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

Joy - Fruit of the Spirit Episode 3

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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)

Joy! Just the word “JOY” brings a smile to my face. It’s so much more than happy.

Many of you know that happy is derived from our circumstances, but JOY is from the Lord. If you look up the word ‘joy’, you’ll find one of the definitions as “the source or cause of delight”.

That’s the believer’s JOY! Jesus is our Source and our Cause of delight! Jesus and Jesus alone.

Just check out Nehemiah 8:10  “Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

I often wonder how in the world non-believers make it through this life. I know I have faced things that only the Lord could bring me through. In those hard times, I am reminded by God’s Word that joy will come in the morning.

Psalm 30:5 “For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.”

While we are looking a verses on joy, take a look at these:

Habakkuk 3:18 “Yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.”

 John 15:11 “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”

 Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”

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

We have all seen people who have suffered significant loss or devastation and exude an inner joy in the midst of the circumstance and long after. That “joy” only comes from the Source of joy, Jesus Christ.

This week, join me in studying God’s Word, letting the joy of the Lord be our strength. After all, He is strong and has already overcome this world!

Love - Fruit of the Spirit Episode 2

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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 wondered why “LOVE” is mentioned first in the fruit of the spirit? Well, we may come up with many reasons and scriptures to support those reasons, such as:

  • Faith, hope and love but the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13.13

  • The Lord abounds in steadfast love. Exodus 34.6

  • I love the Lord because He hears me. Psalm 116.1

  • Greater love has no man than the one who lays down his life. John 15.13

    or

  • God shows His love by dying for us when we were sinners. Romans 5.8

But I think it might have to do with this verse:

Hate stirs up strife,

but love

covers all offenses.

Proverbs 10.12

You see, to me there is nothing more like God than the willingness to love and forgive offenses. Did you notice the word ‘willingness’? Willingness means we have a choice in the matter. Let that sink in.

Yes, the Holy Spirit in us will develop His fruit in us, but we make choices that may slow or speed up the process. For example, when we choose love, we choose to forgive offenses. It’s amazing how sweeter life is when we choose to love others.

Sometimes that choice comes by choosing not to take offense at things. It’s easy to wear our feelings on our shoulders and get offended by comments or lack of comments from others. I made a decision a long time ago to not be offended by an “assumed” offense.

What I mean by an “assumed” offense is the comment that is not an outright offense. Maybe it’s not outright because the words were okay but the tone or inflection was not. I choose to let that go. Maybe a comment was more abrupt than I would like, but not necessarily an offensive comment. I choose to let it go.

How is that showing love? I’m glad you asked. Love covers all offenses according Proverbs 10.12. When I choose not to be offended, I am choosing to love the other person over the offense.

God is love. He IS love. He doesn’t exemplify love. He IS love. And He lives in the believer through the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we HAVE the capacity to love. And we have the choice to demonstrate it or not.

Let’s choose love today and everyday as we grow in the “fruit of the Spirit”!

YOU ARE LOVED

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Do you ever forget that you are loved and lovely?  I do.  I'm not talking about your physical appearance, but because you are a child of God. Sometimes life throws so much at you that you forget who you really are in Christ.  That you are loved and lovely because Jesus made you so.

Thankfully, Jesus died for us while we were still sinners - before we were born - before we even cared. (Romans 5:8) He didn't care that we were unlovely at the time.  But once we accepted His gift of salvation, He saved us and made us loved and lovely.

Sister, never forget that you are His!  (If you're not saved, He wants to save you and make you His!)  As His child, all the sin that you were saved from is gone.  You have been saved even from all the sin you will commit.  You are no longer a slave to sin! Day by day He is changing you.  YOU ARE LOVELY to our Saviour, no matter what.

You are lovely because you are His.

You are lovely because you are covered in the blood of Christ.

You are lovely because He cares for you.

You are LOVED!

 

I know what it's like to be reminded of your past.  I know what it's like for Satan to throw discouragement your way; for you to think there's no way God can use you.  But God reminds me that He is greater than our sin and our past.  He is the Victor! He proclaimed "It is finished!"  And He has saved me and considers me lovely because I have been covered in the blood of Christ.

If any of that resonates with you, let me remind you that you, too, are loved and lovely; you have been covered by the blood of Christ.  You are loved! I can't say it enough. Your past has been forgiven.  Your future is secure.

I'm so thankful that God's love is not based on what we've done, but on what He has done on our behalf!

How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
— -Psalm 36:7