I wanted to get each word remembered in its specific order, I did not want to leave any word out. Then I found myself clinging to this text:
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Galatians 5:22-24
Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-control...
I am not writing to tell you that I have it down, on the contrary, probably farther from it as I realize how far I still need to go. But what I learned is that I am not governed by my circumstances. I am not governed by the things done to me or said about me. I am not governed by my past failures or things I have done. Instead, I can choose a posture of willful surrender. Instead, I can choose a thoughtful posture of obedience.
These ten verbs called me, as a believer in Jesus, to a place of obedience-training. This intentional focus provided an atmosphere for inward transformative work that only the Spirit can do, quite literally the fruit, the product" of the Spirit.
Love. For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
He was and is Love... love come down, love bent low. Love in action, giving up Himself for us.
Joy. Psalm 98. We praise Him with all Joy we rejoice for what He has done.
Our salvation... for the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ, our Lord. Romans 6:23
For God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. John 3:17
Resurrected from death so that I might be reconciled to Him and live with Him in eternity.
Peace. And with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. Ephesians 6:15 - His word is peace...
It is in these first three truths, His love for us - you, me, all of mankind from the beginning, His Joy, the overwhelming Joy that comes from knowing that we; you, me, all of mankind - from the beginning - were bought with a price, a high price... His death on the cross... and the Word which is truth and brings Peace to those who believe. In these three verbs,
Jesus exampled and moved forward in; these first three, the way for the next. With His love, with His Joy and with His Peace we are able to live out His word with patience, in kindness, goodness, faithfulness, with gentleness and self-control.
I will be sharing with you some of truth He taught me this year. Some of it I chronicled out as I do, some of it I left to sink into my being - trusting it to fall where it may, and still it teaches me. I cannot wait to share with you how He's moving me. I cannot wait to share with you the frustrating, overwhelming, captivating, awesome way the Spirit has taken hold.
2017 was a quiet year for my writing... 2018 is going to be quite different...