Fruit of the Spirit, Part IV
Just before the great passage in Galatians that expounds the Fruit of the Spirit comes a warning and a list of the opposites of the good Fruit, the destroyers of churches, relationships, and self! This all comes down to our willingness to either live a life that is led by the Spirit or one that is led by our flesh, that of our pride and will.
The incarnation simply means God came to be a man. He was fully man while remaining fully God. That way He could identify with our plight in life. As He lived a normal human existence for over 30 years, He experienced all that we experienced, including all the emotions, relationships, and temptations.
Getting to Know You,
As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Prov. 27:17)
The Small Group is the prime platform for establishing and instilling the Great Commandment and the Great Commission that Jesus gave us in Matthew 28:18-20 and Mark 12:29-31. The Small Group is also the vehicle with which to develop and experience authentic relationships and growing discipleship. This builds a Church of authentic community, poured out to His precepts and being in relational intimacy and fullness in Him. This is what we are called to emulate from our Lord. Because people will be...
In Acts the Bible tells us we need to be in relationships for our personal and spiritual growth. As Paul and the early Christians taught and received teaching "from house to house," we too must respond in our walk with Christ in each others homes (Acts 5:42; 20:20)!
Do you listen to God? Most would emphatically say yes or at least think they do, pay attention to God. Or do we just listen to ourselves or snoop out the faulty trends? Consider these questions, why do you study the Bible? Why do you pray? Why and how do you worship? Is it a two-way communication? Or is it just you dictating to God? Now, consider one of the essential inductive questions that help us know and grow in the Word: what is in the way of my listening to God?
In Matthew 10:34-42, Jesus calls us to take up the cross. This passage goes against the grain of most Christian mindsets, just as it did when Jesus first gave it. Yet, it is essential for us to understand who we are in Christ and allow His empowerment to come into our relationships. What does this mean? How does this affect my relationship with God, my relationship with self and with others?
Do people treat you unfairly? Have you ever wondered why? Well, we live in a fallen world, and we are all filled with sin. Sin affects our relationships, the way you treat people and the way they treat you. Yet even in sin we have the choice to make a difference. So are you?
Friendship Lesson 5:
Another thing to be aware of in relationships is that they are a life form that grows, evolves, and changes.
Friendship Lesson 4:
So, what is the key to getting out of the locked room at the shallow end of relationships?
Forgiveness is complete, so that we, as Christians, are released from our personal desire for retribution. Forgiveness is costly, yet, there is no cost we could ever incur that could compare with what we cost Him. When we put forgiveness into practice in our relationships, whether with family, friends, church people, or our coworkers, we refocus our plans for our pain to God's plan, and God's ways. So, our pain becomes relieved, and our life can go on in a better direction. We can live better...