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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/

Connected Branch

“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.”
John 15:5, NLT

Luke, chapter eight, gives the account of a woman who’d been afflicted for twelve years with non-stop bleeding. In that day, she was considered “unclean”—someone nobody wanted to come in contact with. As such, she was likely an outcast, not connected in her community, and unable to find a cure for her bleeding. One day, while Jesus was passing through a town, she made her way through the crowd of people in an effort to get close enough to touch Him. She reached His clothing and touched the edge of His robe. Right then, she stopped bleeding. Jesus wanted to know who touched Him. Everyone around Him said they didn’t do it. The apostle Peter told Jesus the entire crowd was pressing on Him because so many people were there.

But Jesus said, ‘Someone deliberately touched me, for I felt healing power go out from me.’ When the woman realized that she could not stay hidden, she began to tremble and fell to her knees in front of him. The whole crowd heard her explain why she had touched him and that she had been immediately healed. ‘Daughter,’ he said to her, ‘your faith has made you well. Go in peace’”  (Luke 8: 46-48, NLT).

This woman had been outwardly disconnected from healing for years. By touching Jesus she demonstrated her faith that He was the true source of the healing power that she needed. Jesus said He felt healing power go out from Him when she touched His robe. She was connected to him in her heart! Read today’s Dose verse.

God wants our lives to be like fruit-producing branches of a grapevine. This happens when we stay connected to Jesus (our vine), and let God (our gardener), prune our lives. It prompts growth and fruitfulness. God’s cultivating, weeding, and pruning within us results in godly character development, progress in our walk with Jesus, and an abundance of spiritual fruit. Remaining in Jesus means to stay connected to him (in all situations) in our hearts, through faith, just like the woman did. We must persist in keeping connected to Jesus, our power source for living godly, fruitful, and productive lives. Without Him, we become disconnected, and therefore, can’t do what He requires of us.

Are you a fruitful branch connected to the Vine today?

By grace through faith,

Rita

The Holy Spirit

“At that same time Jesus was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit, and he said, “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way.”
Luke 10:21, NLT

holy-spirit-1315165-640x960In this verse we see the Holy Spirit is the one who filled Jesus with joy. As Christians, this same Spirit lives within us. He moved in the day we received Christ as our Savior and began harvesting His fruit in our lives – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. It should bring us great peace to know He will never leave or forsake us, and He will continue to walk along-side us every day of our lives. The Holy Spirit also intercedes on our behalf, bringing our request straight to the throne room of God. What an incredibly powerful ally to have in life!

Today, praise God for the gift of His Holy Spirit living within us, and pray that He will fill us with the fruits of His Spirit so that we can reap a great harvest.

Prayerfully,

Madison

 

 

 

photo credit: http://www.freeimages.com/photographer/mazupan-39719