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Tag Archives: Peace

Fruit of the Spirit

Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the law. Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. 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 be guided by the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, competing against one another, envying one another. (Galatians 5:16-26, NRSV)

Are any of us led by the spirit?

I ask this because even the most pious Christians I know are fornicators, they have impure thoughts, have idols, and are a part of strife, and factions, they get jealous and angry and quarrel with others, they play a part in dissensions, and are envious, get drunk, and carouse. So if even the best among us do these things, how do any of us have hope. And one could go as far to say Jesus might have done some of these, and we can say for certain that He was angry, because He turned over the tables in the temple to drive out the money changers. Well, but that was righteous anger! Uhm, the reading above does not distinguish and simply says anger.

But if you are led by the spirit you will not do these things. You will produce the fruit of the Spirit. And the fruit of the Spirit is…

Not the Fruits of the Spirit are. Love is the fruit of the Spirit, which is made complete in joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. All of these are what love is.

So love God and your neighbors, and live in the fruit of the Spirit.

 

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Peace or truth?

His eye is on the sparrow, quilt made by Judy Hand Pitts.

“A disciple is not above the teacher, nor a slave above the master; it is enough for the disciple to be like the teacher, and the slave like the master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household! “So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops. Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. And even the hairs of your head are all counted. So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows. “Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven. “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s foes will be members of one’s own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. (Matthew 10:24-39, NRSV)

What do we want in life?

There are many times we will not speak the truth because we want peace.

Other times we stand up for what we know is right and we speak the truth in love and are met with a troubled response. The serene peaceful come back we expected did not happen. And in the words of Angie Thomas, “Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right.”

Things still go wrong because we can not bear the truth sometimes. We can not let go of the past and move into the reality that God is calling us into.

This sword that Jesus says He is bringing is not one we are yielding out of spite, it is one that is yielded out of love, because people are laying down their lives and following after Jesus and others can not see the love that Jesus has for them. They are put against those they loved because they do not see as their loved one sees. They do not comprehend as their loved one comprehends. And there for there is not peace. There is anger and hurt. But this is not a reason to stop with the truth.

So be diligent in speaking the truth and know that in time God’s peace will come.

 

 

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Live in peace

Finally, brothers and sisters, farewell. Put things in order, listen to my appeal, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the saints greet you. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. (2 Corinthians 13:11-13, NRSV)

Easier said than done right?

Live in peace, agree with one another…

Not always easy, but it is what Christ calls us to.

And He will be with us to help us do that.

So let His peace overflow your life so the world might live in peace.

 

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Fulfilling Love

170212“You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not murder’; and ‘whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, ‘You fool,’ you will be liable to the hell of fire. So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are on the way to court with him, or your accuser may hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. Truly I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to go into hell. “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that anyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. “Again, you have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but carry out the vows you have made to the Lord.’ But I say to you, Do not swear at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. Let your word be ‘Yes, Yes’ or ‘No, No’; anything more than this comes from the evil one. (Matthew 5:21-37, NRSV)

Really Jesus, if my eye offends me pluck it out or if my hand offends me cut it off…

I guess none of us actually believe He meant this, or we don’t really follow it, or we are not honest. Becuase if we believed it and were honest there would be a lot of us without body parts, but I see no one walking around with one eye or missing hands.

So what does all of this mean? What is Jesus saying to us here?

Remember where this teaching falls, in the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus tells us who is blessed, those who have been held down because of things out of their control, and those who look after them. Then He continued with telling the disciples you are the salt of the earth and the light to the world. You shine light on the darkness and bring to light things of God and you flavor the earth with the grace of God. And you do this by looking out for those who are held down in the blessings.

And here Jesus continues the look at who we as disciples should be.

We should not be angry with anyone because that draws away from the love that God has for all of us. [And a side note here, this is a scriptural reference for the passing of the peace in the ordo of service before we come to communion. “So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift.” Now, this talks about offering a gift but it is also good for when we come and get the Holy Supper. If you have an issue with a brother or sister go and make peace about it before you come to the Lord’s Table.] Anger also keeps us from seeing God’s love for ourselves.

Adultery is us focusing on our own needs instead of the needs of others, and what God is leading us to do.

All of these you have heard it was said help us to focus on God and others and not ourselves. Where is your focus, because the law is fulfilled in us loving God and our neighbor.

So how can we fulfill love?

 

 

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peace

170203Who is wise and understanding among you? Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom.  But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not be boastful and false to the truth.  Such wisdom does not come down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, devilish. For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy.  And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace. (James 3:13-18, NRSV)

Peace is born not of our own interests, but from above.

It can only come through the righteousness of God and is sown in our hearts so it grows and blooms for all around us.

Follow after God and allow Him to sow His peace in your heart!

 

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guide our feet

170124Then his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke this prophecy: “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them. He has raised up a mighty savior for us in the house of his servant David, as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old, that we would be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us. Thus he has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors, and has remembered his holy covenant, the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham, to grant us that we, being rescued from the hands of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people by the forgiveness of their sins. By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” (Luke 1:67-79, NRSV)

Jesus is coming, Zechariah breaks his silence to proclaim, that God is sending one who will set us free, and guide our feet into the way of Peace!

A song of one who could not speak, to name his new born son and tell of the one who comes after him, to set us all free. To show us mercy and to teach us how to live.

God has given us light through Jesus so that the darkness will not over come us, and we will be led into peace.

 

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Peace

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A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.  The spirit of the LORD shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.  His delight shall be in the fear of the LORD. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear;  but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist, and faithfulness the belt around his loins. The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them.  The cow and the bear shall graze, their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den.  They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain; for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. On that day the root of Jesse shall stand as a signal to the peoples; the nations shall inquire of him, and his dwelling shall be glorious. (Isaiah 11:1-10, NRSV)

Can you image the day, when a wolf and a lamb will live together?

When there would be a lion eating straw?

When natural prey and predator would dwell in the same field and not fear or want to kill?

When the day comes and the kingdom is fulfilled, the knowledge of the Lord will fill all and all will live in peace.

We can help fulfill the kingdom, by following Jesus and doing His will. Love all and show them the mercy and grace of God.

We shall know peace, and can be at peace now, knowing His will will be done and His kingdom is coming to fulfillment.

 

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