Sunday, September 2, 2012

All you need is Love...and joy, peace, patience...

Happy Sunday!

Most of you know that every Sunday for the past 3 and a half years or so I have been sending out a 'prayer text' to a group of about 45 or so (If you would like to be added onto the list, just let me know!) I started doing it my senior year as to keep in touch with the group of people I did Work Crew with at a Young Life camp that summer, it has now grown to include friends from Summer Staff and friends from home!

Today was like any other day, I sent out the text and waited for responses. I get anywhere from 4 texts back to 15 normally. I don't ask that everyone responds every Sunday, but I like that they know the option is out there, if they need someone to pray for them, they can count on me! One of my great friends Maddie Lovell responded today (she is normally one to respond every week and I love her for it!) asking to be filled with the fruit of the Spirit.

Now, I knew before I responded to her that the fruit of the Spirit was essentially love and kindness and such but I am ashamed to say that I had forgotten the whole meaning of the phrase so I did my research. For those of you that are like me, it comes from Galatians 5:22-23, "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." Not only did I read this one passage, as a good Bible reader I decided to look into its context and man did I love what I read.

Galatians 5 is all about living by the Spirit and not but the sinful nature that us humans are prone to, and the battle that we fight trying to live that way. It is so hard to live and be filled with the fruits of the Spirit all the time...I've only ever known Jesus Christ to be able to do so. But what is great is the idea that although we know only Jesus and God are perfect in their intentions and actions, we can still strive to be filled with the Spirit and reject the sinful nature of the flesh in order to be closer to God. It should be our intention as Christians to do this.

While I was reading Galatians, I also read a little earlier than the fruit of the Spirit section. At the beginning of Chapter 5 it says this, "...The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love." (Galatians 5:6) Paul here is talking about the irony of those who follow a law just because it's a law thinking and that by obeying it is the only way to get to heaven. He urges people to disregard the fact that there are certain laws set up and to love. Love is what will get you into heaven. Think about 1 Peter 4:8, "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins." God makes it evident that we are called to love in this world, not to judge (neither others nor ourselves), and the rest will fall in place.

I think it is important that the first thing listed in Galatians 5:22 is love, because don't all the rest follow? With love don't you get kindness, goodness, joy and peace? It is important of course to try and achieve each one on its own, but I think as Christians, as humans, we need to focus on love. We don't need all these rules to get into heaven. "For God so LOVED the world, that He gave His only son so that all who believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." John 3:16 says it all. God loved us, we need to love and believe in His son, and we will turn out just fine.

Thanks Maddie, for making me do my research

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