Friday, February 14, 2014

some encouragement.

do you ever read the fruits of the spirit list and think, dang it! i am half of that one...none of that one...a little of that one...i really need to work on that fruit.

love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these kinds of things... Galatians 5:22-23

the problem is, we forget the first part of that verse. but the fruit OF THE SPIRIT is...


that means, you can't just wake up and will yourself to be more patient. you can't wake up and promise that you won't overeat today. you can't be less and angry and more loving just by speaking this verse to yourself. it might help you for that hour, but eventually, you can't keep it up. you fail. 

it sounds contrary to what is preached generally, but i love how the easy to read version puts it, 
 But the fruit that the Spirit produces in a person’s life is ...

those fruits come from the spirit working inside of you, producing good fruit. you don't produce it! and that means, you can rest from trying harder. rest in the work that he is doing and has done on the cross. 

so i just sit there and disobey? no. when you run to the cross, you can't help but see your sin and repent. so we don't just identify. ugh, i'm so angry all the time! i have no patience with _______. 
this list is the law. the law is good to help us see how we don't match up...we just can't. but we aren't saved by law, we're saved by grace. 

go where the grace is. 

when we identify the problem and repent to God, something supernatural happens. Lord i see this about me and i am helpless to change. i am sorry that i sin against you first and then my children. please rescue me from my sin. you're my only hope to change. 

who gets the glory for any change that happens? God. 
who does the changing? God.
where do your eyes go when you keep falling into the same sin? God.
who bears the burden for the sin regardless of whether you change or not? God.

NOT YOU.

 sometimes working sin out takes a long time and sometimes He changes you quickly. His timing is perfection and he's in charge. sometimes, we just keep running to the cross for the same sin over and over. but the cross is where the goodness is at. our dependence and salvation from ourselves is displayed in one awful and wonderful act on that tree that only one person could do: Jesus. not jami. 

if you're tired and weary from trying so hard. hear the good news of the gospel! rest IN HIM, not you trying to change yourself, your husband, your friends, or your kids. it will free you to enjoy them so much more this valentine's day.

10 comments:

  1. I'm finally getting over to read the post today, and friend...this is such truth, such an important daily reminder. We try so hard to put on fruit-like projections of our faith and then fall disappointed when they are simply not authentic or lasting. Only Jesus. Only grace. Only by the cross of Christ. Thanks for boldly proclaiming it.

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    1. i have to remind myself of this daily. but once i started learning it myself, i stopped putting so much pressure on my kids to "produce fruit". i'm all, go upstairs and ask God to help you become more ______. or whatever. my bend is to shame them into stapling fruit on a tree (as tripp says) instead of letting God do the work. ugh. it's so hard!

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  2. Thank you for this post, Jami. I just wrote in my prayer journal 2 nights ago about dying to the same sin again and again. I used to be a teacher, and I would think to myself, "Why is so and so doing that AGAIN? I've told them a zillion times how to do blah, blah blah." I'm pretty sure God shakes his head at me in much the same way.

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    1. i feel the same way with my own kids! you know you're going to get disciplined for that, why do you run to the pain? but i'm the same way. we're blind, that's why. and by the way, God isn't shaking his head at you. he's opening his arms for you to come running back to him over and over again. what if it's not about ridding ourselves of sin(this is impossible) but running to need him more? isn't that where it's at? xoxo, jami

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  3. Hi Jami - just had to comment and thank you SO much for sharing this post. I love how real you keep it. I just started following your blog 2 days ago because a FB friend posted the blog you wrote on your friends page about doing it all for God. Loved that post and basically, I just know God led me here for encouragement and inspiration from a kindred soul. You're a blessing!

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    1. nice to meet you! and thanks for your sweet words. seriously. :)

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  4. it's all about jesus and the cross! these days i've been ending the day thanking God that his mercies are new every morning, that we get a fresh start, and that we are thankfully showered in grace in every moment that we need it. thankful right now for you and the truth!

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  5. we can't do any of it on our own.
    i like that you always bring it back to Jesus and his work..not ours.

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