first 2 fruits of the spirit as foreigners

10.14.2014 |

let me first start this post by saying i love storms.  when it seems like a storm will completely derail your plans, you in fact get to make new plans and new adventures.  that is why i get to write this post right now.  last night in starkville we had a huge storm with potential for tornadoes.  wind gusts tore trees down and knocked out power lines.  this morning, it was found out that there was no power at my work, so i did not have to teach today.  one day's inconvenience can be other day's production.  i'm so blessed for today.  a minute to slow back down, unwind, and smile.  grab your coffee.  let's dig into God's word together.

what sets a christ-follower a part from the world?  because after all we are called aliens and strangers to this world. (ephesians 2:19 and 1 peter 2:11) we are exiles and foreigners.  a christ-follower is not a citizen of this world, but a citizen of heaven.  an ambassador.  how are ambassadors recognized?

this was the question asked by one of the high school students at fellowship of christian athletes a few weeks ago.  this got me thinking, how am i different and called to live differently than the rest of the world? can the world tell that the holy spirit lives inside of me by the fruit i am producing?

this brings me to the fruits of the spirit mentioned in galatians 5: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  the holy spirit dwells inside of me now that i have surrendered my life to christ.  i have the same power that rose jesus from the grave inside of me because i am an ambassador for christ.  think about that for a second.  if you are a christ-follower, you have that very same power in you! we have all the freedom and power in the world to produce 1000 fold the very fruits that the spirit has given us.

now before you jump on my case saying that you don't have to be a christ-follower to display these traits, i encourage you to read john 10:10.
the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.  i came that they may have life and have it abundantly.  

so yes, someone who has chosen not to walk in the ways of the lord can definitely display these traits, but there is no hope of walking in the ever-satisfying fullness of jesus christ.

love:
mark 12:31 says that we are to love our neighbor as ourself and that there is no other commandment greater than this.  if we could keep this commandment, there would be no need for any other rule in the world.; however, we are terrible at loving anyone (including ourselves).  i am so comforted that jesus has given us a beautiful example of love, he laid his life down for us on the cross.  1 john 4:7 says that love comes from God. 1 john 3:16-18 says
"this is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. and we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.  if anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?  dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth."
so in our every day actions- the way we treat people, the way we serve others, the words we say, the way we love each other in a way 1 corinthians 13 depicts-people will see that this type of christ-like love is different than the fleeting love that the world offers.
love is patient, love is kind. it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  it is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  it always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  love never fails. but where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
1 corinthians 13 love is a difficult love to show, but it is possible because, as a christ-follower, i have the holy spirit living who directs and leads me.  

joy:
the dictionary defines joy as "a state of happiness of felicity" but the bible seems to define joy in a similar, yet different manner.  biblical joy does not flee regardless of situations.  james (1:2-3) tells us to consider it joy when we go through trials!? the author of hebrews (12:2) tells us that it was the joy of jesus to die on the cross for us!?  how can this be?  joy is something that is to fill us regardless of situations, but as i look around, there is a lot of unhappiness.
well, that's where biblical joy and happiness diverge.  happiness is an emotion set be circumstances.  i am happy because i got a cat, i am happy because i got a raise, i am happy because my husband liked my food.
the joy of the lord comes upon us when we trust in jesus (romans 15:13).  i love the way peter states in his first book.
1 peter 1:8-9
"though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,  for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls."
proverbs 10:28 says that
the prospect of the righteous is joy, but the hopes of the wicked come to nothing.
in pursing christ, we get an unexplainable joy that stays with us no matter what happens each day

i want to finish the rest of the fruits of the spirit soon.  remember, as a christ-follower, the love you display to the people around you and the joy you express regardless of the highs and lows of life can be used to point people to the One who gave you life.  you are a foreigner here, you are not to look like the world.  be set apart, in action and in truth.

3 comments

  1. Love this! Love you! So much truth and encouragement.

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  2. This is absolutely awesome! I specifically needed to be reminded of the simple commandment of loving others as Christ has loved us first. It's so hard to do sometimes, but so dadgumit important to the spreading of the Gospel. Thank you for sharing these!

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