In Galatians 5:22 the first fruit of the Spirit is love.
The world’s idea of love is sensual and lustful but that is a counterfeit love perpetrated by the devil to lead all mankind into an abyss of destructive sin. Jesus taught a different kind of love; love that is neither selfish nor demanding of demonstrations of the flesh. In the counterfeit love people are always trying to satisfy their own desires. They are only serving themselves. The love that Jesus teaches us is totally the opposite. Jesus says that through love we should serve one another. We should be out-going and giving in every sense of the word.
Jesus also teaches us that the second greatest law is that we should love our neighbors as we would love ourselves.
Getting out of one’s comfort zone and giving of their time and service to someone in need or just to be encouraging brings great rewards and satisfaction you will get no other way. That is genuine love by God’s definition. James 1:27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble. That is an act of love that God greatly blesses.
You should begin to understand now that the love that is the first fruit of the Spirit is not the same love that the world lavishes on itself. But Gods love is a love that the world needs to know about and taught about. God’s love is something that lives in you and is manifested through the heart unselfishly.
Those with the greatest love are servants to all.
Godly love comes from the Spirit in you if you first let Jesus into your life and follow Him.
John 14: 21 He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”
Jesus is standing at your door right now as you read open the door and let Him in!
Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.
Acts 1:11 This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”
There are truly fantastic and unimaginable things happening in the world all around us which leads many to believe that beginnings of the end times are here. Jesus gave us insight as to what to watch for, He said that when we see the leaves appear on the fig tree know that spring is near. This is an analogy to be aware of when the end of times is here. In Matthew chapter 24 and Mark 13 He gave many signs that would warn us that the end is near.
The question is what will you have accomplished with your life to be able to stand before the Son of Man? The Apostle Paul give us some instruction and explanation of individual situations. 1 Corinthians 7:17 But as God has distributed to each one, as the Lord has called each one, so let him walk. And so I ordain in all the churches.
Every one will not have the same results. We have been given the parable of the talents as a guide.
But we must use those talents shrewdly.
Matthew 25:15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. 16 Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. 20 “So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ 22 He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ 24 “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’ 27 So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.
What is the lesson here? We need to watch and prepare because we don’t know when our Lord will return. We need to put our life to use for the Lord and accomplish profitable works in spreading the Kingdom of God throughout the world. Our lives should display that we are born again and citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven standing for Christ and declaring His salvation for the world. (John3:16)
Luke 21:36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
1 John 5:4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world — our faith.
Philippians 3:20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,
As the Lord says, overcome and endure. The reward is worth it! What He has in store for us is indescribable but he gives us glimpses.
Revelation 2:26 And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations —
Revelation 3:21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
Revelation 21:7 He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.
Our God and savior will return in the same manner as He left. (Acts 1:11) What will He find? Will we be asleep spiritually or will we be constantly at attention waiting for His return? Are we complacent or are do we really believe and have faith that our Lord returns.
Luke 12:35 “Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning;
36 and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately.
37 Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them.
43 Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes.
God bless you! Love the Lord with all your heart! Look for Him every day! Amen!
I love the way God is expressed to me by praise and worship music. His character is often the focal point of praise songs and is magnified to display His Holiness. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control—- Galations 5:22-23.
Holy God I am glad that You are the kind of God You are, a God of love. Amen!
We just celebrated the 4th of July as a memorial to the beginning of this great nation. It is truly awe inspiring to realize what it really means. Sadly, many of our newer generation of children do not know what the 4th of July is about. It is a subject that is not emphasized as much in our children’s education as it was when I attended school over a half century ago. Certain things begin to get vague over time and their importance is watered down, becoming passive in our minds.
The Christian Church has existed before this nation was formed and still stands today.
My question is this. Is the Christian faith, understanding, belief, and especially spirituality becoming vague, passive and weak. Is it as important today as it was in the days of the Apostles?
I watched the Spurs and Heat play for the world championship and the fans were extremely fanatical about their teams. Why are we not more so about Jesus Christ? It is certainly more important for people’s salvation.
Are we fulfilling our calling now, today? Are we worthy?
Jesus has something to say about that in 2 Thessalonians 1:11 Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power,
We have a purpose, we are spiritual and we are citizens of heaven filled with power. That power lives in us and that power is Christ. 1 Peter 2:5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
I pray that we will stop trying to use Christ and let Him use us!
There are many things happening in this world that indicate that Jesus Christ may come soon. We are to watch for these signs. Matthew 24: 32-33 “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near — at the doors!
Watch and pray!
Luke 21:36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.
When what we are doing is not working we need to stop what we are doing and go in a different direction. We need to let Jesus light our path for us and then and only then will we be going the right way.
Let’s be as excited as our brothers in Christ were in the days of the Apostles. Be as zealous as the fans were at the Spurs and Heat games. Do it for our Lord and Savior. 1 Corinthians 14:12 Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel.
Revelation 3: Therefore be zealous and repent.
God help us to change and not become lukewarm. Amen!
To grow tomatoes you must first plant a seed and then proceed to nurture the tomato plant by fertilizing and watering it. The plant begins to grow and develop strong roots and stalk so it can hold up the heavy tomato. After the plant is thoroughly nourished and receives a lot of sunlight, it produces beautiful flowers. The flowers begin to change and become little green tomatoes. This is the fruit of the tomato plant and it must grow and grow until it reaches its full growth and then the tomato begins to mature into a beautiful finished creation suitable for the masters table.
A Christian must first have the seed of the Word of God. Luke 8:11 “The seed is the word of God. We received the Word by someone sharing Christ, evangelizing, preaching and many other ways that God may use.
We must be born again and when we are baptized we are raised from a watery grave a new creature. John 3:5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. We continue to be taught the word nurtured and discipled in the Church. 1 Corinthians 3:6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.
We begin to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ and He becomes the main root of our lives and we are the branches. Jesus is the light of men and His light is bright as the sun. Our faces shine and become like beautiful flowers to God. As we begin to grow we become full of the maturity of the Spirit and await our Lords coming when we will burst into a new creation suitable for the Masters table. Revelation 19:9 Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’
Once we were non believers and didn’t know much, if anything, about Christianity. But somehow we were introduced to Jesus Christ by His grace and our lives changed. We now had something that we didn’t have before. FAITH! By faith we began to recognize that there was so much more to learn and do. We began to grow spiritually. But for something to grow, it has to have something to grow from. A tree grows from a seed planted in the soil and begins to grow roots and then a trunk that that becomes its foundation. A seed, the Holy Spirit, is planted in us and we began to develop spiritual roots in the Church and Jesus is our trunk (foundation).
John 15: 1 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
Now we have a foundation to build on as long as we are in these bodies. As we bear fruit our building is being built and Jesus is the chief cornerstone on which we build.
1 Corinthians 3: 10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. 11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
Isaiah 28:16 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: ” Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, A tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; Whoever believes will not act hastily.
Now that your foundation is layed and your temple is being built, your are host to the Holy Spirit. What an awesome responsibility! Now you are totally of God and belong to God.
1 Corinthians 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?
1 Peter 2:5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
Sometimes it is good to remember just who and what we are. The world does not know this nor can it understand without the Holy Spirit. However, we do know on what we are building and what we stand.
Proverbs 10:25 But the righteous has an everlasting foundation
If we, the people of this world (and the Church), would only follow the blueprint that God has made for us, the poor, the orphans and the widows could easily be taken care of. But…
Deuteronomy 24:17 “You shall not pervert justice due the stranger or the fatherless, nor take a widow’s garment as a pledge.
19 “When you reap your harvest in your field, and forget a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.
20 When you beat your olive trees, you shall not go over the boughs again; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow.
21 When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not glean it afterward; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow.
Psalms 68:5 A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, Is God in His holy habitation.
James 1:27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
Most times when people are saved they begin to think about how they can become active in serving God. Every person’s experiences are different so they have to look into their own lives and determine by prayer and bible study where they can fit in. For some this is easy because they have a burning desire to be involved in a ministry that they are deeply concerned about. But for others, it may take some time. Praying, studying, and familiarizing themselves with their Church’s ministries and outreach programs or even looking into studying to be a pastor can lead one to make the right decision. There is something for everyone God has made sure of that.
Your abilities are what set you apart to do your service in the body of Jesus Christ.
Matthew 25: 14 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. 15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability;
It is important that we don’t set idle and do nothing but maybe warm a pew on Sunday. The Apostle Paul admonishes us to imitate him as he imitates Christ. Paul worked at serving Christ just as Christ worked at serving God the Father. (John 9:4) God wants you to realize what your abilities are to use them and never look back.
Luke 9:62 But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”
The longer you are in the Church you develop more abilities by growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. This is your Spiritual growth that is developed by the Holy Spirit residing in you. Your character begins to cling to the fruits of the Holy Spirit. (Galatians 5:22)
Romans 12: 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
Where do your abilities come from? Are they part of your natural carnal self that you were born with? Could there be a spiritual connection inherit in man that God uses to draw man to Himself?
1 Corinthians 4:7 For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive?
John 3: 27 John answered and said, “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven.
Through ministries you plant and you water but only God can give the increase. (1 Corinthians 3:5)
John 6:44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day
Now that your abilities are properly channeled toward Christ know that God will bless you immensely. The joy of the Lord will fill your soul and the cares of this world will be pushed out of your life by your ministry.
I pray that your ministry will bear much fruit and be a witness to those who God is calling to salvation. In Jesus name, amen!
1 Peter 4:11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
"He brought me to his banquet hall and raised the banner of love over me. Restore my strength with raisins and refresh me with apples! I am weak from passion... His left hand is under my head and his right hand caresses me" - Song of Solomon 2:4-6