Posted in Devotions

Fruit of the Spirit, Faithfulness–Daniel and Friends

Remaining faithful through difficult times is the challenge God’s people have always faced.  As we read through His word, there is no better picture of consistent faithfulness than in the story of Daniel and his friends.  The Book of Daniel is filled with examples of God’s people being asked to compromise their commitment to God to please men.  In the tests, these men’s very lives were on the line.  Daniel stood up to the Captain of the Guard, two kings, and His friends were even thrown into a fiery furnace to be killed for their commitment.  

Daniel and His friend’s commitments were honored by God and by the very kings they served.  Their faithfulness not only elevated them to places of prominence, but it also caused those that tested them to come to know God.

In our lives, as we remain faithful, God will also honor our faithfulness.  Sometimes our faithfulness will come at a great personal cost.  None the less, when God shows us as faithful, the faithfulness will almost always bring glory to God, and it will also change others’ lives.  Jonah’s faithfulness changed Nineveh, David’s faithfulness killed Goliath and changed the course of the war with the Philistines. Esther’s faithfulness Saved her nation, and Peter’s faithfulness led 5000 people to God on Pentecost. 

We will never know the results of our willingness to remain faithful.  We can rest assured, however, that whatever the personal cost, God’s reward will greatly exceed it.  Paul said it best in Romans, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18

God Bless You


13 Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king, 14 and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up? 15 Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?”

16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us[c] from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual 20 and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. 21 So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace. 22 The king’s command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, 23 and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace.

24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?”

They replied, “Certainly, Your Majesty.”

25 He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”

26 Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!”

So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, 27 and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.

28 Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. 29 Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.”

Posted in Devotions

Fruit Of the Spirit, Faithfulness–Joseph

The Story of Joseph is a model of faithfulness.  His devotion to God started in His Youth and followed Him until he died at age 110.  He was never placed in a situation where God did not use him to change lives. He was a slave, a prisoner, and 2d only to Pharaoh.  In all the positions, Joseph trusted God and God blessed all that Joseph touched.

As one reviews Joseph’s life, His faithfulness stood out in every circumstance.  When Joseph saw his brothers doing nefarious stuff, he reported to his Father.  As a slave, he was put in charge of everything. As a prisoner, He was put in charge of everything.  As Prime Minister of Egypt, he was put in charge of everything.  Until His death, Joseph was put in charge of everything.  It did not matter the role; Joseph’s faithfulness was known by anyone that encountered him. 

In our lives, the great fruit that honors God is faithfulness.  It pervades the most menial of tasks and shines in the most daunting.  It is the consistent commitment to God and the submission to His leadership.  Like Joseph, there are many times things do not make sense from our perspective.  But we know God is faithful and will carry us through this life and into eternity with him if we will trust and follow Him.  We then follow God, and He completes His plan for our lives.  Thanks, Lord, for your trust and for your plan for our lives.

God Bless You

When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did, Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned. From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the Lord blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The blessing of the Lord was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field. So Potiphar left everything he had in Joseph’s care; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate…

But while Joseph was there in the prison, 21 the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. 22 So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there. 23 The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s care, because the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did…

39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. 40 You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.”

23 Joseph said to the people, “Now that I have bought you and your land today for Pharaoh, here is seed for you so you can plant the ground. 24 But when the crop comes in, give a fifth of it to Pharaoh. The other four-fifths you may keep as seed for the fields and as food for yourselves and your households and your children.”

25 “You have saved our lives,” they said. “May we find favor in the eyes of our lord; we will be in bondage to Pharaoh.”

26 So Joseph established it as a law concerning land in Egypt—still in force today—that a fifth of the produce belongs to Pharaoh. It was only the land of the priests that did not become Pharaoh’s.

22 Joseph stayed in Egypt, along with all his father’s family. He lived a hundred and ten years 23 and saw the third generation of Ephraim’s children. Also the children of Makir son of Manasseh were placed at birth on Joseph’s knees.[c]

24 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die. But God will surely come to your aid and take you up out of this land to the land he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” 25 And Joseph made the Israelites swear an oath and said, “God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up from this place.”

26 So Joseph died at the age of a hundred and ten. And after they embalmed him, he was placed in a coffin in Egypt.

Posted in Devotions

Fruit of the Spirit, Faithfulness–Loyalty and Tenacity

As we continue to venture through the fruit of the Spirit, the fruit of faithfulness is both heartwarming and daunting.  Heartwarming, because God’s faithfulness is evident throughout the Bible.  From Genesis to Revelations, God’s faithfulness stands out like a road sign to His children that they can live without fear.

God was faithful to Noah, to Abraham, to Jacob, and to Joseph.  God was faithful to Israel through Moses, Joshua, the Judges, the kings, and prophets.  God remained faithful in the quiet years, and then through the coming of the Messiah.  He remained faithful in His redemption through Jesus’ death and resurrection.  God then was, is, and continues to be faithful in sending the Holy Spirit to guide us.  He also remains faithful in His provision, protection, and preparation of us.

Faithfulness, as a fruit, combines our tenacity to follow the Lord and our loyalty to His word and leadership.  Fortunately, God did not seek our perfection. His great leaders Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon, Peter, and Paul were all less than perfect.  They were also faithful as God was faithful to them.

Next week we will look at a few of God’s faithful folks and discern what they can offer to our daily lives.  Please, Lord, help me to be faithful as you are faithful.

God Bless you

Proverbs 28:20 

A faithful man will abound with blessings, but whoever hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.

Deuteronomy 28:1-68 

“And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. Blessed shall you be in the city and blessed shall you be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. …

2 Corinthians 5:7 

For we walk by faith, not by sight.

1 John 1:9 

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Proverbs 3:3-4

Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So, you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man.

2 Timothy 2:13 

If we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself.

1 Corinthians 10:13  

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

Psalm 91:4 

He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.

John 14:15 

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.

Luke 12:42-44 

And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions.

 Psalm 89:33  

But I will not remove from him my steadfast love or be false to my faithfulness.

Proverbs 20:6  

Many a man proclaims his own steadfast love, but a faithful man who can find.

Matthew 24:45-47 

“Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions.

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Romans 12:2 

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good, acceptable, and perfect.

Psalm 31:23

Love the Lord, all you, his saints! The Lord preserves the faithful but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride.

Revelation 2:10

Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.


Galatians 3:9 

So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.

Psalm 40:10-11 


I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart; I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation. As for you, O Lord, you will not restrain your mercy from me; your steadfast love and your faithfulness will ever preserve me!

Titus 3:5 

He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,

Hosea 2:20

I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the Lord.

Posted in Devotions

Fruit of the Spirit–Gentleness Attention and Approach

Much like goodness, the fruit of gentleness is a fruit that affects all others.  As an old guy, I have seen people in almost every walk of life.   I have noticed that people who are content in their circumstances can operate in a spirit of humility and gentleness.  People that are insecure or discontented with their circumstance, usually feel a need to be louder, more flamboyant, and the center of attention. 

Throughout God’s word, there is a constant call for God’s chosen to face others in difficult circumstances with a gentle heart.  Often, those we face are already hurt or broken.  When we come into the picture, they do not need to be raked over the coals, instead, they simply need someone to come along side and help them find their way back.

Jesus’s ministry was a series of events where He showed the gentleness of God to those who were either abandoned or shunned by the religious folks.  These leaders were called to be God’s representatives; instead, they acted as our Lord’s worst adversaries.  

While Jesus was busy healing the sick, raising the dead, freeing the demon oppressed and loving the unloved; the religious leaders were rolling their eyes, plotting Jesus’ demise, and never lifting a finger to help the ones in need.

Christ’s gentleness never compromised His power or authority.  In fact, Jesus’ gentleness did more to show men God’s true love and nature than a host of pompous religious leaders conducting religious ceremonies with no devotion to the God they were supposed to serve.  

In our culture, it is easy to blast the world’s chaotic disregard to life and God.  While there is good reason to do so, as we deal with individuals, we can never forget the way Jesus faced lepers, paralytics, adulterers, and people possessed by demons. He gently healed, cleansed, and forgave their sin. Jesus never judged; instead, He always sought ways to redeem the irredeemable.  Let us do the same! Let us be gentle and forthright; extending the grace God extended to us.

God Bless You

Titus 3:2 

  Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.

1 Peter 3:15 

But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,

Proverbs 15:1  

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Psalm 18:35

   You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your right hand supported me, and your gentleness made me great.

2 Timothy 2:24-26

 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.

James 3:17 

  But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.

Galatians 5:22-23  

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 6:1  

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.

Matthew 11:29 

 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Ephesians 4:2

 With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,
Posted in Devotions

Fruit of the Spirit Goodness–The Looks of Goodness

The most wonderful part of the life and ministry of our Savior was HIs desire to restore the broken and the broken hearted.  He rose each day knowing that he would face a sick and broken crowd that would need encouraging, feeding, healing or direction as to be in relationship with God.  He never asked for payment. He never sought praise or credit.  Jesus was simply being and doing good.  

Each day looked different.  Some days it was teaching; other days it was meeting the physical needs of his crowd. Still, other days it was trying to show the religious leadership God’s true nature, hoping to change the way that they led to model the God they claimed to serve. In short, all days Jesus simply walked in goodness.

In our daily lives, we will not have the same opportunities to feed the crowds, heal the sick, or preach to the lost but needful masses.  Jesus would tell us simply to trust and follow Him, and He, the Lord will provide opportunities to show goodness and live in goodness.  

It may be a kind word or deed.  It may be making a huge sacrifice for another.  The common factor is that it is God flowing through us and doing what he does best–renewal and restoration.  We must not fear doing good nor overanalyze our motives for doing good.  We simply need to follow and trust God, and allow the Holy Spirit to work through us to complete God’s plan.

God Bless You

40 Now when Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed him, for they were all expecting him. 41 Then a man named Jairus, a synagogue leader, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come to his house 42 because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying.

As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. 43 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years,[c] but no one could heal her. 44 She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.

45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked.

When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.”

46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.”

47 Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. 48 Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”

49 While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” he said. “Don’t bother the teacher anymore.”

50 Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.”

51 When he arrived at the house of Jairus, he did not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John and James, and the child’s father and mother. 52 Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and mourning for her. “Stop wailing,” Jesus said. “She is not dead but asleep.”

53 They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. 54 But he took her by the hand and said, “My child, get up!” 55 Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat. 56 Her parents were astonished, but he ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened.

29 And immediately he[a] left the synagogue and entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30 Now Simon’s mother-in-law lay ill with a fever, and immediately they told him about her. 31 And he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her, and she began to serve them.

32 That evening at sundown they brought to him all who were sick or oppressed by demons. 33 And the whole city was gathered together at the door. 34 And he healed many who were sick with various diseases and cast out many demons. And he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.

Posted in Devotions

Fruit of the Spirit Goodness–Various verses

Most of the discussion around the fruit of the spirit is objective. Showing love, patience, and kindness is relatively easy to spot.   But when we talk about God’s goodness to us and us showing goodness to others, it is more a discussion about what drives us than what we do and get accomplished.

We live in a culture that is self-sufficient, self-reliant, and self-absorbed.  Self is so important that people have entire folders of selfie photos.  So, showing goodness and doing good is difficult at best.  It is neither encouraged; nor is it appreciated.

  Funny thing is; however, this was not a new function brought on by technology.  Instead, it is the true nature of men apart from God.  Men have been selfish since Adam and will be until Christ’s return.

That is why we are filled with God’s goodness when the Holy Spirit enters our lives.  We can never grow weary of doing good; as it is the Spirit that drives us to goodness.  If we lack the desire to be or to do good, we need first to see if we are living in our own or in God’s power.  

In our daily journey, we will demonstrate all the fruits of the Spirit, but we must understand that God’s goodness acts like a glaze or a seal over each of the other fruit. 

His goodness demands that we love, His goodness brings joy and peace.  His goodness allows us to operate patiently in the most difficult circumstances. His goodness makes us kind and gentle.  Finally, His goodness brings us self-control so that we can remain faithful.

That is why we can see His goodness in the world and live His goodness in our lives.  If we will do that, the remainder of God’s fruit will flow from us without fail.

God Bless You

Galatians 6:8-9

8 whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

Philippians 2:3-4

3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

Psalm 145:5

They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—
    and I will meditate on your wonderful works.[a]

Psalm 107:8-9

Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! For He satisfies the longing soul and fills the hungry soul with goodness. 

Colossians 3:1-4

Since then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your[a] life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Colossians 3:23-24

23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 

Posted in Devotions

Fruit of the Spirit, Goodness–Various verses

As we have examined the Fruit of the Spirit, each has embraced a part of God’s character and reinforced the proposition that as we become a child of God, He will transform us with loving leadership.  Salvation’s three components are justification, sanctification, and glorification.  Sanctification is the ongoing process of the Holy Spirit transforming us into a reflection of God.  This week as we look at Goodness, we need to embrace how it underlies the selfless and humble nature created within us.  

As God’s chosen, David (the man after God’s own heart) told us that God our Shepherd will lead us, protect us, and provide for our every need. Psalm 23.  The last promise in that psalm says, “Surely Goodness and Mercy will follow us all the days of our lives and we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

Holy Bible open to Galatians 5. Focus on verse 22.

Goodness is a defining characteristic of God Himself and also for anyone who would come after God.  Jesus told us that a tree is identified by the fruit it produces.  In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told the crowd that you will know a tree by its fruit, Good trees cannot produce bad fruit, nor can bad trees produce Good fruit. Matt 7:16-20.  

In our lives, the same holds true.  We should desire to be and do good things not to gain salvation, but, as a product of our salvation.  That is why we feel so awful when we try to break away from God.  It simply is counter to what we are becoming.  We find that we now desire to do good. It is as natural as breathing.  That fruit flows from us and blesses all that we encounter.  So as we look at God’s goodness this week, cling to the fact that this goodness is not only what we do, it is who we are!

God Bless You

Galatians 6:10

Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

Ephesians 5:8-9

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light(for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness, and truth)

Romans 15:14

14 I myself am convinced, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with knowledge and competent to instruct one another.

Romans 12:21

21 Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.

Romans 12:2

2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing, and perfect will.

Mark 10:18

18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone.

Posted in Devotions

Kindness–Showing Grace When None Seems Possible–John 8

Let’s end the week by discussing kindness in its richest form, grace given where none seems possible.  In the story, the religious leaders bring Jesus a woman caught in the act of adultery.  The law was clear, the punishment was clear, and it seemed as though Jesus would have to agree that the woman should be stoned.  

Still, in that no win situation, Jesus found a way to be kind to a sinner exposed and without excuse.  Jesus looked at the crowd of self-righteous judges and in one statement, equalized the entire community.  “Let the one without sin throw the first stone…”

A shocked woman, watched as the haughty group that dragged her out into the street, slowly dispersed and walked back toward their homes.  Jesus stood alone with the broken woman; fully within His rights to condemn and execute the her. Instead, our Lord kindly sent her on her way with the charge that she take this second chance at life and walk with God rather than away from Him.

The same grace that acted as a life-liberating kindness for the adulteress, also acts as a life-liberating kindness for each of us.  Without God’s grace, we each live exposed as the sinners that we are. 

Like the adulteress, we can only look into the eyes of our Savior and see His love and kindness.  Jesus’ love not only clears the sin from our lives, but it also directs us to a life walking with God, rather than one walking independently from Him.   We can show God’s grace and kindness to others that are as exposed as the woman, and as exposed as we are.

Kindness is a wonderful fruit of God’s Holy Spirit.  It is a mirror to God’s heart and the center stage of Jesus ministry.

God Bless You

At dawn Jesus appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

11 “No one, sir,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

Posted in Devotions

The Fruit of the Spirit–Kindness the Mirror Image of God in Us

Kindness continues to beam as one of God’s most embracing traits.  When we think of all that God has provided men from the beginning–salvation, protection, provision, etc.; kindness still ranks as one of the most critical.  The people of the Bible and the chosen of God are all consistently human and consistently frail.  

Since the fall of man, people have all had one trait in common, we are all sinful to the core.  So many times, God has withheld His wrath and allowed us to continue to find our way to Him and also return back to Him.  When we consider the depths to which humans have fallen, both as a race and as individuals; God’s people must humbly bow before the Lord and recognize the kindness He has shown to us.

In turn, God has emphasized our need to be kind and to show kindness to others.  When we demonstrate grace, kindness, generosity, and empathy to others, it is one of our best representations of the Father.  Those traits each extract selflessness from us.  While we are operating in kindness, we are unable to focus on our issues and desires

 Further, when others are the beneficiaries of God’s kindness demonstrated through God’s people; The world sets aside its absolute hatred for God, even if only for a moment, to try to reconcile that selflessness with a world full of selfish people

The verses in Zechariah listed below begin with “The Lord of Hosts says”; acting kindly is a direct command from God.  The command is not centered on raising buildings or monuments to God, nor does He command us to design and implement media or programs that are leading edge.  The command does not measure baptisms, attendance, or brand recognition. 

God’s command calls His own to live selflessly and to focus wholly upon serving God, loving, and serving others.  If we make kindness the focus of our lives, then we will become people content in our circumstances.  Like Paul, whether well fed or hungry, living in plenty or in want, we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. Philippians 4:12-13

God Bless You

Romans 11:22

“Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, 

but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you too will be cut off.”

Job 6:14

“He who withholds kindness from a friend forsakes the fear of the Almighty.”

Micah 6:8

“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you

 but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

Zakeriah 7:9-10

“Thus says the Lord of hosts, render true judgements, show kindness and mercy to one another, do not oppress the widow,

 the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.”

Romans 2:4

“Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, 

not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?”

Proverbs 31:26

“She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.”

Posted in Devotions

Fruit of the Spirit Kindness–John 4

We spend our lives reading God’s word and often see passages numerous times.  This week as I was praying about what to glean from the fruit of the Spirit, God led me to this story of the picture of and ministry kindness brings.  This Smartian woman’s choices and circumstances had isolated her from community and branded her as unfit.  Married 4 times and living with a fifth man, she was at a point where all seemed lost.  

Jesus went out of His way to meet with her this day.  She had no idea that this charismatic rabbi would become the savior of her, her family, and her community.  He did not preach a world renown sermon, he did not do amazing signs and miracles.  Jesus simply met this woman where she was and showed her love and kindness no one else had attempted to show her.  That kindness brought her back to a place where then she not only embraced her judgmental community, but quite literally led them to the Savior. 

Often, we seek to be ministers.  If, we could learn from Jesus model, we would realize the Gospel is full of times when Jesus said little but acted kindly to those the world ignored or worse rejected.  It is the kindness of God that draws the lost to Him.  As His chosen, we need to develop our spirit’s kind heart so that we can powerfully spread his message of truth.  When we do, He will bless our kindness with rewards only God could provide.  

God Bless You

Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John— although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.

Now he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.

When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)

The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.[a])

10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”

13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”

17 “I have no husband,” she replied.

Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”

19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”

21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”

26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”

39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41 And because of his words many more became believers.

42 They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”