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Archive for May, 2013

As we wrap up our week looking at the fruit of patience, I pray you have learned that producing fruit is the work of the Holy Spirit.  Beth Moore says, “How we respond to circumstances is important, but how we respond to others is critical.” May we cooperate with Him and grow in our relationship with the Godhead so that we respond correctly to people and in our circumstances.

“I do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.  I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.”  Ephesians 1:16-19a

I have prayed this for every lady who read the blog this week.  God’s desire is to produce fruit in your life.  Remember to be patient with others, in your circumstances, and with yourself. After all, He’s still working on you.

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1 Timothy 1:16, “Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.”  Paul places a real challenge on our lives in this verse and yet we can be confident that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is in us as believers and He will work His perfect patience in us.  As long as we draw breath here on earth, we will be given chances to grow, to show Christ in us to a world that is lost and dying.

I accepted Christ as my personal Savior at the age of 26, just a couple of weeks after hearing the Gospel for the first time.  Not long after this, the Lord moved us halfway across the country and placed a godly woman in my life to mentor and disciple me. I was and am forever blessed because of His provision.  Let me tell you, she needed a lot of patience!  I am so thankful for the Lord having someone ready to take me under wing that lived out the Fruit of the Spirit.  Are we ready to be that someone for another person?

Father, as we are out in the community, may the people we encounter be blessed and drawn to Christ because of the fruit You are producing in our lives.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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James 1:2-3, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.”  Not all of our impatience is related to people; sometimes it is with things or circumstances.   In this verse, the patience or endurance is in relation to things or circumstances.

Sometimes this impatience arises from things not going right.  Or should I just be blatantly honest and say that things are not going my way?  Even as believers we fall into the trap of thinking things should be easy for us.  This verse is diametrically opposed to that way of thinking.  Trials are to test my faith and produce patience or endurance.

Remembering back to my school days, there were quizzes, tests, midterms, and finals.  Each of these are a little more intense than the previous one.  Our trials are that way. We are given various opportunities to see what we have learned and where we still need to learn and grow.  By the way, the final is when we are in the presence of Christ, complete, lacking in nothing.  If you know Christ as Savior, He has already aced the final for you.

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“Patience of spirit is better than haughtiness of spirit.”  

Ecclesiastes 7:8b

The writer here is expressing that when I am impatient my pride is showing.  As I look at myself and evaluate the times I am impatient it is because I am thinking too highly of myself, my time, my priorities, etc….  Patience says that I have to get out of the way.  God will place situations in my life until I learn these lessons and then He will continue to place them in my life to make sure I don’t forget what I have learned.

We have all heard the saying, “practice makes perfect.”  God is faithful to provide me with the opportunities to practice so He can perfect the fruit of patience in my life.  Growing up in California where there are multitudes of orchards, it was common to see the trees being pruned each year.  When we are given opportunities to exude patience and succeed, these are the healthy limbs that are left to grow and bear even more and healthier fruit.  The times I fail are the limbs that are cut off and burned.

Philippians 2:3-4, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” Patience will look out for the interest of others and put selfishness aside.

Father, I confess my struggle with pride and I humble myself under Your hand.  I surrender my life to You as a living sacrifice; have Your way in me.  Thank You for Your patience, Amen.

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I have heard it said that the English language is a hard language to learn because of some of the idiosyncrasies.  Homophones would fall into this arena, such as patience and patients.  I have been known to say if God had wanted me to have patience I would have been a doctor.  Well, truth be told, God does desire for me to have patience and He is wanting to produce that in my life by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Patience is defined as the capacity, habit, or fact of being patient.  Okay, so what is patient?  Patient is: 1) bearing pains or trails calmly or without complaint, 2) manifesting forbearance under provocation or strain, 3) not hasty or impetuous (marked by impulsive vehemence, marked by force and violence of movement or action), 4) steadfast despite opposition, difficulty, or adversity, 5) able or willing to bear.

The definition alone lets me know this is not something I can produce in my life. Maybe I can have a moment of success now and then, but not a life of consistency.  So where do you struggle most with impatience?  Is it with people or circumstance?  Rest assured that God is not expecting you to do this in your life; He will produce the fruit as we mature in Him.  Philippians 1:6 tells us, “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Father, only You can produce consistent patience in my life.  Please help me to cooperate with the plans You have, so that the healthy fruit of patience is being produced in my life.  Amen.

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