An Increase of the Fruit of the Spirit

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As Christians, we often confess our faith in God in various situations or for various things, but…

There’s a confession we can make that’s good for those with whom we come in contact and good for one’s own soul…

…that the fruit of the Spirit in us is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

What an important goal of faith in Christ that is…

and it will be the evidence to those around us that we are His.

P. A. Oltrogge

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
Galatians 5:22-23 NASB

“By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:3 NASB

A Hard Subject

It’s a hard subject; but the truth is, it’s real.
There is a thief who is out to kill, destroy, and steal–
a being who is fallen because of his pride–
a being who’s purposed to conceal and to hide
the true God in Jesus, the Lord over all–
that’s what Satan does because of his fall.

His ways are deceptive, and he wants you to think
there isn’t heaven or hell beyond this life’s brink.
He’s supportive of “gods” of other names–
or “No God at all” is another one of his claims.
Devotion to a religion or philosophy, he’s approved–
especially those endorsing that Jesus’ Lordship be removed.

He draws those he can to reject Christ’s light,
causing more darkness over any spiritual sight.
We all need to leave old things we’ve been taught
when we realize that, by Christ, our souls have been bought.
It’s simply a gift—but you must take and receive it.
Don’t listen to the naysayer, but simply believe it.

Of all time, the Bible is the best selling book–
if you think it’s inaccurate, then take a deeper look.
Please consider studies by Christians who aren’t slacking
in showing us the evidence that gives it absolute backing.
And to be the all-time best seller of books you can buy,
it must have the backing of Someone very high.

Be sober, be vigilant, the Bible warning is strong–
Jesus is The Way—any other way is wrong.

P. A. Oltrogge

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“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.’” John 14:6 NASB

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary, the devil, walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith….” 1 Peter 5:8-9 NKJV

“I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy: I came that they might have life and might have it abundantly.” John 10: 9, 10 NASB

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23 NKJV

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8 NKJV

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12 NKJV

We absolutely know that there is a deceiver, the devil, in this world. By simply turning on the news, we hear of lives harmed or destroyed by his influence.

But God, who is love, wants everyone who will, to receive the free gift of salvation through Christ and to experience His peace.

“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
Words of Jesus in John 14:27 NKJV

Books to consider:
Evidence That Demands a Verdict
by Josh McDowell
The Case for Christ
by Lee Strobel

No Shrinking/Shy Violets

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BUT MORE THAN CONQUERORS!

“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”
Romans 8:37

“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.” 2 Corinthians 2:14

“The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.”
Proverbs 28:1

“Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” Luke 10:19

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

“This book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:8-9

“Fear not for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 (RSV)

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For you are with me; Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4

“Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord.” Psalm 31:24

“…looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…” Hebrews 12:2

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27

Scriptures: New King James Version

Seeing Ourselves in the Story of Zacchaeus

“And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich. And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for today I must abide at thy house. And he made haste, and came down, and received Him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner. And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord: Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken anything from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:1-10 KJV

Sometimes….

Like Zacchaeus, do we find ourselves “up a tree,”
feeling strained about whether or not we can see
Jesus, the Lord, in the midst of our day,
even though we really took no time to pray?

Mercifully, Jesus calls us to quickly come down–
We sense His smile and not a frown;
He wants to come to where we live
to share counsel and love that He has to give.

Short in stature, Zacchaeus was,
“Short on time” is our daily buzz…
If we seek Christ’s presence before the day’s start
we’ll have greater courage to not lose heart.

P. A. Oltrogge

Of course, this account is really about Jesus’ love and saving grace for Zacchaeus, who was wanting to see Him. But the thoughts expressed above came to mind from the story because it seemed a good reminder that if our day is going to be busy, even a brief time of prayer, seeking the Lord’s wisdom/guidance for the day and listening to hear from Him, is wise. When we don’t do that, it can be much easier to become discouraged or choose paths that might not be the Lord’s best.

“And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, He went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” Mark 1:35 KJV

“But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” Matthew 6:6 NKJV

“Then coming to the borders of Mysia, they headed north for the province of Bithynia, but again the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them to go there.” Acts 16:7 NLT

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33 KJV

“Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105 KJV

“Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart.” Luke 18:1 NKJV

“Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart.” 2 Corinthians 4:1 NKJV

“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Galatians 6:9 NKJV

“He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but whoever walks wisely will be delivered.” Proverbs 28:26 NKJV