September 23

September 23
By Susan Lovelady
 
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)
 
So what happens when we live God’s way?
 He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an
orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity.
 We develop a willingness to stick with things
 A sense of compassion in the heart
 A conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people.
 We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in
life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.
 
Imagine if everyone looked at Christianity not as a religion, but as a “movement”, a
movement to “Live God’s Way” empowered by the Holy Spirit. The invitation is
inclusive. The benefits are universal. The attractiveness is contagious. This is a
“cause” that defends the weak, recognizes equality, encourages respect and kindness,
praises individuality and the success from the unique gifts that are in each of us, and
believes in the good of humanity. And as a very wise leadership council member
shared just recently… can you imagine if we could harness the energy and passion of
our young adults with getting involved in a movement for Christ? Especially now, with
people that are desperately looking for the right “cause” to fight for, to better our world,
and to be a part of. The impact would be limitless.
 
And to think we already have the mission statement in place and even a handbook
(translated in over 3,000 different languages I might add). The words are right there in
front of us, written by the ONE who started it all, the ONE who continues to lead us and
march right along side us; “the royal Master, who leads against the foe…we are not
divided; all one body we, one in hope and doctrine, one in charity.” (lyrics from
one of those very classic hymns written back in 1871).
 
There are many destructive paths that can pull us in so many different directions.
 
“But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the
same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance
about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of
compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and
people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way
in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.” Galatians 5:22-23 (Message
translation).
 
How beautiful is this.
 
Dear Jesus, thank you for always being present in our lives, never leaving our side, and
empowering us with the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. Help us to follow you and walk in
your ways as we march together towards a unity of love, joy, and peace. In Your Name
we pray, trusting in your faithfulness. Amen

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