Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘joy’

fruits of the spirit

 

 

Galatians 5:22-23

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

 

I will admit that as a mom, I don’t always exhibit the fruits of the spirit in front of my kids. I try, I really do, but sometimes I get impatient and frustrated with the messiness of life. There are moments when the kids are screaming at each other and I am tempted to echo that ancient commercial and yell, “Calgon, take me away!” There are times when I know that they get it and other times when I wonder if they ever will. I know that if I want them to live out the fruits of the spirit in their daily lives, then it has to start with me, as their mom.

It is up to us, as moms, to set the example of the fruits of the spirit. We have to live it out in our daily lives. We are a role model for our children. They look to us and mimic how we act. I don’t want my children to imitate my mistakes, I want them to imitate the characteristics of God that they see in my life. So, how do we teach our children to live as examples of the fruits of the spirit in the world? It starts in how we relate to them.

LOVE: 

John 3:16

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, 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. 

JOY: 

Psalm 27:5-7

For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock. Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the LordHear my voice when I call,

Lord; be merciful to me and answer me.

Psalm 47:1-3

Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy. For the Lord Most High is awesome,  the great King over all the earth. He subdued nations under

us, peoples under our feet.

 PEACE:

Philippians 4:7

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Psalm 4:8

In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lordmake me dwell in safety.

John 14:27

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

PATIENCE:

Romans 8:25

But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

Psalm 40:1

I waited patiently for the Lordhe turned to me and heard my cry.

KINDNESS:

Ephesians 4:32

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Proverbs 11:17

Those who are kind benefit themselves, but the cruel bring ruin on themselves.

GOODNESS:

Romans 12:9

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

Psalm 116:12

What shall I return to the Lord for all his goodness to me?

FAITHFULNESS:

2 Thessalonians 3:3

But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.

Proverbs 28:20

A faithful person will be richly blessed, but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished.

GENTLENESS:

Proverbs 15:1

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. 

Galatians 6:1

Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.

SELF-CONTROL:

Proverbs 25:28

Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.

Proverbs 16:32

Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city.

I have given you a couple of verses for each characteristic, but there are many, many more for each one. Read each scripture and reflect on how you can model each characteristic in your life. I encourage you to take each characteristic and make a list of ways that you can model that characteristic to your children and others. I challenge you to look up other verses for each characteristic and compare them to the characteristics you are modeling to your children right now.

No one is perfect. We all mess up. If you mess up, apologize, right the wrong and move on. It is an ongoing process and you won’t always get it right. None of us do. I want you to know, though, that you are not in this alone. There are millions of moms around the world that struggle in their role as a mom, just as you do, just as I do. If you need someone to talk to, I am here. You are not alone, sweet momma! God is with you, each and every day. Trust Him to help you in your role as parent.

Read Full Post »

east from west

 

 

Micah 7:19

You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.

Psalm 103:12

As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

In my 44 years on this earth, I have acted in ways that I am now ashamed of. I have said hurtful things to the people I love and I have done things to tear down relationships when I should have been acting to restore peace. I have sinned. I am a sinner. I will continue to sin in one way or another until the day I die, because I am human and imperfect. I have to accept that at the core of my soul, I am not a very good person. I am selfish, needy, unloving, judgmental and can be downright hateful. Hey, I’m just being honest here!

I’m am overwhelmed with gratitude for a God that can look into the dark corners of my heart, gently remove all the meanness in my spirit and hurl it all to the depths of the sea. Not only does He hurl our sins to the depths of the sea, He completely removes our transgressions from us! WOW! We don’t have to wallow in guilt and shame, because our sins and bad attitudes have been removed from us. That is so AWESOME!!!

Not only does He empty us of the ugliness, He refills us with all joy and peace. He empties us of our sins, so that we may OVERFLOW with hope. I have hope, as I trust in God, that I can be that generous, loving, compassionate, peace-filled, and joyful person that I long to be. It is a day-to-day process. Sometimes minute-by-minute, but I have hope, that as I confess my deepest, darkest secrets to a loving God that He will take them and destroy them and I will be filled to overflowing with the goodness that is Jesus.

How can you take the sin and replace it with joy and peace? How can you begin to overflow with hope?

1. Confess– Confess your sin to God. Let it all out. He knows it all anyway. Search your heart and make sure it has been swept clean.

If you can, confess your sin to the person/persons you have caused injury to. If you can, make restoration for the sin. Everything needs to come out. Lay your heart bare before this person. They may forgive you or they may not. This is about you coming clean and the condition of your heart.

2. Surrender– Surrender your heart to God. Allow God to perform open heart surgery and replace the old ugly heart with a heart filled with joy and peace and hope.

3. Let Go- Let go of the guilt and shame that often comes with the sin. It is done. You’ve confessed it and God has removed it. Move on. Don’t let the guilt and shame overwhelm you. God wants to fill you with His love and joy.

4. Daily Maintenance- If you find some of the old junk trying to sneak back in, you will have to make sure that you do not leave a door open to your heart. If you are faced with the temptation to sin, give it to God immediately and ask Him for strength. He will give it. He will help you be victorious. On a daily basis, fill your heart with praise, prayer, God’s Word, kindness, compassion, peace and love.

Sin has destroyed relationships, companies, nations, and people. It doesn’t have to, if we give it to God. We all sin. Never think that you are the only one. If you are struggling with sin right now and you want to find joy, peace and hope, all you have to do is pray to a compassionate God who hears us and restores us:

Dearest Father,

I am a sinner. I hate what I have done and want so much more for my life. Please forgive me and throw my sins (confess the details of the sin) into the depths of the sea. I am asking you to refill my heart with joy and peace. I want to overflow with hope. I believe that you love me and will restore me to wholeness.

Amen

May the joy and peace and hope found in Jesus be yours for eternity.

 

Read Full Post »

lake

This has been a somewhat uncomfortable, but wonderful journey for me. Writing these posts on contentment has caused me to do some heart searching and see what needs cleaned up in my own life. I have enjoyed the writing process, as these posts have come together. I have been amazed to see God pull together a vague idea in my mind into this week of devotions that may really encourage someone. I am always blown away by what God can do. I have grown in my own walk with God through the writing and have found myself more content in my life now then when I began. There are still moments of discontentment, there always will be, but I have taken my own advice and I nip those feelings before they cause any damage. So, in my own journey to contentment, this is what I have learned:

1. I have learned to be content as a food service worker in a local convent. I know that God can not use me for something bigger when I have refused to be a vessel for Him right where I am. I have searched my heart and found that I really need to open my eyes to the ministry opportunities right here in Terre Haute, Indiana and the ministry opportunities right here in my own family. I need to quit trying to find a way out of the city that Steve Martin once called, “the armpit of America” and open my eyes to the beauty that this city and it’s people hold. It has not been an easy process, but I am on the right path.

2. I have learned to enjoy living simply with what I have. I have never been the person who needs the newest smart phone or the fanciest house, but I still find myself filled with envy when someone gets a new car or goes on a vacation that I wish I could go on. I do get bit by the envy bug and I have to take a moment to focus on God and count my blessings. I don’t have a perfect life, who does? but my life is pretty good. I am not rich, but we have what we need and all we really need is Jesus. Nothing else really matters.

3. I have learned not to worry about money so much. My life is all about money. Struggling to pay bills, fix cars, pay for what the kids need, etc. I have lived in poverty for 20 years now and I am okay with that, for the most part. I know what I value and I prioritize where my money goes. There are times though, when I cry out to God for more money to ease the struggle. I have learned to trust God to provide, always. God does provide. We have never gone without the things that we need. Times do get tough, but I know that my God will provide and that as long as I am in His will, He will always take care of us. This is such a reassurance to me. My ABBA Father has me in the palm of His hand and will never let me go.

4. I have learned that I do have a complaining spirit and I need to think before I speak. Since writing the post for day 4, I have become intentional in being aware of when a complaining or arguing attitude is coming on. I have had moments when I immediately tell myself to “nip it.” I also say a prayer asking for help in my weakness. I know that this is an ongoing heart issue that I need to stay vigilant about. Will there be times when I slip up? I’m sure there will be, but I know that I can seek my Father’s forgiveness, right any wrong I have caused with another person and move on.

5. I have learned to rejoice in every circumstance. Am I always joyful? No, but I am intentional about finding God’s blessings in every day life. I have a new perspective on life and I know that I can have a joy-filled heart, even when things are difficult. I know that I can be joyful simply because I know who my Savior is and that this too shall pass. We may struggle, but joy comes in the morning.

6. I have learned that God’s peace is a gift. All I have to do to receive that gift is let go of my worry, fear, complaining attitude and raise my hands Palms Up to receive the gift that God has waiting for me. Palms Up is how I want to live my life.

I pray that this 7 days of contentment has encouraged you. I am here to walk this journey to contentment with you. If you need prayer or some guidance, contact me via my contact page and we will take this journey together. Be blessed, my friend!

Read Full Post »

bloom where your planted

 

 

Philippians 4:11-13

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret to being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Paul knew what hardship was. He wrote four of his letters while he was imprisoned. Paul’s letter to the Philippians was written while he was in prison. Paul suffered severely for his beliefs. He was imprisoned, he was flogged, and he was exposed to death more than once, but Paul had faith in God and he never quit giving the message of the Gospel.

Every day circumstances can cause discontentment in our lives. I have worked in the food service department of a local convent for 2 1/2 years now and although I love the sisters and my work environment, I often get frustrated because I want to be doing more for God. I know that God has called me to a full-time women’s ministry and that is where my heart is. I have been guilty of arguing with God and have been a bit whiny. I have complained that “all these other women are serving in full-time ministries, why shouldn’t I be able to?” I admit, I have sounded like a petulant child. No wonder my heavenly Father has left me where I am! I have finally realized that until I can be content in my present circumstances and allow God to use me where I am, I will not be able to move forward in a full-time ministry. Why does it take us so long to learn these lessons?

Paul says in this passage that he has learned the secret to being content in any and every situation. What is Paul’s secret?

1. Love (1:9)

2. Confidence in the Lord (1:14)

3. Union With Christ ( 1:21, 4:13)

4. The Privilege Of Suffering (1:29)

5. Humility (2:3)

6. Unselfishness (2:20)

7. Losing What The World Prizes (3:8)

8. A Heavenly Goal (3:20)

9. Helpfulness (4:3)

10. Being Worry-Free (4:6)

11. Godly Thinking (4:8)

12. A Grateful Heart (4:14-16)

Paul desired to do God’s will, even if it meant suffering and death. Paul also trusted God to bring something good out of his suffering. Paul truly had a servant’s heart. His only desire was to serve God and to serve those God sent him to. If we allow ourselves to become servants and allow God to use us right where we are today, then we open the door to future assignments. We have to be willing to find contentment wherever life has us today. Become that willing servant to whomever God puts in your life and watch as God works in our own lives and the lives of those around us.

I am challenging you to look outside of your own situation and find someone else that you can help or encourage, even if in a small way. Cultivate that servant’s heart within yourself and find contentment no matter what your circumstances may be.

*1-12 of Paul’s secret was taken from John Mark Ministries http://www.jmm.org.au/articles/15401.htm

Read Full Post »