Holy Spirit Infused Relationships {VOTD}

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law (Gal. 5:22-23, NKJV).

If we were to be honest with each other, we could say relationships are not easy. Sometimes, they can be the hardest aspect of our lives. Everything can be going along fairly well one day, until we have a conversation. A conversation we could spend years trying to forgive ourselves for. Or maybe, just a conversation that might wreck our day.

Lack of Fruit

In Romans 6:21, we are reminded that our sinful nature won’t produce good results. “But what good did you receive from the things you did? All you have to show for them is your shame, and they lead to death.”

We all can testify with our own stories of experiences, that. . . we don’t receive good things from our shame. Our shame filled words or actions have costed us something.

These kind of broken hearted relationships and conversations haven’t produced things like kindness, self control, or goodness.

We have good news. God can produce in our lives these very good things we crave. What we lack, God alone can provide!

God Directed

The Holy Spirit is in full control, able to direct our hearts, and give us these good gifts.

Even if these things aren’t on our “to do” list, it is on our great God’s. Because even in the worst of circumstances, God is always filled with the fruit of the Spirit in overwhelming quantities. These are very essence of who God is.

Loving Like Our King

Through being connected, we become more like Him. While it isn’t an instant process, it is surely one worth praying and waiting for. Let’s draw nearer to the Lord through opening our Bible, praying for our relationships, and seek more of Him.

As Christians we aren’t perfect, but the God we serve is! We are clothed in His righteousness, as we accept what our Savior Jesus has done for us. We are forever changed!

Through our Savior Jesus Christ, we “belong to Him who was raised from the dead in order that we may bear fruit for God (7:4).”

Friends, we have been radically changed by our gracious God who has given up everything for us. He wants to help us in our relationships. Let’s give Him access to these sometimes hard places.

. . . “For those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit have their minds set on the things of the Spirit (8:5).”

The Difference Maker

The difference in our relationships doesn’t come from us, but the One we have fixed our eyes upon. Through God and His Holy Spirit, our relationships can be different. Because of our great Savior, we can see a radical difference (see Galatians 5).

Because of Jesus, we can love those He has placed in our lives. Remember, “we love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).”

How has the Holy Spirit helped you in your conversations and relationships?


Image by Ben Rosett.


Fearing Bad News (Summer ’17)

Tonight’s verse is written out to meet me where I am. This is not to exclude the men who stumble upon my little blog. Remember: God wants to meet each of us where we are.

[She] does not fear bad news; [She] confidently trusts the Lord to care for [her]. [She is] confident and fearless and can face [her] foes triumphantly (Ps. 112:7-8, NLT).

In our lives, we will face difficult days. All of us will, no exemption allowed. We will face difficult days, even more so as people who want to follow our risen Lord Jesus Christ.

In the Gospel of John (ch. 14-15), I am reminded of this message: Because I follow Jesus Christ, I can expect difficult days. Also, I can experience the Holy Spirit and His peace in every season of life.

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you (John 14:15-17, ESV)

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid (vv. 27).”

This is why I can experience difficult days, yet not fear those same difficult days (or worse days). Jesus Christ, our Risen Lord, is the One with whom we have allowed our souls to be intertwined with. It is none other than King Jesus. We have allowed Jesus Christ, the King of the world, to enter our souls and to be one with.

For the follower of Jesus Christ, we have joined ourselves with our Creator in an unbreakable bond that lasts for eternity.

I have chosen to follow Jesus Christ, and allow Him into the deepest parts of my life. Although life is unpredictable, I can rest in knowing He doesn’t change. Although my health and relationships may greatly change from one season to the next, my God never changes His mind about me. He has chosen me to be His very own!

What have I to fear? I have Jesus Christ on my side. He is standing with me, giving me the strength to fight my Goliath’s.

While I may battle anxiety and fear, I have nothing to fear with God on my stand. Through this special relationship, I know Him and that He continues to hold me close through life’s difficulties.

This world may shake me to my core, but it cannot take away my faith in Jesus Christ. My foundation in Jesus Christ is essential. When I allow my life to be built upon Jesus Christ, I will be never find myself in “the wrong place” like I will – when I allow my choices and relationships to be built upon my own heart’s desires that often lead me astray.

Image by Roman Kraft.

In Christ’s grace I stand,


Through Him we also have access by faith into this [remarkable state of] grace in which we [firmly and safely and securely] stand (Rom. 5:2a, AMP).

Seeking God in Difficulties {Summer ’17}

In Psalm 70, we are reminded of our need to seek God – especially in the midst of the most difficult things.

God, hurry to rescue me. Lord, hurry to help me! (Ps. 70:1, CSB)

Therefore, let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need (Heb. 4:16).

As followers of Jesus Christ, we have been gifted with this incredible relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Where we can boldly come to His throne, and receive all the help we could ever need.

Let all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; let those who love your salvation continually say, “God is great!” I am oppressed and needy; hurry to me, God. You are my help and my deliverer; Lord, do not delay (Ps. 70:4-5).

The outcome of seeking our Lord Jesus in the midst of hard times is – life changing. God can give us a joy like nothing we could ever experience. The secret to joy isn’t necessarily in the removal of bad circumstances. It is found in spending time in God’s presence and trusting Him no matter the outcome. Now God could change our situations, but He might choose to change our hearts and walk us through the difficulties of life.

Friends, let’s bring our needs before our gracious God. We boldly come and share with God all we are going through.

This is a message I need for myself, because life can get hard. While I might force myself to carry the full weight of the burden, I will progress at a much slower pace than if I had accepted King Jesus’ help.

Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light (Matt. 11:28-30).

God wants to be involved in our lives. He doesn’t want to be merely an observer, but He wants to be actively involved in our lives. While it can seem like our “normal” to go at it alone, it is not part of the way we have been called toward.

Some believe we have to make our own prayers come true. Basically we need to lean not on God, but ourselves.

Proverbs 3:5-6 reminds us of our need to allow God to be the sufficiency we need. God is God for a very good reason. Our strength cannot begin to compare with our great God’s!

As we walk with Jesus, we are invited to lay down our old ways and allow our great God to show us His love, grace, and power!

Friend, I have absolutely no idea what you are personally going through. What I do know is – the God I serve. God sent His Son Jesus Christ to pay the debt for our sin. He came and endured the most unimaginable pain, so we can have a relationship with our heavenly Father. A relationship, where we are His friend versus His enemy.

Image by Jason Blackeye.


1 Samuel 4-8 (Part 1)

“Why did the Lord…? (1 Sam. 4:3)”

Unfortunately, we get like this also. We go out to fight without praying and our spiritual armor, then we bring forth our questions like this.

We want to make and carry out our own plans, but expect God to bless them.

When we do this, we are forgetting one little thing –

The Lord is the One who rules over all (1 Sam. 4:4)

Israel lost the war on the Philistines, because they went their own way versus stopping to pray and see what God wanted. They even, acted in a way – that causes the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant {which is a BIG deal} to be stolen. For seven long hard moments, God’s glory departed from Israel.

Friends, we need to pray in the battles we face. We need to pray in the midst of the battle, but also need to pray before the battle even begins. We desperately need to use prayer as our weapon. If we forfeit the weapon of prayer, we come under attack and lose the advantage.

But when we put on the full armor of God (see Eph. 6), we are aware of the devil’s schemes and can overcome his tactics. To quote 1 John 4:4, ““Greater is He who is in you, than he who is in the world.”

As Israel faced losing the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant, they faced God’s glory departing. There was much sorrow in this. Their sin greatly cost them. They disobeyed God, by not seeking Him. They wanted to turn to their own way, versus turn to the Lord and His way. As sons and daughters of the Most High God, we need to rethink the way we make decisions and live the lives we have been given.

Even when hard things happen, we can make the decision to seek Christ above all else.

As we observe our lives and see the battles we are facing, we need to choose to allow Jesus Christ, our Savior and King, to become our Battle-Winner. His strength and presence is far more than our enemies can handle!


Scripture Examination: The Hope

“For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God,who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.” – 1 Timothy 4:10, NASB

In Paul’s letter to Timothy, he reminds him of the important truth. All they do – is for the furthering of the Gospel – sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ, so that many will come to know Christ as Savior and Lord. It is the desire expressed in 2:4 that leads them on a more than difficult road. It isn’t about the temporary things or comfort level, rather it is about the eternal salvation that we all stand in need of.

Their laboring and striving meant exhaustion from carrying the burdens they carried and continuing to “fight the good fight”. The goal was clear (just as it should be for us). It has to be about sharing the Gospel, teaching, and making disciples wherever we find ourselves.

Instead of shrinking back from the fire of struggle, Paul is encouraging Timothy not to shrink back… so he can pursue the ultimate goal: presenting everyone as mature in Christ. It was not Timothy’s task alone, but it is the goal of the Church. The bride of Christ’s goal ought to be the same: to present everyone as mature in Christ.

Their struggle wasn’t theirs alone.
They endured difficulties and dangers for one reason: the hope found in Christ!

We can endure the tougher things in life with this goal in mind, because our hope is in the Lord. Elpizo is the Greek word used for “fixed… hope”. It’s not an empty kind of hope.  When we hope in God, it is active and alive. Hope… ” to wait for salvation with joy and full confidence”. Do we have that kind of hope in God? It is a revitalized hope that will stand tall despite what we face. When we hope in Christ, our brand new life springs into action. The powerful God who created the world and each of us is on our side, acting on our behalf. He is our Savior, Deliverer, and Preserver. We can fully hope in the Lord Jesus Christ!

Reflection Activities:

  1. What kind of hope do we have in Christ, and how does that affect how we view our struggles?
  2. How are we pursuing to help others mature in Christ?
  3. Spend time in prayer thinking on these things.

Further Reading: Colossians 1:28-29