Today we continued our study on the fruits of the spirit by looking at patience and kindness. Patience in the New Testament is one of two words, hupomone (divine hope) and makrothuia (divine mercy). Therefore, there are two parts to patience; one is associated with perseverance – not giving into circumstances. The second is associated with people – self-restraint exercised before proceeding to action. The only way we are able to have mercy that inspires patience is by allowing the Holy Spirit to direct our lives. Think about where you would be without the mercy of God. Are you extending that mercy to others? The last part about kindness is very similar in that it means tender concern for others. Jesus was the visible expression of the tender, nurturing, and caring nature of God. It is our response in faith to the incredible gift of his Son that we are saved.
Today we start a new series entitled “Fruitcake” which is about the fruits of the spirit. Galatians 5:13-26 is the passage in the Bible that we look at closely for the purposes of this sermon. The first two fruits that we examine in detail are joy and peace. In the New Testament, there are many examples of great joy that results in the discovery of what we have in the Lord. Joy directly relates to the grace of God. When we understand the grace of God in our lives and what we have inherited in Him in abundant and eternal life then we continually rejoice. The second fruit is peace. True peace only comes from the Prince of Peace. The true gift of every fruit is only found in Jesus himself. There is peace found in His provision, His purpose, and His power.
The final installment of Crazy Love looks at Matthew 22:34-40. Jesus is questioned by the Pharisees about what the most important command from God is. Jesus tells them to love the Lord with all their hearts, souls, and minds. Along those same lines He said to love others as you do yourself. Looking deeper into it, we see that He was telling them not to just be rule keepers, but to love God; and everything else will fall into place. Love God and then act on it, and let your love that is rooted in God be demonstrated by loving others.
Today’s message looks closely at Luke chapter 9. It is where Jesus’s true identity is understood by the disciples and He spells out what He was really on earth to do. The disciples were hoping He was going to come into political power and establish a new kingdom. But instead, He calls them into a difficult journey to follow him in a life of suffering and rejection by denying themselves. Jesus is telling all of this because He wants them to change from a single minded personal focus to focusing on what God can do in their lives.