Tag Archives: scripture

9 Fruits of the Spirit-Cultivating the Character of Christ.

The Character of Christ

Last Week, we began a new sermon series out of text Galatians 5:22-23:But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Imagine if you will, looking for a model of what Jesus looks like in a person’s life. How does one determine that vision? These virtues are the outcome, and as the Scripture teaches, the fruits of what a spirit-filled life takes on. This is called application. The beautiful thing about these virtues are they can’t be produced apart from walking with Jesus. We can’t role-play out these virtues. The spirit of God behind these actions must be genuine or we will be found out for who we really are.

Love is the crucial fruit behind all of the rest. Without love, our patience will wear thin, our joy won’t really be solid, and our faithfulness will be shallow. In Matthew 22:37-40, Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Love of God will always be the foundation of all others virtues in our life.

Will you begin to truly deepen your study of these 9 fruits? Begin with making sure first and foremost you love Jesus with all your heart. That is really hard especially when you really love your spouse, children, friends, etc. You can do that but not until God is first, then that Agape love flows out to those that are closest to us. They can see if your love is for real! Love God today!

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

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Seven Reasons Why Your Church Should Have a Ministry to Widows

This is a post by Thom Rainer:

This verse in Scripture cannot be more compelling or clearer:

“Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” (James 1:27)

Scholars have produced massive volumes on the biblical mandate to care for orphans and widows. The Bible is not ambiguous on this topic. I am grateful churches around the world have taken some steps to care for the orphans, though much more remains to be done.

But, in North American churches, I see hardly any intentional church wide ministries to widows. Millions are left to suffer and struggle in silence.

Though the biblical mandate to care for widows should be sufficient motive for our churches, consider some of the struggles widows experience. These seven factoids should give you at least a glimpse of the need for ministries to widows in your church.

  1. The death of a spouse is the number one stressor in a person’s life. Too many survivors are not ready to deal with the issues of widowhood (Holmes and Rohe stress scale).
  2. Over 800,000 persons are widowed each year. Of that number, 700,000 are women (U. S. Bureau of the Census).
  3. Widowhood lasts on the average 14 years. That is a significant portion of any person’s life (U. S. Bureau of the Census).
  4. There are over 14 million widows in the United States today. That is an average of 40 widows for every church in the United States (AARP).
  5. Upon the death of a spouse, a widow loses 75% of her support base. It is imperative for churches to stand in the gap (Widow’s Hope).
  6. Widows have a 30% higher risk of death in the first six months after the death of their husbands. They truly die of a broken heart (University of Glasgow).
  7. The poverty rate among widows is three to four times higher than elderly married women. Financial needs among widows are often great (Social Security Administration).

Please don’t walk away from reading this short post without considering some type of action in your church to care for widows.

It is one of the clearest mandates of Scripture.

It is also one of the most neglected mandates of Scripture.

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

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Guilty Feelings

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When you feel guilty about not going to church, what does that say about the God you claim? Does He make you feel guilty or is it that you are guilty. I don’t believe that God plays with our hearts in that manner. He is greater than all our sin (Romans 5:20, The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more).

So, if you are a believer, ask God to forgive you guilt by confessing your sin (1 John 1:9, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness). Romans 8:1 says “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

The next time you fell guilty for not attending church, it may be that you are guilty of other things or that Satan is playing with your emotions, because He is an accuser. He would love for you to stay away from church ams feel guilty to the point that weeks, months, or even years pass away before you come to your senses.

Don’t put off another Sunday, go to church and worship the God of this universe in Spirit and in Truth so that you may rid yourself of all guilt!

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

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