Patience…Now!

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I don’t know about you, but there are times when I wish things or people would just hurry up.  We live in an exciting time in history where many things we want or need are at our finger tips.  Don’t you just hate it though, when your computer doesn’t load a page within a couple of seconds?  When we call someone, we want them to pick up right then.  And don’t get me started on this cell phone text-messaging thing.  I could go on and on about ways our society has conditioned us to be impatient.
Patience is a fruit of the Spirit for a reason.  God wants us to be able to put up with the inconveniences this world places on us and grow as a Christian during the process.  Isaiah 40:31 says, “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk, and not faint”. Yes, having patience gives God, and us, an opportunity to have not just a relationship, but also an experience with Him and the abundant life.
Let me ask you a question, what one thing causes you to become impatient?  Many times it involves other people.  We don’t like to wait on anything, much less anyone.  That’s why we sometimes drive faster, talk faster, push, and prod people into submitting to our will, and why we don’t pray and think about some matters before we take action.  The Bible is filled with examples where God chose to be patient as a matter of extending His grace or to stimulate our Christian growth.  Some of the phrases and words in the Bible related to God’s patience are; longsuffering, fullness of time, wait upon the Lord, promise, and trust.  For some people patience is for someone else.  There are times when we must take action now, but there are other times when we need to delay an action or decision until the time is right.
There are practical things that you can do to develop patience that will crossover into your spiritual life.  Take up a hobby; take a course of study; help someone; build or grow something.  For me, learning to play a complicated song on my guitar helps me develop patience.  During the journey to completing the song, I learn that mistakes are made, but can be corrected; it’s hard to do, but I can do it; and with God’s help I can do something I had never done before.  And when I look back over all the practice, I realize that the lessons learned make the journey worth it.
This week, look for an opportunity to exercise the fruit of patience when you normally wouldn’t.  As you wait for the computer to load, that car in front of you to move a little faster, or the person with whom you are talking to get to the point, remember that God is always in the moment.
If you are not sure you can be patient about anything, keep in mind that you took the time to read this article all the way through.  You and God can do it.

Experience Joy!

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But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23

Everywhere I go I see people of all ages with some type of electronic device that captivates their attention. Whether it’s a Blackberry, IPhone, IPad, Kindle, Droid, Gameboy, or Blue Tooth, people want the latest device. The over use of these devices can lead to addiction. Try taking it away, or you leave it alone for a day and you will see what I mean. My question is does all this give a person joy? I doubt it.

Joy

Paul identified the spiritual fruit of joy. This is something we as Christians are able to express to others. It comes from your heart and soul and is not dependent on the most current fad in technology, clothing, or hobby. If we want real joy, we need to have a good relationship with God, be content without craving more, and live in the belief that true joy comes from acknowledging the presence of the Christ in our life. The Holy Spirit always focuses on Christ, so pay attention to His ministry of joy in your life.

Happiness is temporary and reactive to something that has given us pleasure. Joy is not a reaction. It is a deep-rooted part of our new nature because of our salvation. Joy will survive the worst thing that can ever happen to you. Although nothing can take it away, sin and doubt can diminish our awareness of joy and rob us of our trust in God. Paul wrote a letter to the Philippian Church while he was in jail for preaching about Jesus. In the Philippian letter Paul said, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4)

Are you happy right now? If so, is it because things are going your way or something good has happened? Will it last? God wants something better for you. He wants you to have joy, so talk to Him about it.

 

Experience Joy!

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“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23

Everywhere I go I see people of all ages with some type of electronic device that captivates their attention. Whether it’s a Blackberry, IPhone, IPad, Kindle, Droid, Gameboy, or Blue Tooth, people want the latest device. The over use of these devices can lead to addiction. Try taking it away, or you leave it alone for a day and you will see what I mean. My question is does all this give a person joy? I doubt it.

Paul identified the spiritual fruit of joy. This is something we as Christians are able to express to others. It comes from your heart and soul and is not dependent on the most current fad in technology, clothing, or hobby. If we want real joy, we need to have a good relationship with God, be content without craving more, and live in the belief that true joy comes from acknowledging the presence of the Christ in our life. The Holy Spirit always focuses on Christ, so pay attention to His ministry of joy in your life.

Happiness is temporary and reactive to something that has given us pleasure. Joy is not a reaction. It is a deep-rooted part of our new nature because of our salvation. Joy will survive the worst thing that can ever happen to you. Although nothing can take it away, sin and doubt can diminish our awareness of joy and rob us of our trust in God. Paul wrote a letter to the Philippian Church while he was in jail for preaching about Jesus. In the Philippian letter Paul said, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4)

Are you happy right now? If so, is it because things are going your way or something good has happened? Will it last? God wants something better for you. He wants you to have joy, so talk to Him about it.

Bearing Fruit Called Love

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“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23

fruit-of-the-spiritI love fruit. I remember several years ago someone making the statement, “fruit is nature’s candy.” They may have been right about that. God created some wonderful, tasteful, juicy, fruit that He meant for us to enjoy. I think Paul may have looked at his favorite fruit tree and thought about how God produces a work in him that people need and can enjoy. The Holy Spirit indwells us and bears fruit through us in such a way that people will recognize that God is real

The Spiritual fruit, love, is more than an emotion. The love Paul is talking about is action on our part that makes the object of our love-people-better. When we experience salvation we have received the greatest love of all—the Love of God. When we live before others with unconditional love, we are planting a seed of God’s love in them. I Corinthians 13 indicates that compared to faith and hope, love is the greatest. The fruit of love has slices that could be described as acts of forgiveness, sacrifice, selflessness, compassion, mercy, honesty, and humility.

How is your love-life? Have you shown unconditional love toward someone? Do you love your friends, family, or coworkers enough to share God’s Love through Christ with them? The fruits of the Spirit that God has so richly blessed us with are to be shared. How can you share and demonstrate acts of love today?

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