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

PrayerPoint ~ Love ~ March 3

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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

It is unfortunate that we use the word love so casually in the English language. In the context of Scripture love takes on a much different intensity. When encountering the inevitable challenges of life, it is only in the strength of the Holy Spirit that we can truly love to the depth and lengths that might be required of us. And when we ponder His love for us we can get a glimpse of the true meaning of love.
Fruit of the Spirit implies a long standing connection. Before there is any fruit, there must be a root. As you are contemplating the upcoming garden season, let’s let the Holy Spirit awaken us to the seeds, roots, and fruits that will reflect our Heavenly Father.
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,  so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,  may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,  and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.  Ephesians 3:14-21 NIV


Letting His seeds take root so we can share His fruit!

Liz