"Preach the gospel at all times, if necessary use words." - St. Francis of Assisi

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lent - Day 36

“The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control….” (Galatians 5:22-23)

How do non-believers view us? Upon what do they base their opinions of Christians? Do they see the fruit of love, joy, peace, etc.? I find it rather important that when Paul wrote this letter, he mentioned this list as fruit produced…not fruits produced….in that all these as a whole are characteristics of the fruit/attributes we as Christian should show. We can’t pick and choose from the list. And God doesn’t pick and choose which ones we get….we get all….or none.
During this season of self-examination, I am looking at this list and seeing how I stand. I think I’m pretty good on the kindness and goodness, for example, but on the patience and self-control…not so much. What am I withholding from God so that I can’t enjoy the full benefits of what He has promised to me? I’m faithful to my friends and family…but am I always faithful to God? I would tend to think so, but I know that I tend to worry about things and try to offer my suggestions to God about how to deal with certain people and situations, so I’m not being so faithful in those times.
Turning things over to God and letting go of my own manipulations is probably one of my bigger faults. Oh sure, I’ll pray for God’s Will to be done in various situations, but do I really let it go and leave it with Him? Again….not so much at times. As my Plain ancestors have written in journals and Bibles,
“We must learn to let God’s Will be our primary motive. We say we trust God, so, then our word binds us to trust Him to handle our problems. Don’t turn to our own devices and those of other men. God’s way is always best.”
How simple. How assuring. How I wish I could always do that. I’m working on it and I hope you will, also. Pray for your trusting in our sovereign God who can, and will, handle all things…..but, in His Time!

Thanks be to God for his indescribable GIFT!


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