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Love, Joy and Peace

Love, Joy and Peace

Words of Faith 6-25-19

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2019

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Galatians 5

    [22] But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, [23] gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

 

       Okay, what does this fruit look like?  How can we recognize it?  What are these qualities?  Love, joy, and peace begin the list.  They might be thought of as habits of the mind and heart that the Spirit develops in us as we surrender to the Spirit and are turned God-ward.  These qualities represent the most fundamental changes that the Spirit begins to make in us.

        Love is the start of it all.  If we are becoming more like God, then we will have more love.  This makes sense because God is love.  Paul wrote that among the great virtues, the greatest of these is love.  The Greek word is agape or divine love.  This is quite different from brotherly love or romantic love.  This is the unconditional love of God that is unmerited, transforming, and unchangeable.

       This love is selfless.  This love strikes no bargains and does not require anything in return.  Agape is the love that sent Christ to die for sinful men and that perseveres with men in spite of their willfulness and desire of sin.  Because the Spirit of Christ is living within the Christian, the believer will grow to show love both to other Christians and to the world.  By this, men will know that Christians are indeed Christ's disciples.

    "Joy" is the word chara in Greek.  This is the virtue in the Christian life corresponding to happiness in the secular world. On the surface, they seem related, but happiness depends on circumstances, whereas joy does not.  In the New Testament, a form of the word "joy" became a typical and popular Christian greeting.  Joy is particularly full when what was lost spiritually is found.  The joy of the Lord is our strength.

      Another favorite Christian greeting is "peace" from the Greek eirene. It is roughly the equivalent of the Hebrew word shalom.  Above all, peace is God's gift to man, achieved by him at the cross of Christ. It is peace with God, but it also expresses itself both in peace of mind and in peace between all those who know God. This peace should be seen between Jew and Gentile, within the church, and in the relationships of the believer with all men.  Christians are to strive for peace-- turn from evil and do good-- seek peace and pursue it (1 Pet. 3:11).

      Are these things that one can muster up?  Are there little mind tricks or exercises that will help exhibit these qualities?  The only way that we can love is to surrender our ability to love and ask the Spirit to love through us.  The only way we will find joy is to surrender to the joy of the Spirit within us.  The only peace we can enjoy is that of the Spirit within us.

 

        Father God, for this day, give me the love of Your Holy Spirit.  Give me the Joy of the Lord.  Give me Your peace.  In Jesus' Name.

 

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, and our website, and our church app, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.  

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