What a wonderful day this is, a morning full of new mercies and sufficient grace, another moment to tell Christ we love him because he first loved us and gave his life for us, a time to give thanks for the air we breathe and life abundant.
Itís a day to revel in his goodness that led us to repentance, in his love that never fails and for his presence that is with us always.
I was reading this morning that great truth found in Galatians 5:22, But the fruit of the Spirit is: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, (MKJV) read it again and see that these things are the fruit of the Holy Spirit not of our flesh not of belief, not of godly works or much asking, they are a gift from the almighty God of our salvation.
Imagine trying to love as Christ loved, could we pray of ourselves for those that persecute us, for those that abuse us and hate us enough to kill us ' Father forgive them' Could we like Stephen look up to heaven and say 'Don't lay this to their charge? Could we be like Paul and remain confident and comfortable if we too were imprisoned? Oh no; for in our flesh there dwells no such love, this love is a gift of God, itís as much a gift as the ' gift of Faith' that enabled us to believe in the grace that saved us.
Its a fruit of His Spirit not our rotting flesh, its a fruit that Christ imparts to all who ask, its the nature of God in us, the willingness to die rather than hate, to forgive rather than abuse Christ with our bitterness.
Imagine trying to create the Joy Christ gives, all the so called things that money can buy couldn't bring such joy; we can not generate it by deciding to be happy for at the first hurdle we would fall yet again into misery and hopelessness. No this joy is a gift from God, its a fruit of his Spirit imparted to us, its a grace gift, unearned, unspeakable and full of Gods glory, I have seen this joy among people who had no shoes and who did not know where the next meal was coming from.
This is the joy that comes from above like ' every good and every precious gift, it comes down from the Father of lights in whom there is no variableness and no shadow of turning' If you have lost your joy, seek the joy giver for he said ' ask and you shall receive that your joy may be full' John 16: 24.
Oh what blessed hope we have in Christ, what love, what joy, what peace, Jesus said to the disciples 'Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you, not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled neither let it be afraid'
The world , the depressed, the abused, the wounded and the hounded; all seek peace but never receive it for it is not something to wish or beg for, it too is a blood bought gift from God...
The only peace the world can ever know is one that's still imparts trouble and fear but Gods peace, the fruit of peace he gives leaves no fear regardless of the trouble we find ourselves in, like a father quietens a child with a 'hush, all will be well' so too Gods peace quietens those who trust him and receive this gift.
It ' surpasses all understanding' its so deep no adversity can ever drown it, its not false, not weak, not forever changing, it is a peace that calms every storm and brings us to safe waters, its a peace already purchased for ' the chastisement of our peace was upon him' It cannot be gained by being good, or by much prayer for it is a gift to be received.
Its the same peace that enabled Christ to stand still when accused in Pilate's judgement hall, the same peace that helped Paul and Silas to sing when in prison, the same peace that gives assurance that ' all is well with our souls'
Can you create such Love, such Joy, and such Peace, can you make yourself believe for it, can you develop it by much exercise? I would say not, not any more than you could have brought salvation to your soul... They are received gifts, gifts from heavens courts given freely to all who would simply ask and receive... God isn't holding out on you, he freely gives...
As many as received Christ to them he gave power to become the sons of God John 1:12 Its all in and through Christ, the faith we need to rise again when we fall is 'His' faith, the faith we need to receive from God, to reign in this world, to overcome Satan's worst is the Faith of the Christ who indwells us... Ask for it, receive it and exercise it for there is no mountain, no devil big enough to stop the move of God you need..
Be still and know that the Lord he is God for today he wishes to impart mountain moving faith... Be still and hear his voice for today he wishes to speak words that have life wrapped in every syllable...