So I've decided we will study the Fruit of the Spirit for the next 9 Smorgasbord Tuesdays. Summer is approaching (it's dragging it's feet in WI) and the thought of wearing a swimsuit is upon us. If you are like me, you may have to shed a little of that winter coat you collected over the last 6 months. My sister Wendy and I are doing Jillian's 30 Day Shred together; for us it is more like Jillian's 45-50 day shred, with a few treats in between (it's the thought that counts right?).
Anyway, as I am trying to clean up my diet and exercise it always turns me to applying God's Word into my life(way more enjoyable to me than exercise); hence the idea to study the fruit of the Spirit, to make our spiritual lives more healthy. How do you get fruit in your physical part of life? You either go to the grocery store, or you go directly to the source the fruit tree. You can't just pick it though, you need to eat it in order to get the benefits. The same it true in our Christianity. Do you want the fruit of the Spirit in your life? All you need to do is go to the source and ask for it. Other ways you can "taste" it is by hearing it at church or by reading the Word on your own. But very simply, if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you have the Holy Spirit inside of you, tapping His toes waiting for you to give Him permission to move. Start asking Him for His help and you will see the difference that it makes.
So this week's fruit is LOVE. What is love? Love is patient, it is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not self-seeking, it keeps no record of wrong, it always trusts, always hopes, always preservers. Love comes first, in the list of the fruit because it is the foundation of our lives; nothing is of value if it doesn't contain love. We love because He first loved us. The greatest commandments are to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and then to love others. We can't successfully live this life without love. The way to be most successful at living this life is to go to the source who lives inside of you, who wants to help you and teach you how to love!
So here is what I'm asking you to do. If you don't have a journal you should have one! (Don't worry, I only write in mine at least once a month...) Anyway, write down the fruit of the week in your journal and put the rank you would give yourself currently in applying this to your life (from 1 ~ I stink to 10 ~ I've got this down pat!). Now this week take the fruit of the week and apply it to your life ~ not on your own strength though but by asking the Holy Spirit! I'm not about us gritting our teeth and pushing through, because that only lasts for so long. I'm about us experiencing the real freedom that comes only through the working of the Holy Spirit. Next week I will remind you to look back at your journal and write your new number and see if there has been any difference. Get the idea?
Be excited! I am.