have joy in the middle of our circumstances; we can have peace because God is in control even in our mess.

I think “Peace” is really resonating with me this week because I am reminded that we cannot always be at peace with others, but we can have the peace of God within. We cannot always (well, never) control our environment, but we can have the peace of God within.

This week be encouraged! Peace be to you.


18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Romans 12:18 ESV

Flowers Fade

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The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.
— -Isaiah 40:8

I love flowers!  If you've seen my yard you know that's true.  When my husband put his foot down on NO MORE PLANTS in the yard, I switched to pots on the deck.  (Even that gets out of hand sometimes. But don't tell him I said so!)

Every single year I am reminded that flowers fade.  Invariably, I lose some through the winter. Try as I might, a frost will get by me and my plants that I have protectively put on the porch and one or more of my plants become history.

Not to worry, I replace them the following spring.  And so the love of plants continue to bring me pleasure and my husband is thankful that they are in pots and not beds! 

Many people have the "here today and gone tomorrow" attitude about all sorts of things these days - not just plants.  Maybe it's material things or relationships or friends/family or truth or... well, you know what I mean.

Thankfully, the Bible is not that way.  God's Word will last forever.  There is no changing it.  He said it thousands of years ago and He still means it today.  He is Truth.  The only Truth that will stand forever.

You can believe Him that He loves you!  He sent His Son, Jesus, as proof.  Jesus paid the atoning sacrifice that God requires for sin because God knew we could never pay it.  Isn't that amazing!  And guess what.  His love for you NEVER changes!  That's right!  No matter what you've done or failed to do. God - Jesus, loves YOU!

Yep, flowers will fade, but the word of the Lord stands forever.  He said He loves you and He means it.  Forever.

Count It All Joy

Photo by Felipe P Limarizo

Photo by Felipe P Limarizo

Our Church does a unique thing every July.  Instead of having Sunday night service (yes, we still have Sunday night services.), our Sunday School/Small Group classes get together each Sunday night and plan a mission project.  And every Wednesday night we have a visiting preacher.  It's like a mini-revival each week.  It's great, too!

I write my posts ahead of time so when I refer to our service tonight, it will be long past by the time you read this.  Having said that, tonight that I'm referring to is July 11, 2018.

Our guest preacher was Ike Byrd of Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Monroe. He preached on James 1:2 and it was a great reminder to "Count it ALL JOY".  Jesus Christ paid our debt.  He suffered on our behalf.  So no matter what comes our way, as believers we should count it all joy.  This is how the lost world will see Christ in us!

He gave a 3-point message on joy:

1.  Joy insulates our mind, protecting us from what's trying to get in and it saves energy because we don't have to worry about things.  He reminded us that God never sleeps so we don't have to stay up all night worrying!

2. Joy intimidates the adversary. Choose joy by keeping a "faith" file and remembering what God has already done for you. You won't be so shaken when the adversary comes calling.

3. Joy imitates the Master.  Joy comes from Christ.  The world didn't give it, so the world can't take it away!  Let's be like our Master.

Oh, and did I mention he brought his choir?  Awesome!

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds
— James 1:2

What Makes Your Heart Beat?

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This question is not about anatomy and physiology, it's about passion.  What makes you get up every morning?  What do you live for?

As I age or mature in Christ or, maybe both, I find my heart focused more on the things of God.  I see things from a different perspective.  I caught a part of a Bible study video this morning and the lady said we should have a clear perspective when we study scripture.  That perspective is that the Bible is NOT about us.  It's not just a guide to show believers how to live, but it is to reveal God to us.

I want my life to count for the glory of God. Even as I type this post, my heart swells with the love of Christ for me and for you!  My goal in life is to have His love pouring out of me onto those near me!

There have been times in my life, even as a believer, that my heartbeat was for something or someone other than my Saviour.  It may have been for my husband or my children or for my career.  I'm sad to say that anything ever came before my Lord, but I think we all can say that has been the case in some time of our lives.

Thankfully, we can change our perspective by the renewing of our minds through Christ Jesus!

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
— Romans 12:2

Just by reading and meditating on God's Word (the Bible) every single day changes you.  It renews your mind!  Scripture teaches us Who God is and who we are in Him.  The more I study the Bible the more loving I am, the more merciful I am and the less judging I am.  The more at peace I am.  

Jesus Christ is what makes my heart beat.  What makes your heart beat?  Or better yet, what do you want to make your heart beat?