Galatians 5:22-23New American Standard Bible (NASB)
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
I pondered over this scripture the day before New Years. I wanted to choose a characteristic that I could pray for maturing for 2020. I struggled. If I choose self-control, I knew that I might be challenged all year with issues that demanded more self-control. If I focused on kindness, would I have to bite my tongue and be kind to people I did not want to be kind to? And patience- am I ready for the drama?
Then it hit me. When I would get anxious over illness, finance, etc I have been repeating to myself to trade in Faith for Fear and Worry for Worship. It is a personal need. I realized that in my effort of choose one of the fruit to mature in 2020 I was experiencing an example of paralysis that takes place when I am FEARFUL.
So, I choose to be Faithful and by the POWER of the Holy Spirit mature in ALL of them!
There are times when I have little patience. I am unkind, feel no joy and in grief do not have peace. In relationships sometimes not kind and not always oozing with goodness.
My husband looked over my shoulder and reminded me that it is indeed FRUIT and not FRUITS. Ah, that makes sense! I no longer need to stress over which one to choose. LOL
I need to not only look to the Lord to mature the fruit in my life but learn how to make banana bread and other goodies when they get ripe. To create from the fruit that is ripe that will satisfy the taste for sweetness and bring happiness to others seems like a good challenge for this year.
What about you? How have you decided to deal with the fruit of the spirit in 2020?
It was just a few weeks ago, while riding to work, a song played on the radio. I was singing along silently bobbing my head, and I noticed that my husband was tapping with his hands but differently from the way I was. Being a singer, I was hearing the words, being a drummer, he was tapping to the beat, but he was also hearing the breaks in the music that the other instruments made because his head would tilt this way and that. And his facial expressions indicated that he could hear things that I didn’t. I tried to hear what he was hearing, but I just couldn’t. I asked him to help me hear what he was hearing. He began to hum and tap out the rhythm and make the sound of the guitar and keyboard, and the bass and drums. Once he pointed it out, I became aware of all the instrumentation and nuances in that song. It was a familiar song, but that day, I heard it more clearly.
Why Couldn’t I Hear It Before?
I was trying to figure out why couldn’t I hear it before? That is when this thought came to me. I have to know the song well, and I have to tune in to the whole composition because it is not just the words that make a song. It’s the instrumentation and the musicians who understand the message in the song. My mind then began to think about sound. Once I said the word sound, it clearly came to me that there is a sound of heaven. It’s the sound created by God who uses it to message you and to message me.
Scientifically speaking, there are types of sounds the human ear can detect. The higher frequency sounds above 25 hertz or cycles per second is called ultrasound. It’s used in medicine to crush kidney stones, to view a growing baby in the womb, to heal damaged tissues. Ultrasound is used in weapons that can collapse a building.
Then there are low frequency tones or infrasonic sound which measure about 20-0 hertz or cycles per second. This infrasonic sound is the frequency range used in monitoring earthquakes, charting rock and petroleum formations below the earth, and also in ballistocardiography or the study of the heart. Doctors use infrasonic sound to trace how the blood pumps our heart and through these repetitive motions can detect abnormalities. Seismologists us the infrasonic low tones to detect volcanoes, avalanches, and earthquakes. Because infrasound has the ability to get around obstacles with little dissipation. Simply meaning this… The sound that leaves the original source is carried through the wavelengths, the sound is transmitted bouncing back without being impeded. In other words this infrasonic frequency allows the sound to reverse, but the pressure or the power of the wave remains the same. Nothing is lost in translation!
Sometimes God Uses Infrasonic Sound to Speak to His People
God sometimes uses infrasonic sound to speak to His people. He wants us to experience the pressure of the sound as it was disseminated from Him. The word whisper in Hebrew means A Tiny Silent Sound. God speaks in infrasonic sound in our dreams, through promptings, when we pray, or even in opportunities. But we must be tuned in to God or we might miss the message.
The Prophet Elijah found himself in circumstances that called for him to tune in. There was a sound from heaven that he needed to face his situation.
As was read in the scripture, when Ahab reported to Jezebel everything that the Prophet Elijah had done, including the massacre of the false prophets of Baal, she became enraged and sent message to Elijah and threatened that by the same time the next day she was going to get even with him and he would be dead.
This truth I do know, the people of God are always under attack by those who hate God. And unfortunately, we are disliked by those who are in church as well. If we can think that we are in good with unbelievers, just bring up anything about God and your name will be mud and they will try to ruin your name, your position or your reputation. In the church if we are trying to live our best for Christ, we are told we are too holy. It doesn’t take all of that.
Elijah became so afraid, that he ran for his life. I have to admit that sometimes, we do get nervous when people try to destroy us. Sometimes we forget that no weapon formed against us will prosper. Elijah’s mind must have been filled with visions of what Jezebel was going to do to him, so he ran far south of Judah to the Beersheba.
He ran so far and so long that at a certain distance, he left his servant and ran further into the desert. The came to a bush and collapsed in the shade and was so exhausted that he wanted to die. He prayed, Lord, I have had enough, just take my life!
Have You Ever Felt Like Elijah?
Have you ever been there? The pain of your illness was so excruciating you wanted to die. The betrayal of your spouse cut so deep, that death entered your mine. The bills were surmountable, the collection agency was hounding you, and sleepless nights were constant, death seemed like a viable option. I know some people who have lived through such devastating pain some, physical and some psychological and death seemed liked it was the best way out.
The Prophet Elijah exhausted from fear and despair fell asleep. An angel shook him and woke him up. Told him to get up and eat. A meal of baked bread was there with a jug of cool water. He ate and fell back to sleep. The angel came back and told him to wake up and eat some more because he needed his strength for the journey ahead.
God Sends Angels
Just when we are ready to throw in the towel, God has a way of sending an angel! It might be a parent who comes to you saying, “My son says that you are crying a lot during the school day”. You tell her your husband decided he didn’t want to be married any more. She nods and says, I understand, But, my son is in your class and he needs you. You have got to pull yourself together for your students who are counting on you.
Your angel could be the bank who calls and says, you don’t have to worry about anything because there is a program which you qualify.
Your angel could be the doctor who calls and says, “we have a good news, your cancer is treatable. “
Your angel could be the person who smiles, hugs, or calls you just when you are about to go into a depression
Angels come, because they bring a sound from heaven that can’t even match the degree of the threat. They are God’s preemptive strike! God is about to deliver and he wants you to hold on a little while longer!
After the Prophet Elijah nourished himself he walked forty days and nights all the way to the mountain of God. He crawled into a cave and went to sleep.
Elijah Heard A Sound
Then he heard a sound from heaven, he heard God talking to him. They have a conversation, and the God told him to go stand on the mountain. While there a hurricane like wind ripped through the mountain and shattered the rock, But GOD was not in the wind. After the winds came an earthquake came, but God was not in the earthquake, and after the earthquake, a roaring fire , but God was not in the roaring fire, and after the fire a gentle and quiet whisper came at which time the Prophet Elijah covered his because he discerns that God was in the whisper.
Saints of God today’s message was to remind us that God does not always come to us the same way, so we can’t think that how he dealt with us the last time be the only way we will accept He chooses to deal with us.
Sound is one way that he communicates to us. Sometimes he needs to shout and scream to get our attention. Especially if we are so wrap up in our own concerns that we neglect the things of God. Sometimes it is through challenging pain or circumstances to remind us that none of those things hinder Him from being God. But sometimes he uses the infrasound a of whisper to be sure that what you heard is what He said.
God, who on that same mountain used fire and smoke with Moses is now whispering in a still small voice to His servant Elijah. In that small voice he was able to quiet is spirit and give him the further instructions needed for the days ahead.
A Whisper, Why a Whisper?
· When you whisper, you use your breath without using your vocal cords for the sake of privacy.
· A whisper is intimate because you must be close to hear it. Since it’s intimate, it’s tailor made because not everyone is supposed to hear it. God whispered to the Prophet Elijah because he had to say somethings to him first to calm him and to remind him that Jezebel’s threats could not touch the man of God. God whispered to encourage him. He needed to be reminded that He was a servant of the most-high! Finally, God whispered to direct him about the things he needed to do.
There are times when God wants us to press closely into him so he can whisper a word just for us!! He wants to calm our fears, encourage our spirit, and give us the directions that we will need in the coming days.
Because sometimes the sound from heaven is a whisper…
· A Whisper can Change our mind of confusion into a mind of peace and remind us that He will keep you in perfect if your mind in stayed on Him.
· A whisper can Change our sense of defeat into a sense of victory and remind us the when God is for us, who can be against us
· A whisper can Change our carnal perspective into a Godly mindset reminding us that in God we live, we move, and we have our being!
· A whisper can Bolster our confidence, and remind us that we can do all things through Christ that Strengthens me
If we would be still and know that God is God! If we would just stop trying to hear what everyone else has to say, then we will hear the sound of heaven that will deliver, heal, and set free!
· Because no threat can ever match the sound of heaven!!!
Quotes About Listening to God
“The word ‘listen’ contains the same letters as the word ‘silent.'” ~ Alfred Brendel
“Listening to God is far more important than giving Him your ideas.” ~ Frank Laubach
“God speaks in the silence of the heart. Listening is the beginning of prayer.” ~ Mother Teresa
“Are you learning to say things after listening to God, or are you saying things and trying to make God’s word fit in?” ~ Oswald Chambers
“Every happening, great and small, is a parable whereby God speaks to us, and the art of life is to get the message.” ~ Malcolm Muggeridge
“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” ~ Winston Churchill
We must tune into the infrasonic sound, so we don’t miss the sound of heaven. Turn off the television, the radio, the cell phone, and even your own voice. Be still and be open so that you can hear the sound from heaven. Hear the whisper of God in the silence of your heart, mind, and soul, and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that no threat can match the sound of Heaven..
While at the New Years Eve service we to some time between the message, testimonies and praise to do a very personal exercise. This three part exercise should be done with lots of reflection and very little distractions.
The first part is to record the “baggage” you want to leave behind in 2018. Now, since you are doing this exercise in 2019 it is never too late to dump some luggage you should not be carrying around in 2019.
After you fill out the sheet tear it up or shred it. Discard the pieces.
The next two parts are NOT TO BE TOSSED OUT!
Record those things for which you are THANKFUL . They are your praises for 2018 that should be looked at often to remind you of the things God has done in your life. Share them with yourself and others.
The final part are your DREAMS. Remember to believe that some dreams only the Lord himself can make happen. Give those dreams to Him believing in His Possibilities. Can’t He do it?
Post this sheet where you can refer to it. Make more than one copy if you wish. But do be careful to share these dreams only with those who will encourage you and keep you accountable.
The power plant of the Christian is a spiritually transformed mind. There is No Mind like a Christ Mind! Romans 12:2 Say’s do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is that which is good and acceptable and perfect. I don’t want God to have these words with me that he had with the church at Ephesus in revelation 2:4 “I have this against you that you have left your first love.”
I was reminded on the day before preparing this message of how important the word of God is to the development of relationships in the family. I shared openly ,with my wife, what I had been learning from the scriptures about having the mind of Christ. We had an exciting exchange of what scriptures where saying to us. It had a unifying effect on us and it convicted my spirit.
I would like to share with you , in upcoming blog posts“Seven Characteristics of a Christ Centered Mind.”
1. The Mind of Encouragement (verse 1)
“1Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion,”
Encouragement is multi-faceted. It at times comforts the sick or emotionally hurting. Encouragement also helps to redirect those that are going in the wrong direction. Christ both healed the sick and turned tables when folks where selling in the Temple .Mat.21:13 “It states “is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’; but you are making it a robbers den.” Hebrew 3:13 say’s that we should “encourage one another day after day, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. “
There is a strong urgency to be an encourager in fact it takes courage to be one. I teach art at a local school, one of my students became tired of working on one of my assignments . Half way through, they asked if they could stop and hand in the project the way it was. I thought for a moment, what if in life they didn’t complete their assignments. So I said “Sure give me half of your assignment and I will give you half of your grade.”
That was enough of an incentive to complete the full assignment. They actually relieved an excellent grade for the good work submitted. We are like this at times. We need a little encouragement to do things that will benefit us. Be that encourager; help some along both with a soft word, a helping hand or a firm word to redirect. Ask yourself, how would Christ do it?
1 Then the LORD said to Moses, 2 “See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, 3 and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts-
(New International Version)
God has given us ability to provide a blessing to His people. Bezalel was filled with the spirit of God to do the work in the sanctuary. God has given us special skills and abilities to minister to people’s lives. Think about what you can do with what God has given you.
As a visual artist, I am always discovering ways that art can be used to enhance the lives of others. One of those ways is to aid in the healing of those mentally or physically ill.
This year I started traveling with a small watercolor kit. The size of the kit is a “4×6” block. I also use the Strathmore blank post cards. The imperial watercolor paper works well for this kind of thing.
I went to a physical rehabilitation facility on a Monday evening equipped with these tools. The woman and friend I was visiting was in her seventies and recovering from surgery on her neck.
After we chatted for a while, I asked her if she would like a picture for her room. Her answer was a resounding YES. I should note that she already had an assortment of my prints in her home. Consequently, it was not a hard to convince her to allow me to paint.
A support while I worked
My wife entertained her with a modern day version of a familiar bible story while I worked. I drew the rose first and completed it with the watercolors in her favorite color-Yellow. This enabled me to complete the work quickly.
When the rose was completed, this woman with hands still fighting for mobility reached out to touch the painting. Her face glowed as she looked with awe at her picture. I signed it and wrote a note of encouragement before I hung it where she could see it at all times.
Her roommate then begged me to paint a picture for her also. I did.
I am convinced, as many artists reading this will agree that artists must constantly work on their craft. Therefore, if you work on your art while visiting someone it can be a win-win situation.
You do not have to give away your masterpieces
Please know that I AM NOT SUGGESTING THAT YOU GIVE AWAY YOUR MASTERPIECES. However, believe that the person who is ill will see what ever you can contribute as a masterpiece. You will also be donating your time and healing concern. Isn’t that what art is all about?
Lets all keep working to bring healing art to the world. May the Lord establish the work of your hands.
Hebrews 10: 19-25
This passage of scripture came to mind when I was trying to work something’s out in my own mind. I went to a class to work on my speaking skills. After the first session I felt defeated because of perceived failure with the assignment. When you begin to think about what you don’t know and don’t have, you forget that God is faithful. We start thinking about ourselves and the negative self-talk starts to play into our minds. God wants to renew that attitude!
You see the problem was I forgot for a moment that my God is alive and well. I also forgot that he is not finished with me yet. We have access to the Father because of what Jesus did at the cross. Just like the Psalmist said in Psalms 73:17 “…until I went into the sanctuary of God; — then I discerned their end.” Not only their end but my demise that we have verse 20 a new and living way that was opened up for us by Christ Jesus Himself. And as long as I keep my view on the things from my own small negative prospective I won’t see the beauty of His majesty and will miss the big picture. That God is He who promises and He is faithful. And He will not deny His Church of what it needs. God is faithful, but it is our faith that needs strengthening.
That is why I believe that God wrote this word for the Church that there are some truths here for us. The first truth is in verse 21 we have a great priest, over this house, and He isn’t finished with us yet until the Day of His return. And until that Day there are some things that we need to do. verse 22 keep drawing near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith Christ when to Cross of Calvary and His Blood Still cleanses us of our sins. 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins He is faithful to forgive of our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness Lord hind me behind the drippings of your blood and cleanse me. There was a time when animal sacrifices had to be made once a year for sins but Christ paid the price for us at Calvary, so now, we have permanent access to the throne room of God. The wall His veil of partition is down, we need to keep going in and getting our marching orders form God. Because He is Faithful! Just like the curtain’s between bed’s in the hospital – it’s thin – but it’s a barrier between you and the other person – before visiting on the other side we should cleanup so we don’t bring germ’s to the other side. Jesus has provided a continual cleaning for us so we can go over to other side. We live in a troubled world with all of the killings even our universities are not safe Verse 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering trusting in the Lord continually with all our hearts and not leaning on our own understanding. why? Because He who promised is faithful. Our hope is in Jesus Christ who is at the right hand of the Father interceding for us. If God says in Hebrews 13: 5 I will never desert you nor will I ever forsake you -he won’t desert you!
If God says in psalm 30:5, For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime; Weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning. It will!
If God says in psalm 34:19, Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all. -He does!
If God says in Psalm 41:3 The LORD will sustain him upon his sickbed; In his illness, You restore him to health. He will
If God says in John 14:1-2 “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. -He will!
If God says in John 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name period. That’s a guarantee!
If God says in Romans 8:28, and we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. –That’s a fact!
If God says in John 12:46, I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness. -No doubt about it!
If God says in Luke 14:11, “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” -We need to take this to heart!
If God says in James 1:5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. Make it your point to ask God for wisdom!
If God says in John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. If you haven’t asked Him, you need to be about doing it now!
We need keep reminding each other that God is Faithful and this is just a few of His promises, – there are over 3,000 more in His word. And Verse 24 let us consider how to stimulate [or stir up] one another to love and good deeds what is important in the Church is love and it needs to be stirred up in the church. It also needs to be expressed to each other in deeds. The word for love here is the Christ type of love. The word for good is the type that is expressed outwardly so as we see it working in another we should stir them up in whatever way we can. You don’t need to be an officer to do God’s will. You were created in Christ Jesus to do good works. And finally Verse 25 I like the NIV for this verse “Let us not give up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as the Day approaching.” Folks gathering together is stronger than standing alone. Satan likes to attack a person alone, but the righteous assembled in masses are very strong against the attacks of the enemy. When we continually meet together and encourage one another in the faith we are strengthened. In Hebrews 3:13 it states also that we should encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. Never give up on the assembly of believers don’t give up on the good things that God has you doing. Don’t give up visiting the sick. Don’t give up praying for each other. Don’t give up speaking words of encouragement. Don’t give up sharing the biblical word with each other. Don’t give up breaking bread with each other. Don’t give up sharing with the poor. Don’t give up ministering to the youth Don’t give up on what God has designed for you. Because when folks around you, are filling your mind with negative thoughts, you have a body of believers, who care around you, to stir you up. so that you be all that God wants you to be. And Jesus is coming back. So don’t give and stir it up!
Extra notes: We need to be sprinkled in; the Blood of Christ it cleanses us. This one act at cross only needed to be done once for sin. And it has a lingering effect.
• [Sanctified meaning set apart for Gods use.]
• In the church our faith our hope our love is build on nothing less than Christ Himself.
Our hope rest on faith in knowing that Jesus is coming back!