Christian Devotions

Posts tagged ‘Understanding’

Ripened Fruit

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23 (KJV)

These fruits seem to me to fall into three categories as they relate to our relationships.  For example, love, joy and peace are truly interior to us. They are part of who we are. Despite any circumstance, we can choose to be loving, joyful and peaceable. These attitudes determine our outward actions at all times.

The next three, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, seem to be our actions toward others. Being patient, gentle and good to others are the mark of the mature Christian. There is no room here for loud voices, argument, and violence.

The last three, faith, meekness, temperance, seem to stem from our relationship with God. Faith is a gift of God’s grace. Meekness, also known as humility, stems from our understanding of our worth in the eyes of God.  Temperance is the result of our knowing that God is in control of circumstances and that we are not in control, therefore excessive responses are not only unnecessary, but also counter productive.

With this picture as our goal, we can only grow in faith and grace.

Father, God,

Help us to grow in these areas. Grant that we may always be loving, joyful and peaceable. Help us to be longsuffering, gentle and good.  Give us a measure of faith, meekness and temperance.

In Jesus’ most precious name.

Amen.

 

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Parents and Children

Focus verses: Proverbs 23:22-25

God has specific ideas about what makes a family. In these verses, we hear the duties of a child. Listen to your father and revere your mother. He assumes that there is a father and a mother in the house.

There is no alternative lifestyle here.

He tells the child to get truth, wisdom, discipline and understanding,

The truth is that there is objective right and wrong. There are absolutes.

Wisdom says you will learn the difference between right and wrong, that you will adhere to the right and eschew the wrong.

Discipline says you will keep your behaviors under control, acquiescing to the will of the Father.

Understanding means that you acknowledge the consequences of your actions, that you expect every action to carry the seeds of its own reward or punishment.

As a nation, we seem to have forgotten these principles. We have taught our young people situation ethics, a concept which says that sometimes something is right and other times it isn’t, depending on the circumstances. Teaching our children this is something akin to building on quicksand.

We need to return to the rock of truth. Our children need to know about absolutes, about truth, about consequences, lest our world perish entirely.

Father, God,

Return us to the truth of Your precepts. Help us to teach our youth so that they have the steady foundation of Your truth on which to build their lives.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.