Love In Action

romans121913

Continuing on with our theme of “Godly Relationships” here at MOHL, I wanted to write a little bit on some of the practical ways we can show love to others.

Romans 12:9-13 reads as follows:

“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”

Wow… there are a lot of things written to us as believers just in that short passage.

Something I really want to point out from those scriptures is that a lot of those commands relate directly to the attitude in our hearts. It says that we ought to:

1. Honor others before yourself. This could mean a few different things, but I think mainly, it is really seeking to put the needs or wants of others above your own. Do you know of someone who is struggling with finances and they have no way to keep warm? Give them a coat to wear. Do you know of someone who is hungry? Bring them some food! Even giving a bright and cheery smile to the cashier in the store who has had a long day can bring some sunshine into their lives. You might be the only bit of happiness and joy that enters their life that day. You never know how God can use even the smallest things to encourage others. This goes into point #2.

2. Never be lacking in zeal and spiritual fervor for the Lord. As we continue on the paths the Lord has placed in our lives, He will lead us through the valley and the desert both. Sometimes, it feels like we have never been closer to the Lord, and everything is “going our way”. We’re in the valley…joy-filled, at peace, and excitedly going down the path of the Lord’s will. Then, He may choose to bring us through a dry, desert time. It seems as if everything is a struggle, like the Lord is far away and doesn’t hear our desperate pleas of asking for peace from the conflict, whatever it might be. Having walked through a time like this recently, I can’t even begin to tell you what a blessing it was to have dear sisters constantly sending me scripture verses and praying for me. Do you know someone who is struggling in their spiritual life? The Lord may be calling you to be a witness to them as they walk through this time in the desert. Diligently seek to pray for them, look for little ways you can encourage them. Perhaps a note in the mail or some favorite scriptures written out on notecards and given to them will help them on their journey.

3. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. This part speaks for itself in many ways. Be joyful in hope… We have a great hope in the knowledge that one day, the Lord will return to take us home to be with Him for all eternity. We have a great hope because He chose, in His divine providence, to take on the weight of our sins and wash them clean. He took the punishment, that we rightly deserve, that we might be white as snow, and have this great hope! What a mighty, faithful and loving God we serve.  Patient in affliction… Our pastor was just teaching this past Sunday about how trials are brought into our lives for our good. We often do the most growing as we learn to further rely on the Lord, and less on our own efforts. When we are completely broken, we realize just how small we are, and just how mighty our Lord is. We may not understand in this life why He sent specific trials into our lives, but we can rest once again in the greater Hope- that the Lord works together all things for the good of those who are His own according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28) Faithful in prayer… once again, this part speaks for itself, but in many ways, how often are we guilty of telling someone that we will pray for them and then forgetting or never getting around to doing so? *raises hand* One way that we can really seek to show love to others is remembering to be faithful in praying for them, or over specific requests they may have shared with us. For myself, I’ve found that keeping a prayer request journal is a great way to specifically list out folks or requests that I am praying for during that time. It’s also neat to look back through and see exactly how God answered those prayers!

4. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Building somewhat on #1, sharing with fellow believers who are in need is one of the greatest ways that we can show love to others. One specific way my church tries to do this is by taking meals to families who have recently had a baby, lost a family member, are sick, etc. Having been on both ends of this, I can say that it is a blessing to both parties. Taking a meal to someone is a way of acknowledging to them that you know they are struggling with something at the time, and it is a very practical way of showing love to them. It truly blesses you knowing that you are lending them a helping hand in their time of need. When my family has been on the receiving end, it is so nice to not have to worry about cooking on top of everything else going on at the time, no matter what the circumstance is. There are obviously several other ways to help folks in need…I just used food as an example because here in the South, food is a big deal. :) As far as showing hospitality, the definition of hospitality means: “The friendly reception and treatment of guests or strangers.” What better way to show hospitality to believers and non-believers alike than to host them in your home? Whether just for a meal or for an extended stay, oftentimes, one of the best ways we can be a witness to others is to have them in our homes, so that they can see the way we live, and Lord willing, to see the love of Christ in us and through us.

What are some different ways you can show “love in action” to others around you?

 

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Hallelujah, He is Risen!

He is risen! He is risen indeed.

A blessed Resurrection day to you & yours!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow. When Jesus gave up His last breath on Calvary, the veil of separation was torn in two & we are now gifted with the priceless gift of unadulterated communion with the Lord. When Jesus ascended into heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit at Pentecost to give His disciples & followers power to carry out the great commission. I’m here to share with you, sisters, that that same Pentecostal power they were given in tongues of fire is ours.

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.
Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2nd Peter 1:1-15

What does this look like in the day to day? Certainly appears to be a tall order. *smile* It’s so much more than an inspirational encouragement but the calling on all of our lives, in every season. In every moment. Through every trial, triumph, joy & even times of despair. We are new creations. We weren’t once new creations, nor are we trying to attain a brand new identity. We have been cleansed from our sins forever & the Lord casts them as far as the east is from the west. It’s a perpetual, & ongoing renewing, adding all these things to the next in the Scripture above.

These verses are God-inspired, & are a call to rise as He is risen this day. We are vessels made to declare His rule & reign over history, the present & our individual stories. On this blessed Easter morning, I encourage you to breathe deep & let it out. Bask in the Lord’s resurrection power & then, after you pray for these fruits to be cultivated in your day to day, you prepare. Prepare your heart to be tested with gifts disguised as trying people, situations or trials. When I pray for patience, the Lord sends me another short-tempered person or difficult personality or another waiting game to test that prayer.

The Lord does not call the already-equipped; He doesn’t bestow upon us the gifts of His grace & the Holy Spirit’s work in our hearts like pixie dust. The Lord equips the called; day by day even in the mundane, we-His daughters & part of His beloved Bride-are refined as gold.

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The Fruit of the Spirit – Peace

By Rose H.


In Webster’s 1828 dictionary, it defines peace this way. Peace – A state of quiet. Freedom from disturbance, war, internal and private quarrels, fear, terror, anxiety and the like. Heavenly rest. The happiness of heaven.

This week we have been looking at the fruit of the spirit. Today we find ourselves looking at peace. I find it funny how many times Webster used the word freedom and peace to go together. Although I’m not surprised. Think of what the spirit does when He moves into our lives.

When the spirit comes, we are changed. We are filled with the presence of God. Things begin to change. Our heart is made new. Day by day, the spirit stays with us, leading us on. As we are changed, we begin to show it by our actions. Instead of doing things in a fearful, mean, or hateful way, we do things out of love, gratitude, and hope.

As this wonderful change takes place, the Spirit sets us free from our old terrors, sins, and anxieties. As we are set free from these it is replaced with a quiet peace. The kind of peace that can never be shaken. The kind of peace that knows beyond the shadow of a doubt that God will take care of you. The peace that doesn’t take on itself to worry about the cares of the day. The peace that knows that God has taken care of sin and that it no longer has control.

Peace is a wonderful byproduct of the Spirit indwelling us. I would agree with Webster it is heavenly rest, the happiness of heaven.

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The Fruit of the Spirit

1. Love…
is the sacrifice of self
(Matthew 20:28)
2. Joy…
is the sacrifice of praise
(Hebrews 13:15)
3. Peace…
is the sacrifice of trust
(Isaiah 26:3)
4. Patience…
does nothing
(I Thessalonians 5:14)
5. Kindness…
does something
(I Peter 2:22-23)
6. Goodness…
does everything
(I Timothy 5:10)
7. Faithfulness…
is the choice to do it
(I Corinthians 4:2)
8. Gentleness…
is the choice to take it
(Matthew 11:29)
9. Self-control…
is the choice to not do it
(Galatians 5:24-25)
Taken from A Young Woman’s Walk with God by Elisabeth George, pg. 189. Scripture verses added by Rachelle.
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Fruits of the Spirit - Love

This week we’re studying the fruits of the spirit.

I picked “love”.

Love…. *sigh*

Well, no. Not that kind of dreamy, infatuated, romantically swept-off-your-feet type of love. Love isn’t always easy.

Sometimes it is. But that’s usually after you’ve put a lot of effort into it. Kind of like… exercising. Once you start and get past the first wave of exhaustion/fatigue, and develop a routine and a habit of choosing to love, it gets easier.

It’s in the hard times that love, and loving, really matters. When everything around you is going NUTS (and I do mean nuts!) and you feel like your head is spinning from all the stress, you have to choose to love those around you. And it may not be your dream spouse that you have to love. It might be your little sibling. Or older sibling. Or your parents. Or your friend who really bugs you with that odd personality quirk. *raises hand*

Choosing to love is tough.
Jesus chose to love us.

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners,
Christ died for us

Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.


Those were some scripture verses, by the way. Romans 5:8-10. :)
You can’t get a choice much harder than that. Jesus was God - but he died for me. (For me?! Wow! Realizing it afresh… so wonderful.) :) It’s true. He died for me and for you, too.
My brother owns a T-shirt that reads “When HE was on the cross, YOU were on his mind.”

The thought of that almost brings me to tears. And I’m sure it’s true. As Jesus was dying… he was thinking “I’m laying my life down for Julia, so that she will be saved.” The same applies to you… you can insert your name into that sentence.
Here’s another verse for you to chew on…
(imagine it’s your favorite flavor of gum, only in thought form)


1 Corinthians 13:13And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. (or love.) 

Now why would the ‘greatest’ of those three great things be love?
I think it was Jesus’s ‘mission statement’. He came to show us the love of the Father. He came to tell the world that God is Love, and that the wonderful Love of God could be ours for the taking.
Let’s do it!
Let’s go out into our lives, step away from the computer where we saw this blog post, and live it out. Live the love that God has given to us.
Love others as we love ourselves.
Let’s love Him back.  

~Julia

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The Fruit of the Spirit: Temperance

Written by Miss Rachel
{all verses are KJV unless otherwise noted}

“But the fruit of the Spirit is…
temperance.”
{Galatians 5:22-23}

When most people think “temperance” they think about it referring to abstaining from drinking and the temperance movement. Yes, that does have a little to do with it, but there is so much more than that when we say temperance.

The dictionary defines temperance as: “Moderation; particularly, habitual moderation in regard to the indulgence of the natural appetites and passion. (It also means to have a peace and calm about you but for the sake of this post, we are concentrating on these definitions). :)

“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything.” ~ 1 Corinthians 6:12 (ESV)

The Permissible Things…

  • television/movies
  • internet
  • books
  • style of dress
  • the way we worship God (or not)
  • the way we treat others
  • our job choices
  • our church

We are in a season of grace where God allows man to do as he pleases for a time. We, as Christians, are permitted to live as we desire and are not under the law of Moses. BUT, this does not mean that we should be lazy or that we ought to live as we please! As Christians we are chosen people…chosen by God {John 15:16, John 15:19, Ephesians 1:3-5,}.

“Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” ~ John 15:16

His will for us is not to live a comfortable life but a life well-pleasing and honoring to God. :) As Francis Chan says in his book, Crazy Love, “The point of your life is to point to Him!” (Crazy Love, p. 44). God has created us for so much more than doing as we please through this life!! Just because we are allowed to live a certain way doesn’t mean we should.

Every decision we make to “better ourselves” should be backed up by the Word of God. We desire to grow and be more like Christ and so we put away the wicked things of this world and choose the better thing (not without God’s help though!). Whether it’s what church you choose to attend, or the books you read, the things you watch, the friends you hang around,

“That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;” ~ Colossians 1:10

Sure, we can spend a few hours on the computer…maybe even doing useful things such as, say blogging. ;) But what if today God wants you or I to spend more time in His word? Or to reach out to that girl in church that we don’t particularly like very much? What if God asks you to stop doing something that you really enjoy because it’s causing you to have wrong thoughts or a wrong attitude towards your family? Everything is permissible, but not all things are good for you. We need to seek God’s help *daily* and ask Him to show us area’s of weakness or things we need to change. There may be something He wants us to not do anymore (though other’s may decide it’s okay for them) because it is harmful to our relationship with Him. :)

“Most Americans…think about life on earth way too much. Much of our time, energy, and money are channeled toward that which is temporary” — {Crazy Love, p.141}

Like Martha in the bible, we are too often caught up in things of this world, and not enough on spending time with God, serving Him and others, and leading people to a knowing and saving power of Jesus Christ:

38 Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.

39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.

40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.

41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:

42But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

It’s not easy to make a decision to put away things that are distracting or not good for us or things that will not build up the body of Christ…perhaps you or your family have already made some tough choices such as this before. My own family switched to wearing skirts…not because of legalism, but because we felt God telling us it was right for us to dress in a more modest way to please Him. Some don’t own a television so as not to cause a stumbling block for their family with the worldliness… Quite a few years ago I stopped reading romance books because they turned my thoughts away from God and focused my thoughts on things of worldly romance. God helps us all to know what His will is, what will bring Him honor and what won’t, and what we need to change in our lives. :)

The call to temperance here just reminds me to always seek God’s will even in the seemingly “harmless” things of life. I want people not to see a perfect girl, but one who is willing to do whatever the Lord asks of her and one who is always seeking His will in everything. It is not something I have arrived to yet but something that God is constantly helping me with, changing and molding me to be more like His Son. :)

“I want to be different today than I was yesterday as the fruit of the Spirit becomes more manifest in me.” {Radical by David Platt, p. 37}

Blessings in Christ!
~Rachel~

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But the Fruit of the Spirit is… Faith.

Hey Everybody!

My sister, Arielle, was supposed to post today, but something came up, so I’ll be posting today instead :) Thanks for understanding!
Faith. It’s a powerful word, isn’t it? It means to have complete trust in something or someone, and giving them our loyalty.  In this case, the verse isn’t talking about having faith in a chair, believing that when we sit down, it’ll hold our weight. No, this is talking about faith in God, and having a strong faith in Him that won’t waver even when people laugh at us, even when things go wrong, even when it’s seems too hard.

Having this kind of faith in God is so important. Because how can we trust God with our life, how can we point other’s to Christ, how can we live a Christian life without faith in God? So many people struggle with having faith in Jesus. “Well, I can’t even see Him, so how can I have faith in God?” they say. But look at what the Bible says in Hebrew’s 11:1,

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen.”

We can’t actually see God, but there is so much evidence saying that there IS a God who loves and cares for us, that it would be difficult to not believe in Him. A lot of people say that God is like the wind, and although it’s clichéd, it’s true.

We can’t see the wind. If you try to grab it, you won’t get a handful of wind; your hand will just come up empty. But you can definitely feel it, when a gusty breeze plasters your clothes against you or makes your hair fly. You can see the evidence of wind, by watching the trees and bushes rustle with rushing air. You can hear the wind by listening to it whistle through a field, or blowing a loose tarp around, or hearing it bang against a tin roof.

It’s the same way with God. We can’t see him, but we can see, hear, and feel the evidence of Him all around us. “(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)” 2 Corinthians 5:7. When we place our trust in God, when we’re going through life having complete faith in Him, troubles seem so much smaller, and life is the happiest it’s ever been. So if you don’t already have faith in God, start today. Give Him control of your life, trust Him with all your heart, and stand up for Him.

~Arianna~

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The Fruit of the Spirit Is……Meekness.

Written by Rachel

The dictionary defines meekness as -
“softness of temper; mildness; gentleness; forbearance under injury or provocation”.

Wow! That’s tough to accomplish! =:D While preparing to do this study, I decided to look up all the places the word “meek” is found in the Bible. I found quite a few that I hadn’t known were there! It became a very interesting study for me and a very humbling experience. I would just like to share some of the verses I found and what I think of them. =:)

Some Bible versions (like NIV) translate meekness as gentleness. But gentleness is more of an action while meekness is a matter of the heart and mind, an attitude where you submit without resistance to the will of another, such as God (and they are two completely different Greek words). Some people think that meekness is really a sign of “weakness”. But if you put it into perspective and look for verses on the subject, we find that Christ was meek (Matt 11:29 - “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly of heart…”) and that it is a virtue that should be sought after! =:D Meekness is enduring injury with patience and without resentment, and that is certainly something that our Lord did!

Zephaniah 2:3 says ~
“Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness; it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord’s anger.”

We are to seek meekness. We are to search for it, look for it, pursue after it, and endeavor to find it!

1 Timothy 6:11 ~ “But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.”

As Christians we are to put it on like the armor of God.

Colossians 3:12 ~ “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;”

Because it is a part of God’s character, we must strive to make it a part of our character as well. =:D

I found it interesting, that as I was searching for verses on meekness, I came upon this verse which is in the passage referring to women’s submission to their husbands and to God…


“Whose adorning let it not be of that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” ~ 1 Peter 3:3-4
Meekness is a very valuable character trait to have. God rewards those who are meek. The Bible says that the meek will inherit the earth!

“Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” ~ Matthew 5:5

Psalm 37:11 ~ “But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.”

Psalm 147::6 ~ “The Lord lifteth up the meek: he casteth down the wicked to the earth.”

“For the Lord taketh pleasure in his people:
he will beautify the meek with salvation. “
~ Psalm 149:4

The Bible gives us two excellent examples of people who were meek. One is Moses (Numbers 12:3) and the other is Jesus (mark 15:3 - he didn’t fight them). By their examples, we see that meekness is not only a frame of mind, but being able to maintain peace and patience in the face of anger and wickedness from others. Moses lead the Israelites, but they were always complaining! Jesus faced persecution from the crowds and the Jewish leaders and the Romans, even to the death on the cross! Both showed meekness and submitted themselves to God and His will for their lives. True meekness is toward God, not man. We must give up our will for His, even if that means we will be persecuted for it by others. God will use that in our lives for good! =:D (Romans 8:28).

So, we are to be gentle, not easily get angry, and bear up against injury to us (either emotionally or physically). We are to seek, and find, meekness. e are to look to Christ as an example of meekness (Philippians 2:5 ~ “Let this mind be in you; which was also in Christ Jesus:”). If we do this, we will reap the rewards that the Lord has for us! =:D

A young woman who is meek is a great treasure. She will be highly valued for her quietness of spirit (something that I struggle with!). A young woman that is meek will not argue with her parents, will not easily get angry, will be kind and gentle to others (even if they are not so to her), and will not show a spirit of rowdiness or loud noisy behavior. This is a daunting task to try to be like this! You may think, “how can I be like that?”. Well, you can’t do it on your own…But with God’s help, you can! =:D

“With men it is impossible, but not with God:
for with God all things are possible.”
~ Mark 10:27

“And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and ye shall find: knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”
~ Luke 11:9-10

I want to challenge you today to try to be meek (kind gentle, humble, not loud in voice or manner)! I will try as well. It is something that all young ladies should be working on! =:D

Have a Blessed Day!
~Rachel~

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The Fruit of the Spirit is… Longsuffering

Written by: Jessica

["The Fruit of the Spirit" can be found in Galatians 5:22.]

Longsuffering. I only just decided today what fruit of the spirit I wanted to write about. I have had a lot of trouble finding inspiration for what I wanted to write. But luckily, in our weakness’ God provides a way for us. God is so good to me! I love how he is continuing to work in my life! It continues to amaze me how I can have no idea what to write about, then look through my bible just from doing a word search through my dictionary and concordance and come up with so many ideas and insights into God’s goodness and love!

Here is what I have learned through my study of “longsuffering.”

The definition of “longsuffering” is this…
#1.Bearing injuries or provocation for a long time; patient; not easily provoked.”

So, basically, longsuffering is being in hardship for a period of time during which you are being patient and not being easily provoked to anger. For some reason the word “patient” really stood out to me. How many of us can say that we have endured hardship and were patient at the same time? Sometimes, patience can be really hard to accomplish. Almost as hard as enduring the trouble itself.

Although I am sure all of us know what patience is, sometimes looking at the exact meaning of a word can put it into a new light. Thus, I decided to also look at the dictionaries definition of “Patience.” Here is what it said…

#1. “The suffering of afflictions, pain, toil, calamity, provocation or other evil, with a calm, unruffled temper; endurance without murmuring or fretfulness.”

#2. “A calm temper which bears evils without murmuring or discontentment.”

#3. “Perseverance; constancy in labor or exertion.”

I don’t know about any of you, but I often find myself having a complaining spirit over little things like cooking dinner or giving up something that I had planned to do in order to help out my family. This study on longsuffering has really convicted me of my complaining attitude. We as Christians need to remember, whether we are facing a trial and hardship in our lives or not, to be thankful for what God does for us every day rather than complaining about the things that haven’t gone our way.

Perhaps we should reflect not just on this word in the fruit of the spirit, but also on this verse to help us keep our thoughts on patience and longsuffering in perspective.

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.” Hebrews 12:1

All of us will or have suffered in some way in our lives. Because of sin, there is no way that we can get around it. But with God’s help, we can get through our difficulties and live our lives to the fullest with patience. Laying aside the things of this world and our own downfall’s and living for the Lord every day despite the hard things that may happen in our lives.

Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.”

I challenge you to live for the higher prize! Not to live for your own fleshly desires, but to live for the rewards you will receive in heaven. How many of us will be told “Well done, my good and faithful servant”? Though we live through hardships and disappointments, we can be glad in the knowledge that God will see us through all our struggles in life and that he knows what is best for us.

In Christ,
Jessica

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The Fruit of the Spirit is….Gentleness

Gentleness

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

~~~~~~~~~~~

We have been studying the fruit of the Spirit this week and we will be posting more next week as well, and today I would like to focus on fruit number 5 – gentleness.

First of all, what is gentleness? Well, offhand, I would say it is basically being gentle, a sweet and loving, tender, careful attitude. It is not harsh or rough. That’s what I know of the practical meaning of the word.

The Greek word chrēstotēs (khray-stot’-ace) that is translated as gentleness in this verse has the Strong’s concordance definition “Usefulness, that is, moral excellence (in character or demeanor)” Now that is interesting.

I would like to encourage you today to be gentle. If you think about it, gentleness is the opposite of, well, acting like a caveman, (or woman) for lack of a better term… Why do we call educated, polite men and women in our society ‘gentlemen’ and ‘gentlewomen’? It’s because gentleness is acting in a more Christian manner.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

James 3:17 says: But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

Gentleness has also been translated in the KJV into ‘kindness’ and ‘peace’.

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As young ladies in today’s society, it is so important for us to show the world that yes, we can be respectable, kind, and gentle. People can tell who you are just by what you do. Our family often hears comments from clerks, businesspeople, and people we meet when out and about concerning the way my brothers and I act. They can tell we’re not like the rest of the world.

Think about the effect you would get if you were rude and nasty or even if you were just grumpy and cynical to a waitress, or someone checking you out at the grocery store, and then you said “Oh, and Jesus loves you – here, read this tract”. I can guess that the person receiving your information would be more likely to reject it, based upon the not-so-great attitude of the person giving it.

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Don’t get me wrong, tracts can be good resources for people interested in Christianity, and I’ve heard lots of stories where they had a positive effect. I just want to say that if you have a sweet and gentle demeanor and expression, it will be easier for the person you are speaking with to admire your lifestyle and even want to know more about it.

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Your family and friends will be blessed if you have a gentle character. Need I say more? As we go about our day, we need to remember that we should be treating others kindly and gently – as we would want to be treated. J

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Please do not confuse gentleness with wimpyness. We need to be firm in our convictions and strong in the lord – but strength should be tempered with a kind spirit.

That said, I hope this post has encouraged you somewhat and that you will go about your day today remembering and purposing in your heart to be gentle.

Blessings!

~Miss Julia

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