Friday, May 26, 2017

Fruit of The Spirit

"But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!" Galatians 5:22-23 NLT

I learned something new the other day from my Bible study and wanted to share it with you.
I"m sure most of us have seen the Scripture I posted above...and have heard about the fruits of the Spirit. 
This fruit is evidence of the recreated human spirit. 
So, what I mean is that when you are really living for God, people can see these traits aka fruits, in your life.
Here is a quote from my Bible study book: "Fruit grows on branches, and Jesus said believers are the branches. Therefore, the fruit of the Spirit grows in the life of the born-again, recreated believer because of the life of Christ resident and developed within believers - the branches."
The first fruit listed is love. In John 13:34-35 Jesus said, "So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples."
Paul, later in the New Testament, would later say that without love with have nothing.
Every Christian should have these fruit. They are resident in your life right now.
Here is something new I learned, "The fruit of the Spirit are for HOLINESS, but the gifts of the Holy Spirit are for POWER."
You can be holy without having much power. You can also have power without being holy. 
God wants every Christian's life to have both.
This is another topic altogether, but I wanted to leave you with the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Paul has listed them in 1 Corinthians 12:27-28: "All of you together are Christ's body, and each of you is a part of it. Here are some of the parts God has appointed for the church:
First are apostles,
Second are prophets,
Third are teachers,
Then those who do miracles,
Those who have the gift of healing,
Those who can help others,
Those who have the gift of leadership,
Those who speak in unknown languages."
These gifts are not anything we should be afraid of. They are GIFTS. And God has gifted each of us differently.
But we ALL have the fruit of the Spirit. 
When you need to, just ask the Holy Spirit to bring forth whichever fruit you are needing at the time.
I just saw a prayer request on Facebook for peace. I prayed, but reminded her that she has the peace in her already. It hasn't left. 
The fruit of the Spirit can't be taken away. They are IN you because the Holy Spirit is IN you.
I pray that whoever needs this today reads it.
God bless you today and always!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

An Anchor For My Soul

"This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary." Hebrews 6:19

Life has get stormy at times. Just this year alone, literally speaking, my town has endured several severe storms with tornadoes. 
Figuratively speaking, storms in life happen often as well. Those are the negative things we go through.. 
I'm in these groups that writer Jon Acuff developed on Facebook. We have a thing about anchors.
It's two fold.
  1. We are anchored in Christ. Just like the Scripture says, our hope is anchored in God.
  2. We are not meant to be anchored in life.
Let me explain. My friend Chris Holmes writes these amazes quotes. One was so awesome that the coordinators for a conference we attended in 2015 put it on a bag they gave us.
It's says, "You are not created to be anchored: but to sail." ~ Chris Holmes
God has placed gifts, talents, and abilities in all of us. He wants us to use them for His glory. 
So when the enemy tries to anchor you down with stress, worry, doubt, and anxiety, don't allow that!
You were meant to SAIL!
On that same note, whatever you do, don't let go of God as your anchor. He will keep you steady and from falling over when the storms come.
I just read something in my Bible study today too that blew me away:
"Doubt will paralyze the power of God in your life."
Know who you are anchored to and don't doubt His provision.
If you need prayer today, please contact me. I'd love to pray for you.
God bless you today and always!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

God's Place

"Dear Children, keep away from anything that might take God's place in your heart." 1 John 5:21 NLT

I have this Scripture written on an index card sitting on the ledge of my roll top desk that I use as my prayer desk. I felt like we needed a reminder today about God's place in our hearts.
This world of Social Media that we live in is quick to tell us what we should and shouldn't do. It's super easy to compare yourself to others, which allows envy to set in. It's also just as easy to let something or someone take God's place in our hearts.

In the past, I've allowed someone in the wrong place in my heart. I still prayed, read my Bible, and went to church, but God was not always my first thought.
John is writing to the new Christians in this chapter. Verses 13-21 are his conclusion to that letter. I'm so glad I read this. I have written in my Bible the date 6-4-16 on verse 21 here. Then I have two dates written from this past March of 2017. I also have numerous high lights and pen underlines through this section of Scriptures.
This one sentence is HUGE! John is warning believers to not allow anything to take God's place. It's dangerous when we do.
Now, let me go even further with this... did you know that you can even work for the Lord, and let it take the place of Him in your heart?
Yes, you heard me.
You can put working for the Lord in the wrong place in your heart.
Let me tell you why... sometimes, people get stuck in a performanced based mentality. I mean, we get rewarded for good behavior starting as young as two when we are potty training, right?
Honestly, I struggled with this before myself. I used to think that God would love me more if I served Him a lot. 
I worked at a church from 2007-2010 and it wasn't until months after I was gone from there that I realized I was working thinking that God loved me more because I worked at a church.
NOT that He loved me more than YOU...but that He loved me more than He normally would.
The truth is, we can allow all sorts of stuff in the first place in our hearts, but we shouldn't.
That void is reserved for God and God alone. 
He still loves you though, if you've done this. Because the truth is, NOTHING you can do will make God love you any more... just like nothing you do will make Him love you any less either.
I hope this helps someone today.
God bless you today and always!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Walking By Faith

"God Himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee He has given us His Holy Spirit. So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord. For we live by believing and not by seeing." 2 Corinthians 5:5-7

I read something in my Bible study book the other day that really hit home. While God created us to be emotional beings, who have a soul, He did not intend for us to let those emotions and feeling rule us.
We are all guilty of this from time to time in life. I know I am for sure. I am the type of person who wears her feelings on her sleeve, as they say, which is just a weird way to say it's easy to get my feelings hurt. 
However, when it comes to Godly things, we do not need to let our feelings rule us. We need to walk by faith.
God has given us His Word for several reasons, but the biggest reason is that the entire book is pointing us to Jesus. One thing that's taken me 43 years to learn is that my value comes from God and God alone. The main way I have gotten this through my thick skull and broken heart is by believing what the Bible says about me.
So, why do we allow our feelings to over take us and believe them over God's Word?
My Bible study book says, "Feelings are the voice of the flesh. If you are walking by feelings, you are being dominated by the flesh. But the Bible tells us to crucify the flesh. If the flesh is crucified, the voice of the flesh is also to be crucified.
You can't walk by feelings and be a successful Christian, for if you are walking by feelings, then your flesh, not your Spirit is dominating you."
Along with your feelings, come your reason. You can't walk by reason either because that's the voice of your mind.
Walking by faith is the way God wants us to live.
What does it mean to walk by faith? I'm glad you asked!
It means letting the Holy Spirit lead you.It's about yielding to Him and allowing Him to work in your life.
It also means listening to what God say in the Bible and acting on it.
I told my daughter, who will be 15 next week, that if she could grasp the truth of who she is in Christ, the rest of her life would be so different.
You believe God's Word about who you are, and when someone tries to bully you, it doesn't work. They can't tell you that you are ugly because you tell them you are God's Masterpiece created for good works. (Ephesians 2:10)
With the Holy Spirit in us, we have all the power we need to walk by faith. We do not have to dominated by our feelings. 
1 John 4:4 NLT says, "But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world."
Greater is He that is IN you, so let Him lead you.
God bless you today and always!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Who Is Leading You?

"When the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you in to all truth. He will not speak on His own but will tell you what He has heard. He will tell you about the future." John 16:13 NLT

I am really enjoying this Bible study on the Holy Spirit. Like my Pastor has said during his message series, the Holy Spirit really is the most ignored one of the Trinity. I think it's because He's the most misunderstood. 
Jesus said that He was sending the Holy Spirit in place of Himself. Jesus was going back to Heaven, so He sent the Holy Spirit to replace Himself.
The Holy Spirit dwells IN us. If the Holy Spirit is God, why don't we let Him lead us?
Why do we continue to try to live life on own terms and by our own decisions?
One of the things I highlighted in my Bible study book says, "The trouble with many folks is that instead of looking to the Holy Ghost within them to guide and lead them, they are looking on the outside for their answer. They are running around looking for another person to give them the answer they need."
He's right though. I can tell you the truth, that I have done that in my past. Heck, I still do it sometimes. But I'm learning not to.
The answers we need, the leading we need, the guidance we need, is right inside of you if you are a believer in Jesus.
If we will learn to listen to Him and look to Him, He will guide us.
How do you hear Him? I'm glad you asked...
He is that still small voice in your head. He's that gut feeling you have sometimes. 
He's the wisdom in the Scriptures that He brings to your mind. He's the guiding words in the things you read each day.
If you pay close enough attention, things literally will jump out at you all day long to try to show you the way.
Ask my best friend. Some days I send her like 10 emails of things I've read that are either for her, for me, or for us both.
God uses the words of others to reach me at times. (Most of the time, they are devotional type emails.)
I pray that you will let the Holy Spirit lead and guide you. It is changing my life! 
God bless you today and always!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Taste & See

"Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him." Psalm 34:8

Have you ever wondered why we are told to "taste and see that the Lord is good"? That seems like an odd thing to say, doesn't it?
I was thinking about it though, we use our 5 senses for everything. And, let's be honest, MOST of us are "foodies", we love food.
God wants us to see that He is better than anything else in our lives. I find this combination of words in this Scripture interesting though.
King David wrote this chapter in Psalms, and the Bible says this at the top of it, 

"A psalm of David, regarding the time he pretended to be insane in front of Abimelech, who sent him away."

You see, Abimelech was someone who wanted David's throne. One of many during his lifetime. If you ever read through the Psalms, you see that David did not have a perfect life either.
But God was always with David, through the crazy stuff. Just like He's always with us. 
This will be kind of long, but I feel like you should read it: Psalm 34: 1-7
I will praise the Lord at all times.
    I will constantly speak his praises.
I will boast only in the Lord;
    let all who are helpless take heart.
Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness;
    let us exalt his name together.
I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me.
    He freed me from all my fears.
Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy;
    no shadow of shame will darken their faces.
In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened;
    he saved me from all my troubles.
For the angel of the Lord is a guard;
    he surrounds and defends all who fear him.
David was trying his best to give us hope and show us how God will help us when life gets hard.
When he prayed, God answered, just like He does for us now. He will take the bad times and turn them around for your good. 
God just wants to be in a relationship with you. He just wants to walk with you daily and help you through the rough stuff. 
He's not up there waiting to strike you down because you messed up.
One awesome thing that we have that David did not have is the Holy Spirit. (Well, at least, I don't think he did.)
When things are bad, all we have to do is ask the Holy Spirit for help, and He will help. That's part of why He is there.
Remember the verse I wrote on the other day, 1 John 4:4 which says, "But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world."
GREATER is He that is in you, than he who is in the world.
If you don't have a personal relationship with God, and you want help getting through life, will you "taste and see that He is good"? 
Please get in touch with me if you need prayer for anything!
God bless you today and always!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Power In You

But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. 1 John 4:4

When you ask God to come into your life and be your Savior, you get two gifts, essentially:
Salvation and the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is the most ignored person in the Trinity. My Pastor is doing a message series about Him right now and I am loving it!
I am also doing a Bible study with my best friend on the Holy Spirit and His gifts.
For some reason, when most of us have that initial encounter with God, we really know He's there, and we feel awesome. Then, for some reason, we think He leaves.
He never leaves.
Our bodies become His temple. When Jesus died on the cross, the curtain in the Holy of Holies was torn, which was saying, "Now you have full access to God individually." 
Before, only the High Priest could communicate with God and ask for your forgiveness.
Now, God wants a personal one on one relationship with you.
My Bible study book says, "Instead of believing what the Bible says, too many believers believe only what they feel."
You can't live your life based simply on how you feel. We are emotional beings. And those emotions can get the best of us at times.
What we need to realize and learn is that with the Holy Spirit in us, we can do ALL things.
My book also says, "Some Christians constantly talk about the lack of power, and their lack of ability. But if they realized that God is IN them, they would know that there is nothing impossible to them."
God is with us AND in us at all times. 
Galatians 5 starting in verse 13, it's talking about life in the Spirit. But the most famous part is verses 22-25 which says, "But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. 26 Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another."
Now, if those are the fruit of the Spirit, and the Holy Spirit lives in us, WHY don't we tap into those things when we need them?
Life is hard. We talk about that all the time, right?
But it can be easier when you allow the Spirit to walk with you and help you. 
If you are dealing with a rough situation at work, say, "Holy Spirit, I need some patience right now." 
If you are dealing with a mean person, and you don't want to be mean back because two wrongs don't make a right, say, "Holy Spirit, help me be kind to this person. Because I really don't want to right now."
He is there and He has the power you need to deal with life. We don't live this way for some reason.
I think some people are afraid of the Holy Spirit, simply because they've never been taught about Him. Or because people have made the mistake of letting the Bible be the third thing in the Trinity instead of Him.
The Bible is GREAT, and we do need to believe what it says, please don't misunderstand that. But the Trinity is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
Three in One.
If you just aren't sure about all of this, search the Scriptures on the Holy Spirit. Learn more about Him, get to know Him, talk to Him, and see what happens.
I think your life will change.
God bless you today and always!