“And The Fruit of the Spirit is…”

 Posted by on February 5, 2013  1 Response »
Feb 052013
 

The Fruit of the Spirit is… at Habits for a Happy HomeMuch of what I share today is from a study in my Women’s Study Bible. It blessed me so much, I wanted to share it with you! In Galatians chapter 5, Paul is writing about walking in the Spirit. Verse 16 tells us that when we “walk in the Spirit, we shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” Then in verses 19-21 he tells us what the works of the flesh are and that if we walk in them we will not inherit the kingdom of God. Note he says, “if we walk in them.” Everyone messes up from time to time, but Paul is talking about a lifestyle of walking in the flesh.

In verses 22-24 Paul tells us what the fruit of the Spirit is. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace , longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”

Some of you may be wondering what the “fruit of the Spirit” is. The fruit is the Godly attributes of those who “walk in the Spirit.” As the Holy Spirit works in a believer, he or she becomes more and more like Christ in character and actions. Every believer can manifest the fruit of the Spirit, not just the spiritually mature.

The fruit of the Holy Spirit affects the life of a believer in three distinct ways. It affects the believer’s relationship with God, others, and self. As our relationship with the Lord deepens, we begin to develop unselfish love. A love that puts the needs of others before our own. True joy comes as we realize how much Jesus loves us and all the wonderful things He has done for us and desires to give us. We experience lasting peace as we take our eyes off our problems and focus on Jesus. As we begin to build relationships with others, there is the constant challenge to reflect the love of Jesus through patience, kindness and goodness. It is not easy, but as the Holy Spirit manifests Himself through us, we can do it. And lastly, as we mature spiritually we discover an inner strength. This inner strength results in a life characterized by faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.

The fruit of the Holy Spirit is not necessary for salvation, but these godly virtues are evidence of salvation and the change that has taken place in us. The life of Christ is manifested in us by the fruit of the Spirit and the ministry of Christ is accomplished by the gifts of the Spirit. The gifts of the Spirit will never operate as effectively in us as God wants them to until we are manifesting the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. As the Spirit works through us not only do we receive the blessings of God, but we also reflect His character to all whom we encounter.

So the questions we need to ask ourselves today are: What fruit are we bearing? Are we walking in the Spirit or are we fulfilling the lust of the flesh? God has provided the Holy Spirit to enable us to reflect His character, so let’s start walking!

~ Written by Beth, “My husband of 46 years and I recently retired from full time ministry and we are looking forward to discovering what God has in store for the next part of our journey.  I am a very proud mother and grandmother and I love to encourage others through the word and my life experiences.  My life verse is Psalm 118:24 – This is the day that the Lord has made; I choose to rejoice and be glad in it.”
Hearts and Trees: Art, Handicrafts and Nature Study for your Homeschool

Don’t Be Like the Frog

 Posted by on November 27, 2012  No Responses »
Nov 272012
 
“Don’t Be Like the Frog”
I have told the story of the frog that boiled to death before, but in the times we are living in, I think it bears repeating. There once was a frog that fell into a container of water. Now frogs love water, so he decided to just make himself comfortable and not worry about getting out.  Well, someone came along and set a fire under the pot, but since he was on the inside of the pot and couldn’t see them, he didn’t realize anything had happened until it was too late.  If the water had been hot when he fell in, he would have jumped right out; but it was a comfortable temperature so he just kept right on swimming. Before long he felt it getting warmer  and soon his legs wouldn’t work right and he felt himself begin to sink. By the time he understood the danger he was in, it was too late, he had been cooked and served for dinner.
Believe it or not, we are a lot like that frog.  We get ourselves into trouble and don’t even realize it at first.  We start watching a movie or TV show that has questionable language or content, but we figure, we’re adults, we can handle it. Or, we start playing video games that are violent and before we know it, we need even more violence to make it exciting. Maybe an image comes across the TV or computer screen of nudity or sexual content and we figure just once won’t hurt us, but the more you allow these sexual images or bad language into your mind the more of a hold it gets on you and before you know it, it doesn’t bother you anymore to see nudity, men kissing men, women kissing women or couples engaged in sexual activities. And, you even let a bad word slip out occasionally.  The more we are subjected to these things, the more desensitized we become.  The more like the world we become; and just like to frog, before we realize what is happening we are spiritually dead.
Jesus warned us in Matthew 24:43, “If the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into.”  No one sets out to sin, but remember “Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:14).  He makes sin look very attractive and appealing, that is why Jesus also told us to, “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matt. 26:41).
So my friend, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.  Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world” (1 Pet. 5:8-9).
When temptation comes, just jump right out of the way, “God is faithful and he will make a way of escape for you” (1 Cor. 10:13).
~ Written by Beth, “My husband of 46 years and I recently retired from full time ministry and we are looking forward to discovering what God has in store for the next part of our journey.  I am a very proud mother and grandmother and I love to encourage others through the word and my life experiences.  My life verse is Psalm 118:24 – This is the day that the Lord has made; I choose to rejoice and be glad in it.”

Help, Lord, Help!

 Posted by on November 8, 2012  1 Response »
Nov 082012
 

File:Kohrvirab.jpg

(picture: Mount Ararat, –Wikipedia)

“Help, Lord, Help!”

The mountains call to me. Sometimes I get a longing in my soul to ride through them and just stop and look out over the beauty and awesomeness of what God has created.  And you know what, He created all of it just for us to enjoy.  Imagine that, God created it all because He loves us and wanted to bless us. When I am in the mountains I just feel the majesty and glory of God more than any other place I have ever been.  Maybe that is why I love the 121st chapter of Psalm so much.  Let’s take a look at it for a few minutes.

Psalms 121:1 -  I will lift up my eyes to the hills—From whence comes my help?

Where does your help come from. We know it doesn’t come from the physical mountains; but looking up causes us to think more about God, our Creator and Redeemer.

2 My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.

The Mighty One who created everything is the only one who can give you the help you need, and He is ready to help you, if you will just cry out to Him.

3 He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber.

He will hold you tight and won’t allow you to fail in your time of trouble.  He doesn’t sleep, He is always on guard, watching over you.

4 Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.

Just as God’s love for the children of Israel never stopped, so His love for you will never end and He has promised to always be with you.  As much as our parents loved us, they couldn’t stay awake all the time to protect us, but God can.

5 The Lord is your keeper; The Lord is your shade at your right hand.

God will keep you safe under the shelter of His loving arms and He will be the relief you need when the heat of battle and the storms of life come against you.

6 The sun shall not strike you by day, Nor the moon by night.

God, Himself will be your hiding place; He will cover you with His feathers and hide you under His wings.  His presence will be a blanket of peace for your soul.

7 The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul.

NO weapon or plan, that the enemy forms against you, is going to prosper.  God will turn them all to your good. It may look bad in the beginning, but just hold on, your turn-around is coming.

8 The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore.

It doesn’t matter whether you are coming, going or staying put; God will preserve you and protect you today and every day of your life.  And when your time on this earth is up, He will receive you into heaven, where you will live in His presence forever and ever and ever.  Amen!

~ Written by Beth. “My husband of 46 years and I recently retired from full time ministry and we are looking forward to discovering what God has in store for the next part of our journey.  I am a very proud mother and grandmother and I love to encourage others through the word and my life experiences.  My life verse is Psalm 118:24 – This is the day that the Lord has made; I choose to rejoice and be glad in it.”~~Beth

“W.A.I.T. With Anticipation”

 Posted by on October 4, 2012  1 Response »
Oct 042012
 
“W.A.I.T. With Anticipation”
Would you say you are patient or impatient? 
Isaiah 40:31 says, “But they that wait upon the Lord will….”  and Psalm 40:11 says, “I waited patiently for God to help me….“ God promises wonderful things to us when we wait for him. But I think our attitude may very well determine how long we have to wait. What is your response when you have to wait in line, or in traffic, or when you are waiting on the answer to your prayers?  Most of us get very impatient, because we think we are wasting time.  We seem to have this idea that waiting is passive, but when you look at the definition of the word, you find it is a very active state of being.  We are going to look at two uses of the word wait; here is the first one.
Wait: 1. To stay in readiness or in anticipation (until) something expected happens or (for) someone to arrive. 2. To be ready. 3. To be in expectation or anticipation of.
Expect: 1. To await. 2. To look for as likely to occur or appear; anticipate. 3. To look for as due, proper, or necessary.
When you are waiting for God to answer your prayer, do you really expect him to answer you?  Do you anticipate the answer?  Do you believe an answer is due you or that it is proper for God to answer you?  Think about it for a moment; “to expect implies a considerable degree of confidence that a particular event will happen, and to anticipate implies a looking forward to something with a foretaste of the pleasure it promises, or a realizing of something in advance and a taking of steps to meet it.” (Webster Dictionary)
God calls the things that do not exist as though they did (Rom. 4:17).
We should be doing the same thing! Now let’s look at the other definition of wait:
Wait: 1. To serve or wait on a person. 2. To act as a servant. 3. To supply the needs or requirements of someone.
As we WAIT we should be serving the Lord by meeting the needs of others; we should be asking him what he wants us to do.  Is there someone he wants us to help or is there a place we need to go?  That kind of waiting is productive and certainly not a waste of time.  So, are you WATCHING with anticipation to see what God is going to do?  Is you ATTITUDE one of expectation?  Are you seeking God’s INSTRUCTIONS about what he wants you to do?  Do you TRUST that he knows exactly what you need and that he will supply it at just the right time?
The rest of Psalm 40:11 says, “…and he turned to me and heard my cry.”  and Isaiah 40:31 ends like this, “…renew their strength. They will mount up on wings as eagles.  They shall run and not grow weary.  They shall walk and not faint.”  God’s promises are for you and your children and your children’s children, so let’s wait with anticipation.  Waiting on God is never a waste of time.
While you are waiting, God is working.
~ Written by Beth, “My husband of 46 years and I recently retired from full time ministry and we are looking forward to discovering what God has in store for the next part of our journey.  I am a very proud mother and grandmother and I love to encourage others through the word and my life experiences.  My life verse is Psalm 118:24 – This is the day that the Lord has made; I choose to rejoice and be glad in it.”

Water and the Word

 Posted by on September 6, 2012  1 Response »
Sep 062012
 

 

“Water and the Word”

Bob and I just got back from our vacation and we were blessed to spend some time in Gatlinburg.  The hotel we stayed in combined two of the things in nature that minister to me the most: water and mountains.  From our balcony we had a view of the mountains and it overlooked a stream.  It was so relaxing to sit out there and read or commune with the Lord as I listened to the water flowing over the rocks.  The road we took home ran beside a river for the longest way and as I looked, it got me to thinking about how God uses water in so many different ways.

There were places where the bed of the stream had been carved out of rock, but everyday it changes a little because of the constant flow of the water over the rocks.  Some places were very sandy, because the rocks had been ground down till there was nothing left but grains of sand.  In some places the water danced over the rocks so swiftly that it causes white foam to form and float on the surface. Then we would pass a spot that looked almost stagnant, like there was no movement at all.  In some spots the water was peaceful looking. Then in other areas it danced and flowed with abandon or cascaded over the rocks with power and force.

God created so many uses for water.  It is essential for life; nothing can exist without it. Not plants or animals or humans.  If you don’t get enough water you will become dehydrated, which can cause all kinds of things to go wrong in your body. Without water you will die. Water can be used to cool a fever, wash away dirt and germs and when harnessed by a dam, the power of water can turn high turbines and produce enough energy to light up an entire city.

You are probably wondering what this has to do with the Word. Here are a few examples:

  • Hebrews 4:12 – the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword…a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
  • Psalm 119:105 – God’s word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path.
  • Psalm 119:9 – a young man can cleanse his way by taking heed according to God’s word.
  • Psalm 119:93 – through God’s word we are given life.
  • Psalm 119:130 – the entrance of God’s word gives light and understanding to us.
  • Psalm 119:140 – God’s word is pure. Psalm 119:170 – the Word brings deliverance.

So you see, the Word of God is powerful, is life-giving, provides light for our way, cleanses our hearts, provides wisdom when we don’t know what to do or say, purifies our thoughts and brings deliverance when we are going through trouble. God’s word is His love letter to us.  Just as we physically need water to live; we must have the word of God for our spirits to live. Let me encourage you to get your Bible and take a BIG GULP before this day ends. It will quench your thirsty soul!

*Written by Beth, the mom of Angie one of our regular contributors. “My husband of 46 years and I recently retired from full time ministry and we are looking forward to discovering what God has in store for the next part of our journey.  I am a very proud mother and grandmother and I love to encourage others through the word and my life experiences.  My life verse is Psalm 118:24 – This is the day that the Lord has made; I choose to rejoice and be glad in it.” ~Beth