Spirit & Truth

“God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

~ John 4:24

Our Heavenly Father eagerly desires His people to come before Him to worship in spirit & truth. So how do we do that? I believe first of all, to worship God in spirit means to come to Him with the right attitude of heart. It refers to the “mind,” the “soul,” the “heart.” When we worship in spirit, we come before the Lord prepared in our heart & mind to meet the living God. We should with reverence, yet joyfully, offer our sacrifice of worship to our Maker.

We’re also to worship in spirit and in truth. This means we come not only with the right heart, but also according to truth – that is – according to the Word of God. Jesus says in John 17:17, “Thy Word is truth”. Likewise Jesus is the Incarnate Word (Jn 1:1). Jesus is the Way, the truth and the life and that no one comes to the Father but by Him. The true way of direct access to God is through Jesus Christ. This is to worship Him in spirit and truth.

~ apl

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The Bible, The Believer’s Ship

The Bible could be likened to the Believer’s ship:

It’s cover is like the hull which contains the whole.

It’s binder then is like the mast which holds it upright and together.

It’s pages are like the sails which catch the Spirit’s blowing.

It’s words are like our rudder which guide us to peaceful seas.

It’s Author, our Compass who shows us the way.

It’s Christ, our Captain who steers us to glory.

~ apl

The Surest Indicators

“The habit of private prayer, and the constant practice of heart-communion with God—are the surest indicators of the work of the Holy Spirit upon the soul.”

~ Charles Spurgeon

Prayer Life Pause: Heavenly Father, may I find myself in constant communion with You through bathing my life in private prayer with the guidance of Your Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Self-Control

“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

Last, but certainly not least, is the fruit of the Spirit known as self-control. The word used here “ἐγκράτεια” (enkráteia) properly means “the virtue of one who masters his desires and passions, esp. his sensual appetites”. It is derived from “ἐν” (en) meaning “in” and “κράτος” (kratos) meaning “strength,” and has reference to the power or command which believers are to exercise over all manner of sinful and ungodly practices. This kind of discipline over ourselves is not something we muster up. In the flesh, we are weak (Rom. 7:14). It is the indwelling presence of God’s Holy Spirit which bestows what is necessary to put to death the old man and causes Christians to live in newness of life. It is then the fruit of self-control which enables the true follower of Christ to cultivate, nurture and grow all the fruits of the Spirit in their life. Against such blessed things, there is no law.

~ apl

Prayer Life Pause: Heavenly Father, may You help me to be like a tree planted by living waters that brings forth fruit in my season of life, and that the power and presence of the Divine Spirit in my life, my leaf will not whither and whatsoever I do for Your own glory, shall prosper. In Jesus, name, amen.

Gentleness

“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

There is probably no more winsome fruit of the Spirit than gentleness. Gentleness carries with it the connotation of a mild and loving disposition. Christian’s ought not to be known for a harsh and grumpy temperance. We shouldn’t be unapproachable people. Rather, followers of Christ should show forth a mildness of temper and calmness of spirit which draws others to us that we might share in our faith with them. The Lord Jesus beckoned folks in His day much the same way. In Matthew 11:29, He would say, “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”. May you find rest for your soul too, by cultivating gentleness in your life.

~ apl

Prayer Life Pause: Lord Jesus, grant me a tenderness of heart and gentleness of spirit such as Yours that I might better reflect Your person in my life towards others. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Kindness

“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

Expressing kindness to others is an exceptional way in which to demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit and show forth the evidence of Christ-like character. When the sinner comes to realize just how kind God has been to them in Christ Jesus, they are compelled by sheer grace to exude kindness themselves. In many ways, the kindness shown in the life of the believer is simply a reflection of the kindness God has granted them. Titus 3:4-6 tells us, “But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,  whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior“. The fruit of kindness is not born in us; it is bestowed to us through the Holy Spirit so that kindness might be revealed by us to others.

~ apl

Prayer Life Pause: Dear Jesus, make me an example to others of the kindness You showed me in loving me, saving me, and blessing me so that I might praise You and give You the glory. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Holy Spirit Difference

“If the Holy Spirit was withdrawn from the church today, 95 percent of what we do would go on and no one would know the difference. If the Holy Spirit had been withdrawn from the New Testament church, 95 percent of what they did would stop, and everybody would know the difference.”

~ A.W. Tozer

Prayer Life Pause: Heavenly Father, please pour out Your Holy Spirit new and afresh upon me and Your people. May we live and serve in Your presence and power that others see the difference You make! In Jesus’ name, amen.

Peace

“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

Like the other fruits of the Spirit, peace is not something we always experience outwardly, but it is something the follower of Jesus can cultivate inwardly. The kind of peace spoken of here is a result of ceasing the inner conflict in ourselves between sin and the Savior. There is always conflict when we are at odds with the Lord. And our peace comes when we yield to Christ and submit ourselves to His Word. Faithful obedience and grace-filled living leads to spiritual peace.

Prayer Life Pause: Lord Jesus, fill my heart with Your Word that it might chase out my sins and pour Your Holy Spirit in me that I might experience Your splendid peace. In Jesus, name, amen.

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.