Thursday, June 21, 2012

Yielding part 2


  As it is,  people talk alot about the Fruits of the Spirit. Many wonder why they aren't automatically endowed with them from the beginning. I know I often do! Think of the Spirit like a tree. And the Fruit..well like fruit!  Like a tree, you cannot force it to bear fruit. It must grow, Which we all know takes a lot of work. The Gardener must break the soil* up, fertilize, and keep other **plants that would choke the tree out in infancy. 

Only someone who knows the soil can truly cause Life to spring up from it. Christ is the Gardener.
The Fruits are what show up after the Spirit has established roots. It may take years to be fruitful. The **hands are those people  who the Gardener placed in our lives to help nurture the plant till maturity.


I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow.  So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.  The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.


-1 Corinthians 3: 6-9






So take heart my friends! 




And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.


 -Philippians 11:6 NLT










 ** Parents, brothers and sisters in Christ, and sometimes those who inspire us
** Remnants of the "old man"
*your heart

Yielding

   And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
 -2 Peter 1:5-11 KJV




The word "temperance" is replaced by self-control in many translations, but as we were going over this verse in our Teen challenge meeting, this translation really struck me.


The root of temperance is temper(or tempering), which is a process of softening a metal in order to increase structural stability. In the terms of pottery,temper is what you add to the clay to minimize shrinkage.

As God works us (tempers), he causes the situations to build self-control. The more we yield to His hand and to trusting in Him even when it seems all is lost, we gain self-control. True self-control is allowing God to wield you and allowing Him to keep you giving you strength to resist.

To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen
-Jude 1:24-25 NIV




Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Weak...

I often get the feeling that I am useless. 

With all my faults and quirks, it seems like I'm one of those  vessels which were mentioned in 2 Timothy 2:20.

 In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble.



Even with my friends telling how much they care about me daily and  hearing how much Christ is in love with me, I'm insecure,emotional...a wreck.


As a man I feel like I should be in control of myself. 


I often find that I tear up at times when others don't. I take offense at the silliest things and find it hard to be glad for how God made me.


For Christmas I received a handmade shirt with a quote by Hudson Taylor:

All God's giants have been weak men
who did great things for God
because they reckoned on 
God being with them

--Hudson Taylor


I believe that quote to be true. The Beloved is showing this more and more each day. From the diagnosis of a good friend Paul Pavao  with leukemia to  the accident that happened to Steve Saint, both in this past year. Not including the history of "flawed" individuals that were mightily wielded because they found their worth in Christ.

2 Corinthians 12:9 is a great verse to remember (I'll take note of it for later! :-] )

Each time he said, "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.
-NLT 


I leave you with Philippians 3:8 as a closing thought

What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ.

May we all gain Christ together!



Sunday, June 17, 2012