I have seen several Bible studies lately about the Fruits of the Spirit. And while for one reason or another I wasn’t able to actually participate fully in any of them, they did inspire me to want to dig deeper.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
For me, this is one of those verses that I have memorized. And while knowing God’s word is always a good thing, I think that too much memorization can be a bad thing at the same time. Because, if we aren’t careful, it just becomes words that we recite, and we lose the meaning. I can recite the Fruits of the Spirit, but do I really know and understand and think about and contemplate exactly what each one means, and what it requires of me? I don’t think I do. And that is something that I wanted to rectify, at least in part. So, I created this little mini-album about the Fruits of the Spirit. For each one, I found a verse that I feel really defines the trait and what it means to me and requires of me. For once, I forced myself to really think about it. Not just the words, but everything they mean and encompass.
I think we sometimes get too hung up on grace. Don’t get me wrong, God’s grace is awesome. But, I think we sometimes use it as an excuse and as a crutch. I hear all the time, “We’re going to fail, but God’s grace is enough so it doesn’t really matter.” While I agree that God’s grace is more than enough, I cannot agree that it “doesn’t really matter,” because I think it DOES matter to God. I think we excuse ourselves too much sometimes and that we should hold ourselves to a higher standard. 1 Corinthians 10:13 tells us, No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. What this says to me is NOT that because of my flesh I can never do the right thing. What this says to me is that God is greater than my flesh and any temptation Satan can offer, and that in every single situation, he always gives me the option to go through it without sinning. It’s just that I don’t always take it. For me that is a humbling thought and it forces me to take responsibility for myself and not just blame it on my “flesh” or blame it on Satan. Through Jesus Christ, and God’s grace I do have the power and ability to live a life pleasing to God and to escape situations without sinning, if I will only choose God’s way instead of my own.
I want this little book to be a reminder for me to daily strive for my BEST for God, and to truly try harder to embody the Fruits of the Spirit. To be a better witness for Him, and to become closer to what He is calling me to be.
Also, I have some awesome news!!! Remember that I was invited to be a part of the design team at Scripture Scrappers? Well, God had bigger plans for us all. A woman named Cindy has been led by God to create a Christian magazine (Christian Paper Crafts Magazine) and community. Danielle, the leader of Scripture Scrappers has had it on her heart to be involved as well and eventually felt that God was leading her to combine the two sites. So, now rather than being on the DT for Scripture Scrappers, I will be a part of the challenge team for CPCM! I am super excited at seeing how God is moving already through this magazine and community and I can’t wait to see all that He has planned for us and I am ecstatic to be a part of it.
The first paper issue of the magazine will be out in August of this year! I would LOVE for you guys to come and join me over at the forums…it really is a wonderful Christian community. Membership is free through the end of May, and after that there are different levels of membership. Cindy felt that having a small membership fee would help to make the forums a safer place.
And, finally…after 12 days of being in Illinois, we are headed HOME today! So, please pray for safe travels for us on the 6 hour drive. I will be very glad to get back home and back to our routine and all that.