Thursday, August 28, 2008

Fruit Bowl Living (Part 6)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23


The next two things are goodness and faithfulness. Just like kindness is there goodness in your life and how faithful are you. Do you want your children to remember a mother who displayed the goodness of God through her life? Are you faithful to what you say you believe? I want my kids to remember me praying and believing there would be an answer. I want them to know God is good His ways are good and I desire to be faithful because I know that is the best way to go. Goodness is always profitable but maybe not always easy. Are you being good to your kids by disciplining and instructing them? This is not always easy but as I said goodness will be profitable. Are they learning from you what God’s faithfulness is like? He is faithful to us and to His word. We then in turn are in his word and our faith increases. When our faith increases our kids see us completely depending on God and believing His word is true.
And finally the last two things are gentleness and self-control. Be gentle with your kids. Hold them. Genuinely listen to what they have to say to you. Answer their questions gently. Look them in the eyes when they are sharing something with you. And be self-controlled in every area of your life. Remember we talked about being intentional. Intentionally turn from things that are not right, but also be self-controlled in how much of the good things you do that will take time away from your family. This is tough. We want to serve in church and spend time with friends and help others out. We want breaks. We need breaks. But we don’t need too much of anything. Ask God if there is any area of your life that you need to get control over and then when He reveals it to you ask for His help. We are not alone in this. We are never without hope when we have Jesus. He loves us. He intercedes for us. His word says nothing is impossible with Him. Believe it. Believe it. Believe it. Our God is gentle and faithful to us. With His help we can be self-controlled. All things with Him are possible.


Prayer:

Lord help me to display these qualities in my life. Thank you for your goodness and faithfulness to us. Reveal to me the areas that need work and then help me with it Father God. I am nothing without you in my life. I love you Jesus.

Amen

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Fruit Bowl Living (Part5)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23

Next on our journey through the fruit of the spirit is kindness. Now I think this goes hand in hand with patience but it can be taken a step further. Not only when we are patient with our children and our family will we be showing them kindness that they will remember but they will also remember how kind we were to people around us. Either directly to them or behind their backs if we are not kind our children will pick up on that. Clothe yourself with kindness. This takes time. Sometimes we need to put aside our busy schedule to take time to show extra kindness to someone. Ask God. See if there is anyone around you that He would want you to show extra kindness to and help out. The more you show your kids this the more they see Jesus in you and the more attracted they will be to what you believe. You see life is so much more than teaching them what to believe but it is about why you believe it. What are you offering them that they would desire what you have more than what the world offers. The world is full of evil and unkind people. Show your kids something different. Teaching them what is right only goes so far. You must live it out. The time will come that they will need to own this for themselves. Show them something different with your kind words and your kind ways don’t just tell them. I didn’t do this enough when my kids were growing up. I didn’t want to be kind to someone who I thought would be a bad influence or wasn’t living like we were. I have been learning many lessons about showing kindness to people. Don’t you want to be remembered as being kind? I know I do!

Prayer:

Lord help me to be kind today. Help me to put aside my busy schedule and take time to show extra kindness to anyone you bring my way. Give me grace when others aren’t kind to me.

Amen

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Fruit Bowl Living (Part 4)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23


This brings us to one of my favorites. Patience. Now just in case you didn’t know this particular word in Galatians when talking about the fruit of the spirit was the Greek word makruthumia which means patience with people not just in circumstance. It is inspired by mercy. Do you get that? It doesn’t mean learning to be patient when you’re running late and there is construction or being patient when you’re waiting for your dinner to get finished. It means being patient when you’re running late and your little one spills a whole cup of juice on the floor and the dog has thrown up and your other little one thought they would help you clean it up with a roll of toilet paper which the dog then started to eat and thus the throwing up. You see how we respond to circumstances is important but how we respond to people is critical. This is where we display patience. With the people in our life. Not just in the circumstance but with our kids. They will remember if you were impatient. They will remember if you were always yelling at them. This requires a lot from you. It is much easier to yell or to do things for yourself than to patiently teach your children. But it can be done. You see motherhood requires much of us. It is not easy but we do have the ability to learn patience. To develop it. I don’t want to hear that you were just made that way and that is your personality. I won’t buy it and neither should you. That is a lie that satan would love for you to believe. He would love for you to think that because your parents were impatient you are destined to be yourself. This is just not truth. Go back to the word and find the truth. With the Holy Spirit taking residence in us we can be patient no matter what our kids do we have the power of God in us. Maybe this area is a struggle for you and I totally understand that. But you can be helped. I can be helped. We are never without hope.

Prayer:

Lord help me to be patient with the people in my life today. Thank you for the great patience you show me everyday. Thank you for loving me and gently leading me.

Amen

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Fruit Bowl Living (part 3)

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:4-7

Peace! Uh-oh another tough one. But remember If we are a believer we have the ability to possess all these qualities. Is our home peaceful???? Are we at peace or do we worry about everything and anything that we can? I know I tend to be a worrier. I think women are more prone to worry. Worry and peace never go hand in hand. We also don’t want to have a false sense of peace when there really isn’t any. When I am feeling anxious I love to go to this verse in Philippians. Read above what His word tells us. Do you see a connection between joy and peace???? Rejoice in the Lord. Don’t worry. Take everything to Him in prayer(and be thankful) and what will happen? We will have peace. Not just any old peace but the peace that surpasses all understanding. I don’t know about you but I want that. And right there in the pages of His wonderful Word is the formula. I love His Word and His ways. Now as simple as this all sounds it can be one of the most difficult things we do. It is a daily choice we will need to make. Each day we need to come before Him and lay all our concerns at His feet. Let it there and don’t take it back (I am talking to myself tonight!!!!) Walk in the peace and joy we are promised. Satan is out to get our peace. He can’t get our salvation so he wants to try and take the abundant life we have been promised. Romans 8:6 says the mind of the sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace. Allow the Spirit to control you and your life will be peaceful, even amidst trials.

Prayer:

Lord, today I give you all that concerns me. I lay it at your feet. I want the peace that surpasses all understanding that only comes from you. Thank you Lord for this gift.