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Fruity Spirit: Love

Last week, I introduced our new series: Fruity Spirit. This week, we’re talking about the first fruit of the Spirit, love. We’ll continue our series right on down through every fruit on the tree, so hang around…

Love isn’t just a wonderful thing that God gives and shows us, it is required of us to give it as Christians. Giving love is definitely a big part of our faith – though the biggest part of our walk with God is loving God.

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:1-7

I really like these verses, because they talk about what true love is. The passage explains that when you talk and teach about God, but don’t love God,  you don’t really believe what you’re saying.  If you give everything you own, but you don’t love it, doesn’t mean anything. Lastly, love is so incredible that it can be an amazing gift of prosperity that God gave us. Does the love in your life look like that?

God loved us so much to give us his son, and that’s the ultimate love. God calls us now to reflect that love by loving others enough to show them Christ’s love! You get that? We are called to love God and to love people, and without first having love, everything else you do is worthless. We can live a life of love by doing good things, being the good Samaritan, living the golden rule, and I think you get the idea.

Don’t forget to check in next week for my post on joy!

Light-wise Living

Nothing I say can directly help you stop sinning. Nothing you do can either; no goals you set. Personal determination alone can’t win battles of heart, but a change of heart can.

There’s a reason Jesus comes into our hearts when we become Christians. To help us, to guide us, to be close to us. But mostly to change our hearts, through and through; to ready us to listen to and serve him.

Unlike the Israelites, we have more than just a big book of rules to read, and then be left to hope we can find the will to follow those rules. We have God as our strength and guidance, helping us to do the right things at the right time. Living a radical life starts with realizing the power and potential God has placed in you.

The apostle Paul is possibly the greatest Christian of all time. And, as he said himself, he wasn’t anything special. On the contrary, speaking in 1 Corinthians, Paul describes how he went in “weakness and fear”, something we all feel when faced with a challenge. That’s one of many reasons why I chose and love the following verse.

I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power,so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.” 1 Corinthians 2:3-5

I wish that God gave us all step-by-step directions on how to live our lives, but everyone’s life is different–and so is God’s plan for it. That means we have to live ready, waiting, trusting, and the way to do that is in the light and truth of the Spirit. This classic proverb never grows old:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

No Fear In Death

Heaven. Many may never see this holiest realm of God’s glory. But I’ll tell you something about this blog. Triple Vertex was founded partially to make sure you’re not one of those people. Death is the price everyone has to pay for sin ( John 3:16), because Eve and Adam ate the apple of the Tree of Life and sin was released into the world (see The Story of Sin).

When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”” 1 Corinthians 15:54

We are the perishable and the mortal, and when we die (or Jesus returns) we will be imperishable and immortal. Jesus conquered death and took the blame for our sins. He took the weight off our shoulders, so that we could have eternal life in him (yes, John 3:16 again). He paid the price of death so that we didn’t have to.

Death is difficult, nonetheless. Jesus made it possible for us to be comforted in death, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t hard. When someone dies, it seems that’s something we have to overcome all over again. But for those who die with their faith in Christ, there is no place for fear. We are sinners, but by the blood of Christ, by his death and resurrection, we are sanctified in our acceptance of him.

Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with mennor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

We must sanctified in order to be worthy and holy enough for passage to heaven. That is why we all must be redeemed by Christ, accepting the sacrifice he made in his death, so that we’re sure about ours. It involves only two steps:

If you [1] declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and [2] believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9

This verse makes it plain and clear. Believe that Jesus Christ is our Lord, and that he was resurrected for us, and we can be sure of our passage upstairs. This is why there is no fear in death for us–but hope. Death isn’t a pleasant thing, but in our deaths as Christians, we will be more alive than before when we are with the Lord.

Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death — that is, the devil — and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” Hebrews 2:14-15

World Pollution

We all know to save the planet from pollution by going green, but the real problem of pollution is the ungodly kind. There is a lot of evil that often tells you holy things which you are doing are wrong, and there is a lot of temptation to do what the demon-over-your-shoulder tells you to.

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:12-14

Though life may be tough, God  is faithful. While you’re going through hard struggles, he will stay true to his faithfulness… just as he promised  But what the world tells us is very different.The Pharisees told the people of Jerusalem that they should follow them.

But the Pharisees said, “It is by the prince of demons that he drives out demons.”” Matthew 9:33-35

That of course, isn’t true. One, he is the son of God so he can do anything. Two, he was not using Satan, the prince of demons to cast out those demons. Satan used the Pharisees to turn the people against Jesus. Sometimes it worked, sometimes not, but all in all he used them to pollute the Jews’ minds with bad thoughts and turn them away from the truth. And he does the same thing today.

Set Your Lukewarm to Flame

This one’s for those of you like me, who live the so-called “average” American life. A home, a family, a nice little suburbia: it seems like the norm, right? While we all seem to prefer blissful idealism, it’s important that we have a realist for a reality-check every now and then. We need to not just live–but live on fire!

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” Revelation 3:15-16

Today, I’m aiming to be your reality-check (and mine), in remembering that the world is so much bigger than our first world countries and our suburbia. Even if you don’t have that kind of lifestyle, it can still be just as easy to forget. We can’t settle for standard. We can’t settle for the world’s mentality. We need to be the hot; the blazingly passionate people. It’s when we lose our perspective that we come think that everything is so small and simple. Getting caught up in thinking all this leads to one thing. Apathy.

There are lots of things the bible tells us to know and do and to not do. Below is a few tips to help you get started turning your lukewarm to flame.

  1. Live out loud! Be big and bold and let people know the truth. (Isaiah 58:1)
  2. We are supposed to relay God’s message to everyone. Yes, as in everyone. There’s still a lot of unreached people. (Matthew 28:19).
  3. Before I get you too riled up, remember not to be an idiot. (Acts 19:36)
  4. Have one primary goal in life: the pursuit of God’s kingdom; don’t be double-minded.  (James 4:8)
  5. We have the Lord in our hearts! Don’t forget he’s right there with you. (1 Corinthians 3:16)

These five things will go a long way to turning your average lifestyle into a passionate one. On Judgement Day, there will be a few kinds of people: those who oppose God or don’t care, those who knew of or about him, but never truly sought him, and those who searched for him with everything they had. In short, there are the cold, the lukewarm, and the hot. How do you think you’d be classified?

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