When was the last time you ran into someone you haven’t seen in a while and they made the comment, “There’s something different about you?” How about someone you see regularly making a comment like, “It’s apparent you’ve made some changes in your life. I can see them.” When you are spending time with God and digging into His Word, the Bible, to allow the truth of it to change you, these comments should be normal in your life. Yet, it’s not just reading the Bible that changes a person because, in our own strength, we will often fail. The change seen by those around us on the outside is the fruit that comes from the internal Spirit we receive when we receive the gift of God’s salvation through accepting Jesus.Read More
For my 50th birthday, my daughters gave me the coolest gift. It was an antique brass kaleidoscope. It reminded me of being a little girl and full of awe when I peered through one of that little throw away cardboard kaleidoscopes. I loved how a simple turn on the viewing cylinder would change the design and patterns I saw. It filled me with wonder and I believe nurtured the joy of curiosity and exploration I have today. I explore God and His Word with that same curiosity that was developed back then. You see, it was a kaleidoscope that helped me understand how a small shift can make a huge change in perspective.Read More
One of my favorite stories is played out in the movie The Shawshank Redemption. In this story, we follow the lives of men who are condemned to live out the rest of their days at Shawshank Prison for real crimes committed. Many of the inmates have committed murder early in their lives. Now we meet them as old men who have been imprisoned for decades. It actually tells a beautiful story of one inmate who refuses to give up hope. Refuses to see only walls and guards and bars on his cell. He brings the beauty and life and purpose to the prison and to his friends by embracing hope. I won’t spoil the entire story line for those of you who have not seen it but it’s a great read and movie.Read More
The law of the spirit of life that sets us free from the law of sin and death is enacted and legislated by our Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth (Romans 8: 2). It is the spirit of life that liberates, transforms, and overcomes.
And the closest thing we have to seeing this spirit of life is to witness its effects, or in more biblical terms, its fruit.
Jesus talks a lot about fruit.
He had just finished telling his disciples that they shouldn’t continue the cultural habit of assuming bad things happen to people simply because they’ve done bad things (Luke 13: 1-5). Evidently eighteen unfortunate souls had died when a watch tower in Jerusalem collapsed. The presumption was that the eighteen had perished because they were guiltier, worse sinners, than those who were still living.Read More