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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Fruits of the Spirit It’s a great thing to know that God’s word never changes. The same instructions that applied yesterday apply today as well. The fruits of the Spirit lay out a clear and understandable element to living in perfect harmony. Love Love is always on time. Love is something that can be unseen and, of course, love can also be seen. It can be seen in people, seen in the way we treat others. As we all have unique personalities, is it important to note that we all show love in different ways. I might be an emotionally charged person, whereas you might show your love through baking a cake, etc. Love never ceases to exist. Life without love is without life. To truly experience life is to love and be loved. The Bible says love your neighbor. Love your neighbor as you love yourself. Loving your neighbor as you love yourself says two things; one, we must love ourselves. Loving ourselves includes knowing who we are, what we like, what we dislike. Loving ourselves corresponds with taking care of ourselves and submitting to the will of a perfect God, controlling what we put into or on our bodies. Two, the love we have for ourselves is used to measure our love for others. This love is to coincide with the love we have for others. So to love is to know. Do you love yourself? Do you love the Lord? Love as the Lord loves us. Joy Joy is something positive that comes directly from the Lord. We may be going through trials and heartaches but the Lord gives us joy, jubilation, comfort, and peace of mind in a storm. Even if everything is falling apart in your life, you can still experience joy which the Lord freely gives. All you have to do is ask in faith. I went through a time in my life when I was severely depressed. It seemed like everything was falling apart. I realize that the more I praised the Lord, the more joy I would receive. Joy is said to be something that the devil can not take from you. God knows this. God knows His joy cannot be taken from His people. In all His perfection, He gives us joy. Patience Patience is something that every person could use. I know I personally have needed patience in my life. Sometimes God is telling us to wait and there are times we don’t listen and go ahead and do X or Y and it ends up not working out because we did not have patience. There is a reason that God tells us to just be still and wait. Some people don’t utilize patience and go ahead and do that which we should have waited on. These people come before the Lord and ask Him, ‘Why didn’t this work out, God?’ God would most likely say, ‘You heard me talking, but you didn’t listen.’ Peace Peace is something that we can see. Peace is something we can feel. Peace is in complete solidarity with the world around us. Peace keeps people together. Families prosper with peace. Our world would prosper with peace. Peace is freedom - freedom from chaos, war, confusion, and turmoil. Peace turns away from hostility and avoids anything separate from peacefulness. If we all sought peace in this world, in our homes, on the job, and in our schools, we would all find piece of mind. Can you possibly imagine what life would be like? Of course, peace is from our God in Heaven. God designed peace for us. Peace is a choice. To some degree, peace is a choice. If countries and nations are forced into chaos, the leaders still have the choice to utilize peace. Kindness Kindness goes along with love. Kindness shows our heart to others. The Bible says it is better to give then to receive. Have you ever had a lot of something and you knew someone who didn’t have anything? Have you ever given to someone who needed something you had to give? It’s a good feeling. If God has been kind to you with whatever gifts or blessings, be kind and pass out the fruit of that blessing. Jesus said even if you get a glass of water for someone, it’s kind. We give God glory through kindness. With genuine and loving kindness, you cannot go wrong! The Lord was kind to us. He gave each and everyone of us gifts to lead people to Him. Yours may be to sing. My gift might be to help promote Christian education, etc. God didn’t leave anyone out when He made each and every one of us special and unique. Faithfulness Faithfulness is a fruit we need to serve God. To know He and His promises exist, we must have faith and walk in faith. The good thing about faith is that it comes from the Lord. So we can seek and believe and He will give us faith. As we grow in our relationship with the Lord, we gain knowledge and wisdom. Faith will help get the mind focused on our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Faithfulness is extremely important in serving and living a Christian life. Many people don’t like the thought of God, because God’s existence means there are morals. Faithfulness brings us closer to our Lord and Savior. As our faith grows, so does our relationship with God. Daniel had a tremendous amount of faith when he was placed in the lion’s den, but he knew God was with him. How many of us would have the courage and faith to go into the lion’s den? Faithfulness shows love, respect, allegiance, and confidence in what or with whom your faith is placed. Goodness Goodness is something that, again, comes directly from the Lord. The Lord is the only one who is truly good. Good is light, it is the way of the wise. There is no dark in goodness. Through faithfulness, we see the goodness of God in our lives. We all need goodness. It doesn’t matter who we are — we all need it. If you don’t want goodness but you have the ability to choose to have goodness, why would you deny the perfection of God’s goodness? Having a relationship with the lord is that goodness that humans seek. You can see in the light, unlike in the dark, where you cannot see anything when the lights go out. I pray for goodness to be within our spirits, that through the goodness of God in us, that we might bring others to God for His word is true. There is no other goodness possible than the goodness of the creator. People tell their children, ‘You better be good!’ God is the source of goodness. Through God, we can “act right” for He is able and willing to help us. All we have to do is ask! Gentleness Gentleness is something that brings comfort and shows wisdom as well as understanding. Gentle is our God, through all His grace and power. He says metaphorically that we are His sheep. Shepherds are gentle with their sheep. They kindly guide them to different places. We, too, need to have the fruit of gentleness within our families and with coworkers, friends, and neighbors. Gentleness brings calm to volatile situations. Gentleness builds love in relationships. The fruit of being gentle shows wisdom in that gentleness is a fruit of the spirit. Gentleness is part of the blueprint to life. Self-control Self-control brings end to a quarrel before it starts. Self-control is a sign of wisdom and understanding. A personal example of self control being implemented stems from two separate experiments with my grandfather, if you will. I would never intentionally destroy anything. Case in point, I was shooting at cans once with a pellet gun. Well, much to my surprise, my grandfather’s tractor window was shot out. I thought, ‘What the…?’ My brother said, ‘You did it!’ I realized the sights were very off on the pellet gun. So, I went on the short journey to go tell my grandfather. He came out and saw what had happened. He didn’t get mad, though. ‘I believe,’ he said, ‘the sights are off on this gun. Let’s put it up for a while.’ Another time my grandfather utilized self control was in regards to another of my experiments. My grandfather had a motorcycle on the farm. I thought, ‘I want to see the max speed I can go on this bike.’ So, I got to a place where I thought I had enough space to accomplish my goal. I had a starting point, point A, but point B? Well, I didn’t have a point B. I started going as fast as I could. I didn’t really think about the distance. I just assumed I had enough room. So I am going fast and realize I can’t slow down because there was dirt everywhere. Even though I tried to slow down it didn’t work. I ended up crashing into my grandfather’s fence. I got up and was glad my grandpa wasn’t home at the time. I was trying hard to get the bike out of the fence when my grandfather came rolling in on his tractor. He looked at me and I pointed at the bike. He nodded his head and came over to help me get the bike out. He didn’t get mad, though. I have a scar to remind me never to do something like that again. I always wonder why he never got mad. I realized he had the fruits of the spirit and that is a sign of wisdom not weakness. It is so easy to get mad. How much harder it is to utilize self control? Through the Lord, we have strength. If we seek, He will help us.

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