Fruit of the Spirit – Galatians 5: 22-26

Galatians 5:

[22] But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

[23] Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

[24] And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

[25] If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

[26] Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

We all have both good and bad in us. Each moment, we choose which seed to plant, which in turn determines which fruit we will harvest.

Paul tells us that when we plant love, joy, peace, long-suffering (patience), meekness (indulgence), and temperance (self-control, moderation) that is the fruit we harvest.

In verse 24 he tells us that by becoming Christians we have promised to crucify our flesh. We have nailed all of our “wants” to the cross with Jesus. We have removed the old man and put on a new man. (Eph. 4:22-24, Col.3:9-10, Romans 6:66)

We have promised not to serve sin. We have promised to live in the Spirit of Christ, showing outwardly our love for God in our actions, conversations and daily walk.

We do not live a Christian life to bring attention to ourselves, but to live in a manner that honours and glorifies God.

Paul writes “against such things there is no law” (5:23).

Paul is telling the people their flesh needs to be restrained. Without restraint, the “works of the flesh” will reveal themselves. When we walk “in the Spirit” we soon start to change and automatically our ways reflect the character of God.

In this letter, Paul is perhaps telling the Galatians to better themselves by living the fruits of the Spirit every day and to include this type of living in their Church and in their Christian communities.

Paul shares an amazing fact with us! If everyone were to live by God’s moral law, then there would be no need for any other law.

Elohim (All sufficient One)

Father God

Each and every day upon waking, I have a choice to make. Will I follow God today in every way or will I break down and follow where the enemy leads me?

With each step I take throughout the day, I choose the path I am going to follow. Each word I speak and the actions I use, all determines my fruit.

The last line of this scripture talks about the law. I guess I’ve never thought about it before, but Paul was absolutely right. If everyone in the world followed and lived according to the Fruits of the Spirit, the world would not need any other laws at all. What an awesome thought!

Unfortunately, that is not the way our world lives, hence man-made laws and so many of them.

I know Lord that one day soon the entire world (of Christians) will live by your fruits and nothing else. We will all be living for Christ, without the influence of satan. I look forward to that day Lord, when Jesus comes back to the earth to rule as King.

Until then; please Lord, give me the desire, strength and faith to live by the law you have given us in the fruit of the Spirit (and The Ten Commandments).

In service to my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ,

I pray.

Amen

Hallelujah

Righteous vs Unrighteous – Psalm 37: 37-38

PSALM 37

David, during his old age, is thought to be the writer of this Psalm and believed to be writing to his people.

Perhaps they were being tempted to sin, after watching the idolaters. It may have appeared that those with many gods were living a “good life” and the followers of the “true God” we’re living in hardship and poverty.

David is telling the people; those who keep God (in their hearts) will be given the reward of peace at the end. This shows that patience, hope and remaining godly is the way to stand strong.

God gives us the strength to do just that, by faith in Him. Those who can stay true to God, regardless of what they go through, here on earth, will be winners at the end of their lives. (Blessed with God for eternity).

Those who are idolaters are the wicked (they keep selfishness in their hearts) and are enjoying their rewards while here, on earth. At the end of their time, they will be cut off and not-blessed. (Without God for eternity).

Lord, please remind me that I am never to be sad, envious or jealous of anyone who appears to have it all and especially of the ones that seem to never have had adversity in their lives. It is extremely dangerous for me to be jealous of what LOOKS like a good thing.

Does this mean that Christians can’t have material items and good times? Absolutely not true! In fact the Bible tells us that God wants our cups to run to overfill. It means that he wants us to stay true to Him and trust in Him to meet our needs and receive the gifts that He has for us, both here on earth and in Heaven.

Heavenly Father,

I am reminded by these verses that you and you alone are God almighty. The King above all kings; the First and the Last; the Alpha and the Omega and I worship you and only you, because you are so very deserving of my praise and love.

I know; that as a Christian, I am not exempt from bad things happening to me. Throughout my lifetime, I have been through many seasons of feasts AND many seasons of famine. Your word says that regardless of the time I’m in, that I am to be thankful.

In fact, I’ve found that it’s during many of those hard times that I grow the most in you, and although; not at the time, but in the aftermath, I can see why I went through certain situations. So yes Lord, I am thankful for even the hardships. They allow me to lean on you and to stand even that bit closer.

Satan (the deceiver) on the other hand, hates me because I am your child, so he will try to break me down as he attempted with you on the mountain, at the beginning of your ministry. He will also try to buy me (and other Christians), offering us wonderful “stuff” as a ploy to tempt the righteous away from you. Help me Lord, not to listen to his lies!

Please remind me Father, that Satan is nothing and even “I” (as do all of Gods children) have the authority over Satan, in the name of Jesus. Please help me to keep him under my feet where he belongs.

Regardless of what this life brings for me, by trusting in and staying close to you Father, I can always be assured that my forever home will give me a good ending, with eternal happiness and peace.

Your Word (over and over again) assures me of that. Hallelujah!

I praise you Father God.

In Jesus’s holy name, I pray

Amen

The Law Written in Our Hearts – Psalm 37: 31

Psalm 37:31

David was telling his people that God had written laws within their hearts that they must abide by. Doing so, would enable them to walk with God and not fall away from Him.

The law is within everyone, regardless of religion, race or age. Absolutely everyone knows right from wrong. David’s words were true for his people and are still true for us today.

However, we need more than that. Although God instilled the law in our hearts, we also need to read the Bible on a regular basis, filling our minds and souls with the Word of God so that we will understand the law and live by it, willfully.

What does this law of God consist of?

My thoughts: having holiness, perfect love, good motives, good desires, being honest, using wisdom, speaking righteously, staying obedient, watching our steps and being aware of where they are taking us, having the mind of Christ (hearing, seeing, speaking and acting like Jesus) and staying in a loving relationship with God.

There is much, much more that God has written into each of us. By reading the Bible, it brings the law to life and shows us how to remain true.

Then, when we do, think, hear, see, say or feel something that is wrong, we will feel convicted.

The Holy Spirit will help us by using those laws to remind us how the Lord wants us to live. By abiding, we will remain on the straight and narrow path, the one leading directly to our Lord.

Gracious God,

You are a wonderful, loving Father. Thank you that each day, you lead me, guide me, teach me and give me the knowledge of your Law and Word.

Thank you that the Law is entrenched deeply into my heart and mind. When needed, the Holy Spirit reminds me of the proper thoughts and words and they are instantly with me.

Sometimes I find myself caught in the middle of good vs bad. In those times of struggle, please help me to always listen and follow the Holy Spirit while he is attempting to lead me along the path of righteousness.

May I always live according to your laws and be in your love.

In the name of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, I pray.

Amen.

We are Not to Live by Our Own Merit? – Romans 8: 12-13

Romans 8: 12-13

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Paul tells us that we (Christians) are in debt to God. He goes on to say that God is the one who gives us life and it is he that looks after us.

Paul emphasizes that we are not to live to the flesh or by our own ways. If we start to think and live in that way, then everything we do, we do on our own merit.

When that happens then we are saying that we don’t need God. We will become so conceited and proud that God won’t have a place in our lives anymore.

If we don’t stay in tune with the Holy Spirit, we begin to put ourselves in charge of our own lives. Through these types of thoughts and actions, we will fall away from the Lord quickly and die to self for eternity.

If we allow The Holy Spirit to be with us always; helping, guiding and leading us in the ways we are meant to go and if we listen and obey the Holy Spirit we will live for God for eternity.

Heavenly Father

I thank you for my life. Not only the life I am living here on earth but for my life, through salvation, my eternal life.

It pleases me to follow and give you the glory you deserve. If not for you Father, I would be lost forever.

Thank you that the Holy Spirit lives inside of me. Thank you for his leading and his teaching. I am so very blessed that I have him to guide me.

At his urging, I know where to go and how to act and he reminds me that all good gifts come from you Father. Thank you that the Holy Spirit leads me on the path of righteousness.

Thank you that you sent your Son to save me. I was a sinner, headed for death, but because of your Son’s sacrifice my soul is saved.

It is my honour and pleasure to thank you Lord for all you do and who you are. I am so very blessed to know you and of your love.

Because of you Father and your Son, Jesus and of the Holy Spirit I have the privilege of praising your mighty name now and for ever and ever.

In the precious name of Jesus of Nazareth, I pray.

Amen

hallelujah

Sword of the Spirit – Joshua 1:8

Joshua 1:

[8] This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. (KJV)

What God told Joshua applies to us today, just as much as it applied to Joshua and his people thousands of years ago.

God was talking to him just before the people were getting ready to move into the promised land.

Joshua is told that he must be living by the Word of God because when he speaks to others it will have no meaning at all if he hasn’t been living by the Word himself.

The Lord is also explaining that not only should Joshua live by the Word but must read (and have knowledge in) the Bible and that he should always be prepared to speak about what he has read and use the Words of God to help them in times of need. God is assuring that if Joshua and his people do so, they will enjoy a prosperous life.

This does not mean they will live a life free of troubles. It assured them that if they follow God and His Word, then The Father will be with them always, through good or bad times, helping them deal with whatever comes their way.

What does this mean to us today? It means the same to us now as it did to Joshua then. If we keep God in our hearts, if we know God’s Word and use it on a continual basis and keep him in our minds and souls, then no matter what situation we are facing God will be with us.

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Heavenly Father

Thank you for your Word. Thank you that it is easily accessible all over the world right now. It’s written in different languages making it possible for people everywhere to have the opportunity to read and to understand it easily.

Thank you Father that despite the risks involved, there are missionaries willing to go out into the world to teach about your Word and about your Son, Jesus. I ask you to protect them Lord and help them accomplish what they set out to do.

Thank you Lord that you love each and every person on this earth and that anyone who calls on your name and learns to abide in you may also enjoy the love and peace you offer.

This does not that mean that we will always be prosperous in this life. It means that we will prosper in the way of you Lord, not necessarily the way we want or expect.

It means that with you in our hearts, in our minds, in our speech and in our souls, we have already become prosperous because we have you, Father God (Trinity) with us.

Lord, at the times I may start to slip away from you, please convict me, make me aware that I am starting to let my guard down. Immediately help me to become aware and guide me back to you and your ways.Thank you that your Word is true and that I can stand on it.

Thank you Father for being the Lord of my life. I pray that I will always be a good representation of you. I bless your Holy name.

In the name of my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, I pray.

Amen.

Sword of the Spirit – Psalm 1: 1-3

Psalm 1:

[1] Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
[2] But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
[3] And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

David is saying there are 3 types of unsaved people.

First are the UNGODLY people who walk in sin. They don’t believe in religion of any kind. They have their own ideas! God, salvation and living an honourable life TO God are not part of that belief. They believe they live a “good life” helping others etc. and making a difference in some way. They try to convince everyone that we all are responsible for our own lives. David is encouraging the people not to walk in the ungodly ways.

The second type are called SINNERS. These people are ungodly as specified above but they are worse than that. These are the people who have vices. They may steal, lie, gossip, covet and the likes. They are sinners and they try to coax others into their ungodly, sinful world. We are encouraged by David, not to stand in their ways or thoughts or beliefs.

As we digress, the third type of people are called SCORNERS. They have the same attributes as the ungodly and the sinners, except that they have totally made up their minds not to believe in God or in his ways. They will sit solidly in their unbelief and do their best to harass, make fun of and go out of their way to belittle anyone who believes in God and his ways. These scorners will do their best to get everyone, (no matter what stage believers may be in with their walk with the Lord) to come and sit on their side of unbelief.

David is warning the ungodly people, the sinners, the scorners and the Christians that if we are not careful, one step will quickly lead to the next and so eventually we could be seated in unbelief and evil.

David says we need to find The Lord and then stay firmly rooted and not let anyone shake us from our love and faith in God.

David is also advising everyone to stay strong in righteousness. (behaviour that is morally justifiable). He is trying to get the message out, that the people who walk in sin, stand in sin or sit in sin, will not be blessed. But those who are faithful to our Lord, will be blessed.

Like a tree planted by rivers of water… A tree can be growing wild or it can be one that is tended to, looked after, pruned and loved. The untended one has dead branches and sickly leaves while the tended one has beautiful branches, leaves and bears good fruit.

That’s the way a Christian should be (fruitful) and should help others around them to grow as well. If the tree cannot bear good fruit then it has no use.

David is saying that everyone should delight in spending time with our Heavenly Father and reading the Word and meditating on it. Then having a really good connection to the Lord, Christians should show others how to live a godly life, encouraging them to follow in our tracks. He is saying that once we become godly people, deeply rooted, we will always be blessed, bearing good fruit.

Heavenly Father,

Christians should feel honored to show fruit. We should be cheerful and delight in reading, meditating on and abiding by the words of the Bible.

Living in these ways, people will see our happiness, our joy, our peace and that will encourage others to become children of God, all bearing good fruit and a place in Heaven.

Father help me to see right away, if I start to move from your path. Keep my eyes and heart always on you.

I know Lord how simple it is to slip from one side to the other. Keep me on the straight and narrow path.

Allow me to always be a good representation of you to those around me. Let my fruit always capture the heart of others. May I be a example of you, so much so that others will want the peace, love, happiness and blessings from you that I enjoy.

I thank you Father for every trial you have brought me through to reach you. I was an ungodly person, a sinner, and yes Lord, even a scorner. Thankfully Lord you were able to break through the shell I was building before it calcified (hardened completely). You called and thankfully I came.

I praise you Lord that you are still calling out to the ungodly, the sinners and yes even to the scorners. The Word says that you wish for ALL to be saved. My prayer Lord is that when you call out, the people will answer and drop their evil ways and come to you for forgiveness and a new life, bathed in living water.

Thank you Father for sending your son Jesus to the cross so that I may be forgiven and for sending the Holy Spirit to live in me, helping me make the right choices in life. I am so very blessed to be your child and even though I was a sinner, my name is now written in the Lambs Book Of Life.

Hallelujah! I praise your mighty and holy name.

In the name of my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, I pray.

Amen

Sword of the Spirit – Hebrews 4:

Hebrews 4:14-16

[14] Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.

[15] For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

[16] Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (KJV)

In Jesus’ time there were priests, high priests and great high priests. The great high priests were above all the others. Paul is saying that Jesus also carried the title of great high priest. The biggest difference is that Jesus was and still is above all priests as he received his title from God.

The Jewish high priest did not lead the life of a normal man. He didn’t feel the grief and sorrow of the person who was asking for forgiveness. He was doing his job with an unfeeling heart.

However, Jesus, the Christian great high priest, lived a life just like the people of his time and like we do today. He lived a life and was tempted, just like we are every day. He felt the type of emotions we feel. He lived in tougher times than we do now. He felt pain, was beaten and hurt. He was despised for things he wasn’t even responsible for. Yes, his temptations were far greater than ours and he stood up to them, for you and for me.

The Jewish great high Priest would be allowed to enter into the holy of holies once per year with the blood of atonement to release man of his sins.

Through Jesus’s pure life and crucifixion, he was able to sprinkle atonement directly onto the mercy-seat, for everyone declared a Christian.

Right now Jesus is in the heavens, at the right hand of God to make intercession for man on a continual basis.

In the days before Jesus, people had to live by the laws of Moses to receive mercy. Those who did not abide by the laws of Moses died without mercy. It will be the same for all those who did or are rejecting Jesus since his crucifixion. They will die without mercy.

Paul however, is telling all who will listen about what will happen to those who reject the Son of God. (Death). He appeals to them to accept the free gift of life that Jesus willingly died for and to receive life.

I looked up the words grace and mercy.

I understand that MERCY is something we receive when we’ve messed up and God is forgiving us, when we could actually be punished for our act.

GRACE is something God gives us freely. We don’t deserve it, we can’t earn it, it’s not something that we will receive if we pray for it. We receive it unexpectedly from God. It’s a divine assistance given by GOD.

(My way of remembering)

Mercy=Messed up Me. I can ask for forgiveness

Grace=God Gives Generously. Divine assistance

Father,

I thank you that Jesus went to the cross for me. I thank you Father that He was born into this world as a man who felt the way man is tempted. I thank you Father that Jesus was not touched by those sins so that he could sacrifice himself as a pure lamb for the sins of the world.

Because of the way Jesus lived and what he did for mankind on the cross, I may now come before the throne of mercy and ask for forgiveness when I don’t deserve it all. Thank you for mercy Father.

I am so very blessed to be living in a time and place where I can talk to you through the Son. Where I can read your Word for myself and know that it’s true. Where I can speak of my love for you, out loud, and not be killed for it. Where I can belong to a church and we can meet in a building. Some people must sneak around and have secret locations. (I ask you to bless them Lord and keep them safe and may they continue to grow in number, spreading your Word).

Thank you Father for allowing me to live in this time period in a country where choices are free. May I repay you Lord by spreading the good news about Jesus Christ and by being your hands and feet.

In His glorious name I pray,

Amen.

Sword of the Spirit -Hebrews 4:

Hebrews 4:

[12] For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Studying this passage was difficult. It has been studied by many authors, each having a different opinion of who or what was being talked about.

Some felt that “For the word of God” meant Jesus is quick and powerful, others felt it was God actually speaking the Words over us and still others deemed it was God speaking to us through the words in the the Bible.

Regardless everyone agreed that the Word of God is quick and powerful. When we wander off track, the Words are meant to hit and pierce us to the core.

They are meant to affect us dramatically in some way. When we are hit with the Word of God, it is like a sword or an arrow has pierced us. We will feel the effects.

Sometimes when we are sitting in Church, we believe that the Pastor has prepared his sermon with us in mind. It makes us feel uncomfortable, like he is laying all of our sins out in front of the entire congregation. We feel uncomfortable and start to squirm.

The wonderful thing about the sermon is that most likely many others are feeling the same convictions. However, everyone’s circumstances are most likely totally different than ours. God, through a particular sermon can use His Word to pierce a part of many hearts.

It’s not just in sermons. When we have that uncomfortable feeling, we are aware immediately of what we have done or said that was not pleasing to God. We don’t have to be a Christian to feel that guilt. Everyone knows right from wrong. We feel ashamed, we get that nagging sensation to make it right. Some ignore it, shrug it off and go on with their day.

However, when a Christian feels this nagging, it will not go away until something is done. We need to confess it, ask for mercy, apologize or do something to make it right. When we have sinned, we are convicted. The guilt of the crime is felt more deeply, by a Christian, right through the marrow to the joints.

God’s Word is powerful! It keeps us on the straight and narrow path. It’s important for us to feel convicted when we have gone against God, so that through the confession of our sin and through Gods mercy and grace, we can continue to move forward in peace.

Heavenly Father

May I always feel the convictions of my sins. As soon as I know I’ve done, said or thought something that is not pleasing to you, I ask that I would be flooded with guilt, shame and remorse.

I want to be made aware immediately, so that I can make things right with you and others if someone else is involved.

Father when I came to you for salvation, I put off the old self and put on the new. In no way do I want to jeopardize my relationship with you.

Please Father, use the double-edged sword and the arrow to piece my heart. I want always to be aware when I’ve sinned, so that I can make it right immediately.

Thank you Lord for loving me as you do. Thank you for helping me grow closer to you each and every day. I am so very blessed to be your child.

In the name of my Lord, Jesus Christ, I pray.

Amen

Sword of the Spirit – Ephesians 6:

Ephesians 6:10-20

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.

11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,

15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;

18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—

19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel,

20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. (KJV)

Paul is telling the Ephesian that because they are Christians they will be constantly fighting spiritual battles.

He tells them that as Christians they will need armour but not the kind they are used to. They will need a special armour that God gives them which will allow them to withstand great spiritual fights.

Spiritual battles are not like other battles the people have fought before. He explains that it is a spiritual war against satan (who is the ruler of this world for a short time) and his workers. These battles are not fought here on earth but in the Heavenly places.

Paul is telling the people that in Spiritual wars they will not be fighting with real armour pieces, but they must be covered by a special armour of God. Paul reminds them that in order to win they must be strong in the Lord and must be ready to use the power of God’s strength. It is the only way for Christians to win.

Paul tells the Ephesian Christians that satan will come after them in full force. His main plan is to make the Christian sin. If he can accomplish that, then the battle is all but won for him.

But there is good news! The armour that God has provided for the Christian to wear at all times, is received in faith and prayer. By praying and asking for the armour each day, Christians are ready for any fight that enemy may begin. And because we wear the armour that God has provided, Christians can be assured of standing strong and winning the battle.

For the prayer, click on “Pray for the Armour of God“.