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Fruit of the Spirit – PEACE

“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 NIV

The Greek word that Paul uses for peace is eirēnē. It means a state of tranquility, rest, safety and security. When I read that definition I cannot help but chuckle. With a three year old (who often acts like a hormonal teenage girl… no offense to teenage girls, but I was one), a one year old, and a husband who is gone for nine months, life feels anything but tranquil. However, that’s not the point of this word. It does not say my circumstances are tranquil and safe, it says my state of being is such. (Dear God, point taken.) Despite life’s circumstances, if I am trusting in God, walking hand in hand with Him, and allowing Him to lead me by His will, I can remain in a state of tranquility and rest in spite of the craziness around me.

I am a firm believer that making the time to spend quiet time daily with God is essential to helping us stay rooted in the security and rest He offers through the power of His Holy Spirit. I know there will be times in life when it is not possible to do so, but for the majority of us, it is. Taking that time with God is our lifeline as “branches” to stay rooted to the “Vine,” (John 15). If you’re not already doing so, I encourage you to challenge yourself over the next month (and then hopefully beyond!) to spend one on one time with God. It may be for fifteen minutes, it may be you’re in a season where you can make time for an hour, whatever it is, I guarantee it will make a difference. And if you do not know where to begin just Google “Bible devotional plans”… it’ll give you plenty of places to start!

God bless!

Noree Wegmeyer

 

 

 

Photo Credit:   https://www.pexels.com/photo/photo-of-child-reading-holy-bible-935944/

Fruit of the Spirit – JOY

“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 NIV

Carving on a log bench at Moseley Bog, Birmingham, UK.

I am, by nature, a joyful person. But some days I wake up and I can feel something is off. Even after my first cup of coffee my joy seems like an object just beyond my grasp. And then my kids wake up. They act like their normal, crazy, whiney, toddler selves (no, my kids do not whine all the time, but yes, they whine on a consistent basis), and because of my mood they seem to push all the wrong buttons. My joy seems to be driven farther and farther away.

I believe the Holy Spirit allows us to recognize moods like this so we can also recognize we have a choice: continue down the path of a joyless, impatient, frustrating day, or hit the reset button. For me hitting the reset button looks something like this: picking a worship song and locking myself in my bathroom or closet for two minutes while I blare the music as loud as a my phone will allow (my kids will survive, the house may not, but in faith I choose to believe my kids will survive). Sometimes I shout the lyrics to get my frustration out. Sometimes I simply kneel in surrender. Whatever it is, I do something to turn my focus back on Jesus and off of my mood. I may not walk out of the closet smiling and laughing like everything is peachy-keen all of a sudden, but I do walk out knowing I serve a God who is faithful, who loves me, and who provides His strength in my weakness.

In the book of Nehemiah, He tells the Israelites to not be mournful, for the joy of the Lord will be their strength. I encourage you today to take a minute and reflect upon a tool that helps you remain rooted and joyful in the Lord. Make it a habit to use that tool frequently. This world is full of things that can easily steal our joy, determine to remain rooted in Christ. He will be your strength.

God bless!

Noree Wegmeyer

 

 

Photo Credit:   https://www.freeimages.com/photo/joy-1537988

 

Fruit of the Spirit – LOVE

“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 NIV

Happy New Year! I’d like to start this year by doing a series on the fruit of the Spirit. Each fruit could be a series in and of themselves! Each one is jam packed with marvelous truths and applications regarding the Truth of God and His will for our lives. While there isn’t space to expound so deeply, my prayer is that you will be challenged to go deeper yourselves as to how you can live out each fruit to grow more intimately in love with God. Let’s dive in.  

I believe Hollywood has deluded us with thoughts of love. We watch as women are romantically and passionately swept off their feet, as men are finally made whole through the love of the right woman, as flowers are sent, giggles are voiced, and the honeymoon stage never ends. We have fallen in love with a “love delusion.” But what about the love that crawls out of bed at 2am to rock a sick child after cleaning up their vomit filled room? What about the love that stands by a partners’ bed as cancer ravages their body because you are in it “for better or for worse,”? What about the love that takes the time to make an extra meal for a neighbor, despite your kids screaming in the background, because your neighbor is going through a rough patch? Philippians 2:5-8 tells us that although Jesus was in the form of God, He did not consider equality with God something to be grasped. He therefore emptied Himself, took on the role of a servant, and died on the cross in our place. THAT is true love my friend. Jesus did not live to be self-centered. He came to be selfless, to empty Himself so you and I could come into right standing with God.

Take a moment and ask God how you can grow more in love with Him this year. Does He want you to read His Word more regularly; have a daily, intimate prayer time with Him to be still and listen; take more time to surround yourself with worship music? Then take a moment to reflect on how you can live out God’s love more practically towards those around you. Practical evangelism is a marvelous tool! When done with the intentionality of extending God’s love, every practical deed is a seed being sown.

God bless!

Noree Wegmeyer

Photo Credit:   https://pixabay.com/en/heart-love-romance-valentine-700141/