Archive for May, 2010

If You Are Led By The Spirit. . .

My friend Scott gave me a link to the video Led By the Spirit posted at The Work of the People.

Before you fill your coffee cup and follow the link to this 2 minute video, you might want to read

After you watch the Led By the Spirit, come back and leave a comment and share your insights.

So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. – Galatians 5:16-18 NIV

Grace and Peace,

Terry

Here are 9 verses from the Book of Proverbs that show us God’s perspective on anger and warn us of its consequences:

  1. A quick-tempered man does foolish things, and a crafty man is hated. – Proverbs 14:17 NIV
  2. A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly. – Proverbs 14:29 NIV
  3. A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. – Proverbs 15:1 NIV
  4. A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel. – Proverbs 15:18 NIV
  5. Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city. – Proverbs 16:32 NIV
  6. Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared. – Proverbs 22:24-25 NIV
  7. Mockers stir up a city, but wise men turn away anger. – Proverbs 29:8 NIV
  8. A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control. – Proverbs 29:11 NIV
  9. An angry man stirs up dissension, and a hot-tempered one commits many sins. – Proverbs 29: 22 NIV

We can yield our lives to live under the control of the Holy Spirit or we can choose to let our old sinful nature have free reign.

My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. – James 1:19-20 NIV

Grace and Peace,

Terry

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Anger Is Not A Fruit Of The Spirit

This post is not easy to write. Confession never is easy. I struggle with anger. I don’t want it in my life but sometimes (more than I want to admit) it just spews forth like acid. Anger is described in the Bible as a work of the flesh which is the opposite of the fruit of the Spirit. The word “anger” in Galatians 5:20 is translated in various Bible versions as. . .

  • wrath (KJV)
  • outbursts of anger (NLT; NASB)
  • a brutal temper (The Message)
  • fits of rage (NIV)

I’m responsible for my anger.

Anger is a work of my flesh. It is something I do. I produce it. It is not something that the Spirit of God produces in me. I know some of you want to jump to the topic of “righteous anger” or ask, “Isn’t anger sometimes appropriate?” But let’s not get off the subject. The emphasis here is on outbursts of anger, wrath, a brutal temper, fits of rage. All this comes from me.

When I fill my basket with anger, it negates all the fruit of the Spirit . . .

  • anger – love
  • anger – joy
  • anger – peace
  • anger – patience
  • anger – kindness
  • anger – goodness
  • anger – faithfulness
  • anger – gentleness
  • anger – self-control

Anger bursts forth in my life when I don’t give the Spirit control. Fits of rage erupt when I get out of step with the Spirit.

How do I get anger out of my basket?

  1. Remember my true identity in Christ
  2. Rely on the power of Christ who lives in me
  3. Focus on the actions that are part of my identity in Christ not on the actions of my old life
  4. Walk in line with who I am – not who I used to be

Here are the scriptural bookends on each side of the works of the flesh:

So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. (Galatians 5:16 – NLT)

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. (Galatians 5:24-25 – NLT

    I plan to do a few more posts on the topic of anger. Do you have any thoughts on the direction these posts might take?

    Grace and Peace,

    Terry

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    5 Ways To Encourage One Another

    There are at least 30 different scripture passages in the epistles that use the words encourage, encouraged or encouragement. The Bible does not turn a deaf ear to the pressures of life. Our need for encouragement springs from the day to day pressures and the brokenness of the world in which we live.

    Listen to these verses:

    Therefore encourage each other with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:18 NIV)

    Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV)

    But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. (Hebrews 3:13 NIV)

    Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:25 NIV)

    If encouraging one another is such a prominent topic in scripture, how can you do a better job?

    Here are 5 ways you can encourage brothers and sisters in Christ:

    1. Write a note or an email – share something that can be held saved
    2. Call on your phone – let them hear your voice
    3. Help the hurting – do something to relieve the pressure
    4. Practice the power of presence – be there
    5. Tell people how they have encouraged you – build people up

    It’s time to be a doer of the word. Don’t read this and forget about it. Do something today to encourage someone.

    Do you have any other ideas or tips to help us encourage one another? Join the conversation and share them with us.

    Grace and Peace,

    Terry

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    What Does The Fruit Of Love Taste Like?

    Love is placed first in the characteristics of the fruit of the Spirit. In scripture it is pointed to as the greatest virtue of our lives as followers of Jesus (1 Corinthians 13; Ephesians 5:1-2; Colossians 3:12-14). The Spirit produces the fruit of love which should fill your life.

    God pours out his love into your heart and you enjoy its effect in and on your life. As you yield yourself to Christ, the Spirit produces love in you just like that which you received from the Father. The Holy Spirit lives in your heart and makes you more and more like Jesus and the fruit matures. Now others can have a taste of God’s love through you.

    When others eat the fruit of love which the Spirit produces in you, it has the very flavor of God’s love. Here are some descriptive terms as to what the fruit of love tastes like from 1 Corinthians 13:

    • caring for me more than I sometimes care for myself
    • patience when I am irritating
    • kindness when I am undeserving
    • sharing me when others need me
    • humility when you could be strutting your stuff
    • forgetting the pain I cause
    • forgiving my sin
    • picking me up when I get knocked down
    • dancing with me when I am victorious
    • protecting me when I am vulnerable
    • trusting in me
    • hope
    • faithfulness that never gives up on me

    And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. – 1 Corinthians 13:13 NIV

    Who are some people who need a taste of the fruit of love from your basket? They may be in your one another community. They may be your neighbors.

    Grace and Peace,

    Terry

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    Mission Trip To Asia and Back In One Day

    Sandi Leading Orchestra

    Our church met at the Dragon Boat, Kite, and Lantern Festival last Sunday. One of our members plays in a string orchestra. The director was in China and she was asked to direct a performance in the opening ceremonies. We decided to go and support her and experience the festival. It was like taking a mission trip to Asia and coming back the same day.

    Some helped back stage while others simply watched the performance. Some took pictures and video to share with the director when he returns. We just dispersed in the crowd and mingled with the people attending the festival.

    As we walked the festival grounds we would run into other members of the group from time to time and stop to visit. At one point several of us found ourselves sitting in the shade eating lunch from the street vendors.

    The church chose to gather – not at some permanent place and at a set time – but at a place where we could do life together. We did this for several reasons:

    • to serve a fellow member of our local church
    • to serve the members of the orchestra
    • to build relationships with the orchestra and their families
    • to learn more about a culture that is all around us in which we can live the example of a Christ-like life style
    • to make some new friends
    • to be incarnational (be the body of Christ in the world)
    • to be missional (to be about the mission of Jesus in the world)

    Who knows, we might go to October Fest this fall.

    What are some ways and where are some places your church or small group can gather?

    Grace and Peace,

    Terry

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