Spiritual Thought for Today Archive Week #9

Fruit of the Spirit

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law."

I'd like to have this list pasted in front of me throughout the day, so that I could tally how well I live in the Spirit of God.

How much love do I share daily? How much joy do I feel? Is there peace in all my transactions? Am I patient, kind, good, faithful and gentle? Do I exhibit self-control?

Paul saw all of these as evidence as to whether the Spirit was operative in the Galatians, rather than the Galatians following rules of the Spirit. Yet I'd bet that if we do not measure up to the list are first inclination is that "we" have to do better.

Yes and mostly no, would be my advice to this inclination.

What "we" have to do is to die to ourselves and allow the Spirit free reign over our lives, then we will find ourselves gifted and renewed.



"For freedom Christ has set us free; stand fast therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery."

A relationship with Jesus leads to freedom, as St. Paul pointed out to the Galatians.

What kind of freedom we might ask?

He offers us freedom from our passions, prejudices and from any type of self-imposed slavery that we suffer from. But there is always the danger of falling back into those abusive patterns.

Jesus release us from the chains that bind us!


A Familiar Demon

Now Jesus was casting out a demon that was dumb; when the demon had gone out, the man spoke, and the people marvelled.

Here is a demon that I'm familiar with, one that impedes speech.

Have you ever found that it is difficult to speak in a situation? That's the "dumb demon."

This pest has struck me at the worst times.

At meetings when I knew that I should speak out, but suddenly found that my vocal chords had been silenced. In meeting new people and suddenly finding that my once fluid speech had dried up like a desert.

Jesus cast out this demon from the poor soul that suffered from it in the Scripture. My prayer is that he will do the same for me the next time that "it" invades my space.



And I tell you, Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks find, and to him who knocks it will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!"

Sometimes it seems that prayer is not answered. Jesus uses the image of a parent to teach us that God indeed listens to our prayers and will answer them in the best way possible.

What is need is trust and perserverance!


One Thing is Needful

"Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me." But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things; one thing is needful. Mary has chosen the good position, which shall not be taken away from her."

There are many things that can occupy our time and on the surface seem to be necessary. But how many of them really are?

It also seems that there are things that we put off doing usually coming up with good reasons as we do so. Unfortunately they are usually the important and needful things in our lives?

A relationship with Jesus should help put our lives back in order. If God is in first place, we won't tend to elevate anything else to the throne of our lives.


Eternal Life

"Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus said to him, "What is written in the law? How do you read?" And he answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind: and your neighbor as yourself." And He said to him, "You have answered right; do this, and you will live."

Daily we are faced with how we shall act in every situation that we are faced with. Most of these decisions are made in a split second without much forethought. Yet each act has its consequences.

These consequences will effect our relationships, work, and our very life.

The young lawyer asks Jesus a complex question. Jesus' answer is a question. It is a question that we are asked in every action.

Do we act with the love of God? Do we see others as ourselves?

Eternity is in the balance, choose wisely.


Strong Christians vs. Wimps

The seventy returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name!" And He (Jesus) said to them, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from Heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing shall hurt you.

When I feel defeated, I like to read this passage. The very words seem to act as a balm, healing and empowering me.

Jesus promised his disciples many things. He told them that when they took bread and wine, that he would transform these into his body and blood. He told them that they would do greater things than he had done if they had faith. Finally Jesus gave them power.

A power to destroy evil, a power to heal.

What keeps this power from operating in our lives? What makes us wimps rather than strong Christians? I think it is a simple answer.

Ego. The great "I" that we all strive to protect and which unfortunately is probably the most difficult demon to drive out.

Whenever Jesus approached someone who was possessed, the demons cry out have you come to destroy us?

We all grow so accustomed to our little demons that we feel that they are the very definition of who we are.

The book of Revelation ends with a prayer that should ever be on our lips, "Even so, Lord Jesus Come!"