Tuesday, April 29, 2014
The next part of the fruit of the Spirit is joy. Now joy is an emotion some might use happy, to describe joy. As happiness can be part of joy; joy is more than happy. For happy has to do with emotion of circumstances / situations... but other circumstances/ situations could bring sadness another emotion. Joy though can be in both, for the Christian. For joy is not that we have an attitude that things can only get better or at least this has not happened... In the old testament joy is expressed when a child is born, marriage, pleasures in marriage, provision of the harvest, feasting... As we read the Psalms we see that joy is linked to the works of God and the hope that is in God. Which brings us to the New Testament. Let's go to Mark 1:9-11 this is when Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. Verse 11 "and a voice came out of the heavens 'You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.'" This is joy, see our God is not a God without emotion. In Luke 1:46-48 Mary the mother of Jesus says this "My soul exalts the Lord, And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior." What we all need to know is that our joy is in Jesus the Son of God. In John 15 Jesus teaches about abiding in the true vine and at the end He says, "These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that my joy may be made full." For us our joy comes from Jesus and our joy is in Jesus. Remember it also involves what Jesus has done for us... Who He is... Where He is... What He will do.. What He says we are... One last thought in James 1:2-3 "Consider it all joy, my Brethren, when you encounter various trials(temptations), knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have it's perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." So for us as Christians joy is not only in the good times our joy in Jesus goes through the bad times also knowing that it is to be doing a work in us... Do you have Jesus? Are you letting the joy we have in Him show? One more thing when someone is going through various trials... do not Judge... look down upon... condemn.... but realize that God is working in their lives... Show joy and pray for them...
Thursday, April 24, 2014
The fruit of the Spirit is what we are going to look at next. Now one must remember that this the fruit of the Spirit not the fruit of us. For we can do things... that are like the fruit of the Spirit. It is not that people cannot do those things or have those things in some way; but if it is in their own ability there is something lacking. Yes there is something lacking no matter what one thinks. The list of the fruit of the Spirit is in Gal. 5:22-23"But the fruit of the Spirit is love joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control, against such things there is no law." In Gal. 5 it talks about how the flesh and the Spirit are set against one another. It also tell us when we are following the flesh, it's not good. With that we need to keep this question at the fore front of our thinking, "Am I walking, following the Spirit?" The first type/part of the fruit(for there is only one fruit) is love. Now we now that love involves alot of things and also involves not doing things. For we all just went through 1Corinthians 13: 4-7 in earlier devotionals. Love is kind, patient, is not, does not, is not, does not, does not, is not, does not but rejoices in truth, bears all, believes all, hopes all, endures all. So we need to do those positive things of love. Those negative things which are not totally listed are things that hinder the positive or what make the positive action being done amiss. So as Christians the Spirit will be working in you to follow/ walk by His guidance, and if we are following(I am going to include listening) then our love will be more powerfully felt... more that fits needs... we will also know that sometimes doing things that seem fitting... might not be what the Spirit wants you to do. For me a lot of times the Spirit has me praying, yes praying in the back ground. For sometimes showing love has nothing to do with physical action... filling needs...
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
The King enters with great joy... Last week was Palm Sunday; when Jesus went to Jerusalem riding a donkey. People were laying down their coats and palm leaves, with singing of praise... Proclaiming Him king... Can you picture this in your mind hundreds or thousands of people lining the road. Luke 19:28-44 It is hard to imagine that in a week's time that the same city would be yelling crucify him. What happened? Oh we could say that this was God's will and plan... but really what happened to all those proclaiming "Blessed be the king Who comes in the name of the Lord" Yes, I know that it was a different era if you will and resistance to authority... could cause great pain and even your life... Now let us fast forward to our era, many of times we see the same thing happening in individuals. They accept Jesus as Lord and Savior... but weeks, months or years later something happens. Oh they say they still believe... but they do not go to Church, nor read the bible, nor take time for prayer, nor do they worship Him daily... It's like they seen the King one day and forgot about what they have seen... 2 Cor.13:5 "Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you unless indeed you fail the test." Are you in the faith? This is something we need to be asking ourselves. Do you realize that Jesus is in us? That the Spirit of God is in us teaching us... That is the Holy Spirit. Eph. 1:13-14"In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation-having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of His glory," John7:7-14"But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. And He when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; concerning judgment , because the ruler of this world has been judged. I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak of His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of mine and disclose it to you." Also look at John 14:15-26 Now the Holy Spirit has a lot of tasked if you will, now one of those tasks is to convict the world of sin(us also as believers) now if this is all you hear from Him, you need to examine yourself make sure you are in the faith. For He has a lot more to show you! That would be the gift of the Spirit for one which we will be going over the next few weeks.
Monday, April 7, 2014
We've just finished with the love chapter, Cor. 13. During which we mentioned that we all need God's help to love better... Which is a true statement we need God's help. So how do we get or attain the help of God? The first is to reply in a positive way to the Gospel. Now the Gospel is the good news of His Son Jesus Christ. That we believe Jesus is the son of God(The God of the bible), John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life." So when we refer to the Gospel of our Lord Jesus, it is what is written in the 4 books of the bible; Matthew, Luke, Mark and John. Those books are where we learn about the Gospel of Jesus; what He has done, who He is, what He will do... one thing that He does is to send us a helper, the Holy Spirit; John 14:16"I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever. The Spirit of Truth...." Now this is for the ones who believe in Jesus Christ. This is how we get our help from God. This where the fruit of the Spirit comes from. Do you have the Spirit of God in you? If not it is time to believe in Jesus, this is how the Spirit come to each of us. Now we have to be listening to the Spirit, which is another big topic. So simply put we need to hear the Spirit not only convicting us of sin, but also directing us through our day. One last thing prayer; James 1:5" If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God who give..."