Friday, October 28, 2011

Fresh Fruit

by Bethany Lashbrook

This week's Verse: Galatians 5:22, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."

One of my friends, Denise, has been reading a lot of Jim Cymbala (probably most known for his book Fresh Wind Fresh Fire, and pastors Brooklyn Tabernacle). She decided to bring one of Jim's lessons into our Sunday school class. It has been about listening to the Holy Spirit in our lives and letting the Holy Spirit work through us and within us.

This past week, we looked at the Holy Spirit in relation to fire. We were taught that:
1. Fire is cut-throat. It pierces through everything.
2. Fire is illuminating. Everyone can see it.
3. Fire spreads. And not only does it spread, but it does so quickly.

Luke records in Acts when Jesus told his disciples, "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit". (1:4-5, NIV, emphasis mine)

Later in Acts 10:47, Luke records that Peter says, "Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have". (NIV)

If we are to let the Holy Spirit work in us without quenching it, we must give it authority in our lives. We must let it spread like fire. Fresh fire can lead to Fresh fruit - and who couldn't benefit from more of the fruits of the Spirit.

Freshness of anything is good. A Fresh start in life once we are baptized promises a life full of newness (Romans 6:4). Putting out this fresh fire can inhibit spiritual growth (1 Thessalonians 5:19).

This week, it is my goal to purposely listen for the direction the Holy Spirit gives me in my life. I guess I should say not only will I listen - but then I will act. Maybe along the way I can spread some joy or some peace. And maybe, I can learn some self-control and faithfulness in my life!

Dear Lord, thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit. May we all know and learn from your direction in our life. Amen.

Application: Do you ever hear the Holy Spirit speaking directly to you? Does anything happen (heart beat increase, sweaty palms)? Is the holy spirit directing you to do something small (like letting the woman with only several items go in front of you at Walmart checkout line) or something big (paying for her groceries)? Pray this week to be attentive to what God is choosing in your life!

This Week's Verses:
John 7:37-39, 'On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.' (NIV)

Matthew 16:25, "For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it."

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