Friday Fruit Audit ~ The Spirit

Do you walk by the Spirit?

The idea is that the more time you spend with God the closer you will become to him and the more you will want to spend time with him. Imagine getting to a place where you no longer need to “carve out” time in your life for God but where you need to carve out time in your walk with God for your life. The Lord promises that if you hunger and thirst to do his will, obey his commands, and follow after him you will be satisfied. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” -Matthew 5:6 (ESV)

In fact, you will be more than satisfied. Take a look at what Peter has to say:

“Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory,” -1 Peter 1:8 (ESV)

In Peter’s day his readers understood the word “agapo” or “love” to mean continually loving God and as a regular daily activity. The word “pisteuo” or “believe” means to rest your confidence in or to trust in or depend on. The joy of this verse implies joy for the present. The word for rejoice was not commonly used by secular Greek writers of Peter’s day as it meant a deep spiritual joy. As we continually spend time daily with Jesus through faith we rejoice and have joy that is unutterable and exalted. They understood this as wanting more and more of Jesus and that joy was something only believers could experience. Have you experienced this?

Even though I have not seen him, I am active in my love and faith by daily worshiping him through prayer and bible reading. Because of this communion with him I have even deeper joy that is filled with the glory of heaven. By adjusting your life to focus more on God you will inevitably begin to mirror the below verses written by Paul to the Galatians.

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.” - Galatians 5:16-26 (ESV)

My prayer: Father, what a gift you have given me in your Word. Help me to desire it more and more each day. Oh Jesus, I long to see your face. Father, I cannot wait to look upon your face shining like the sun. Holy Spirit, what an honor to know your person living in me. God, my God, I have faith and trust in you; to know that my belief in you brings me heavenly joy is so exciting! To think that perhaps my faith actually rests in you and that you are joyful for it is overwhelming. Thank you for loving me with a love I don’t even have words for.

 

God is Holy. God is Just. God is Love.

God is Holy, God is Just, and God is Love.

God is the Almighty Creator of this universe. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”Genesis 1:1 He is also the one who made us. “then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.”Genesis 2:7 With this in mind, we must admit that He is ultimately in charge of us. He created us to have a relationship with him and it was perfect.

He is Holy, meaning he is set apart from anything or anyone on this planet. Because he is holy he desired for us to be holy too. “Since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.””1 Peter 1:16  In the Bible, Peter is referring to Leviticus, the 3rd book of the Old Testament. “For I am the Lord your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy.”Leviticus 11:44

Unfortunately, because we have a choice in how we respond to God, sin entered the world because people wanted to use their freedom in a selfish way (Genesis 3). They decided to do things their way rather than obey and follow God. Their choice in favor of sin rather than obedience to God caused them to be separated from God. We are now born into that sin and no longer have a perfect holy relationship with God.

God is also Just. By this he must be the perfect judge. He cannot merely overlook this sin because it goes against everything that he is. He requires justice and he promises that he will punish sin.  “For behold, the Lord will come in fire, and his chariots like the whirlwind, to render his anger in fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire.”Isaiah 66:15

It is pretty clear in the book of Second Thessalonians too, “in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,”2 Thessalonians 1:8-9

The wages of sin is death and complete separation from God. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”Romans 6:23 I’ll say it again, we have no option other than complete separation from a holy God. “but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.”Isaiah 59:2  Your payment for your sin will be required and that is what Hell is. By the grace of God, however, he has provided a solution.

God is Love.  “Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”1 John 4:8
He is the purest form of it. He came up with a perfect solution to the sin problem. A love so crushing that when you think about it, no human would do what he did. This loving good news is that he sent his only Son, Jesus Christ, God in living human form. “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.”Colossians 1:15, to pay, in-full, the price of your sin by becoming the ultimate sacrifice. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”John 3:16 Have you ever read the verses beyond John 3:16? I encourage you to do so right now. Click the above link to John 3:16 and find out what it says.

Did you know that Jesus died in the most brutal way possible, death by the Roman cross? You may be immune to what it means to die by the Roman cross. Not only was it meant to be the most humiliating but it also was the most painful and drawn-out death possible. But, get this, he did not deserve it because he was innocent of what they accused him of. He lived a life we could never live. A perfect life. “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”2 Corinthians 5:21

He died a death that we fully deserved. “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,”1 Peter 3:18 Yet he conquered that death by raising again from the dead to prove to the world that only through him could this debt be paid. “For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again,”1 Thessalonians 4:14

You still have a choice and it is up to God to move you and you to accept the free gift of grace he is so lovingly giving to you. “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” “Romans 10:9-13

Living a good life, being kind to others, doing good deeds, and giving to charity will not get you into Heaven, it is only by the grace of God. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”Ephesians 2:8-9 The only way to Heaven is through Jesus Christ. “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”John 14:6

You must turn from your sin and trust in Christ. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”1 John 1:9  It also states in Acts, “Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out,” – Acts 3:19

Give your life completely to God and have faith in Him. “and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith”Philippians 3:9  Ask him to forgive you of your sins and ask God to take control of your life. “… you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God,”1 Thessalonians 1:9  Thank the Lord that he is Holy, Just, and is Love.

Maranatha! (Come, Lord Jesus!)

Thursday Theology at its Best ~ Dr. Mike Fabarez on Presenting Christ

Pastor Mike Fabarez is one of my all time favorite preachers. He is to the point with ample biblical research to back up what he teaches. He is a straight Bible teaching pastor who tells it like it is.

“While you may not picture yourself as an evangelist, there is no escaping the fact that God calls all Christians to take the message of the gospel to those around them. Many nervously dodge this privilege and responsibility, in part because they don’t feel adequately prepared. Thankfully, in Luke 4:14-44, we can acquire a lot of training and confidence as we study Christ presenting his own claims to the people in his childhood hometown of Nazareth, and then to those in his new neighborhood of Capernaum.” – Dr. Mike Fabarez

PRESENTING CHRIST Sermon Series

The Role of the Holy Spirit (Part 1) Luke 4:14-15 May 05, 2013
The Use of Scripture (Part 2) Luke 4:16-21 May 12, 2013
Dealing with Objections (Part 3) Luke 4:22-30 May 19, 2013
Jesus as Judge (Part 4) Luke 4:31-37 June 02, 2013
Jesus as Deliverer (Part 5) Luke 4:38-41 June 09, 2013
Staying on Task (Part 6) Luke 4:42-44 June 16, 2013

For more great series and discussions visit Focal Point Ministries.