Fruit of the Spirit: JOY

Galatians 5:22-23(NLT),”But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. There is no law against these things!

JOY. I’m glad the Lord has equipped us with joy. Joy is present regardless of our circumstances. It can look beyond the darkness and see the light. It rises up in the midst of turmoil and declares victory!

Joy In Action:

1. Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. (Philippians 4:4)

We can rejoice always because our God is faithful. He will never leave us alone. He has a solution for every problem we face. Even when we can’t see it right away, we can rejoice knowing He is aware of our needs and will carry us through. Being able to look back and recall God’s blessings brings us joy!

2. Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. (James 1:2-3)

Although we don’t enjoy going through trials, it’s the trials that make us stronger. When our faith is tested, we learn to persevere. We can be joyful knowing that in each and every struggle that we are met with, God is shaping us into the person He created us to be. No trial we endure is ever in vain, because God will use our trials and our weaknesses for His glory.

3. The hope of the righteous brings joy, but the expectation of the wicked will perish. ( Proverbs 10:28)

The hope we have in Christ brings us joy! Knowing we will spend eternity with Him brings us even more joy! Even as we do our daily tasks, we can rest knowing He will guide our steps. It’s a joy to know His love lights our way.

4. My lips will shout for joy, when I sing praises to you; my soul also, which you have redeemed. ( Psalm 71:23)

We have been redeemed by the precious Blood of the Lamb! I can’t think of a better reason to be joyful. The penalty for our sins was paid and we are free, so rejoice, shout, and sing praises to our God!

“Happiness is fickle, and requires happy circumstances. Joy, on the other hand, sticks around. It doesn’t get chased off by trouble.” – Nivine Richie

***Feel free to share your thoughts about JOY in the comments.

Next Reading: Fruit of the Spirit: PEACE

The joy of the Lord is our strength.

Fruit of the Spirit: LOVE

Galatians 5:22-23(NLT),”But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. There is no law against these things!

LOVE. I am convinced that love is something that we will never stop learning to do. Learning to walk in love is a life long adventure. Jesus set an example for us to live by. His words and actions are a constant expression of love. He died for us because of love (Romans 5:8). I’m so glad he loves me. Nothing else in my life or this world can compare to His love. His love is pure. No strings attached.

God is love…

1 John 4:16(NIV),”And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.”

A few instructions from the Bible about LOVE:

1. Love God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind. (Luke 10:27)

God should be first place in our lives. We should love Him more than anyone or anything. We must make a decision to surrender our lives to Him. Once we make this decision, we will learn to surrender in stages. As long as we’re making progress, we’re on the right path.

2. Love your neighbor as yourself. (James 2:8)

Loving others as we love ourselves, basically means we are treating people the way we want to be treated. We should not think more highly of ourselves than God wants us to (Romans 12:3). Taking time to stop and think before we speak or act, will help us to be more successful at showing love to others.

3. Love your enemies. (Matthew 5:44)

This one can really be a challenge! But we must remember that even before we came to Christ, He loved us. We were living against Him and His will for our lives, but He still loved us. Showing love to those who are the hardest to love, is a sure way to share Christ with them.

4. Love keeps no record of wrongs. (1 Corinthians 13:5)

When we forgive others, we can no longer hold their faults against them. We have to let them go free. We can’t say we forgive someone and then keep bringing up everything wrong they did. Depending on the situation, we don’t necessarily have to stay in a relationship with someone. It’s okay to go your separate ways if need be. But we must forgive if we want to be forgiven by God (Matthew 6:15).

Of course there is so much more the Bible has to say about love. As children of God, love is a big part of who we are. As we draw closer to Christ , we will continue to grow in love.

***Feel free to share your thoughts about LOVE in the comments.

Next Reading: Fruit of the Spirit: JOY

We love because He first loved us, 1 John 4:19

When Trusting God Hurts

Sometimes it can be hard, I mean really, really hard to trust God. We want to, we try to, but we sometimes still find ourselves worrying. We find ourselves afraid of what tomorrow holds. The pressures we face on a daily basis can seem unbearable. Sometimes we have so much pain and frustration buried within our souls, that we ourselves can’t even fully understand it.

There are so many different people suffering in so many different ways. Some are angry. Some are depressed. Some are lonely. Some feel insignificant. Some are struggling to make ends meet. Some are homeless and living on the street. Some are very ill. The world we live in can be so cruel. People can be so mean. But everyday regardless of how we feel, or what struggles we have, we’re expected to just get up the next day and start all over again. There is no doubt life is hard.

In the midst of all of these things, God tells us to trust him. But what about when trusting Him hurts? Especially when we’ve been believing for a very long time, but the answers to our prayers still have not yet come. What do we do when we feel empty and drained? What do we do when we feel we have nothing else left to give?


Worship reminds us of who God is. It allows us to clearly see the heart of God. Everything we need is found in worship. God reveals Himself to us through worship. He reveals His truth to us, and His love for us. Through worship we receive healing and strength. Worship gives us confidence to face the unknown. It gives us the drive to keep trusting, to keep believing, to keep walking by faith, and to keep hoping, hoping in the One who knows all.

John 4:23 (NIV), “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.

Trusting God can hurt because it forces us to put aside our pride, our plans, and even our pain so we can just focus on who He is. Finding time alone to just lay our hearts before God can seem challenging. However, we can always ask God in prayer, how to make time in our lives for worship. Worship is not just for Sunday mornings at church.

Whatever God tells us to do, He will empower us to do. We can do all things through Christ who gives us strength (Philippians 4:13). Worship fills us. It completes us. In His presence is fullness of joy and eternal pleasures forever (Psalm 16:11).

When Trusting God Hurts…We Worship.

God’s Love Speaks Through Every Language

Psalm 67:5(NLT),”May the nations praise you, O God. Yes, may all the nations praise you.”

God’s love can speak to us through any language and yesterday was one of those times. During the worship service at church, there was a song that the worship team started singing in Spanish. Being that we live in South Florida, it’s not unusual for them to start singing a verse of a song in Spanish. But usually when they do, they will then sing the same verse in English. So as they were singing in Spanish, I was waiting for the moment when they would switch back over to English. As the soloist continued in Spanish, I glanced to my right and then my left. I was curious to see how many other people looked as if they didn’t understand, like me.

As I examined the parts of the congregation that I could see, I saw some singing along word for word as they worshipped. I also saw others like myself just standing there listening. My daughter speaks Spanish pretty well, and I remember thinking I wish she was there to help me. Once it was clear to me that, “that moment” when they switch to English may never come, I decided to look at the screen that had the words on display. That wasn’t much help. I did understand a word here and there, but my Spanish skills are minimal. I could tell by the tune that it was a familiar song, so I thought I would just try and sing along in English. That didn’t work. What I was hearing from the stage in Spanish, seemed to take precedence over the English I was trying to hear in my own head.

Finally, I decided to just hum along and watch the soloist. As I watched her, her worship seemed pure and heartfelt. I could sense God’s love, not through her words, since I could not understand, but through her body language and her expressions. I could imagine that giving God praise in her native tongue was what felt most comfortable for her.

The hands and hearts that were raised to the Lord were evidence of His presence. As we all stood across the sanctuary, language did not matter. We were all there united by one thing, the love of God. When the Spirit of God is present, He is always ready and willing to do the work He came to do. He did do that work, because at the end of the service, He caused twelve souls to repent and give their lives to Jesus Christ.

I felt the joy of the Lord and saw His goodness as I watched those twelve people walk into the newness of life. They were now new creations in Christ Jesus. I wondered if that song the worship team sung completely in Spanish, could have been the reason at least one of those twelve souls came to Christ. I may never know, but this I do know, God’s love never fails.

Psalm 136:6(CEV),”Praise the God of all gods. God’s love never fails.”

I’m so thankful the love of God can speak to us through any language, even when we don’t understand the words.

Dios te amo=God loves you

Stay Connected to the True Vine: Prayer

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5, NIV)

J E S U S. He is the Source that gives us life. When we are connected to Him, we bear fruit. Fruit that will last. Fruit that will make a true difference. While Jesus was here on Earth, He set a great example for us by showing us how He stayed connected to the Father.

“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” (Mark 1:35, NIV)

Jesus realized that regular communication with the Father through prayer, was the way to stay focused and empowered. It’s no different for us. We need to have our special quiet times where we can spend time alone with God in prayer. However, we also can say short prayers throughout our day. Our Father is always available to us, no matter where we are. He tells us to pray continuously (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

Prayer has many benefits but here are some that I have experienced:


1. Keeps us aware of God’s presence.

2. Keeps us sensitive to the leading of The Holy Spirit.

3. Keeps us focused on what matters most.

4. Builds our trust and faith in God.

5. Gives us peace.

6. Helps us to walk in love.

7. Brings healing to our lives where needed.

Because of Christ we have direct 24/7 access to our Heavenly Father through prayer.

What are some of the ways you have seen prayer work in your life?

When God Changes Things, Don’t Resist

Proverbs 19:21(NLT) says, “You can make many plans, but the LORD’s purpose will prevail.”

My tenth grade marketing teacher taught us this quote by Greek philosopher Heraclitus, “Change is the only constant in our lives.” It’s interesting how change is constant, but we’re prone to resist it. I guess it’s the comfort of familiarity that holds us hostage. Even though we have our routines and plans, as Christians we should always be open to the possibility of God redirecting our course. Our lives become more meaningful when we allow Him to saturate our lives with His adventures.

I always like to remember Abraham…

Hebrews 11:8 (NLT), “It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going.”

This is a great example of stepping out on faith and following the leading of The Holy Spirit. We have to be willing to take the first step God is showing us. After that, he’ll show us the next step. God might not call you to go to another land (although He might), but perhaps He’s calling you to change jobs, or sign up as a volunteer at a local organization. God may even be calling you to reach out to a new person at work or church and invite them to lunch.

We must be willing to embrace the changes He brings our way. Rather the changes are big or small, they count as part of our destiny. Plus, one small change could make a huge difference in the day or life of another person. We can’t let fear of the unknown hinder our progress. The satisfaction we crave is found in walking in obedience to God’s divine plans . This includes making changes as needed.

Ever Wondered What God Is Up To?

Have you ever gone through those times where you wondered what God is up to? Those times where you wished you had more information about how God is working in your life. He does reveal things to us, but only in His timing. Of course waiting on His timing is the hard part, because our human nature wants to know the how’s, when’s, where’s, and why’s.

Plus we live in a world that tries to convince us, that we need to know every single thing, about every single thing. If that were the case, we wouldn’t need God. I know I definitely would do a lousy job at being the god of my life. What about you? I already tried that before. It seemed easy at the time. I just simply ignored God’s commands and did exactly what I wanted. Believe me when I say, that has never turned out good. Sins consequences can be devastating, but I’m so thankful for His forgiveness and mercy!

I have been through many different seasons of life, some felt more relaxed, while during other seasons I felt more anxious. Right now, I am actually in a season where I am praying and asking God for direction in certain areas. I’m trying not to worry. Can you relate? Perhaps you too need God to move in a particular area of your life.

When we need answers the Bible tells us to pray and not be anxious (Philippians 4:6). There are times when I go to God in prayer and I feel very anxious, stressed, confused and even fearful about whatever I’m going through. I have to ask God to remove the anxiousness, stress, confusion and fear from my heart. He’s faithful to do that, but when I feel those negative feelings trying to return, I have to keep giving it to Him in prayer. I have to ask Him to help me to understand in my heart, that He will work all things together for my good (Romans 8:28). The more we see His faithful track record, the better we become at being faithful in our ability to trust Him.

Can you imagine the majesty of our God? It’s really mind blowing! He is Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. He was and is and is to come (Revelation 1:8). This is the God that we are entrusting ourselves to, when we have given our lives to Jesus Christ. We won’t always understand how He is working, but the truth is, we don’t necessarily need to understand everything (Proverbs 3:5). He knows exactly how much we need to know. That’s where we find our rest, in knowing that He will always do what’s best for us.

As we wait, we need to just keep doing the things we already know He wants us to do. We need to rejoice, be thankful, and stay prayerful, because this is God’s will for us in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). Also stay watchful. Constantly watch for God’s direction, because He does hear the cries of His children and He answers (Psalm 34:6).

I just want to encourage you if you’re in a season of waiting on God for answers. Just keep pouring your heart out to Him because He will bring you peace. Another thing I really love is when I get that wonderful feeling of anticipation inside that assures me He’s up to something good. Remember, although you can’t see the good just yet, it’s sure to come. Why? Because we serve a Risen Savior! Keep moving forward in Christ!

Green, the color of life and growth!
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