PrayerPoint ~ Gentleness ~ March 10

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

There is something to be said for gentleness. Might doesn’t make right when it comes to sharing your faith. Beating someone over the head with the Gospel isn’t good form. Period. Sharing the Truth of Jesus as Savior can and should be done lovingly and sometimes you might even use words. If you plan on “battling” with someone on issues of faith, then I would suspect that you aren’t being gentle. And while you might think you have won a “battle of words” you very likely witnessed a casualty or severe wounding on the field of Faith.

Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 1 Peter 3:15a-16 NIV

Let me not be the “bull in the china shop”,

Liz

 

PrayerPoint ~ Faithfulness ~ March 9

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

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.    Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV

Wow! Isn’t this one of the most amazing verses in Scripture? Today I saw it with completely new eyes! I have been familiar with this verse for many years but this morning it stunned me with God’s wonderful gift of faithfulness.

He loves me so incredibly I cannot get consumed by all that is around me. His compassions are always there. Always. Each and every morning His compassion for me is waiting for me and begins my day. He is so faithful, even when I am not.

Of course, God says it so much better than I do but I think it is helpful to restate some things in your own words so it really sinks into the heart and mind….

A rock solid promise.

For you and for me!

Celebrating His faithfulness!

Liz

PrayerPoint ~ Goodness ~ March 8

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

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins. 2 Peter 1:5-9

This passage leads us to another list–one that has a sense of increasing order. It almost reads like a cooking recipe:

Get out your faith.

Add some goodness.

Combine. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Sprinkle in some knowledge, self-control, and perseverance. Stir vigorously.

Pour on the godliness, brotherly kindness, and love.

Gently combine, mixing thoroughly.

Bake.

I am an experimental cook and I love to tweak recipes. I am thankful to have been given the free will to make some choices in how things mix together even though His recipe for our lives is right there in Scripture. I tweak with His plan and it clearly affects the outcome–bad news for me. And the Good News? His forgiveness and restoration for my mishaps. I don’t know how He does it, but He can take a recipe for disaster and transform it into a beautiful thing.

What’s cooking for you today?

Liz

PrayerPoint ~ Kindness ~ March 7

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

Have you ever been overwhelmed with someone’s kindness towards you? I have been on numerous occasions. Sometimes it is just the simplest of thoughtful words or actions but placed in a certain time and space and it becomes a significant moment. Maybe it was the element of surprise–like a bunch of Spring flowers poking through on a dreary mid-February day. Or maybe it was a glimpse of the love behind the action.

You did this for me?

Showing kindness doesn’t have to take an entire day to plan. It might be making a batch of cookies and taking a plate of them to your neighbor. It might be helping an elderly neighbor get their medicine or a trip to the doctor. A quick note that lets someone know you are praying for them as they travel through a difficult time.

I am an idea person so I can easily come up with many clever ideas to share kindness but lose the list or run out of time before I actually act on them. Don’t fall into inaction by over-analyzing and plotting out your acts of kindness. It may take a little intentionality at first, but soon you will find yourself extending kindness in a very natural way. Let kindness be one of those things you wear every day!

 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:12-13 NIV

Blessings on your week!

Liz

PrayerPoint ~ Patience ~ March 6

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

Patience:
1. the quality of being patient  as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.
2. an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay.
I read these definitions of patience and I think, Wow! I sure have a long way to go! 
God has used many circumstances in my life to grow my patience. There never seems to be a lack of training ground in this area! And whether I am waiting on someone else to “figure it out” or I am waiting for something in my own life, allowing this Fruit of the Spirit to be evident is important. In many ways our culture encourages us to get agitated and impatient. Life takes time. Relationships take time. Complicated circumstances take time to be sorted out. It takes a very conscious effort on my part coupled with an incredible infusion of the Holy Spirit’s guidance for me to demonstrate patience. But it can be such a powerful witness to others.

A man’s wisdom gives him patience;
it is to his glory to overlook an offense. Proverbs 19:11 NIV

Heavenly Father, You demonstrate such patience with humanity and you show so much patience with me. Help me to be long-suffering with the troubles in this life and patiently enduring the time the circumstances I am surrounded by. Use all of these situations for my growth in You and for an opportunity for me to share with others. In Jesus’ Name…Amen!

PrayerPoint ~ Peace ~ March 5

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

There are some times when I am unsettled on a matter. And yet if I always wait to be at complete peace before I move forward on something, there is a likelihood that I won’t move forward. Ever. I always have too may “what ifs” running around in my mind.

But the peace of I think of when it comes to the idea in Galatians is something more like “it is well with my soul”. Having peace about a matter. A Mirriam-Webster definition says this about peace: freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions. Sometimes those disquieting emotions are cautions from the Holy Spirit. But when I think of oppressive, I immediately think about Satan and how he uses things from our past to disrupt our present and future.

Have you made peace with your past?

If there are unresolved things in your history, you can be sure they are impacting your now. It is important to let God work in and through whatever is causing your unrest. Let Him bring you His perfect peace. Remember, Jesus is the Prince of Peace.

Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 2 Timothy 2:22-23 NIV

PrayerPoint ~ Joy ~ March 4

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

If you have taken the opportunity to encourage someone recently, you might have noticed the side benefit: it was good for you too. So many times I get caught up in all I have to do in a day or week that I am only conquering a list. And even though there is a feeling of accomplishment as the list dwindles, there is something about joy that involves others. I think it has to do with my personality. I enjoy doing things for others–particularly when they are not expecting it.

There are times of struggle, there is no doubt about that. I don’t think we have been living life (or being honest) if we say we have embraced every painful moment and every struggle with great joy. I think true joy is rooted in Christ–abiding with Him, recalling His provisions, counting on His promises, and sharing His love by encouraging others.

As you think about joy today, remember that God’s thoughts on the subject are counter cultural. We might lose our joy because we have been inconvenienced and we can’t have it “our way” but He says we should consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds. Check out James 1.

And what about joy stealers–unconfessed sin, shame, grudges, unresolved anger, misunderstandings, etc.? How often do these things separate us from joy?  The longer we avoid dealing with these joy stealers, the longer we (and everyone around us) are miserable. If we are continually downcast, without joy, why would someone be drawn to learning more about our faith in God?

I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you…have refreshed the hearts of the saints. Philemon 1:6-7 NIV

May you know the Joy of the Savior!

Liz