Joy

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”

~ Galatians 5:22-23

Second in Paul’s list of Spiritual fruit is joy. But what is joy, Biblically speaking? Simply defined, we might say Spiritual joy is the solace and contentment that comes from knowing, loving and serving God. This kind of joy is not derived from temporal things, events or circumstances. Therefore, Spiritual joy is not easily removed from the heart of the true believer because our earthly conditions change. Joy that is a fruit of the Holy Spirit undergirds and consoles God’s people in the midst of their adversities, trials and tribulations. Joy, even in these situations, is evidence you belong to Him.

~ apl

Prayer Life Pause: Oh Lord, please grant me a profound and intense joy that can only come from Your precious Holy Spirit that I might not be to quickly moved to grief or sorrow because of things in this world. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Prevailing Prayers

“Men may spurn our appeals, reject our message, oppose our arguments, despise our persons, but they are helpless against our prayers.”

~ J. Sidlow Baxter

Prayer Life Pause: Father, guide my prayers that they may effectually convey the beauty and perfection of Thy will. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Love

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”

~ Galatians 5:22-23

The Apostle Paul sets love as the first among the fruits of the Spirit because elsewhere he had explicitly stated without love we are but empty clanging noise. Love is the basis of our redemption in Christ, our fellowship with other believers and it should be our disposition towards a lost and dying world as well. Faithful, obedient living unto Jesus is clear evidence of our love for Him (Jn 14:15). Love is more than a mere sentiment or emotion – it is an abiding sense and deep appreciation of what God in Christ has done for you and, in turn, creates an unquenchable desire to live, love and serve in His name. It is this which is the fruit of the Holy Spirit living in the heart of the Believer.

~ apl

Prayer Life Pause: Heavenly Father, daily create in me a renewed and refreshed love for You and others that I might faithfully show forth the fruits of Your Spirit in my thoughts, words and deeds. In Jesus’ name, amen.

All The Fullness of God

“For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height, to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”

~ Ephesians 3:14-21

Prayer Life Pause: Dear Lord, I bend the knee of my heart before You in honor of Your glory, grace and mercy. May I continue to walk in the abundance of Your love and the strength of Your power each and every day. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Good Cheer!

“Be of good cheer! It is I…”

~ Mark 6:50

What a pronouncement! Such a blessed introduction! ‘It is I, thy Lord and Savior!’ Whenever Jesus comes to us, it should illicit cheer. His near presence in our lives is the only true source of peace, comfort and joy. The disciples feared the winds that had arose against them that night on the sea, but the Lord’s voice in a time of trouble brought calm to their souls. May we remember those wonderful words apply just as much today as they did when Christ first spoke them. He desires to be our delight and to bring serenity to our soul. Christ Jesus aspires for His presence in our lives to be the most celebrated thing about us. So be of good cheer, Jesus is here!

~ apl

Prayer Life Pause: Lord Jesus, continue to make Yourself the ever-flowing source of my hope and happiness. May the things of this world never replace the eternal joy of knowing, loving and serving You! In Jesus’ name, amen.

Before It’s Too Late

“A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before Him. Thousands upon thousands attended Him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, and the books were opened”.

~ Daniel 7:10

Daniel’s apocalyptic vision of God’s final judgment should strike fear in the hearts of those outside the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. Do not be one of the ten thousand times ten thousand who go to stand before our great and final Judge with nothing to plead your case but your own unworthiness. Make it your life’s ambition and supreme concern to cling to the salvation offered only by faith in the Jesus Christ. For once the court is seated, and the books of judgment are open, it will be too late.

~ apl

Prayer Life Pause: Heavenly Father, this prayer is for all who do not know the redeeming touch of your Beloved Son. May You open their hearts and their souls to receive Your saving grace of eternal life before it is too late. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Perfect What Thou Hast Begun

Look upon us, O Lord,
and let all the darkness of our souls
vanish before the beams of thy brightness.
Fill us with holy love,
and open to us the treasures of thy wisdom.
All our desire is known unto thee,
therefore perfect what thou hast begun,
and what thy Spirit has awakened us to ask in prayer.
We seek thy face,
turn thy face unto us and show us thy glory.
Then shall our longing be satisfied,
and our peace shall be perfect.

~ Augustine

Prayer Life Pause: O Lord, help me to be all that I can be in Christ. Fill me with more and more of Your Spirit until self is swallowed whole. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Get Acquainted

“Now acquaint yourself with God, and be at peace; Thereby good will come to you.”

~ Job 22:21

Job is encouraged here in our verse to get to know the God that he serves. Job was frustrated, confused, and anxious about his life, in part, because he didn’t understand how the Lord was using his circumstances to 1. better him and 2. bring glory to God. Getting to know God through Scripture, prayer and worship helps us to better understand and appreciate what the Lord is doing in our life and how He is even using the difficult circumstances we face for our good. Therefore, it is vitally important we make acquainting ourselves with God a priority in our life. Because when we do, goodness and peace is sure to follow.

~ apl

Prayer Life Pause: Heavenly Father, show Yourself to me anew and afresh that I might better becoming acquainted with You – my true source of all goodness and peace. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Expectations In Prayer

“God’s Word must be the guide of your desires, and the ground of your expectations in prayer, nor can you expect he should give a gracious ear to what you say to him, if you turn a deaf ear to what he saith to you.”

~ Matthew Henry

Prayer Life Pause: Dear Lord, make Your Word a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path that my prayers would be carried unto Thee on the wings of Thy truth. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Planted In Him

“Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.”

~ Psalm 1:1-3

Prayer Life Pause: Father, keep my heart from the counsel, paths and seat of the wicked. Guard me and plant me firmly in the presence of Your tender love and priceless grace that I may bear fruit to Your glory. In Jesus’ name, amen.