Archive | August, 2012


22 Aug

Fruit of the Spirit…Month 2 Begins!!

8 Aug

First off, my reflection on month 1:

Love isn’t an adjective.  It’s not a way to describe how you feel, like happy or sad or sick or energized. 

Love is a verb.  It’s deliberate.  It means laying down your own desires to meet the needs of the one you love.  Someday, I will need to make sacrifices and think about what would make my future husband feel loved, rather than what I want.  I will need to things I might not want to do because it will mean so much to HIM that I do them…and I will have to refrain from things I want to do because it will hurt him if I do them.  Even on days when our relationship feels great and I have no doubt in my mind that I married the right man, I will need to consider my words and actions and make sure that I am speaking a love language that he can understand- he can’t see inside my head; he won’t know I love him if I don’t show it.

But that’s in the future.  Right now, I have the here and now.  I don’t have a husband, but God has still commanded me to love others as He has loved me.  That means dying to myself and giving sacrificially- a child in a third world country needs a meal a lot more than I need a pair of shoes to match my new outfit.  My friends who have an important meeting at church need a babysitter more than a TV show needs me to view it.  My mom needs my patience and grace more than I need to hold a grudge against her when she speaks without thinking. 

Love isn’t a feeling, and doing it doesn’t always feel good.  Love is an action, and it’s always the right action to take.

Even though the month of July is over, I still have a LOT to learn about love and putting it into practice in my daily life.  But, it’s time to move on to a new month- it’s August, and the next fruit of the Spirit is Joy.

Joy in Galations 5:22 is originally “chara,” and it appears 59 times in the New Testament.

Matthew 2:10 “When they [the wisemen] saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great JOY.”

Matthew 28:8 “And they departed quickly from the sepluchre, with fear and great JOY…”

These people rejoiced to see God being glorified- He had fullfilled His promise to send the Messiah, and then He had conquered sin and death and hell.  When we become passionate for God’s glory, we will find joy in the things that bring Him joy.

Luke 15:10 “I say unto you that likewise, joy shall be unto you in Heaven over one sinner that repents, more than over 99 just persons who need no repentance.”

This verse goes strongly hand in hand with something I learned last month about love: In our modern Christian culture, we see people doing “bad” things around us- we see inappropriate TV shows, with lingerie and viagra commercials in between.  We see our neighbors smoking and drinking and putting up gory Halloween decorations.  We go into public places and hear music that promotes sex outside of marriage or uses profanity playing over the loudspeakers.  And we get annoyed with people.  We wish they would clean up their act and stop messing up us Christians’ perfect world. 

We forget that God loves lost people.  And that His heart is breaking for them.  And that He has commanded US to go be Jesus to these lost people.  We think that He is more pleased by us saying “no” to temptation than by the prodigal returning home ready to receive His Grace and His Mercy.   Do I rejoice at what brings my Father joy?  Do the things that break His heart break mine, too?

James 1:2 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.”

God is at work in my life, no matter what kinds of trials I am facing.  He is molding me and shaping me into what He wants me to be- this is a reason for me to have joy!!!

(Sorry for the delay in actually posting this, my internet has been going in and out for the past several days!)