Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Living with the fruit.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)

How do we know if we "have" the fruit of the Spirit?
Do we feel different with the Fruit of the Spirit or do we act differently, talk differently or can others see that we "have" the fruit?

The fruit of the Spirit isn't about what we do, but its about who we are. It means that we are not effected by our surroundings or situations. The fruit has been implanted into our souls as this what the Holy Spirit has done within us.

This doesn't mean that we don't feel pain, sorrow and hurt but it does mean that, within, we are much stronger to deal with something. It also helps in how to deal with an issue and how to overcome an issue.
The Holy Spirit draws us back to obedience rather than letting us fall to the wayside. He will convict us of any wrongdoing. is our choice to grow in the Fruit. God will never force anything on us. It is our choice to allow the Holy Spirit to empower us to deal with situations.

We have to grow the fruit of the Spirit within us. Some fruit will be stronger than others, in fact, some will be seriously lacking but throughout your life they all grow. We have to be patient of ourselves and allow the fruit to grow, but in the meantime we have to be graceful to others while they watch us grow. We must know that every ones "fruit" is different and everyone is stronger and weaker in different areas...
The thing is that together, we are one family and God wants to use all of our strengths and weaknesses together as one.

We cannot grow the fruit ourselves. We are not equipped to do so. God is the only one who empowers us. We are called to surrender to God and grow the fruit in conjunction with God. We cant leave it up to Him nor can we try and accomplish it ourselves.

Our words and actions are the most important way that we can display the fruit of the Spirit within us. What we say to others or how we do things clearly shows our strengths and weaknesses. We need to choose, everyday, to let the fruit of the Spirit show in our lives.

We need to stay connected to the vine all the time.
Yes, we will fail many times, we will not show joy at times and often we will not be patient (hits home in my life)....but you know what, we are so blessed to have a God that is gull of grace. We repent and we ask for forgiveness. Allow God to transform us from within.

The apostle Paul said in Galatians 5, "Walk in the Spirit . . . If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit" (verses 16, 25). God's Spirit enables us to act according to God's principles—to live a godly life!


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Monday, December 10, 2012

Love...something we do!

So they say Love is an emotion....but is it really.
If love was an emotion, then God couldn't just command it in His Word.
God tells us to love others. He tells us not to just show love...but to BE love!

Emotions cannot be commanded, they are felt and shown, but you cannot tell someone that they MUST feel an emotion - like 'BE SAD NOW!'

Being Love?? What is that?

1 John 3:18 tells us to show love in our actions and not just speak love in what we say to each other.
Its easy to tell someone you love them. Sometimes its used as a 'get of jail' card, because it makes you feel better about yourself and mostly makes the other person feel better (Does it really?)
Love is also a skill that can be learned. If you are not a loving person, you can learn how to love or feel loved. Love can be practised. God wants us to be excellent lovers, not good lovers. He wants us to 'action' love, not just 'talk' love.
1 Timothy 4:15 tell us to practise love so that we can become better at it.

So how do we show love?
This is difficult for me because I know I am one of those people that hardly shows love when I need to. I go quiet and then people think I am rude or don't like them. What is the point of that?
We are called to show our love for others. (And here's the hard part - Even if we don't like them.)

The only way you can love someone is by you choosing to love them. You cannot falsely show love, like telling someone that you love them when you actually don't. The other person may feel loved for that moment, but after awhile they will see right through you. rather be true to yourself. Love is a choice and a commitment!. You choose to love someone!
You may be attracted to someone,but that doesn't mean you love them.

Lets see how Jesus showed love, as He is our role model:
  • COMPASSION - Be attentive to others needs wherever, whenever.Jesus wasn't too busy for people.
  • LISTEN - When people talk, listen to them. Hear what they have to say. If you don't understand what they are saying, ask them. Don't act interested, Be interested!
  • CELEBRATE - with others. When someone tells you an achievement that they have accomplished, celebrate with them.Show them that you care. When someone tells you that they have given their life to Christ, this has to be the biggest celebration ever!
  • FORGIVENESS - Forgive others. If someone wrongs you, forgive them. Tell them you forgive them.
  • HUMOROUS - Jesus wasn't this serious man that walked on earth, healed people, never smiled and then walked away. Jesus sat with others, spoke and LAUGHED with them. People relate with laughter. People relax with laughter as being surrounded in happiness helps drop the barriers of stress and tension between people.
  • LOYAL - When you say you will do something, DO IT. Be loyal to others. Let them know they can trust you. Trust is earned, not expected.
I think this all comes down to welcoming one another into your life. I don't mean telling them all your problems and bearing down on them, but be open to anyone. Thin/fat/regardless of race/colour/sexual orientation etc. We are called by God to open our lives to others, care for others, help others....Be the Good Samaritan. Imagine a world if everyone cared for everyone?
Embrace people with open arms (even in difficult situations!)

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Trapped By Sin..

Trapped. Committing the same sin time and time again. Being fearful, angry, mocking, gossiping, porn etc etc. These are all examples of addictions that we may have....addictions that we feel that we cannot get out of and they control us.
When confronted with the situation, for example you want to look at porn, it makes you feel better to do it than not to.
You think, God isn't looking. Its only a a small look... We fool ourselves!

Satan makes us believe that it isn't bad, that its what humans do and that God "wont mind" if we do it again, just that once more.   Theres a problem right there!

I feel, sometimes, that my strength is weaker than my sin.
No matter how much you may try, you just cannot get out of that recurring sin. You try, and really concentrate, BUT it does not go away.

Maybe it because we are trying to get away from it....without God. We, as humans, are sinful.
We know this, because Adam went against God in the Garden, and from that moment, the human race entered into a sinful thought pattern in a sinful world. We cannot get away from it.
We are not strong enough to do this alone!
We need God.We need a Divine intervener
If we could do this alone, then there wouldn't be a need for a divine intervener, a Jesus or a Spirit!
Hey, we would be awesome....But we're not!

Did you know that every time you prayed to God for help to get out of your habitual sinning that He heard you? Did you further know that He provided a solution to your problem?
Maybe we remain trapped in the same sin is because we keep the sin to ourselves and don't tell anyone about it. We try "sort" it out ourselves instead of turning toour fellow christian family to help out.
In Galatians 6 it says that " we who are spiritual need to restore them". That means that we, the christian family, need to help our fellow Christians.

The best thing then is maybe to surround ourselves with strong christian faith. People who are like minded. Expose our wrong doings, and fellowship with them....together, sin will be defeated. We cannot tackle Satan alone, but in a group of christian believers, Satan has no chance.

I don't know if this makes sense because it sounds a little crazy while writing it, but I would love to know your thoughts.

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Good News about defeating sin

To us, Sin feels good...To God, He hates it.
Its something we do all the time, continually. We try to to make excuses for sin, thinking to ourselves that it was only small. We also try and hide sin from others because we then feel embarrassed about what we have said or done.
A typical "SIN" life cycle.

God is not evil and He doesn't 'do' evil.He hates it. We, on the other hand, are attracted to evil. It forms a part of our lives, daily.

But you must bear this in mind. Sin will NEVER halt or effect our relationship with God. Our relationship with God was set in stone when we received Christ, its everlasting and it never changes because that's a promise that God gave us in His Word.

John 10:27-29 - My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.

However, our fellowship with God is effected when we sin. When we sin, we grieve His Spirit within us,,,Because we have then chosen to turn away from His spirit and do things on our own. Our fellowship with God is maintained by us and it can change when we sin.

Sin does not effect our total relationship with God, because Jesus has already died for our sins, they have already been forgiven.
What it does do though, is it effects they way God and us communicate, or the way God communicates to us. It effects how useful and effective we are on earth, doing what God wants us to do and how He wants us to serve...

What we cannot do is preoccupy ourselves with sin. Yes, we sin, but get over it!
Open your heart to God, agree with God (confessing) and then repent (turn away from that sin). It doesn't mean that you wont commit it again, but what it does mean is that you are acknowledging to God that you need His hand in your life to turn away from sin.

But often after confessing our sin, we still feel guilt? Again, as I said above, try not preoccupy yourself in sin as this will cause you to re-commit the same sin. You need to get the sin out of your mind. God promised us in Hebrews that He will overlook our sin and remember them no more (This because of what Jesus did for us on the cross).

Remember, temptation is not sin. Jesus was tempted. The action you take after the temptation is the problem. If you choose to action the idea put in your head, that means you are allowing Satan to win in your mind.
Turn to God...He is the only way..

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