Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Making a List, Checking It Twice

As most people know, the title to this blog is a reference to the line in a Christmas song about Santa Claus deciding who's good and who's bad...That's not at all what this blogs about...just wanted to get your attention, and with Christmas right around the corner thought that might be the best way. ;-)

Nope, it's about another list...a list in the Bible.

A list that contains nine characteristics every Holy Ghost filled person should exercise at all times:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. ~Galatians 5:22-23

The Amplified Bible defines the fruit of the Spirit as "the work which His Presence within accomplishes"

I like that! But, what exactly do each one of those fruits mean?

Love- unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another

Joy- a state of happiness

Peace- freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions

Longsuffering- patiently enduring lasting offense or hardship

Gentleness- the quality or state of being gentle; especially:mildness of manners or disposition

Goodness-the quality or state of being good

Faith- belief and trust in and loyalty to God

Meekness- enduring injury with patience and without resentment
not violent or strong

Temperance- moderation in action, thought, or feeling

(Merriam-Webster's Dictionary)

So, why have I nicknamed this "The List?" Because, it's MY list. Each time I kneel down to pray, before getting back up, I take out this mental check list, and one by one go through each one. First, I assess how I am doing in each area. If necessary, I pause and focus on one if I am feeling weak at all in that area and pray about it until I feel God revive and strengthen me in it. Then, when I am done, I thank God for them because, while they may not be called "gifts", in my eyes they certainly are!

You might be wondering why I do this or why am I bothering to share it...

Well, the first reason is I think it's a good way to measure the temperature of that fire described in Jeremiah 20:9. Is yours burning like crazy, barely there, or has it been smoldered..with just a subtle sign of Jesus being in your life?

Also, these fruits are the visible representation of Christ in us. When they are active in our lives, it will be very obvious to those around us, both believers and non believers. It's not in the good times that a Christian's fruit shines the brightest, but in the difficult times. If in those times the fruit remains steady and strong and consistent within you, those are the times that that coworker, that family member, that classmate, that friend, that random acquaintance will see Christ in you and will desire to know more about Him.

I encourage you to review this list daily. Never leave it at home. You must take it with you every where you go!

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