Fruits of the Spirit
“By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things.”
These are the things of the Spirit. The things of God. We have a choice indeed. Do we choose to live by the flesh or the world OR do we choose to live by God, the Spirit? Our world struggles and it seems to struggle more and more. But, our world is filled with sin and it continues to fall further and further away from God and the gifts of the Spirit. My encouragement to you is this…seek to pause. Take a breath before you reply. Take a breath before speak, before you post anything to social media. Then, consider, before you open your mouth or type with your fingers, is what I want to express filled with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control? If not, stop. Keep silent. Pray. Seek God’s words. God’s actions. God’s response. God’s forgiveness.
Is it easy? By no means. But as God’s Children, this is what we are called to do. To be filled with the Spirit in a world that often calls for the complete opposite. It is time for us to model God’s goodness, even amidst the evil of this world.
Thanks Be to God!
By now, you likely know that I love Sarah Young’s “Jesus Calling” daily devotional. At the end of June, these words hit me square in the heart, “Bring to me a gift of thanksgiving, which opens your heart to rich communion with me.”
Our thankful hearts are what connects us to God’s lavish giving. This is what communing with God is ALL about! As Children of God, we often link “communion” to the act of eating bread and drinking juice/wine. The difficulty is, we often link them together so closely that we leave all other possibilities in the dark, thus limiting God’s goodness.
Google defines communion as “the sharing or exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings, especially when the exchange is on a mental or spiritual level.”
When we connect the words of Sarah Young, Google, and God’s Holy Word (The Bible), we actually see connections.
Come to God with thankful hearts and be prepared to commune with God by sharing so much more than bread and wine. That, dear friends in Christ, is what communion is all about! Now, allow your innermost self to commune with the Living God where you will
find wholeness and healing beyond expectation!
July 9, 2020
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Romans 12:2 (NRSV)
You and I have each been faced with many decisions over the course of these past few months. I don’t know about you, but some of these decisions, I NEVER dreamt would be something I would ever need to decide. But, our world took a turn. The first part of this piece of scripture from Romans is very clear, “Do not be conformed!” No! Don’t do it! Don’t even think about it! I said NO! Do not be like this world.
Instead, allow God’s goodness to transform you. To dramatically change every fiber of your being. How you think. What you believe. What you say and don’t say. How you act toward others (even when you are not treated fairly or justly). And yes, even how you look.
Have you allowed the Living God to transform you? To transform you into something beyond your wildest imagination that is good and acceptable and perfect? This is what God can do, but we must come with willing hearts. Hearts that are not only willing in presence, but willing to be transformed into something new. Transformation means things will NOT look the same as before. Meaning, CHANGE…oh…that dreaded word.
It’s important to hear the end of this verse in Romans. In this transformation, this dramatic change, we also are made, good, acceptable, and perfect. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be good, acceptable, and perfect in the eyes of God than conformed to this world any day. How about you? Are you ready for God to transform you into something new? If so, it’s time to hang on tight to God’s hand, for this is guaranteed to be quite a ride!
July 7, 2020
Honor and Celebrate and Pray!
As we prepare to honor and celebrate our nation today, may we also pray for our nation and ALL of its leaders. Our world is filled with variety and we the people make up our nation. It is what we make it! Scripture calls us together to each use our God-given gifts for the betterment of ALL people. Let us stand for justice, equality, forgiveness, hope, and love, just as Christ our Savior.
Happy 4th of July
As we continue to pause, ponder, and praise we must also be mindful of what God is saying to each of us. As we begin to make provisions for returning to face-to-face worship, please know that Walt (Zion’s Music Director) and I are working diligently to prepare meaningful worship within the parameters set before us. It has been said before and will be said many times again…worship will be different…very different, when we return face-to-face. But just because worship will be different does not mean it will be any less worship.
Remember, worship begins and ends with the heart. If one’s heart is committed to focusing on God, then God will indeed be pleased. This is our ultimate goal!
So as you prepare to return to face-to-face worship, how has your heart been molded in new ways these past few months? Are you ready to hear what God has to say? Are you ready to be challenged by God’s word? Is your heart ready to praise God in new and different ways?
Pause…Ponder…Praise…and listen, as God molds your heart in preparation for true worship!