December 3, 2015
If you find the Holiday Season magical, but somewhat taxing and overwhelmingly demanding, you are hardly alone.
I have come to the realization, giving impulsive and expensive gifts of worldly values are only feeding the appetites of those who love the world.
During last night’s group session, I listened to a gentleman who was dispirited about his niece. He was not a man with an abundance of disposable income, however in an effort to form a loving relationship with her, he bought her a pair of new stylish boots. A few days later she was highly disrespectful towards him, as if his giving gesture in purchasing the boots was long forgotten.
We (I think, most of us) know you cannot buy someone else’s love. You can buy those gifts, but not their love. When the recipient loves the gift more than the giver, we have a problem…don’t you think? But we do it anyway.
I have three adult children, two sons and one daughter. My son’s live close by and were able to come for dinner last night. After I shared the story about that man, I suggested we do something fresh this year for Christmas.
“Let’s not put ourselves in debt by giving stupid and meaning less stuff to one another, let’s give gifts of the spirit!” Let’s offer the qualities of the fruit of the spirit, “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”
Often I look for ways to encourage new ideas with hopes of stimulating creative juices and stirring hearts. My youngest pleaded with me…”Mom, please don’t make this homework.” LOL
I suggested they sleep on the idea, which brings me to real understanding. The gifts of the spirit can only be given by God. Only God can prepare a heart to receive the Word.
A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and birds of the air devoured it. Some fell on rocks; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked. But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold. (Luke 8:5-8)
Jesus taught in parables, which are word pictures with spiritual lessons. These parables have been given to us, to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. In order to penetrate one’s heart, one has the free will to do some digging in order to understand.
For example- The soil represents the heart. Some hearts are softer than others. Those whose hearts have been turned, twirled and plowed are being prepared to receive the seed.
The seed which is spread upon the heart is the same seed for everyone. There is no mega powered, high octane seed for certain people, or an exclusive group. The seed is the same for all of us. The seed is God’s Word.
So how can I get the seed? David prayed, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Ps. 51:10)
How will I know if it is working? “those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience. (Luke 8:15)
Bearing the fruit? The results of what kind of fruit you (the hearer) bear will vary according to the condition of your heart and understanding. When you open your ears and are willing to hear, you will hear the word, you will say ah ha, I think I get it!
I cannot give someone the fruits of the spirit, only God can. But I have a strong desire to walk in the spirit and as a leader of my family; I have the privilege of being accountable to them. If you are a parent, you are a leader and if you are not a parent, don’t think you get a pass, you are a leader of something, yourself counts also!
Your outward visible behaviors are a representation of your spirit. But what about the inward qualities? Can you be humble with honest discernment to take inventory of your inward qualities, also? Are the fruits visible in you?
I sure would like to think God is continuing to work in and through me, as I disperse my own seed to my family, so that they will do the same with their family some day, and so on, and so on and so on…I think that is a gift worth spreading…
“It is time for a new generation of leadership, to cope with new problems and new opportunities” (John F. Kennedy).
I hear the coffee calling me, cheers!