Saturday, August 31, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 269

With all the courtroom drama, both fictional and non-fictional on television, it is easy to imagine a courtroom scene with God presiding as judge. You are sitting at the defense table and Satan is the prosecutor. Do you choose to defend yourself or do you choose Jesus to be your defense attorney? Jesus doesn’t even have to say a word. His Spirit will be inside of you and will shine light over all the dark places of your soul. With Jesus by your side and the Holy Spirit within, you will be able to approach the bench and God. God will look at you with a smile and say you are forgiven. Now, imagining the other scenario is more disturbing. So you choose to defend yourself, your pride gets in the way and Satan lays out all your sins in full detail out for God to see. Your sins will seal your fate and you will be lead away by the jailer to hell. It really comes down to one choice. Choose to not go it alone or choose to do it all by yourself. I hope you will choose Jesus and let his light cover up your sins so that you can live forever with Him in heaven.

Isaiah 3:13 The Lord takes his place in court; he rises to judge the people.

Friday, August 30, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 268

If you break down the meaning of arrogance, it comes down to selfishness. All of us have an unhealthy dose of arrogance within us at times. It happens when we get too busy to spend some time with the Lord. Selfishness started in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve wanting to know what the forbidden tree of knowledge could give them. They were not thankful for what God had already given them. This is where thinking too much of ourselves begins to take us away from God; when we are not gracious and thankful to God for all he gives us. But thankfulness is more than just a quick “thank you, God!” True gratitude is shown by our actions. God created us in his likeness because he wanted to be in fellowship with us. He walked in the garden with Adam and Eve and he wants to have some alone time with us, too.

Isaiah 2:17 The arrogance of man will be brought low and the pride of men humbled; the Lord alone will be exalted in that day, and the idols will totally disappear.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 267

It is very easy to get caught up in the busyness of life. It is easy to think I am doing all God wants from me by going to church each Sunday. In reality, we are just trying to justify our in-action. God does want us to come to worship but he wants our whole heart every day not just an hour on Sunday and even that may not be whole heartedly. I started reading the book of Isaiah and was drawn to these action words in the scripture below. In all these action words, the song Stand By Me comes to mind. God wants us to stand by each other and assist in making sure that everyone’s needs are being met. This requires our thinking to change from self-related to other-related and it is an on-going process to re-train ourselves to think of others before thinking of ourselves. The likely place to start working on this is in your own environment that you are in the most. For me that is my office and my home. I am going to set a goal to focus on just one person from each of these environments each day that I can stand by and help with whatever they may need, whether it be words of encouragement, a listening ear and heart, a hug or whatever. In doing this, the act of worshipping God is going beyond Sunday and into my daily life. Join me in taking the action that God wants for us.

1Isaiah 1:17 Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 266

In all my studying on temperament, I can see how there will be some believers who don’t get into a community of believers. People, some more than others, will be more wary, anxious or even fearful of coming to a group of strangers, even if we have the common thread of believing in Christ. These people need not only the hospitality when they get there but need to be welcomed and personally invited. A personal phone call to say hi and invite the person to come will go a long way to relieving any wariness, anxiety or fear about attending anything within a community of people you do not know. They are the sheep that are on the outside of the group looking in but afraid to get any closer. They need a sheep from the flock to come over to them and personally say “baaaaaaaaaaa” come with me. The lost sheep out on the hills need this personal invitation from the flock, too. Knowing there is a great church your friends go to may not be enough to get them to walk in the door of the church. Invite them to join you for an event or activity at the church or with your bible study group. Practice hospitality by reaching out.

3John 1:8 We ought therefore to show hospitality to such men so that we may work together for the truth.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 265

Trusting people can be hard for some people but there are also those who are too trusting. Satan is the best with lies so you can bet that if you are not careful, you can be duped into believing those lies. I have a naturally too trusting nature and have had it get me in trouble in my younger days but in the present with being in the Word every day and learning more and more about who God is and who Jesus is, I know I have more wisdom and discernment. It has been given to me by the Holy Spirit. There are so many reasons to be in the Word of God daily and this one will help you know the Lord and be able to weed out the lies Satan will keep on doling out. Seek to be within the truth and be prepared for battle.

2John 7 Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist.

Monday, August 26, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 264

Our relationship with God is as a parent and child. When a child is being obedient, it is a demonstration or act of love for you, the parent. It is the completion of the circle of love. God, our father starts the circle by all his creation given to us, by creating rules to live by and by rewarding and punishing for following or not following his commands. The circle comes around through Jesus who is the greatest example of love and who is the greatest gift of love given to us by God. The Holy Spirit within us guides us onward towards completing the circle. In completing the circle and keeping Gods commands, we are showing God our love for him. All the family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and even strangers are inside this circle of love being loved by God and you. It all comes down to love. Every command has its foundation on love. How do we live our lives more and more with love pouring out of us? Commit yourself to reading a scripture about love every day. There are hundreds to choose from. Just go to the concordance of your bible and start with the first one listed. Keep love on your minds and hearts through His Word and you will find yourself completing the circle of love.

1John 5: 3-4 This is love for God: to obey his commands and his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 263

The word “rely” means to have trust or confidence in. God demonstrates our love for us in so many ways. Every day of our life is filled with how he loves us but the greatest example of his love is through his son Jesus. I can’t even imagine being a parent and watching my child be tortured and brutally be put to death on a cross. God can do anything. He could have told Jesus “never mind these humans, speak up and defend yourself” or he could have made the cross turn to dust and the nails become invisible. He could have stopped his only son from dying on a cross if it were not for the amazing depth of his love for us. That love is our confidence! If you are ever feeling doubts, fears or separated in any way from God, look to the cross and be reminded of God’s amazing love.

Father, it isn’t even possible to convey with words the feelings of what you did for us. Thank you is not enough. Help us to show the kind of love you showed us through Jesus. Amen.

1John 4:16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 262

Have you ever felt beaten down? Like you are the biggest loser? You are not a good Christian? Know that Satan is working in your heart when you feel like this and know that all it takes is action. Start reading your bible again, start praying, start demonstrating your love to your family, friends, neighbors with kind acts and most especially talk to the Lord and ask him for forgiveness, help, guidance, whatever you are needing. Turn on your Christian music and sing! Action in the truth will push out those condemning feelings and things Satan is whispering in your ear. Take action!

1John 3:18-19 Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.

Friday, August 23, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 261

It is rare to find yourself in total absolute darkness without even a tiny spot of light because of all the electronics in our homes. My daughter had a glow-in-the-dark sleep-over party for her 10th birthday. We had to prepare the basement for the party. Total darkness took some effort. We had to turn off everything that we could, cover up anything we couldn’t turn off and black out the windows. We had to test the darkness a couple of times before we finally achieved absolute darkness. This kind of darkness truly is blinding. You cannot see anything but blackness and the longer you stay in this the more your fears are triggered to the point you just want to get out of it now. Just as we worked to get absolute darkness in our basement for the party, we have to put the effort into keeping the darkness out of our hearts. Forgiveness for others is one of those potential dark spots that can come into our hearts. Any un-forgiveness within us is like mold, it will only grow and cover more and more of our hearts. We have to clean out our hearts of this darkness so the Holy Spirit can be within us and transform us.

1John 2:11 But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded him.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 260

A car doesn’t just go into a car wash on its own. The driver has to acknowledge that the car is dirty and needs to be washed. Like the car, we have to acknowledge we are dirty, we are sinners then we have to make the choice to go to the car wash, go to the Lord or do we keep on driving our car and hope the rain will come and wash it clean or that our good deeds will make up for our sins. When we take our cars to the car wash, we are letting the light of God shine fully upon us which shows us completely. All the dirt, mud, bird poop that has accumulated on our car is exposed. But Jesus will wash all that away. So our car goes through the car wash and comes out clean but not perfect. For us that is done with prayer, study, worship and fellowship. These things are polishing the car, vacuuming the interior and dusting the inside so it can be like new. And like our cars, our souls will need to be taken to Jesus to keep us clean. Are you driving around with a dirty car that now has the words written in the dirt “wash me”? Let the love of God shine upon your soul without fear or shame and be cleansed of your sin so you can fully enjoy the blessing of freedom and fellowship with our Holy God.

1John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another , and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 259

It has been over 2000 years since Jesus suffered on the cross for us and rose from the dead. Some may think he is not coming back considering how long it has been but God doesn’t measure time as we do. But it is not really about the time but that God’s heart wants us all to repent and be saved. He grieves over every lost soul and celebrates with all souls that are saved. His love and mercy give us opportunity after opportunity to turn to Him. His patience is because of his love for us. I am eternally grateful to God for his patience with me and that I finally was able to see the truth. Patience is given to us by the Holy Spirit and love is at the core of all the fruits the Holy Spirit gives us. So when the kids are making you crazy, your boss is pushing your buttons or your spouse isn’t listening to you, it is time to demonstrate your love for them with the patience the Holy Spirit can give you.

2Peter 3:8-9 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish but everyone to come to repentance.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 258

Our day to day lives become so hectic and this busyness can take the focus away from the Lord. School starting, work complicated, a house that needs cleaning, groceries needing to be bought, meals planned and on and on. We can’t let the complication of living our lives take us away from living a life for God. In the end, we will all stand before God and we will be judged. My goal is as I am facing God, to see him smile at me and say “well done, Janine”. Be accountable to God every day.

2Peter 2:9 …if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly mean from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment.

Monday, August 19, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 257

As children of God, we have been given the Holy Spirit to reside within us. We have the power to make wise choices and overcome all the temptations of this world. If you are not daily feeding your soul with God’s Living Word or praying to the Lord thankfully for all your needs; it is like a light with a faulty switch and a light bulb almost burned out. It will flicker on and off and can eventually if not fixed or the light bulb changed take you into darkness. We have to turn to the light switch (Holy Spirit) daily and turn on the switch through prayer. Those faulty connections and burning out light bulbs (sins and temperament weaknesses) can’t be fixed on their own. It takes you to get in the Word of God and study, learn and grow in your knowledge about Jesus. We won’t get the perfect light staying on without flickers this side of heaven because we are not perfect but we are in the process of being perfected. It takes effort like getting up in the morning but with your effort and commitment comes growth and rewards. You may not see the growth or rewards immediately like when you are trying to lose weight. It is a process that will give you that growth and those rewards over time. Start today and become a light repairman and work on making the connection to the light.  

2Peter 1:3 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 256

In my bible reading the word “alert” caught my attention. Alert means being aware, being prepared and being ready with all the tools we will need to fight the devil and his temptations. I have had a problem with eating as you know so after a conversation with my brother and sister-in-law yesterday about eating based on the Paleo diet I was intrigued and wanting to do something about my eating. The Whole30 challenge is a 30-day challenge that gets rid of foods that are hurting our bodies. I went to bed with all this on my mind and had one of those light bulb moments that makes you think well “duh”. The devil is using all the processed foods and all the convenience foods against us. He us laughing at us as we devour our too-large a bowl of pasta or our nightly bowl of ice cream. He loves it when we are in the grocery store and we end up tossing in an apple pie and a candy bar just in case we are in need of chocolate. Pleeeeeeease! I am so aware now of what the devil is doing so now it is time to get prepared and be ready with my arsenal of tools. What are these tools? Three things come to mind: community, prayer and commitment. The Whole30 challenge has an on-line community for support and I have my brother and sister-in-law I can call up when the temptation to make an unwise choice creeps up but I am also thinking about starting a bible study support group who would like to do the challenge with me and we can also read and study the book Spiritual Secrets to Weight Loss by Kara David, MD that explores the fruits of the spirit and how the Holy Spirit can help us in our fight against the temptation of food. I will let you know the plans for starting this group as soon as I have time to contemplate it all. If you are interested in being in the group, let me know. Have a wise-choice making Sunday.

1Peter 5:8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  

Saturday, August 17, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 255

**sorry this is long but I hope this will help you**

Keeping your mind clear and maintaining self-control are much harder than it seems. A clear mind and self-control are easy enough when things are good but when faced with not so good things that flood us with emotions, our thinking becomes cloudy and focusing on the Lord is like trying to find a black sock in a dark room. This cloudy thinking problem happened to me on Thursday. I read an email from one of the co-managers and saw red. I tried to temper my reaction and stopped myself from sending a reply email that would not have been friendly and got up and went to get some tea. I got my tea and went and talked about the situation with the other co-manager who I know listens. I felt better having talked to her but that anger was still inside. I went back to my desk intending to try to let it all go but the co-manager that triggered this anger ended up at my desk asking me how I was doing. I started off by calmly telling her that I was angry and began to tell her why but in her typical way she interrupted me. I ended up raising my voice asking her to listen to me and that helped for about 2 seconds and she was back again not listening. Well, that just fueled the anger that I had at this point been able to control. She pretty much said I shouldn’t expect someone to do their job when something is passed over to them. So, my response was anger-filled and I told her than I would no longer trust sending anything to the Texas office and I would send anything that I could not get done myself to the managers here so that I could…It’s a long story but basically the new program that some jurisdictions now run in I don’t have the ability or training to do some of the things I could do in our other program. In any case, the heart of the matter lies with this cloudy anger-frustration-filled thinking and not stopping and praying right then and there for God’s peace. My praying ended up coming afterwards and all night long as I tried to sleep. I kept thinking how I tried so hard to control my reactions and realized that “I” was the problem. Before talking with anyone about this “I” should have been talking to God. With his help, “We” would have overcome this challenge together. Well, with God’s help the next morning the Lord and I apologized to the co-manager for raising my voice. So, my homework on this is going to be finding a scripture that I can memorize that will help me when this cloudy thinking comes into play so it will be in my heart and soul and God’s living word will help me gain perspective and put my focus on Him who will guide me in making godly choices that will bring Him glory.

1Peter 4:7 Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.

(I read this at lunch time that same day this all happened. God is so working on me)

Friday, August 16, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 254

What does it mean when we call someone Lord? The definition of Lord says, a person of authority, control, or power over others; a master, chief or ruler. From some research, the primary reason for the use of Lord in place of God’s Hebrew name is to follow the tradition of the Israelites in not pronouncing or spelling out God’s name.

“Lord” is basically another name for God. We are to set Jesus apart as Lord because he is God, God among us. This concept of three in one can be tough for some people to accept but God can do and be anything and he chose to come down and dwell with us in Jesus and Jesus told us when we believe we will have the Holy Spirit within us. Our Lord is within us. Think about that and be amazed again at who God is and what he does for us.

1Peter 3:15 But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 253

From what I have heard, sheep are pretty dumb. So what does that say about us? Laughing…. We are pulled astray by things of this world. Satan puts on sheep’s clothing and will lead us away from our Shepherd. I like the word “overseer” as another name for shepherd. An overseer is the one in charge of watching over everything to ensure all are safe and everything is as it should be. Sheep stay safe when they are within their flock. It is the same for us. Stay within the community of believers and listen constantly for the voice of our Shepherd who will lead us on to new pastures and away from evil.

1Peter 2:25  For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 252

I am sorry I missed yesterday. I have been suffering from allergy conjunctivitis and while it got better with the drops from the doctor for a week; it returned. I have been researching natural remedies as I have to stop taking all allergy medication for a week before my appointment with the allergy doctor. If you would say a little prayer for healing, I would be ever so grateful.

I am reading through 1Peter now in my devotional time and was intrigued by the word “inheritance”. I have gotten little sums of money after my grandparents went on to heaven but I was thinking life on earth with our hope of heaven is more like knowing in advance we are going to inherit eternal life in heaven but on earth we have been given a trust fund called Jesus Christ. A trust fund is designed to be a holding place for your inheritance where a trustee is in charge of doling out what you need allowing you to grow in maturity before you are given your full inheritance. Our trustee is the Holy Spirit. When we are in need, which is pretty much every minute of every day, we should be asking the Holy Spirit to give us what we need. Because of the pain and discomfort in my eyes, I have been tempted by food to be my comfort but instead I have to ask the Holy Spirit for self-control and look to my Lord as my comfort. Do you have a need that has come into focus lately? Stop now and ask your trustee for a little help.

1Peter 3-5 In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

Monday, August 12, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 251

I recently went to the exhibit in town called Passages. It is an exhibit about the history of the bible. Not the contents of the bible but how it actually came to be translated, printed and other fascinating history. I think the one thing that really made an impression on me was the demonstration of the printing press created so the bible could be printed for all people. They literally had to place each letter in the set-up which shows backwards and it was in Latin and this was done in Germany by men who didn’t know any Latin. It had to be frustrating, meticulous and time-consuming. I am pretty sure you would have to have the patience of a saint. With this bit of history and all the rest, it really is amazing that we are able to read our own personal bibles today. I must have 4-5 copies of the bible myself and yet there was a time when the common folk didn’t get to have the bible and people fought for that privilege. Everything we have is because of God and how he helped men and women throughout history that we might have the living Word of God in our very own homes. When I am in need of patience, I will picture in my mind the demonstration of the printing press and the task it took to print just one bible. That took divine intervention!

Romans 15: 4-5

For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus. (NKJV)

Sunday, August 11, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 250

Our greatest gift of love to others is being connected with God through the Holy Spirit. Our connection with the Holy Spirit allows us to be transformed and made new each day. We can be loving, joyful, filled with peace, patience in all circumstances, kind to all, good in all we do, faithful to God, gentle in our words and actions and have the self-control to conquer. All of these fruits are possible with the Holy Spirit and our love for God will be the greatest gift of love we can give others, that they may know him. Are you what you say you are or do your actions and behaviors conflict with your message? To get it right, we have to have the attitude, behaviors, actions and words. Ask the Holy Spirit each day to help you be the person that is an example of God’s love.

Acts 28: 20 It is because of the hope of Israel that I am bound with this chain.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 249

I find it curious that the goal from the day we are born is to be independent. I think a lot of parents would like to see their kids grow up to be happy, healthy and successful. But our life is not just about our physical bodies. In teaching independence to our children, we must also teach them to depend on God. I think most of us are aware of how much more challenging it is to learn something as an adult especially since it is going against what you have learned in childhood and been doing your whole life. You know how they say it is easier for a child to learn a new language but it becomes more difficult as you get older. As children we are like brand new sponges and we are able to soak up so much more. As adults, we are sponges that have been set aside and unused, dried up and it is so much more challenging to soak up anything. But even an old dried up sponge can become transformed and made like new with a good soaking in water. We too can be transformed by the renewing water of life given to us by the Holy Spirit. We can learn to depend on God and through that dependence find peace in all circumstances.

Acts 27:13 When a gentle south wind began to blow, they thought they had obtained what they wanted; so the weighed anchor and sailed along the shore of Crete.

Friday, August 9, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 248

There was a specific time I am reminded of when I felt at peace and really trusted God and knew I was exactly where he wanted me to be. It was without a doubt one of the most difficult times in my life. It didn’t start off peaceful and my trust in God was overwhelmed by my fear. It was when I went into labor with my daughter at 20 weeks. I went from being the most scared I have ever been to feeling complete trust and peace with God. How did that happen? It wasn’t me. It was all God. Since that time, my faith wavers, my focus isn’t on Him and peace isn’t always there. There was a moment in the hospital when I turned to God in total dependence on Him. It was the moment when not knowing what to do I prayed asking for His help. I immediately was filled with peace and the answer was given to my spirit and I knew without any doubt that all was to be okay and I was exactly where God wanted me. How is it we can have that peace? The answer is taking the focus off ourselves and putting the focus on God. Living with our focus on God is possible but it is something that we have to commit to and follow through with. Start with being in the Word of God every day. Amazing things happen when we take the focus off of ourselves and put it on the Lord. I am especially tickled by this scripture in Acts of Paul and his sense of humor. It truly shows how much he is at peace with his circumstances of being in jail for 2 years without doing anything criminal.

Acts: 26: 28-29 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?” Paul replied, “Short or long—I pray God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.”

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 247

I am speculating that Festus in chapter 26 of Acts is Melancholy in Control. This is based on his, what I would call, passing the buck kind thing. He doesn’t want to not give the Jews what they want and yet he has figured out that their accusations against Paul are not criminal in any way. But instead of letting Paul go, he puts the decision in someone else’s hands. A Melancholy in Control doesn’t want to be responsible for someone else but it also could be that Festus just didn’t want any disapproval from the Jews. In any case, without Festus taking an APS, it can only be speculation. But it does show me that, although what he did is probably based on a weakness within his temperament, God uses it to fit into his plan for Paul. This shows that no matter what we do whether our choices are wise or not, God works them all into His greater plan. We don’t have to hold onto guilt for things we have done that were not good choices but know that it is part of God’s plan and with the help of the Holy Spirit we can overcome the built-in weaknesses we have and transform them into strengths that will bring glory to God and help further His kingdom.

Acts 25:26 But I have nothing definite to write to His Majesty about him. Therefore I have brought him before all of you, and especially before you, King Agrippa, so that as a result of this investigation I may have something to write.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 246

Information overload has been happening since the beginning of time. There is only so much a person can take in but it can be even more difficult in our culture today with television, radio, magazines, news, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. There is a lot to take in. It can be the same just reading the bible. One whole chapter can have a lot to it that you can walk away feeling like nothing really sunk in. I find if I am heading in that direction that if I stop and have a heart to heart with God asking him to make something clear that he wants to show me than the clarity will come. Sometimes, it can be a little phrase that amongst all the other words can get lost. But with the Holy Spirit’s help we can see clearly what he wants us to learn. Don’t let information overload stop you from growing in your relationship with God. Stop and ask for help.

Acts 24:25 As Paul discoursed on righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and said “That’s enough for now! You may leave.”

Monday, August 5, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 245

We are well aware of how there are many sides to an issue especially when it comes to politics but I was reminded of how we are also divided when it comes to God. There always seems to be someone with another perspective that does not mesh with your own. I am sure that how we are made as unique individuals is the reason for this but I am also sure that God is the one and only way that we can be unified in spirit. Unfortunately, this takes every person on Earth opening their hearts to Christ. We won’t see this unity of spirit this side of Heaven but we have the hope of being a part of this unity in Heaven. Perhaps, with lots of prayer and working on our own spirit we can see a glimpse of this kind of unity within our own circle of family and friends.

Acts 23:6  Then Paul, knowing that some of t hem were Sadducees and the others Pharises, called out in the Sanhedrin, “My brothers, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 244

What are you waiting for? This question is said usually because there is hesitancy, fears or unsureness seen in the person this is said to. This question is a motivating question meant to encourage the person it is said to, to take action, let go of fears and do it. My studies on temperament have shown me how certain temperament weaknesses can cause this inaction. Only God can help a person overcome their built-in weaknesses and turn them into strengths. I have looked at my own built-in weaknesses within my temperament and can see how with the Holy Spirit within me I am able to conquer my fears, have confidence and take action. Conquering these built-in weaknesses is an on-going effort. With commitment to working with the Holy Spirit through prayer, worship and study anyone can overcome their built-in weakness and have them transformed into strengths that will glorify and serve God. What is keeping you from inaction? Take courage and ask the Holy Spirit to give you whatever it is you need to overcome.

Acts 22:16 And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 243

Have you ever felt bombarded from all sides? Of course you have. It is the way of the world we live in because evil will try and do anything and everything to draw you away from God. Because of technology, we have chaos coming at us from those things that are part of our lives: the TV, internet, radio. There is always a way out of the chaos and lies dished out to us every day. It is by separating ourselves from it. We need to keep the truth fresh within us which means being in the Word and prayer every day. When you are feeling confused or unsure, it could be that you need a fresh dose of the way, the truth and the life.

Acts 21:34

Some in the crowd shouted one thing and some another, and since the commander could not get at the truth because of the uproar, he ordered that Paul be taken into the barracks.

Friday, August 2, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 242

The word ‘task’ has been mulling around in my head a lot lately because of my class on temperament theory. Some temperaments are task-oriented, others are relationship-oriented and some are most comfortable with one but will or can do the other in order to meet their needs. The word ‘task’ can seem boring or just something that needs to be done but when we are talking about the task that Jesus Christ would have us do in sharing about Him to everyone who doesn’t know Him or whose heart has been closed is much more than a ‘task’. I looked up the definition of ‘task’ and found a couple of synonyms that I think might speak better about what it is we are doing for Christ. You tell me? Do you like assignment, mission or duty? Or perhaps it is a mix of all of these? What it is and should be is something we are passionate about, committed to and we are able to do it without fear but with joy and love. In the end we are nothing if not for the mission that Jesus has given us that we might help Him save others as He has saved us.

Acts: 20:24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 241

This word “prophecy” is one of those words that has various meanings and it all depends on the context it is in. When I saw it in this scripture below, I just knew it was time to do a little research on this word to help me better comprehend. Prophesy can mean foretelling as most of us probably know but it also means forth telling which in a nut shell means proclaiming the truth. It turns out “prophet” in Greek means to announce and prophets were considered “messengers of God”. So in plain 21st century language, when we have the Holy Spirit in us we become messengers of God who proclaim the truth.

Acts: 19:2 and 6 “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”  When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.