Identified With Christ: Fruit Of The Spirit

Observable and increasing of the fruits of the Spirit in our lives is evidence of God’s conforming us to the image of Christ. Here, from Galatians 5:22-23, is a compendium of the fruits of the Spirit:

1. Love: affection for others;
2. Joy: exuberance about life;
3. Peace: serenity;
4. Forbearance: long-suffering, patience, a willingness to stick with things;
5. Kindness: a sense of compassion;
6. Goodness: a conviction that a basic holiness permeates all things and people;
7. Faithfulness: loyalty to commitments;
8. Gentleness: humility, not needing to force our way;
9. Self-control: able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.

There are no shortcuts to spiritual maturity. It takes time to be holy.  Today’s weakness becomes tomorrow’s strength.

Jesus predicted Peter would deny Him three times, Peter twice insisted that he would never deny or disown the Lord. But he did. But then Peter became the epitome of boldness in the early chapters of Acts. A weakness matured into a strength.

What Fruit of The Spirit would you like to see increase in your life? Identifiy yourself with Christ. Watch your fruit ripen.

#identifiedwithChrist

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Who’s Your Daddy?

In the wake of Father’s Day, having pondered the impact of fathers in our lives, or our own legacy as a father, we posit this:   You can tell everything you need to know about a man by who his god is.

It’s been said that a person’s god is revealed by his day-planner and his checkbook. Consider for a moment the difference in the impact of a father for whom work and money have priority over the Biblical principles of family and God.

Things are remarkably different when a man puts the God of the Bible first in his life. When he is identified with Christ. Such a man is grounded in the Word. He has character, and lives out his life with humility and integrity. He continually grows in faith. The godly man’s harvest is abundant; the Holy Spirit produces this fruit in his life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

And he passes these gifts on to the next generation. And the next.

Selah

Stay tuned.

#identifiedwithChrist

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KAOS

In the long running parody TV series Get Smart, Agent 86 is tasked with thwarting KAOS, an international organization of evil. Can there be any better parody of the Christian’s life today?  On this Shabbat, the world is in KAOS. Much of it governed by Totalitarian regimes.  The Western (“free”) world is caught somewhere between fallen-away and craving Totalitarian greener grass. Seeking purpose and meaning here, there, and everywhere.  What now 2 do?

Believers live in a different Kingdom. We carry a different passport. This Sabbath we are called to stop. We are given a time to step back and see the bigger picture, the arc of God’s providential plan. And to give thanks. Thanks for His Church, and thanks for the wisdom and inevitability of His will.

On this Sabbath, then, let us be identified with Christ. Here are three things that God would remind us of this morning. Remember the Sabbath to keep it Holy. Our need to worship in community today. And our role in His Great Commission.

Get thee to a church or synagogue this morning. Offer your praise and thanksgiving and honor and glory to your Maker. And renew yourself for your role in His Great Commission in the week ahead.

Father, we humble ourselves as we come before You on Your Sabbath. We recommit to Your will and purpose for our lives. Help us to be renewed today for the week ahead. And to refocus on Your purpose for our lives – to know You and to make You known. And all God’s people agreed and said…. Amen.

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Prayer: Incessant, Insistent, Relentless, and Expectant

And we are sure of this, that he will listen to us whenever we ask him for anything in line with his will. And if we really know he is listening when we talk to him and make our requests, then we can be sure that he will answer us. 1 John 5:14-15 TLB

Prayer is a mighty instrument, not for getting man’s will done in heaven, but for getting God’s will done in earth. The Tests Of Life (3rd Ed.), Robert Law (1860 – 1919)

When we lack a specific knowledge of God’s will, we must pray about it continuously. Paul wrote to the Colossians that he was praying continually for them, asking God to fill them with a knowledge of His will (Colossians 1:9) . Persistence and asking – two things Jesus taught His disciples about prayer (Luke 11:5-10; 18:1-8).

If you are seeking God’s will, pray without ceasing and let God answer as He will. Before there are answers, there must be asking. We ask, He answers.

Father, you have never failed me yet. Even when I have been weak and inattentive, You have never failed to come through. To provide what I needed. Even those times I did not like, understand, or even see your provision. Selah. Let me be faithful now. Faithful in my thanksgiving. Faithful in my asking. Faithful in my patience. Faithful in my persistence. Faithful in my obedience. And this; faithful in my gratitude. All honor and glory and praise be to You. For ever and ever. And all God’s people agreed and said….Amen.

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Pray From God’s Perspective

Pray not simply on the basis of intercession, but for redemption. Not for someone to simply be “patched up,” but to be carried completely through into contact with the very life of God. To become identified with Christ.

Put yourself in God’s place, having His mind and His perspective.

#prayer #identifiedwithChrist

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Augustine Succumbs To Prayer

Strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf. Romans 15:30 ESV

Could persistent, seemingly unanswered, prayer be a means of grace in your life? In the lives of others?

Augustine (also “Augustine of Hippo” and “Saint Augustine”) (354 – 430) was one of the most influential Christian theologians of all time. His fifth-century writings in support of biblical orthodoxy and against the prevailing heresies of his day shaped Western thought for centuries.

Augustine is best known through his Confessions, the personal account of his early years, filled with prideful pursuits in academia, wanton sexual promiscuity, and the persistent rejection of Christian truth.

In the midst of the tale of a hell-bent young man, we meet his mother, Monica – a woman who prayed fervently for her son year after year, even when there was no visible evidence that her prayers were being heard or answered.

History relates that one day she went to the local bishop, to see if he could somehow talk some sense into her prodigal child. Looking into her eyes, he assured her that God would choose His own way of getting through to her son one day. “It is not possible,” he said to her, “that the son of so many tears should perish.”

And so it was, that at the age of thirty-two, the son of Monica’s tears stopped running from God and was powerfully converted to faith in Christ.

One of the most potent means of grace in children’s lives is the gift of praying parents. And though untold weeks and years can elapse without getting the answer they hope for, this often toilsome process is part of what He uses to sanctify believing parents, draw them closer to Him, and amaze them with the lengths He is willing to travel to rescue their children.

Are you grieving over a son or daughter or another loved one who is resisting God? Don’t stop praying. Keep laying hold of God. The last chapter is not yet written. He is still weaving your faithful, earnest prayers into His story for their lives.

#identifiedwithChrist #prayer

Adapted From The Quiet Place, a devotional by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

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Prayer: Disinfecting The Air Around Us

For we are not fighting against human beings but against the wicked spiritual forces in the heavenly world, the rulers, authorities, and cosmic powers of this dark age. Ephesians 6:12 GNT

In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul reminds us of the spiritual warfare that exists in a Christian’s life. That our battle is not against flesh and blood, but rather the non-visible (unseen) forces of evil. The Apostle Peter paints an edible word picture of the battle: Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8 NLT

The role prayer plays in our lives as overcomers is pivotal. Fervent, consistent prayer keeps us connected to God and helps us resist Satan’s attempts at discouraging our walk. Prayer disinfects the air around us and advances God’s cause on earth. 

Prayers up.

#identifiedwithChrist #prayer

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From Whence Cometh My Help?

Things not going according to plan?

There are no such things as problems, only opportunities. But it takes good counsel to make great decisions. To turn problems into opportunities.

So where to turn for counsel and guidance? A spouse? A friend? Certainly. But surrendered believers know to turn to God first and early. When we pray about situations that concern us, we open them up to His providence. He will guide those who pray and don’t lose heart. Persistent prayer in the face of initial disappointment can become an instrument of divine nurture. We grow to trust God more by seeing that He often prepares something better than we would ever dare to ask, hope, or dream for. And by recogniziation that God’s greatest gifts may come through prayers that seem to be unanswered.

So here goes.

Father, I give You all praise, honor, and glory for the Kingdom You have created. And for Your mercy in sending Your only Son Jesus on a rescue mission for us. I surrender my life to Your plan and purpose. And thus to your guidance and providence. You know my situation and my need. I begin with You, asking for You to be involved in this with me. Give me Your wisdom. Help me choose the right path. Show me Your purposes. Reveal to me any error on my part. If You want me to get help from others, please show me who to talk to. I ask all of this in the name of Your Son and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Prey fervently. Persistently. And remember good communication includes listening. So be in God’s Word. Be attentive to promptings. You can be confident that God is listening. And unfolding His plan for your life.

#prayer #identifiedwithChrist

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A Prayer For The Morning

Good morning Father. Thank you for the day you have made, and for allowing me to play a role in it. Let me identify myself with Your son, Jesus Christ, in everything I do.

I accept afresh the gift of Your saving grace and acknowledge that I am a hopeless sinner separated from You except by Your grace. I commit the rest of my life as a repentance. First by putting right as much as I possibly can of my past. And second by using the gifts You have given me to glorify and do the work of Your kingdom everyday. Amen

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Sabbath Shalom

Sabbath is not a background thing.

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