31 January 2011

A Picture of Peace

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” – Galatians 5:22-23

Have you ever been around someone who seems so at peace in who they are and what they believe in? That type of peace is contagious!

The virtues of peace can be described by words such as joy, delight, happiness, pleasure, contentment and wonder, all forming a continuous circle with God at the center. The words of Galatians 5:22-23 tell us that one of the fruits of the Spirit is peace. This peace can only come from the Holy Spirit working in our hearts. As our spiritual journey continues, our faith grows stronger and we gain a certainty in knowing just how much God loves us. We also realize that He is always faithful in both the big and little things that we go through. When we have a peace that is found in God alone, balanced with the other fruits of the spirit, our lives become a testimony to those around us.

When I first started writing this blog, I said that this year-long journey was a challenge to "seek personal and spiritual peace in my life" – heart, soul, surroundings and relationships. I think this is a good time for me to take an inventory of my spiritual fruit and make sure my life is truly reflecting “good fruit.” You see, the fruits of the Spirit are not a Wish List.  Scripture teaches us that the Holy Spirit distributes the gifts to equip us for ministry, and that we can’t pick and choose our fruits. While we may not come to maturity in the fruits of the Spirit all at once, we do need to strive to produce a balance of all nine fruits working together in harmony. Jesus’ perspective on this can be found in the words of John 15:2... “He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.”

Why not join me in assessing our “fruits of the Spirit” together, by taking this two-part inventory....

... First, are there any fruits of the Spirit that we need to work on? Answers may be found by studying the list of questions below.

LoveDo you accept and serve your family and others without expecting anything in return?
JoyDo you delight in your relationship with God? Is He your source of pleasure?
PeaceIs your comfort and security based on your belief that God is in control, no matter what happens in your life? Do you trust God in all circumstances?
ForbearanceDo you have patience and tolerance even when circumstances may not be what you expect? Do you accept changes, delays, interruptions, or things you can’t control, with grace?
KindnessDo you go out of your way to help those in need? Do you reflect God’s kindness by showing sympathy and compassion for others?
GoodnessAre you able to do what is right and avoid what is wrong? Do you seek to live an honest life with good moral standards?
FaithfulnessAre you trustworthy and reliable when it comes to honoring your commitments to God and others?
GentlenessWould you describe yourself as humble, thoughtful and considerate? Are you quick to listen and slow to speak/ judge? Do you have a teachable spirit?
Self-controlDo you have will-power, discipline and try to avoid sin (uncontrollable behavior/ addictions), living your life to please God?

... Second, who or what is constantly working to steal our peace and joy? Once we determine the answer to this question, we can ask God to guard our heart, mind and spirit against attack.  No matter what happens in our lives, we have a choice! We can be fearful, troubled, angry, and stressed, or we can be confident that we can produce good fruit, and experience the peace of God by letting it reign in our lives.

I pray that this week you will allow God to guide your path and direct your ways. I have added a link below to a song called “Let the Peace of God Reign,” by Darlene Zschech. Take a few minutes and rest in the powerful words of this song... you will be blessed.

Have an awesome week.
Rest in His Peace, Donna Weaver

“The fruit of silence is prayer; the fruit of prayer is faith; the fruit of faith is love;
the fruit of love is service; the fruit of service is peace.” – Mother Teresa

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