Thursday, December 30, 2010

Fruit of the Spirit!

Before I begin writing this entry, I must acknowledge my granddaughter K, who was born and died on December 30th.  Even after all these years, my daughter P grieves; so do I.  Please pray for P.  Thank you.  May God bless you.

When I left off yesterday, I recalled how a friend of mine wondered if my children were saved, for if they are saved, there should be some fruit of the spirit in their lives.

Just as a reminder, God tells us about fruit of the spirit in Galations 5:22-23, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control..."

After this conversation with my friend, I prayed about exactly that; about whether or not my children were saved.  Truly, only God alone, knows for sure.  But, I asked Him to reveal if there were fruit in their lives.

If you've been a regular reader, you'll know that I had already been praying that God would reveal truth about every relationship in my life.  He answered my prayer, once again.

While I can see fruit in P's life; it was directed towards others, this Christmas.  When my Christmas day blessing occurred, I felt like I recognized fruit in my daughter B's life.  You'll probably think it was because she showed compassion towards me, in my loneliness.  If you thought this, you would only be partially correct.

For certain B showed towards me:  love, kindness, goodness and more.  However, of even more importance to me, was the fact that she showed the same fruit of the spirit towards her ex, S and his family.

What do I mean by this?  Well, look at the situation.  Earlier this year, B & S broke up, with B and her children actually being housed at a shelter and being helped by the police and victim services.  Since then, their relationship has obviously changed, even if they are not reuniting.

It is obvious to me that B has forgiven S, for all that was done against her.  If she hadn't done this, would she have had compassion on him and his family?  Would she have been concerned that he and his family share their daughter's first (1st) Christmas?  No.  So, I praise God, she found it in her heart to forgive him and have compassion upon him and his family!

This turned out to be the biggest joy for me, this Christmas! 

B's had a tough life.  Like many of us.  No, I won't go into her private life, but I will say that she has suffered.  Much like me and some of you that I've gotten to know, either through my contact with you in real life, or through Facebook (FB), or other sources.

You've probably heard me say this more than once, but I need to say it, again.  Next to salvation, there is nothing more important than forgiveness.  After all, didn't Jesus die for your sin, for mine, and for the sin of all the world, of all who will believe? 

God tells us in Psalm 103:12, "As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us."  The blood of Jesus washes us white as snow, covers our sin, so God cannot see it, for God hates sin.  He cannot look upon sin, in any way, shape or form.

As we grow more Christlike, being sanctified and growing in our faith, we need to make sure we forgive others, just as our Lord forgave us!  If you've ever prayed the Lord's prayer, you've already prayed and asked God to forgive you, the way you forgive others.  Ooooooo!  Think about it!  "...forgive we forgive those..."

I cannot imagine living with unforgiveness.  Actually, I pity those who refuse to forgive.  Yes, I said refuse.  As Christians, we all have the power within us to forgive, but not all choose to forgive. 

It breaks my heart when I hear someone say they can't forgive.  This is not the truth.  God gave us all power to forgive.  The truth is, they don't want to forgive.  Not wanting to forgive is part and parcel of a pride problem.  And, we know that being prideful is sinful.  In addition, by refusing to forgive, the 'injured' party can hold onto hate.  God told us to love others as ourselves.  Wouldn't you want to be forgiven?

For some reason, God has always blessed me with being a forgiving person.  From childhood to adulthood, always.  Through each and every trial in my life, I've had to forgive someone; and I have forgiven.  Often to the dismay of those looking onto the situation.  I've even been persecuted for forgiving someone who has sinned against me and others.

Talking about trials, this is why I wrote about a few of the major trials in my life.  Yes, I said a few.  I've had many.  Many more than you know about.  No, I don't intend to write my whole life history, but you need to know that I haven't had an easy life. 

I'll bet you thought that when I wrote about those few trials I spoke of, that I was doing so, looking for sympathy, compassion or whatever.  This was not the case. 

I wrote about those few trials that I told you about, so you could see that I haven't led an easy life, that I have truly suffered.  Even some worse trials than what I wrote about.  Some involving family, friends and others I don't really know or know well.

If you think you're alone, because you've suffered trials, you need to think, again.  We Christians all have trials.  God told us in James 1:2-4, " My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing."

Note that God didn't say "if".  He said "when".   

Yet, God gave me the grace to be able to forgive.  I praise Him for this! 

If I had one wish that I could have granted to me, it would be that any person who has not forgiven me, for whatever they feel I have done towards them, would forgive me.  Whether they feel forgiveness is justified, or not.

If more people understood that forgiveness isn't for the person being forgiven, I believe more people would strive to live their lives forgiving others.  Forgiveness towards others, releases the forgiver from the bondage of sin.  As I mentioned previously, unforgiveness is a sin of pride. 

Forgiveness isn't easy.  It's hard.  But, as I stated above, it's not an option.  We are commanded to forgive, just as God forgives.  It doesn't come easy.  Forgiveness is difficult.  We have to work at it.  It doesn't come naturally.

Friends, we all suffer. We suffer daily, for Christ, if we stand up for him.  This is a topic for another day!

Until next time...

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