In the responsibility we have as Christians, we are displayed before non believers as a set of books that should be read. Once the Holy Spirit comes upon us, our library grows into the fruits that are produced in our Christian walk.
Gal. 5:22-23 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law."
Why is love listed first? Because God is love. Everything He does is through love, a perfect love. From love all these other things will follow. Without love the Holy Spirit can not operate in your life. Love is the greatest of ALL things.
As we walk in love, our Christian walk will then develop the joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentless and the self-control. Self-control being at the other end of the scale.
Self-control holds up all the other things that come from Love. If we can not be in self-control, none of these other things could stand up. A lack of self-control only shows that the world is still operating in our lives. Our anger can not show others who Christ is in us. Anger creates a bad atmosphere, it causes others to withdrawal from us as well as the Holy Spirit which would leave us because of grief. Anger from a human standpoint is done out of pride, frustration, conceit, self righteousness and therefore doesn't contain the attributes of a loving, sovereign God.
God doesn't author this feeling because nothing good can come from it. It creates an atmosphere not only in us, but those around us of sadness, unrest, anxiety, evil, unfaithfulness, and abuse. Get the picture? It is the creation of a lie from hell and if it's not stopped, it will be the ruination of many that get involved. This is the enemy's plan. He removes the bookends and we soon fall down.
But Love and Self-Control are like the perfect bookends of our lives that is held together by Faith. Faith is the substance of all things hoped for but the things that are unseen the Bible tells us. Faith is the creation of the fruits of the Spirit that create who we are in our Christian walk with Christ.
Without faith, nothing we do as a person counts for anything. It doesn't matter what we do to show people we are a "good person" on the outside, if we go home and mistreat our families. God sees our hearts.
Jm. 2:17 "Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead being by itself."
James was saying that without true faith in the Holy Spirit to guide us, nothing we can possibly do on our own is any good. It's dead, it doesn't live because it can't produce any genuine works by itself. Christ came to redeem us of our sins, our insufficiency as humans. God knew we could not possibly come to Him and be worthy on our own. Only Jesus could change us into souls worthy to come to God, through the sacrifice of His blood. All we have to do is accept that blood, ask God to cover us with forgiveness of sins and He will send us the Comforter that covers us with the fruits of the Spirit. The human heart is naturally wicked and therefore, we can not humanly possible do anything "good" enough for God to accept us. Only the blood of Christ is the ingredient that can transform our hearts into the heart that God sees as one that is after His own heart. It now produces the fruits of the Spirit.
Jm. 2: 18 "But someone may well say, "You have faith, and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works."
To sum this all up, faith without love, kindness, peace, joy, patience, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control are useless. Faith doesn't come only through hearing, but also through doing.
Are your bookends of faith in place? What will people read in between the bookends of your life?
If there is something missing or out of place in between the bookends of your life, get quiet and ask God to show you what you need.
Remember that our actions do speak louder than our words. What do your actions show others? Do people draw away from you or do they draw near to you? Examine yourself today through God's Word.
Vivian Gordon, has been ordained through God to teach His living Word and make it come to life for those who need to hear from Him. Her love for writing and teaching are a gift from the Holy Spirit that others may read all the fruits that have been given to her by the grace of God through her faith.
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