Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Abundant Joy Devotion

Ecclesiastes 3:1-13

· God is sovereign and He uses all things to refine us

· The key is our nattitude

· Why do we lose sight?

· We must be content with God’s sovereignty

In Francis Chan’s book, Crazy Love, he talks about anxiousness and how this is a form of arrogance on our part. It expresses that we think what we are facing is so important it warrants us stepping out of sync with God to find a solution on our own. But, what do we find in God’s word about staying in step with Him?

Galatians 5:16-17, 22-25

· The Spirit and the flesh are set against one another

· v24 “have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires

· Walking in the Spirit is not emotioinal

· v25 “If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit

The fruit of the Spirit is a crop of fruit, therefore they cannot be separated. To live in love is to produce more love, joy produces more joy and so on. The flesh cannot produce fruit because it is ultimately rooted in pride, but the Spirit alone produces fruit because it then brings glory to God. The Greek word for love here is agape (a divine love), a gift from God. When we live in His love, then we experience joy. How do you define joy?

Warren Wiersbe defines joy as “inward peace and sufficiency that is not affected by outward circumstances.” Love and joy together then produce peace, which passes all understanding. Now, with a proper understanding of from where the fruit of the Spirit flows, we can practice the outward flow of the remaining fruit.

We are not given this crop of fruit to display, but rather to invest into the lives of those around us. We have the freedom in Christ to act as an ambassador for Him in every circumstance we find ourselves.

How do we live in the “peace and sufficiency” provided for us?

John 15:4-5

· v5 “apart from Me you can do nothing

· Living in God’s abundant joy does not equate a life of striving

· Galatians 5:16 “walk by the Spirit”

We cannot get ahead of the Spirit (seen in us trying to figure it all out) or lag behind (seen in us remaining in disappointment or fear). We must keep in step with the Spirit, because this is where we experience the joy needed to produce the fruit God will be pleased with.

Will you yield to the Spirit and walk with Him? What do you need to confess in order that you may have a clean slate to start fresh walking in His peace and sufficiency?

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