Friday, September 23, 2011

Humble, Gentle, Patient

Fruit of the Spirit
 “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient,

bearing with one another in love.”

Ephesians 4:2 (NIV)

We can’t turn on and off humility and gentleness as we do a water spigot. We shouldn’t choose to be humble one day and haughty the next.

Gentleness should be worn every day. Once we ask Jesus into our hearts, we belong to God at all times. We are to model Him before those in our lives.

When we feel ourselves getting worked up over an issue, we have to ask ourselves if God would be angry over the situation. If He would, then we should carefully conduct ourselves according to His instruction and guidance.

When we exercise patience, we tell those around us that we still love them-in spite of the circumstances.

I, for one, need to work on this in one area of my life.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Humbling Thought

God's Calming Watchfulness
Sunday, March 13, 2011, as I was getting ready for church, my mind kept focusing on the items I had that the people in the northern part of Japan no longer had.

Things like hot water, water coming from a faucet, clean drinking water, electricity, heat, food, clean clothes, transportation, and housing came to mind. Items we usually take for granted or don’t even think about.

The next day, I thought of hair brushes, toothbrushes, drinking glasses, plates, silverware, blankets, telephones, cell phones, computers, grocery stores, restaurants, pharmacies, and newspapers.

Several years ago I wrote about how blessed we were if we had the basics. At that time I made a replica of a solar cooking stove to as a visual aid for a mission project for Haiti. The women there cooked on a small structure made from cardboard and covered with aluminum foil.

As people living in the 21st Century, we have to be more mindful of the basic items needed for living. Our church participated in putting together hygiene kits for the arm of our denomination that reaches out to those in disaster-torn areas. Most of us may never have to go through something like the earthquake, tsunami, and the nuclear catastrophe but we should have the tenderness of heart to find a way to help, in a small way, to alleviate the need. Our community gathered at our church for Chicken Noodle dinner and a concert on the late afternoon and evening of Palm Sunday with the proceeds going to help alleviate the needs in Japan.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Humble Ourselves

“If my people, who are called by my name

will humble themselves and pray. . . .”

2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)

“If my people . . .”God speaks through Solomon, the wisest man in the world, to communicate to us what we must do in order for us to find resolution to our nation’s problems.

“. . . who are called by my name . . .” God further defines about whom he speaks. He calls for the church-going Christians to listen. The Lord has a message for us. That’s right He’s talking about us, you and me.

“. . . will humble themselves . . .” What do we have to do to do this? Might we have to put into practice the words of Paul in Philippians 2: 2-4? According to Paul, we are to put the needs of others before our own. If we look at the passage from 2 Chronicles, we see that God tells us to humble ourselves before we begin to pray. God expects us to push our wants and needs aside and focus on Him.

       I have had times when I start to pray and all I can do is sit and listen. During these times, I feel His presence with me. We receive His blessings when we empty our minds of ourselves and wait for God’ presence to enfold us.

“. . . and pray . . . .” Our God, the creator of the universe wants us to talk to Him. I can’t imagine a more humbling thought. He wants to hear from us; God, from whom all blessing flow, waits to hear from little you and me.

It is my desire to see this scripture verse lived out. I want to apply these words of God to my heart and see the promised outcome that He will “hear from heaven” and heal our land.

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...