Wednesday, February 06, 2008


The third part of the fruit of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22 is peace.

Peace from God…

“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. John 14:27 (NASB)

Peace with God…

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, Romans 5:1 (NASB)

Spiritual peace, but not “peace” with the world system…

“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NASB)

Some people would have us believe that the peace God gives is a directive that we are not to participate in wars for our country. However, as you can see from these verses, God is referring to a different kind of peace. The peace from God is first of all peace with Him and secondly peace with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Strong’s Greek dictionary says the word “eirene” used for peace here has its roots in the word “eiro” meaning, “to join.” We are joined with God and, as the Body of Christ, joined with each other and our Savior Jesus Christ as the head of the Body. We are no longer separated from God by sin but joined together with Him through the sacrificial act of Jesus on behalf of our sins.

God’s peace in us is what makes us unafraid when confronting difficult situations or people. This peace is summarized in Philippians 4:7 (NLT) where Paul says that if we don’t worry and instead pray to God telling Him what we need and thanking Him for what He has already done…

7Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Do others see this peace operating in your life? In difficult situations with others, are you calm as you rely on the Holy Spirit for wisdom and guidance? Are you bearing fruit for Christ? Stay close to Jesus and the answer to all these questions will be “yes!”


Tuesday, February 05, 2008


The second part of the fruit of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22 is joy. In order to understand joy it must be differentiated from pleasure.

“Hedone” is the Greek word for pleasure and where we get our word, hedonism, which means “a devotion, especially a self-indulgent one, to pleasure and happiness as a way of life.” (Encarta Dictionary online) The Greek word for joy is “chara” and means 1) joy, gladness, 1a) the joy received from you, 1b) the cause or occasion of joy, 1b1) of persons who are one’s joy.

Pleasure is temporal and for us. Joy is lasting and benefits others. In seeking pleasure, we seek to please ourselves. Joy has a source in something outside us. That source is God.

“Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the LORD is your strength!” Nehemiah 8:10c

We do not rejoice in ourselves, but in God’s saving power…

20However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10:20 (NIV)

Joy comes into our lives when people discover our Savior…

10“In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:10 (NASB)

Our joy is complete only when we are close to and obedient to, Jesus…

10“If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11“These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. John 15:10 - 11 (NASB)

We are commanded to be joyful (in the Lord)…

4Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Philippians 4:4 (NASB)

Daily circumstances cannot stand in the way of joy that comes from the Lord. We can be sad about something here on earth, but our joy is founded on our hope of heaven. Let people see your joy so that they might desire to know its source.

Not too long ago, a mother lost her young son to a tragic accident. She grieved, but you could see her joy in the Lord through her grief. She was ever so quick to tell everyone the source of that joy.

Pleasure lasts but for a short time here on this earth, but joy in the Lord lasts for an eternity.


Monday, February 04, 2008


In John 15:1-5 Jesus indicates that his followers will be “pruned” or disciplined if they are not producing “fruit.” Galatians 5:22-23 defines what “fruit” is as a result of the Holy Spirits working in our lives:

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Galatians 5:22 - 23 (NLT)

Young or old, we all need to be loved. Those of us that have accepted the love of Jesus in our lives are called to “love one another” as Christ loved us (1 John 3:11ff).

How are we to show this love to each other? Paul outlines that for us in First Corinthians chapter 13:

4Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Corinthians 13:4 - 7 (NLT)

I have to ask myself that every week, no, every day, especially when I am working with the teens.

Am I being:

· Patient with them?

· Kind to them?

· Am I displaying jealousy, being boastful or acting proud in any way?

· Do I demand my own way for the sake of getting my way?

· Am I acting irritable?

· Am I holding a grudge against anyone for a past wrong?

· Do I secretly shout “hooray” when a kid gets in trouble even when it is undeserved?

· Do I acknowledge when truth wins, even when it isn’t “my victory,” when a kid tells the truth in a difficult circumstance for example?

· Am I giving up on someone?

· Am I losing faith that God can work in someone else’s life and is in control?

· Do I display hope and encourage others to have hope in God?

· Do people see me giving up in tough circumstances or calling even more strongly upon God in tough times?

Ask yourself those questions as you go about this week. Is the “LOVE” aspect of the Fruit of the Spirit shining through in your life?