Most people would rather have joy than sadness any day. So, where is joy found? Many people look for it in their personal interests, hobbies, and work, but the search seems to constantly change. One day, you may find joy in a relationship and the next day, you don't. If there's no joy then we automatically look for it somewhere else. The joy this life gives is fleeting, and we are always searching for more of it because it seems difficult to hold onto. Our understanding of joy must change, and we have to find joy in what is pure. Joy doesn't have to be conditional. It can be found so you can live through any season of your life in possession of joy.
With the summer getting closer, you may begin to have a desire for watermelon. You rush off to the store to get one, but you find they don't have any. Why? Because they are not in season yet. You either find something else to satisfy your craving, or you just patiently wait another few months. Many times, when we think of the Fruit of the Spirit, we think in seasons. There's times when I want to love, and love is in season, but then there are other times when you don't, so love is absent. If this is how you think of the Fruit of the Spirit, you're missing the ability and necessity for you live in season, all the time, no matter how you feel. In our new series, we're going to learn how to live with the Fruit of the Spirit no matter what season of life you find yourself living in.
Giving a well-thought out gift to someone can be one of the most rewarding of experiences. Unfortunately, there are times you probably would like to do much more than you are able to; you have limitations. You only have so much to give even though you may want to do so much more. God feels the same way and wants to give us a gift which can transform how we live and our effectiveness for Him. He is not limited, but I can limit what I receive from Him. Why would I want to withhold from myself what God so freely has decided to give me? Maybe if we knew the value of His gift for us, we would be more open to receiving it!
Peter is a disciple many like to pick on and pick apart but the reality is this: many of us are just like him. Peter discovered what we each need to realize.....you cannot live out your salvation in your own power. If you've ever lacked the ability to live for the LORD, or even lost the desire to, then this is the evidence you've been trying to live on your own power. Peter couldn't do it, and you can't either, but he eventually did live with consistency and power. How? The answer is in Acts 2, and you can have the same experience and power he had.
Have you ever been accused of being "out there" even by other believers? Sometimes your beliefs are a little too extraordinary for them; they think you need to get a reality check, beam back to earth, or just get realistic! Good thing you serve God because the Bible is clear that God is the one who has established reality. Nothing you believe in the Bible is far-fetched because God has been behind all of it. Yet, the miracles and supernatural power of God cannot be limited to the day of the Bible because God still wants to display His power through His people. Maybe, if we aren't seeing this in our lives, we may be the one's in need of a reality check!
What does it take to be a successful believer? Scripture memorization? Going to church regularly? Live the better than average life? Much of the evidence people seem to point to can help them look the part, but more importantly, we must BE the part. There must be within us the capacity to generate spiritual success. If you've ever wondered why you never seem to succeed consistently in living for Christ, maybe it is time to understand what the real need in you is, and how to satisfy it!
Why does it seem like everything in life is a hassle? A quick trip to the store turns into an hour long event as you get stuck behind slow drivers, people who want to catch up when they see you, and unmotivated cashiers - what a dilemma! Sometimes it seems the little tasks of life present such big challenges which make them more difficult than they should be. Everyday seems like a dilemma, and we wish we could just have an easier life like everyone else has, or so we think. Maybe our perception of events, or even our expectations in life are unrealistic. We need to realize, just because a challenge is present doesn't mean it is dilemma.
The story of Mary reminds each of us of God's desire to involve us in His plans. Each person who chooses to accept His call can be used in a remarkable way for God's use. We admire Mary because we see her as the insignificant girl she is but she was full of faith and trust in God. What about me? Why am I so cautious about being used by God; even fearful? Listen in as we discover how we can be our own worst enemy at certain times, but there is hope for those who want to overcome.
We've all struggled with doubt, but we tend to think we come to a point where we completely grow out of it. Should we not doubt the LORD? YES! The reality is this: we sometimes do. It is a continual battle for us to beat back doubt, so we can have faith in His character, ability, and will. Since this is true, doubt is not something only young believers must overcome, but also seasoned believers too! Listen in as we see in Luke 1 how people of great faith and character are prone to doubt, but there is a way out of doubt. If you want to defeat your doubts, you must understand more about who's you are, where you are, and who He is!
Disappointment comes in many forms, and it is difficult to bear. If you've tried to control the people around you, the lesson you've learned is, you can't. And people often are a source of our disappointment. We may think, "If only everyone else was more like me!" but the issue is more with us than it is with them. We each need to learn how to live above the affects of disappointment, and how to move on from difficulty, so it does not continue to influence us far into our future.