Kindness – Fruit of the Spirit

Kindness – Fruit of the Spirit

There are three main Greek words for kindness (chrestotes, chrestos, and philadelphia):

  1. NT:5544 chrestotes (khray-stot’-ace); from NT:5543

It is defined as usefulness, i.e. moral excellence (in character or demeanor). Translated in the KJV as gentleness, good (-ness), kindness.

  1. NT:5543; chrestos is derived from NT:5530 chraomai (khrah’-om-ahee).

Chrestos is defined as: employed, i.e. (by implication) useful (in manner or morals): KJV – better, easy, good (-ness), gracious, kind.

Kindness is such an excellent quality to possess, because it means you are qualified and worthy of being employed for moral excellence and manners. This quality is very useful for life. It will open doors and take you a lot of places.

  1. NT:5360 philadelphia (fil-ad-el-fee’-ah); from NT:5361; fraternal affection: KJV – brotherly love (kindness), love of the brethren.

Galatians 5:22-23 lists the fruit of the Spirit—the resulting character of someone who is allowing the Holy Spirit to develop maturity in his or her life. The fifth characteristic, kindness, is called “gentleness” in the KJV.

Kindness is goodness in action, sweetness of disposition, gentleness in dealing with others, benevolence, affability. The word describes the ability to act for the welfare of those taxing your patience. The Holy Spirit removes abrasive qualities from the character of one under His control.

Greek Scholar Rick Renner has noted that when the word chrestotes is applied to interpersonal relationships, it conveys the idea of being adaptable to others. Rather than harshly require everyone else to adapt to his own needs and desires, when chrestotes is working in a believer, he seeks to become adaptable to the needs of those who are around him. (Sparkling Gems from the Greek, Rick Renner)

Kindness is associated with love, goodness, mercy, graciousness, gentleness, usefulness, thoughtfulness and being sensitive to the needs and feelings of others around you.

The opposite of kindness is cruelty, meanness, rudeness, sharpness, abuse, harshness, brutality, malice, spitefulness, vindictiveness, mercilessness, viciousness, ruthlessness and callousness. All of these negative traits are works of the flesh, and are wicked in God’s sight.

Kindness is a spiritual law (Proverbs 31:26).

The law of kindness is on the tongue of the virtuous person. Kindness involves not only your actions, but the words that come out of your mouth, and the tone of voice used. Kindness is very careful in what you say and how you say it, so as to not purposely offend or hurt someone else, or stir up wrath.

Kindness is associated with wisdom, because it takes wisdom to know the right words to speak in season to those who are weary and need encouragement.

One of the traits the virtuous woman is known for is her wisdom, as well as the law of kindness coming from her lips.

Love is kind (1 Corinthians 13:4). Love is the highest law. One of the marks of walking in the love of God is by the kindness you show to others.

To walk in love is to also dwell in light and have life. The opposite is true if you do not walk in love. The result will be dwelling in darkness and death of some type. When there is a lack of kindness demonstrated in a relationship, it brings death to the relationship.

To be kind to others is to be helpful.

Kindness is involved with benevolence and charity for humanity. Kind-hearted people are very generous with their finances and resources to help mankind.

Kindness is linked to compassion and sympathy.

Kindness is thoughtfulness.

Kindness is showing consideration and courtesy. Kindness is showing regard for others.

Kindness is necessary for showing diplomacy.

Kindness is demonstrating good manners and being polite.

Kindness is showing patience.

Kindness knows how to manage anger and direct it in the right way, so as to not say damaging things to others in a fit of rage.

Kind people know how to build others up. They live by the three E’s: Edify others, Esteem others, and Encourage others.

Kind people are also sweet people.

Kind people show respect to others, as well as reverence the Lord.

Kind individuals demonstrate a spirit of humility.

Kind people are more soft-hearted.

To show kindness to someone else is to show favor. It is especially noble of a kind person to show favor to an inferior, by stooping down to help raise him or her up.

The Lord is known, in Nehemiah 9:17, as a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and who forsakes not.

Psalms 117:2a says, “For His merciful kindness is great toward us.”

Isaiah 54:8 says that God’s kindness and mercy is everlasting.

Isaiah 54:10 says, “For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but My kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has mercy on you.

Colossians 3:12-15 states: “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.”

Titus 3:4-7 says, “But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

Ephesians 4:29-32 says, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

2 Peter 1:5-10 lists the nine Graces of the Holy Spirit:

  1. Diligence
  2. Faith
  3. Virtue
  4. Knowledge
  5. Self-control
  6. Perseverance
  7. Godliness
  8. Brotherly kindness
  9. Love

2 Peter 1:8-10 “For if these things (9 Graces of the Holy Spirit) are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble.” NKJV

You can be kind to someone without having to agree on everything.

Proverbs 16:24 says, “Pleasant (kind) words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.” NKJV

Proverbs 15:1 says, “A soft (kind) answer turns away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.”

To display kindness to others is to show them honor.

Kindness means to follow the Golden Rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you (Matthew 7:12).

Kindness means to treat others the way God has treated you. He has shown you mercy and kindness your whole life.

If you want to have good relationships, then cultivate kindness in your life.

Joy is linked with the fruit of kindness. When kindness is demonstrated in relationships, it brings joy to the relationship. Also, when you’ve done a kind deed, the joy of the Lord fills your soul.

Proverbs 20:28 describes qualities God wants in a leader: “Mercy and truth preserve the king, and by lovingkindness he upholds his throne.”

Kindness is based on the mind-set described in Philippians 2:3-4: “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”

Kindness is humbly giving of ourselves in love and mercy to others who may not be able to give anything back, who sometimes don’t deserve it, and who frequently don’t thank us for it.

Kindness means a way of thinking that leads to doing thoughtful deeds for others.

Kindness when speaking to others means to be soft-spoken rather than harsh.

Proverbs 19:22a states: “What is desired in a man is kindness.” Why? Why would God consider this trait so important? It is because God knows that if we follow His ways of being and doing things, then happiness, joy and true fulfillment will come to our lives. God wants us to become like Him.

Kindness is not selfish, but is sacrificial in helping others.

Some examples of kindness include: giving people compliments (not flattery) and meaning it with your heart; open doors for someone; smile; say hello; help carry something for someone; mowing someone’s lawn who is ill or elderly; sit and talk with people who do not want to be alone; cook someone dinner; giving to a person in need; changing someone’s flat tire.

An act of kindness lifts people’s burdens.

Dr. Barry Corey says this of kindness: “It’s the natural outcome of the Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives. We exhale kindness after we inhale what’s been breathed into us by the Spirit.”

Worldly niceness glosses over sin, but the kindness of God leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4).

People have seasons in their lives when they are facing battles and they need individuals in their life who will be kind, good and gentle to them.

Plant seeds of kindness and you will reap a spiritual harvest of blessings.

Kindness is contagious. Be a carrier, and spread kindness everywhere you go.

No matter how small or big the act of kindness may be, it makes a HUGE difference in the person or people who received your act of kindness, in the environment you live, your workplace, and every place you are involved.

Don’t take for granted the everyday blessings from God. For example, your health, your children, your pets, your job, your home, a sunny clear day, beautiful flowers, good cuisine, money in the bank, your salvation (which is the most important thing) and other kindnesses from God.

Kindness is associated with the wisdom that is from above, which is pure, peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits (James 3:17).

Joseph is a great example of kindness, goodness, and reconciliation. It was in his power to take revenge on his brothers, but goodness and kindness won out.

Kind words proceed from a pure and good heart. Jesus received the tongue of the learned from His Father so He could refresh the weary with His Word (Isaiah 50:4). Such tongues are in great demand for helping and comforting. Kind words are precious.

King David said that God’s gentleness (kindness) has made him great (Psalms 18:35).

Kindness is the characteristic that led God to provide salvation for all of mankind—that’s us (Titus 3:4-5; Romans 2:4, 11:22).

Kindness leads God to give us green pastures, quiet waters, and the restoration of our souls when we’re weary (Psalm 23:2-3).

It is God’s tender care that makes Him want to gather us under His wings, to protect us and keep us close to Him (Psalm 17:8, 36:7, 61:4; Matthew 23:37).

God expressed kindness when He provided for Elijah and the widow of Zarephath during a drought—and He showed more kindness later when He raised the widow’s only son from the dead (1 Kings 17:8-24).

When Sarah exiled Hagar and Ishmael, God gave the outcasts kindness in the form of water and hope (Genesis 21:9-21).

On multiple occasions, kindness induced Jesus to stop what He was doing and help others in need (Mark 6:34, 7:29, 10:46-52).

Kindness leads the Good Shepherd to rescue us when we stray (Luke 15:3-7). In kindness He “gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those that have young” (Isaiah 40:11).

When we exhibit the kindness of God, we are tender, benevolent, and useful to others.

Every kind action, and every kind word will have the flavor of grace in it.

Kindness has the power to soften hearts.

It’s especially important for kindness to be accompanied by goodness. That’s because kindness without goodness can become tolerant of sin — just as goodness without kindness can be harsh and legalistic. We show the fruit of the Spirit only as we develop these qualities together.

Boaz is an example of a person who showed tremendous kindness to both Ruth and Naomi. He married Ruth and redeemed her out of poverty and childlessness, and he provided for Naomi for the rest of her life.

The Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37 was a very kind person who displayed compassion. He also used his own resources to help the person.

The quality of kindness will go hand in hand with the quality of love. Once the Holy Spirit starts to transmit His love into you, the quality of kindness will follow right along with it. It will then become much easier for you to be able to be kind to others once the love of God starts to flow more into your personality.

You cannot help but be more kind to others if God’s love is flowing through you. This is why the quality of love has to be the main quality that you really concentrate on getting more of from the Holy Spirit. Once the love of God starts to flow and operate through you to touch others, many of the other fruits of the Holy Spirit will then start to follow right after it in domino fashion.

In 2 Samuel 9:7, David said to Mephibosheth, “Do not fear, for I will surely show you kindness for Jonathan your father’s sake, and will restore to you all the land of Saul your grandfather; and you shall eat bread at my table continually.” David and Jonathan were best friends, and Jonathan was killed in battle along with King Saul. When David became king, he sought out to show kindness to Jonathan’s offspring.

This world is full of harshness. This world is full of unkindness. When people experience a kind gesture, they are refreshed by it, and they are recharged by it. Philemon 7 says, “For I have derived great joy and comfort and encouragement from your love, because the hearts of the saints [who are your fellow Christians] have been cheered and refreshed through you, [my] brother” (AMP). Philemon showered the brethren with kindness and, by so doing, he had a refreshing and a restoring effect.

Kindness is compassion in action.

Kindness is a sincere desire for the happiness of others; goodness is the activity calculated to advance that happiness. Kindness is the inner disposition, created by the Holy Spirit, that causes us to be sensitive to the needs of others, whether physical, emotional or spiritual. Goodness is kindness in action—words and deeds.

Kindness is gentle and mild, and not harsh.

God’s kindness draws us toward Him. His love, care, and grace makes us want to be around Him more. And when we’re around Him more, we will understand our need for Him.

As we allow the Holy Spirit to grow more of His kindness and goodness in our lives, we will draw others to want to know this kind and gracious God.

We imitate God’s kindness by loving our enemies. Jesus said, “Love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for He is kind to the ungrateful and the evil” (Luke 6:35). Our kindness reflects the heart of our Father. “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Aesop

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. Plato

Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are endless. Mother Teresa

Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see. Mark Twain

You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness could cause misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate. Albert Schweitzer

You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. Father of Kirk H. Neely

Kind people have no guile in their heart, or ulterior motives. They have a pure heart, and the Bible promises that the pure in heart shall see God (Matthew 5:8).

Are your words kind (gentle), or do they have a sharpness?

In kindness, there is no slander.

Kindness is a matter of building up, not tearing down others.

Kindness has a ripple effect. When one person is kind, kindness tends to pass forward to others.

Being kind to others is one way we express our devotion to Christ. In Matthew 25, in the parable of the Last Judgment, Jesus said that we are to give to those who are hungry, to those who are thirsty, to those who are strangers, to those who are naked, to those who are sick, to those who are in prison. Then he adds, “As much as you did it unto the least of these, My brethren, you did it unto Me” (Matthew 25:40).

Perhaps the greatest expression of our kindness is being willing to forgive others.

When we are kind to our enemies, it is like heaping burning coals on their head (Romans 12:20).

Kindness has pure intentions.

Kindness is given freely.

Kindness leaves a lasting legacy.

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Joy – Fruit of the Spirit

Joy of the Lord!

Joy is the English word for Strong’s #5479, chara. Chara is defined as “calm delight; cheerfulness”. It is translated as “exceedingly joyful, joyous, gladness”. It is derived from #5463 chairo, meaning “calmly happy or well off; cheerful”. It is translated in the New Testament as “joy”, “gladness”, and “rejoice greatly”.

There are more than 28 other Greek and Hebrew words for joy. Definitions include: exultation; elation; jump for joy; leap for joy; skip for joy; to sympathetically move (as of a quickening of a fetus); to evangelize (announce the good news of the Gospel); be in a good frame of mind; to boast in the Lord; to glory in the Lord; grace; favor; pleasure; to give thanks; blithesomeness; glee; mirth; to be bright; delight; shout of joy; singing; triumph; jubilee; blowing of trumpets; acclamation of joy; sound an alarm; battle-cry; to split the ears with sound; make a joyful noise; to spin around; dancing; to break out in joyful sound; goodness; beauty; welfare; to laugh; to play; to be or make well; happy; be content; successful; to make sweet.

The Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines joy as the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune, or by the prospect of possessing what one desires; a state of happiness or bliss.

Joy is produced by the Holy Spirit (Acts 2; Romans 14:17, 15:13; Galations 5:22-23; 1 Thessalonians 1:6)

Joy is second on the list of the Spirit-filled life. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, JOY, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23

Joy is associated with hope and faith (Romans 15:13; Galations 5:22-23). The Holy Spirit is seen as the One giving the joy, hope and faith.

Joy is also associated with peace and righteousness in the Holy Ghost (Romans 14:17, 15:13).

Joy – Rejoice that your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, and Heaven is your eternal home! Luke 10:20

Joy – Jesus despised the shame of the cross, because He focused His mind on the joy of the future that was set before Him. Hebrews 12:2

Joy – The Apostle John had no greater joy than to know that his spiritual children walked in truth (3 John 4).

Joy – In order to remain joyful, keep company with other joyful and positive people.

Joy – One way to build your praise to God is to associate with others who are praisers.

Joy – Don’t spend a lot of time with gloomy people, except to offer encouragement, prayer and to cheer them up.

Joy – Be careful of someone who is in a pit of gloom and despair, lest he or she pull you in the pit with them. Sometimes you have to turn people over to God and let Him heal them.

Joy – Unforgiveness and bitterness will hinder the force of joy from operating in your life (Mark 11:23-26; Ephesians 4:31; Hebrews 12:15).

Joy – The Lord gives us the oil of joy or gladness for mourning (Isaiah 61).

Joy – God turns our mourning into dancing (Psalms 30:11).

Joy – The oil of joy and gladness breaks yokes and burdens off of people, because of the anointing (Isaiah 10:27).

Joy and rejoicing are daily choices. The Apostle Paul said, “Rejoice in the Lord always; I will say it again, Rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4).

Joy is cheerfully expectant.

Joy contains expectation of a prosperous and successful future.

Joy can get you through any hardships, trials, grief or sorrow (1 Peter 4:12-14).

Joy – Most prosperous and successful people are joyful people, because they are positive minded and are thankful individuals.

The joy of the Lord is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10). The Lord says to prepare a feast and celebrate, and sorrow no more. The word for “strength” in this verse means a defense, a rock, fortitude. It also means “staying power”.

Joy strengthens a person spiritually, emotionally, mentally, relationally, financially and physically.

Joy – Science has proven that laughter is therapy to the soul and entire body, including the bones (Proverbs 15:30, 16:24, 17:22).

Joy – Proverbs 17:22 says, “A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.

Joy – The Holy Spirit is likened to new wine, and wine is also associated with joy and laughter. The Bible says that wine makes merry (Ecclesiastes 10:19).

Joy – The Bible teaches us to drink wine in moderation to avoid drunkenness. Ephesians 5:18 encourages us to be filled with the Holy Spirit. It says, “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.” In Acts 2, the Jews at Jerusalem thought that those who were filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in other tongues were drunk, but the Galileans were sober and praising God in languages they had never learned, and speaking eloquently as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Joy – When you are filled with the Holy Spirit, you will speak to yourself in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 5:19-20).

Joyful people make a habit of singing quite often. Singing expresses joy and brings joy. Some people need to get their song back.

Joyful people are thankful individuals. They express their gratitude to the Lord and others. They may keep a gratitude journal, and write down a few things each day that they are grateful for.

Joy – When a person expresses gratitude, then breakthroughs come to their life and dreams come to pass, and then the person has even more joy than they had before. Gratefulness expresses joy, but also generates more joy.

Joy – Father God enjoys answering our prayers when we ask in Jesus’ Name, because it brings us fullness of joy! John 16:24 says, “Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”

Joyful people make the commandments of God their delight, and they prosper. Psalms 1:1-3 says, “But his delight is in the law of the Lord and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”

Joyful people never run dry, and they are strong and stable. They are connected to Jesus (the Source), and they are like that tree planted by the rivers of water that brings forth its fruit in season, and his leaf shall not wither and whatever he does will prosper (Psalms 1).

Joyful people have a spring in their step and tend to be more agile.

Joy – May your morning confession be: “This is the day that the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it!” (Psalms 118:24).

Joy – God promises that those who delight themselves in the Lord, they shall receive the desires of their heart (Psalms 37:4).

Joyful people delight in doing God’s will (Psalms 40:8).

There are enemies to joy: anxiety, worry, depression, hopelessness, gloom, fear, rage, anger, resentment, negativity, insecurity, faithlessness, impatience, bitterness, unforgiveness, offense, hatred, ingratitude, abuse, a victim mentality, lack of peace, exhaustion, loneliness, confusion, pride, judgmental attitude, strife, arguing, discord, family breakdown, complaining, murmuring, doubt, sadness, grief, mourning, sin, disobedience to God’s commands, dwelling on past mistakes, spiritual darkness, frowns, downcast appearance.

There are friends that dwell with joy: love, peace, rest, strength, endurance, forbearance, patience, meekness, calm delight, pleasure, positive expectation, hope, faith, grace, gentleness, humility, high praise, worship, gratitude, gladness, cheerfulness, rejoicing, laughter, dancing, singing, playing musical instruments, positive thoughts and attitude, Presence of God, Glory of God, Anointing of God, the fruit of the Spirit, smiles, countenance is radiant, dwelling in the light of God.

Joy – Happiness is based on circumstances and mood swings, whereas joy is fixed in the heart. We can feel joy on both good and bad days and in any situation.

Joy wins battles. When Judah’s army, at the leading of King Jehoshaphat, began to sing songs in the beauty of holiness, and go out before the army praising the Lord, God set up ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir and they became confused and turned on each other and self-slaughtered (2 Chronicles 20:21–24).

Joy is associated with rest. When you have entered God’s Sabbath Rest, there is joy and gladness. Rest is also linked with faith and hope. As you rest, God is working, bringing the answer to pass in your life.

Joy is associated with believing (believing in God’s goodness, believing the Lord to answer your prayers, believing for the best outcome, believing in a bright future) – Romans 15:13.

Joy – Though you may not have seen Jesus in person yet, you believe and rejoice in Him, with joy unspeakable and full of glory (1 Peter 1:8).

Joy – The sacrifice of joy, praise and worship, is likened to the fragrant offering from the Altar of Incense in the Holy Place. Joy and praise are likened to a sweet-smelling aroma ascending to the very Throne Room of God, for which He is well pleased (Revelation 5:8-9 AMP).

Joy – There is joy during sufferings, trials and persecutions. Joy is what sustains you and gets you through it (Matthew 5:12; Colossians 1:24; 1 Peter 4:13).

Joy – Romans 5:3-5 says, “And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

Joy undergirds your faith and hope. Joy also gives you the grace and endurance to go through trials with composure, knowing that hard times don’t last forever.

Joy can rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory because it knows that difficult times have an expiration date. Joy gives you hope for a better future.

Joy – Glorify God with all your wealth, honoring Him with your very best, with every increase that comes to you. Then every dimension of your life will overflow with blessings from an uncontainable source of inner joy! Proverbs 3:9-10

Joy – When you rejoice and laugh by faith, you tap into true joy, and resist yielding to depression and fear. Keith Moore, www.moorelife.org

Joy – Happiness is always an inside job. Author Unknown

Joy asks, “Who can I be a blessing to today?”

Joy – Smile, for you never know how it may brighten someone’s day.

Joy – Be so happy that when others look at you they become happy too.

Joy – Psalms 27 talks about the sacrifices of joy—rejoicing in God’s goodness, mercy, grace and presence with singing, shouting, dancing, lifting up holy hands and playing musical instruments. David knew how to rejoice before the Lord with the sacrifices of joy.

Joy – Paul mentions joy and rejoicing 16 times in the book of Philippians. Joy must be crucially important for Paul to mention it so many times in one small epistle alone.

Joy is so powerful that demons have a meltdown, tremble and flee.

Joy – Your joy is a demonstration of the triumph of Christ.

Joy – Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful.

Joy is associated with trusting in the Lord and rejoicing in His goodness.

Joy is linked with the fruit of kindness. When kindness is demonstrated in relationships, it brings joy to the relationship.

Joy is the best makeup. Author Unknown

Joy is contagious. Be a carrier and spread joy to everyone around you.

Joy – When Jesus Christ came into this world, He was heralded in with angelic choirs singing songs of joy, and joy was announced to the whole world.

Joy – Rejoice because you are a son or daughter of God!

Joy is found in the beauty and peace of nature, such as beautiful forests and flower gardens.

Joy – Psalms 126 says:

1 When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream.

2 Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The Lord hath done great things for them.

3 The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.

4 Turn again our captivity, O Lord, as the streams in the south.

5 They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.

6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

Joy – Comparison is the thief of joy.

Joy – God’s goodness, and any mention of His goodness, brings joy.

Joy – Proverbs 15:15 says, “All the days of the desponding and afflicted are made evil [by anxious thoughts and forebodings], but he who has a glad heart has a continual feast [regardless of circumstances].” AMP

Joy is found in a grateful heart.

Joy – Zephaniah 3:17 says, “The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; He will save, He will rejoice over thee with joy; He will rest in his love, He will joy over thee with singing.”

Joy – The body heals with play, the mind heals with laughter, and the spirit heals with joy. Author Unknown

Joy – The Bible instructs us in the attitude that we are to serve God. It says to serve the Lord with gladness (Psalms 100:2).

Joy – Gladness is defined in the Hebrew as: glee, blithe, making merry, rejoice, joyful, to brighten up, cheerfulness, goodness, welfare, beauty, to go well with.

Joy is linked with waiting on the Lord. While we are waiting, God is working in the situation and we can have joy knowing that.

Joy – Waiting on God also speaks of spending time soaking in God’s Presence, and in His Presence is fullness of joy and at His right hand are pleasures forevermore (Psalms 16:11).

Joy is connected to the thoughts you think. If you think joyful, happy, positive thoughts, then you will be filled with joy and gladness. As a man thinks in His heart, so is he (or so does he become). Proverbs 23:7

Joy – He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed (Proverbs 11:25).

Joy – The joyful person finds delight in God’s Word (Psalms 1:2), and delights to do God’s will (Psalms 40:8).

Joy – “A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything.” Irish Proverb

Joy – Laughter is an instant vacation. Milton Berle

Joy is the serious business of Heaven. C.S. Lewis

Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all of the details of your life; the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be okay; and the determined choice to praise God in all things. Kay Warren

Joy – When we receive miracles and answers to prayer, and dreams come to pass, it sparks joy.

Joy – Weeping may endure for a night (a season), but joy comes in the morning. Psalms 30:5

Joy – May you become filled with so much joy and happiness that it heals every part of you.

Joy and grieving are meant to be shared with others. Rejoice with them who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Romans 12:15

Joy – After Elisabeth (who was past childbearing age) gave birth to John the Baptist, her family and neighbors heard that the Lord had shown her great favor, and done wonderful things for her, and they rejoiced with her. Luke 1:58

Joy – A mother presses through the pains of labor, and rejoices when the baby is born and she is holding her infant in her arms.

Joy – There is no greater joy on earth than to be a grandparent.

Joy – The fear (holy reverence) of the Lord is a fountain of life. Proverbs 14:27

Joy – Happy people don’t go through life collecting recognition. They go through life giving it away. Dodinsky

Joy – Once you have feasted on the goodness of God, nothing else will satisfy. D.A. Ovieda

Joy – May we always have an attitude of gratitude, because thankfulness produces joy.

Joy and hope are interconnected. You can bubble over with hope. Romans 15:13 says, “May the God of your hope so fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound and be overflowing (bubbling over) with hope.” AMP

Joy – Your future is as bright as the promises of God.

Joy – The reward ceremony in Heaven will be unlike anything we can imagine. www.DavidJeremiah.org

Joy – “Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:10

Joy – Psalms 32:11 says, “Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous; and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!”

Joy – Psalms 46:4 says, “There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High.”

Joy – Isaiah 12:3 says, “Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.” NKJV

Joy – John 10:10b says, “I (Jesus) came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).” AMP

Joy – Jeremiah 31:12-14 states:

12 Therefore, they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the Lord, for wheat (Word of God), and for wine (Joy), and for oil (Anointing), and for the young of the flock and of the herd (Prosperity): and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all.

13 Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, both young men and old together: for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow.

14 And I will satiate the soul of the priests with fatness, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, saith the Lord.

Joy – God restored to Joseph many times over for all the turmoil and pain he had gone through being a slave in Egypt. God turned Joseph’s affliction into joy—so much to the point that when his first son was born he called him “Manassah”, meaning “He has made me to forget my toil”. He named his second son “Ephraim”, meaning “God has made me double fruitful”.

Joy – Psalms 34:8 says, “O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusts in Him.”

The Lord spoke and said, “If you only know what happens in the Spirit when you rejoice, you would rejoice every day.” www.markhankins.org

Joy’s Multifaceted Connection: Joy is connected to: God’s Presence (Psalms 16:11); God’s strength (Nehemiah 8:10); God’s salvation (Isaiah 12:3); the Anointing — the oil of joy (Hebrews 1:9), God’s medicine (Proverbs 17:22); God’s Word (Jeremiah 15:16, Psalms 119:162); and Prosperity (2 Corinthians 9:6-10, Psalms 105:37-45). www.markhankins.org

When we rejoice, we are acting like sons and daughters of God! Rejoicing is an act of faith. www.markhankins.org

Remember the words of Paul in Acts 27:25: “Cheer up…I believe God that it shall be as He told me.” When we believe God, we can cheer up! Believing and rejoicing ushers in the glory and goodness of God in our lives. www.markhankins.org

Look at all of the blessings of God that are connected to joy. It seems that if Satan can steal our joy, then he can damage a lot of other things in our lives. www.markhankins.org

Jesus sits in the heavens and laughs triumphantly (Psalms 2:4). www.markhankins.org

One of the characteristics of the Kingdom is joy in the Holy Ghost. www.markhankins.org

Joy gives you patience and staying power! It helps you to stay in a position of faith while God is working a miracle in your life, while He’s working all things together for your good (Romans 8:28)! If you rejoice while you wait for the answers to your prayers, it won’t be long until you see the answer manifest. www.markhankins.org

Joy is the proper protocol for entering into God’s Presence (Psalms 100). www.markhankins.org

If you want the Kingdom of God to break loose in your life, then joy is the supernatural battle strategy. Get full of joy and the dominion of God will breakout. The faster you get happy, the faster the devil is out! www.markhankins.org

Faith has a beginning and faith has an end. Joy unspeakable and full of glory is the bridge between believing and receiving (1 Peter 1:8-9). www.markhankins.org

Rejoice that what God has promised, He is also able to perform. When you begin rejoicing, laughing, and shouting by faith, something happens in the Spirit realm and the glory finds a place to land! www.markhankins.org

When you go through a trial, the joy of the Lord neutralizes the pressure. www.markhankins.org

Laughter releases resurrection power that melts down disease. Laugh at disease, laugh at torment, laugh at lack. First John 3:8 (AMP) says, “…the reason the Son of God was made manifest (visible) was to undo (destroy, loosen, and dissolve) the works the devil [has done].” The Son of God was manifested to destroy the works of the devil, and the language of laughter will loosen and cause a meltdown of all the power of hell! Ha, ha, ha! www.markhankins.org

Your joy is Jesus’ joy. www.markhankins.org

Joy is something that rests deep within your soul. It is something that does indeed bring you happiness, but which also brings you peace and hope in times of pain or sadness. Joy is indescribable, just like its Maker. Kira, www.joypursued.com

Rejoicing describes the outward expression of our internal joy. Kira, www.joypursued.com

Joy comes from being in God’s Presence—He is the source of joy! Kira, www.joypursued.com

Joy is an expression—a shout, a song, a praise to God (He is the object of joy!) Kira, www.joypursued.com

Joy Heals—We can find joy during suffering and our suffering can turn to joy. Kira, www.joypursued.com

Joy can be found by following God’s will—serving him with our work, following his commands, and becoming like-minded with Christ. Kira, www.joypursued.com

Joy is something we can ask for—God gives it freely. Kira, www.joypursued.com

God finds joy in His people (that’s us!). Kira, www.joypursued.com

Faith and obedience to God brings us joy. This includes keeping God’s commands (John 15:10-11); trusting in God (Romans 15:13); seeking after the things of God (Romans 14:17, Psalms 97:11). Kira, www.joypursued.com

How much joy we experience directly relates to the closeness and steadfastness of our relationship with God. Kira, www.joypursued.com

Relying on God to meet our needs allows our joy to be complete. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” John 16:24. Kira, www.joypursued.com

Sin hinders us from experiencing joy. Sin separates us from God, our source of joy. An example is King David after committing adultery (Psalms 51:7-12). Kira, www.joypursued.com

Joy transcends circumstances. The Bible assures us we can experience joy in all circumstances. Habakkuk demonstrates this principle as he prophesied the coming destruction of Israel (Habakkuk 3:17-18). Kira, www.joypursued.com

Having joy blesses us. As we seek God’s will and rejoice in his goodness, God blesses us. Jesus himself tells us, But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33) Kira, www.joypursued.com

Keep in mind many of our blessings are awaiting us in heaven. “You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand” Psalm 16:11. Kira, www.joypursued.com

Exploring what the Bible says about joy brings us to one conclusion; joy is the result of a life lived for God. Kira, www.joypursued.com

J O Y = Jesus, Others, Yourself

Joy is a daily choice. Choose joy and gladness today.

Love – Fruit of the Spirit

Love – Fruit of the Spirit

Loving God and loving others is the #1 Kingdom principle.

One of the first things Jesus will ask you when you get to Heaven is if you learned to love.

Our love walk is vitally necessary when it comes to receiving healing and deliverance, or whatever it is that we are asking the Lord for.

The failure to walk in love can prevent a person from receiving their healing and can block the flow of God’s blessings.

Whatever we receive from the Lord, we receive by faith.

Faith works by love (Galations 5:6).

Without love, our faith will not work properly.

If we are not receiving answers to our prayers, perhaps we need to check up on our love walk.

Unforgiveness and hatred are deadly to our love walk, and these are blessing blockers.

To hate our brother is the same as walking in darkness, according to 1 John 2:11.

We cannot say that we love God and are walking in the light, yet hate our brother at the same time (1 John 1:5-8, 2:9).

Hatred is as the sin of murder, and no murderers will inherit eternal life (1 John 3:15, Revelation 21:8).

If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

If you do not have love in your heart for someone, the Holy Spirit can place that love there.

Romans 5:5 tells us that the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

In the Old Testament, there was probably nothing of greater importance than the burnt offerings and sacrifices. Yet love is superior to all of the sacrifices.

David said in Psalms 51:16-17 that God does not delight in sacrifices and burnt offerings, but in a broken and contrite heart.

The heart and attitudes of man is what God is after.

Mark 12:33 (NKJV) says, “And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

The law of Moses contains numerous laws. However, if we just walk in one law – the law of love – we will have fulfilled the law.

Romans 13:8-10 (NKJV) says, “Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.”

Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfillment of the law.

If you walk in love, you will not break any of the ten commandments.

Jesus commands us to love one another. John 13:34-35 says, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

In John 14:21 Jesus said that if we love Him, we will keep His commandments.

In John 15:13 Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”

Greek word for “love” = Agape (noun). Sacrificial, unselfish love; benevolence; good will. God’s love for mankind. Our love for God and others. Agape love involves feelings of affection, but is based on a decision of the will. Agape love always gives, and puts the interests of others before its own.

Agape is a term used for the Love Feasts in the early church. The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary states: “At this meal the Christians, in connection with their common Redeemer Jesus Christ, ignored all distinctions of rank, wealth and culture, and met as members of one family.”

Greek word for “love” = Agapao (verb). To regard the best welfare of another. To have preference for one another. To prize and treasure. Love for the brethren. God’s love for mankind as demonstrated by giving His one and only Son. Our love for God demonstrated in affectionate reverence, prompt obedience, and grateful recognition of benefits received.

Greek word for “love”: Phileo – friendship; to be kindly disposed to one; tender affection; personal attachment; sentimental feelings; to love from the heart.

Greek word for “love”: Philos – a dear one; to be fond of; a friend; an associate; a neighbor.

Greek word for “love”: Philadelphia – brotherly love; the love which Christians cherish for each other as brethren.

Greek word for “love”: Philandros – affectionate as a wife; a wife showing affection to her husband. Titus 2:4a.

Greek word for “love”: Philoteknos – loving one’s offspring or children. Titus 2:4b.

Greek word for “love”: Philanthropia – love of mankind; benevolence; philanthropy. Acts 28:2; Titus 3:4.

Greek word for “love”: Philanthropos – love of mankind; philanthropy; humane; kindness. Acts 27:3.

Agape (noun) and agapao (verb) is the highest form of love, and is imparted to us by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5).

Without agape love in operation, it is not possible to act in genuine phileo or philos love (love for the brethren, family and friends).

In 1 Corinthians 13, the Apostle Paul gives us a clearer understanding of what it means to walk in agapao love.

Love is Patient (Greek: makrothumeo) – to be long spirited, forbearing, patient; to be patient in bearing the offenses and injuries of others; to be mild and slow in avenging; to be long suffering; slow to anger, slow to punish.

Love is Kind (chresteuomai) – to show oneself helpful; to act benevolently; to show oneself mild.

Love is Not Envious (zeloo) – to have warmth of feeling against; to be heated or boiling; jealousy.

Love is Not boastful (perpereuomai) – braggart; to vaunt oneself.

Love is Not Proud or Arrogant (phusioo) – to be haughty; to inflate; blow up; blow out; to cause to swell up.

Love is Not Rude (aschemoneo) – to be (or act) unbecoming; behave unseemly.

Love is Not Self-Seeking (zeteo) – seek; require; demand (one’s own way); selfishness; self-centeredness.

Love is Not Easily Angered (paroxuno) – to exasperate; to irritate; provoke; rouse to anger; to be sharp.

Love Thinks No Evil (Greek: kakos) – troublesome; injurious; pernicious; destructive; baneful; keeping a record of wrongs.

Love Does Not Rejoice in Iniquity (Greek: adikia) – injustice; moral wrongfulness (of character, life or act).

Love Rejoices in Truth (Greek: aletheia) – what is true in any matter under consideration (opposed to what is feigned, fictitious, false); truth as a personal excellence; that candor or mind which is free from affectation, pretense, simulation, falsehood, deceit.

Love Bears All Things (Protects) (Greek: stego) – to roof over, (figuratively) to cover with silence; to keep secret; to hide; conceal; to protect or keep by covering; to preserve; to bear up against; hold out against, and so to endure, bear, forbear.

Love Believes All Things (Trust) (pisteuo) – to have faith (in, or with respect to, a person); to think to be true; to be persuaded of; to credit; place confidence in.

Love Hopeth All Things (Expect) (elpizo) – to expect; expect the best.

Love Endures All Things (hupomeno) – abide, remain; i.e. bear trials; have fortitude; persevere.

Love Never Fails (or Falls) (pipto) – to fall; used of descent from a higher place to a lower; used of descent from a standing to a prostrate position; to fall from a state of uprightness; i.e. to sin; to come to an end; cease.

Galations 5:13 says, “For you have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love SERVE ONE ANOTHER.”

To serve means to minister to others, attending to and waiting upon others, caring for others, serving the welfare of others.

To be a servant one must have a spirit of humility.

Servanthood is putting the best interests and needs of others before oneself.

A servant attitude is one of meekness, kindness and gentleness.

A servant leader leads by example.

To serve others is to show honor, preferring one another (Romans 12:10).

To serve others is to esteem others higher than ourselves.

Philippians 2:3-4 says, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

Jesus defines greatness as that of being a servant.

Before God exalts a person to leadership, He looks for a servant heart.

Mark 10:43-44 says, “Whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister; and whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.”

A servant leader seeks to be a good example to others. They lead by serving, and their followers learn to serve by observing their leader.

Jesus is our ultimate example of a servant leader.

Mark 10:45 (NKJV) says, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” John 6:38 states: “For I have come down from Heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.”

Jesus is our role model of how to demonstrate servanthood to others. Jesus left His place at the head table to wash His disciples’ feet (John 13:5). Jesus also displayed humility by ministering to the needs of people around him. He healed people and went about doing good.

Jesus and the Bride of Christ serve one another.

Jesus serves the Church by demonstrating His unending love, humility, mercy, goodness, kindness, graciousness and faithfulness.

Jesus leads by example. There is no selfishness in Him. He is concerned about the needs of His Bride.

Jesus laid His life down for His Bride, and He wants us to lay our lives down for one another.

Jesus is very patient. He is not harsh, sharp or easily angered.

Jesus cherishes His Bride, fostering her with tender loving care, with the implication of brooding over her like a hen would brood over her chicks, keeping them warm and safe.

Jesus nourishes and nurtures His Church.

There is a distinction between being a church-goer and being the Bride of Christ.

A person can be religious and not even be saved.

The Bride is in love with Jesus and seeks to do His will.

The Bride serves her Bridegroom (Jesus). She finds out what pleases Him the most and then does those things.

Agape love and servanthood means to show honor, respect, courtesy and consideration to one another.

Honor is defined as: high regard or great respect given, received or enjoyed; dignity; repute; esteem; to treat with deference and courtesy.

Respect is defined as: to feel or show honor or esteem for; hold in high regard; to consider or treat with deference or dutiful regard; to show consideration for; courteous regard; to avoid intruding upon (such as respecting others’ boundaries and feelings).

The term “deference” is defined as: a yielding in opinion, judgment or wishes; courteous regard or respect; honor.

In certain passages of the Bible, some translators use the word “respect” while other translations use the term “reverence”.

Reverence is similar to respect, except has deeper meaning. Reverence implies deep respect together with love.

To revere is to have high esteem or awe for; to venerate. Reverence suggests a regarding with great respect, affection, honor and deference.

Love edifies others.

Romans 14:19 says, “Therefore, let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.”

Romans 15:2 says, “Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, for his edification.”

Edify is defined as: “to build up (as in the idea of building a structure); a builder; an edifice; an architect; to construct; to confirm; to establish; to be a house builder; to rebuild; to build up from the foundation; to restore or repair.”

Thayer’s Greek Lexicon further defines “edify” as to promote growth in Christian wisdom, affection, grace, virtue, holiness and blessedness.

The opposite of edification is to tear down, to damage, to destroy, to injure, to harm, to break, to weaken, to put others down, to discourage or depress, to destabilize, to undermine, to demoralize, to cut away by unkind remarks or actions, to crush, to deflate, to diminish or reduce, to shred into pieces, to belittle, to humiliate, to criticize, to disdain, to be negative.

Remember the “3 E’s”:

Edify

Esteem

Encourage

Love never fails. If things are failing in your life, then check your love level.

Love is not just an attribute of God, God IS love. God is not faith, but He is full of faith. God is not mercy, but He is merciful. However, God IS love. That’s the essence of who He is.

There are no limitations to those who walk in God’s love.

The revelation of all possibilities is in the understanding of my love identity.

The Church has been in the state of reason and emotion for a long time. They feel good, and may run around, yet don’t have the success or victory rate you should have if you got the revelation of His love. When you’re in a real fight, you have to know how to use the Sword of the Spirit and be led by the Spirit. The Church needs to go to the reality of who you really are in Christ and what you have on the inside of you and be able to use the Sword of the Spirit accurately and skillfully.

Ephesians 3:14-21 – Love Identity. How do I access or activate this kind of love identity?

Love is the highest you can go in the realm of the Spirit. Love is higher than faith, and even higher than the blood of Jesus. Love is God and God sent the Blood. Love is higher than the Gifts of the Spirit.

Love is the most excellent way.

God is love and love is God’s whole identity. When you love God, you got all the promises of God, from Genesis to Revelation. You have the fullness of God.

Love makes you more than a conqueror. Romans 8:20. Anything defeating me is only temporary.

Ephesians 3 (prayer Paul prayed for inner strength to be bold, strong, victorious, joyful).

Romans 5 you can be in the greatest battle. We glory in tribulation also, knowing that tribulation worketh patience, and patience experience, and experience hope. And hope makes not ashamed because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts. “Hearts” is referring to your soul. The love of God is shed abroad in my mind and emotions, and I am conscious of the fact that God will never leave me or forsake me.

God’s love is shed abroad in your emotions. Say “touch me Lord Jesus”, and He will.

God can shed abroad His love into your imagination. Can you imagine what would happen to your life?

Romans 12:2 cannot work without love. You cannot fully renew the mind with just the Word, but you need the love of God to renew the mind. The perfect will of God means love.

The love of God is shed abroad in our will.

Perfect love casts out fear. 2 Timothy 1:7. The power, love and a sound mind cannot work without love.

Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, be not dismayed, for I am thy God. I will strengthen thee. I will help thee. I will uphold thee with My right hand.

Ephesians 3:14, inner man is your soul.

The root of the Spirit is love. Everything else is the fruit.

When you get out of love, you get into the flesh and into pride.

Your first works is love.

Love is the master of the Spirit world.

When you are all upset and walk out of love, you are not as powerful as you could be.

The love walk is not an emotional love walk. It’s triumphant.

Satan downplays love because he knows how powerful it is. This world demonstrates weak love.

Be rooted and grounded in love.

Love surpasses knowledge.

Love surpasses facts. I’ve got something in me to stir up miracles.

Love is supernatural.

Your life will be transformed by God’s love inside of you.

You have to be strengthened in your inner man by God’s love, before you qualify for the next verse. Ephesians 3:20 “Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us …”

The richest attribute of God’s Glory is love.

Galations 5:6 says faith which works by love.

Love is the ground wire.

The stagnation and frustration you’ve been going through is over. Love makes grace show up.

You will be stronger than you’ve ever been in your life, because of a deeper love relationship between you and God.

Love will never let you down, even when you make a mistake.

“The past won’t last.” Whatever you need wiped out can be wiped out by the power of love.

Love gives. “For God so loved the world that He gave …”

“God so loved the world” … that’s you and me. He loves us just the way we are. He just wants you to surrender yourself to Him and receive Him as Savior and Lord.

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit involves tongues, but is a baptism of the love of God.

Works don’t replace love.

Return to your first love and first work (Revelation 2:1-7).

All limitations can be crossed by love.

We are called in Christ to make marks which cannot be erased, and love makes those marks.

Because of love I will live and declare the glory of the Lord.

Love brings results to our prayers and faith.

“Lord, spread Your love through my imagination.”

Love heals the broken heart.

There is no greater love on earth than being a grandparent.

Love can be stirred up. Hebrews 10:24 “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works.”

Love is greater than faith. Though I have all faith to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing (1 Corinthians 13:2).

Love is greater than tongues and prophesying. Without love, I am as a clanging symbol and am nothing (1 Corinthians 13:1-2).

Love is greater than giving away all your money and goods to the poor, or giving yourself as a martyr, for without love it profits me nothing (1 Corinthians 13:3).

Pt. 18 – The Christmas Story (God is Faithful to Keep His Promises)

God is Faithful to Keep His Promises

The theme of God keeping His promises is interwoven throughout the entire Christmas Story.

The Lord was faithful to His words to Mary, Joseph, Zacharias, Elisabeth, the shepherds, Simeon and Anna. God did for them exactly what He had said He would do.

There are 332 Messianic promises and implications in the Old Testament regarding Christ’s first coming. God fulfilled every single Messianic prophecy when Jesus came to earth—from His conception up until His resurrection and ascension into heaven.

For a complete list of every Messianic prophecy regarding Jesus’ first coming, I would highly recommend a book entitled Lamb of God: Yesterday, Today and Forever (Clarion Call Marketing, 2004) by Benny Hinn. Please go to his website at http://www.bennyhinn.org/ or http://www.amazon.com .

If God has spoken prophetic promises to you, or that of a loved one, just know that He will be faithful to fulfill those words in His due timing.

Numbers 23:19 (NIV) declares, “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should change His mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfill?”

God has promised us many things in His Word. Also, many of us have received prophetic promises that were spoken over us. We want to receive our promise or healing. We know that God is able to do it, but for some reason or another, many are not completely ready to receive their promise or healing at this moment. We have to get to the place where we not only know that God is able to do it, but that He will do it.

In John 5:5-9, Jesus came by the pool of Bethesda and found a lame man who had suffered with an infirmity for 38 years. Jesus said to him, “Do you want to be made whole?”

Rather than the man instantly saying “yes”, he gave Jesus the reasons why he hadn’t been healed in the past. Plus, the man was stuck in the mode of blaming others for his condition. When the man decided to take responsibility for his own life and stop blaming others and making excuses, then he was able to receive his healing.

If prophetic words were spoken over you and it bore witness with your spirit and is in agreement with the Bible, then trust God to perform His Word.

May we prepare our hearts to receive all that God has for us. May we make whatever changes God tells us to make, so that we are ready to receive.

It is time to cross over into our promised land and receive what we have been believing God for. May we not let fear, doubt and other issues get in the way of receiving our promise.

Romans 4:17 says that God calls those things that are not as though they already were. That is what we need to do … begin calling those things in our lives that are non-existent as though they already were in existence. Then we will begin to see those things come into manifestation.

God wants to do something in our life that’s bigger than us. He wants us to believe for the impossible. He’s able to do miracles, even creative miracles.

Jeremiah 32:27 (KJV) says, “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there anything too hard for Me?” In verse 17 Jeremiah declares, “Ah Lord God! Behold, Thou hast made the heaven and the earth by Thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for Thee.”

When Zerubbabel (mentioned in Haggai and Ezra) had faced opposition to restoring the temple in Jerusalem and work had been suspended for several years, the situation looked bleak. However, God spoke through the prophet saying, “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts. Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a [level] plain” (Zechariah 4:6-7).

We can personalize this for our own lives. Replace the name Zerubbabel with your name or that of a loved one. Declare aloud, “The Word of the Lord comes to __________ saying, It’s not by your might, nor by your power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts. Who art thou, O great mountain? Before __________ thou shalt become a leveled plain.”

Matthew 21:21 says that if we speak to our mountain and tell it to move out of our way, and do not doubt in our hearts, that it would obey us. What is the mountain (the obstacle or problem) in your life that stands in your way and tries to intimidate or taunt you? You have to speak to it, telling it to get out of your way.

Luke 3:5 speaks of Jesus, saying that He would cause every valley to be filled and exalted, every mountain to be made low, every crooked path to be made straight, and every rough way to be made smooth.

God wants us to keep our focus on Him, and see Him as powerful and mighty and awesome. Who else is like unto Him? Who else can do what only He can do? There is none like Him!

Hebrews 11:11 says that Sarah received the promise (giving birth to Isaac) because she considered Him faithful who had promised. Like Sarah, we need to believe that God is faithful to fulfill everything He said He would do even before we see it happen.

Mary said to Gabriel, “Be it unto me according to thy word”, and then she conceived. May we have the heart of Mary and say to the Lord when He speaks something to us, “Be it unto me according to Thy word.”

This is a season of leaving the wilderness and crossing over into our promised land. There are giants there—new challenges and new devils to contend with, but God will conquer every giant. Although the old can be miserable, it’s familiar. The new seems scary because it’s a place of the unknown.

God has a “promised land” for each of our lives (a place of blessings, joy, abundance and fulfilled dreams). The Lord will lead us there if we take His hand, and be willing to leave the past behind.

Pt. 15 – The Christmas Story (Wise Men From the East)

Wise Men From the East

When Jesus was born, there were wise men (also called magi or astrologers) in the East who saw His star and they journeyed to Jerusalem to find the One who was born King of the Jews so they could worship Him (Matthew 2:1-2).

The wise men inquired of the leaders in Jerusalem as to where the newborn King of the Jews was located. When King Herod heard about this, he was troubled, as was also all Jerusalem (Matthew 2:3). Herod was the king of the Jews and felt threatened by the idea of someone else being born to replace him as king of the Jews.

Herod gathered the chief priests and the scribes (religious lawyers) together, inquiring where the Messiah was to be born (Matthew 2:4-6). So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet ‘But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting’” (Micah 5:2 NKJV).

Herod secretly summoned the wise men to his palace to question them, to determine when the star first appeared (Matthew 2:7-8). Then Herod sent the wise men to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search diligently for the young child, and when you have found him, bring word back to me—that I may come and worship Him also.”

In his evil heart, Herod had no plans of worshipping the Christ Child, but of murdering Him.

The wise men departed from King Herod’s presence, and the star that they had seen in the East went before them leading them to the place where Jesus and His parents resided. The star stood over a house where the young child was (Matthew 2:9-10). When the wise men saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy!

From the time that the wise men first saw the star, they didn’t arrive in Bethlehem until two years later. By the time they left for their journey and traveled hundreds of miles to Jerusalem and were detained there, when they finally arrived in Bethlehem, Jesus was around two years old. Joseph, Mary and the toddler Jesus were living in a house and remained in Bethlehem until Jesus was about two years old.

Although the wise men are depicted today as being three in number because they presented Jesus with three gifts, it was probably a whole caravan of magi that came. In those days travelers journeyed in caravans for safety purposes, as there were robbers along the side of the roads.

When the wise men came into the house, they saw the young child with Mary His mother. The wise men fell down and worshipped Jesus. They had brought costly gifts for Him that are suited for a king. When they had opened their treasures, they presented Him with gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Matthew 2:11).

Gold symbolizes Divinity and Eternity. The gold is representative of the fact that Jesus is God, who was in Heaven with His Father and sent to earth to take on human flesh to ransom mankind. Gold also represents the wealth of a King.

Frankincense is a sweet perfume, symbolizing the sweet fragrance of Christ (2 Corinthians 2:14-15). Song of Solomon 1:3-4 (NIV) says, “How pleasing is the fragrance of Your perfume; Your Name is like perfume poured out … let the King bring me into His chambers.” Frankincense speaks of Jesus being our bridegroom and king. Frankincense also speaks of worship and prayers that are offered up to God ascending to the Throne as a sweet-smelling aroma that is accepted by the Father. Frankincense symbolizes the Shekinah Glory of God.

Myrrh is a sweet smelling, but bitter resin, used for cleansing and burial of the dead. Myrrh symbolizes Christ’s sufferings and His death on the Cross. Myrrh also represents the sufferings we go through, and dying to the fleshly nature (Galations 2:20, 5:16-25).

The wise men were divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod. So they departed for their own country another way.

When the wise men had departed, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream saying, “Arise, take the young child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young child to destroy Him” (Matthew 2:13 NKJV).

When Joseph arose, he took the young child and Mary by night and departed for Egypt. They remained in Egypt until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying “Out of Egypt I called My Son” (Hosea 11:1).

Pt. 14 – The Christmas Story (Jesus Dedicated at the Temple)

Jesus Dedicated at the Temple

When the baby Jesus was eight days old, He was circumcised (Luke 2:21). At the circumcision ceremony, Mary and Joseph named Him JESUS, the name given by the angel Gabriel when he appeared to Mary in person and later on appeared to Joseph in a dream.

The Greek name translated into English as Jesus, is the name Iesous (pronounced ee-ay-sooce, Strong’s New Testament #2424). It is of Hebrew origin (Strong’s Old Testament #3091) from the name Yehowshua, or Joshua, meaning “Jehovah is Salvation”.

When the days of Mary’s post-birth purification had been completed, according to the law of Moses, Joseph and Mary brought Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem to be dedicated to the Lord (Luke 2:22-24).

In the Barnes’ Notes Bible Encyclopedia, it states that among the Hebrews, a mother was required to remain at home for about forty days following the birth of a male child and about eighty days after the birth of a female child. During that time she was reckoned as impure, and was not permitted to go to the Temple or to engage in religious services with the congregation (Leviticus 12:3-5).

A sacrifice was required when dedicating the firstborn son at the Temple. Mary and Joseph brought a sacrifice to be offered. As it is written in the law of the Lord (Exodus 13:2), every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord. And in keeping with the law of the Lord, a sacrifice must be offered of a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.

At the temple, there was an elderly man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon (Luke 2:25-40). This man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel (a name for the Messiah), and the Holy Spirit was upon him.

It had been revealed to him by the Holy Ghost that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ (the Messiah). So he came by the Spirit—he was led by the Lord to come—into the temple that exact particular day that Mary and Joseph were there with baby Jesus. When the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, Simeon took Jesus up in his arms and blessed God and began to prophesy over Him saying:

“Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your Word. For my eyes have seen Your salvation which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel” (Luke 2:29-32 NKJV).

Joseph and Mary marveled at those things which were spoken of Him (Jesus). Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, the mother of Jesus: “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed” (Luke 2:34-35 NKJV).

Now there was a prophetess named Anna, who was the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher (Luke 2:36-38). She was 84 years old. When she was young, she was married to her husband for seven years and became widowed. She never did remarry but remained single the rest of her life. She remained at the Temple for all those years, serving God with fastings and prayers night and day.

When she saw the baby Jesus, at that very moment she came up and began to give thanks to God, and continued to speak of the newborn Messiah to those who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem and all of Israel.

Pt. 13 – The Christmas Story (Angels Appear to the Shepherds)

Angels Appear to the Shepherds

Mary had given birth to her firstborn son, Jesus, and used a manger as a crib to lay Him in.

Meanwhile, in the same country there were shepherds out in the fields keeping watch over their flocks by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone brightly all around them, and they were greatly afraid (Luke 2:8-9).

Then the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign to you; ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger” (Luke 2:10-12 KJV).

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude (a countless number) of the heavenly hosts (angels) praising God and saying:

“Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:14 KJV)

So it was, when the angelic hosts had gone away from the shepherds into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us!” (Luke 2:15 KJV)

Church history records that when the mass angelic choir appeared to the shepherds in the fields at night, the whole sky lit up like the noonday sun and the singing was heard for miles away by the villagers. That must have been awesome to experience.

All the angels worshiped Jesus at His birth.  Hebrews 1:6 (NKJV) says, “But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says: ‘Let all the angels of God worship Him’.”

In the same way in which the angels appeared in the sky to herald the first coming of the Messiah (with loud singing, shouting and praising God), that when Jesus appears in the clouds to catch His Bride away (some call it the rapture, some refer to it as being translated to heaven, while others call it the catching away of the saints), that He will be heralded by the angels and saints.

Gabriel will sound the alarm by blowing a shofar. Then millions of angels will begin blowing trumpets (and I’m sure other musical instruments as well), and the angels and saints will begin rejoicing and praising God as they meet the Lord in the air.

I personally believe that the rapture will not be silent as movies portray—where people suddenly disappear—but the whole world will hear the trumpets blowing, the singing and victorious shouting. Those who are left behind will visibly see the saints who are ready for the rapture, begin to ascend straight up into the air like a rocket into the clouds, in the same manner that Jesus ascended into heaven.

Matthew 24:30-31 (NIV) says, “At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.”

The Son of Man is a name that refers to Jesus.

The four winds are in reference to the four corners of the earth (North, South, East and West). This means that the rapture will be a worldwide event where His elect are caught up to heaven from every part of the world all at the same moment.

In regards to Jesus’ second return—which is a separate event from the rapture—when He comes riding triumphantly on a white horse and touches the Mount of Olives, many Bible theologians believe that the second return will probably take place during the month of Tishri (the seventh month of the Hebrew year during September/October).

During this time of the year is the Feast of Trumpets, followed by the Day of Atonement, and then followed by the Feast of Tabernacles (Jesus tabernacling with us or making His home with us).

The Feast of Tabernacles is also known as the Feast of the ingathering of the harvest. This harvest is not about harvesting crops, but a figurative harvest—a worldwide harvest of souls.

It is important to be ready for Christ’s return. No man knows the day or the hour that Jesus will return—not even the angels, nor the Son of Man (Jesus). Only the Father knows (Mark 13:32).

In the parable of the ten virgins (Matthew 25:1-13), five were wise and five were foolish. The wise virgins were prepared when the bridegroom arrived and were ready to enter into the Marriage Supper. They had oil for their lamps.

The five foolish virgins ran out of oil, and while they went to go purchase some more, the Bridegroom came and they were not ready and prepared. They were not able to go in to the Marriage Supper because the door had been shut. Although they knocked, the door was not opened.

Could this parable possibly be saying that when the rapture takes place, that only one group of the Body of Christ will be ready to ascend to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb?

Jesus spoke to Kat Kerr that right now, 80% of Christians would not be ready for the rapture because they are living carnal lives.

It is not enough to just have said an initial prayer of salvation and been water baptized. God is looking for good fruit (the fruit of the Spirit mentioned in Galations 5:22-23 and John 15) in our lives. He is looking for holiness and walking in the fear of the Lord. We cannot have one foot in the world and another in Christ. He is looking for those who seek to have a close relationship with Him and who love Him.

It is possible to be in the church and even be involved in ministry, and not even be saved. To be saved means that you are a new creature in Christ Jesus—the old is gone and the new has come. To be saved means that you are walking according to God’s Word, not according to the ways of this world. It means a transformation of the heart, with corresponding actions following.

We do not know the exact date that Christ will return. We just know the season. It is important to be ready at all times—not only should the rapture occur in our lifetime, but also because we do not know with positive certainty when we will take our last breath. It’s important to be right with God and to have a clean heart, and a conscience that is free from guile and has been purified by the Blood of the Lamb.

If you need to get right with God, just call out to Him. Confess your sins, and He will be faithful and just to forgive you of all of your sins (1 John 1:9). Ask Him to cleanse your heart and conscience with the Blood of Christ. Invite the Holy Spirit to come and fill you to overflowing and to transform you into Christ’s image. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh.

The Word says to not be deceived, God is not mocked (Galations 6:7). Whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap. He who sows to the carnal nature (fruits of darkness such as hate, jealousy, envy, strife, malice, unkindness, injustice, fraud, selfishness, immorality, corruption) shall reap what they sowed. He who sows to the Spirit (love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, patience, self-control, faith, gentleness, truth, honesty, integrity, the Golden Rule, fairness, just weights and balances, righteousness) he will reap what he has sowed.

Ask the Lord to bring you into a closer relationship with Him, and that you want to know Him. To know Him is to love Him more and more as the years go by.

In Luke 2:15-20, the shepherds came with haste and found Mary and Joseph in the stable or cave, and the baby lying in a manger.

Now when they had seen the babe, they spread the word concerning what had been told to them concerning this child. All those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. Mary treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.

Notice that God sovereignly chose to have the hosts of angels appear to shepherds to announce the birth of Christ. Then the shepherds in turn, told everyone about the good news.

Taking care of sheep was considered to be a lowly job, and shepherds did not have much of a voice in society. They were considered to be less important and of low-ranking status. Yet they were given the honor of seeing and hearing the angels herald the birth of Christ and the honor of announcing to the whole community the birth of the Son of God.

God could have sent His angels to announce the birth of Christ to the elite. The world we live in equates socio-economic status with importance and degree of favor shown. The prominent and wealthy have the most voice in society. This is all based in pride, and God abhors pride.

The Lord is a God of equality. He views everyone with equal importance and value. He shows favor to whomever He chooses. He enjoys raising the needy out of the ash heap and empowering them to prosper. The Lord will often take people who had major setbacks and disadvantages, and raise them up to become very successful. God often chooses those who others think are the least qualified and uses them mightily.

God looks for those who are available to Him—regardless of status or education—and who say “yes” to God.