What to do when Christians disagree about what is good and what is bad – Fruit of the Spirit: Goodness, Part 2

What is good…and what is bad? In Christian circles there are plenty of disagreements about what are good actions and bad actions.  Many times on the blog I’ve talked about many of these disagreements.  What clothing styles can people wear to worship services?  What beverages can people drink?  What films, music, TV, books, magazines, canContinue reading “What to do when Christians disagree about what is good and what is bad – Fruit of the Spirit: Goodness, Part 2”

God loves you like Beauty and the Beast, so you can love like that too – Fruit of the Spirit: Love, Part 5

In addition to the word agape, the Greeks had another word for love, phileo, which is defined as “brotherly love.” For example in Romans 12:10, Paul uses phileo when he writes, “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.” What does brotherly love look like?  Brotherly love is sacrificial, the willingness to lay one’s lifeContinue reading “God loves you like Beauty and the Beast, so you can love like that too – Fruit of the Spirit: Love, Part 5”

How can you love others if you don’t love yourself? – Fruit of the Spirit: Love, Part 4

This week we’ve been learning about the first quality in the Galatians 5 list called “The Fruit of the Spirit.” That first quality is love. But there is a roadblock to love, and the roadblock can be deep within us. There is a story in the Gospel of Matthew when Jesus said that the twoContinue reading “How can you love others if you don’t love yourself? – Fruit of the Spirit: Love, Part 4”

“Agape” love is hard work? – Fruit of the Spirit: Love, Part 3

In the previous post, I mentioned that, Paul, the guy who wrote about the Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23, used the Greek word, agape, when he was referring to love. What is unique about agape love? Paul describes it much more in-depth in 1 Corinthians 13, which is often called “The Bible’s LoveContinue reading ““Agape” love is hard work? – Fruit of the Spirit: Love, Part 3″

What is love? – Fruit of the Spirit, Love – Part 2

What is love? Our culture has many ideas about love. Here’s a great medley of some famous love songs. How do these songs describe love? So many love songs.  What is your favorite? How does our culture describe the word “Love”?  I LOVE Pizza!  Really?  What does someone mean when they say they love pizza? Continue reading “What is love? – Fruit of the Spirit, Love – Part 2”

James Dean, long strides and the Holy Spirit? – Fruit of the Spirit: Love, Part 1

One of my parents’ neighbors is quite a character.  He’s lived on their street before my parents moved there in the mid-1980s, and he is probably about 5 years older than me.  He has classic car hot rods, and during his late teens and 20s he would rev the engine every morning before going toContinue reading “James Dean, long strides and the Holy Spirit? – Fruit of the Spirit: Love, Part 1”

God is______? – Fruit of the Spirit: Love, Preview

If you had to describe God in one word, which is impossible I know, what word would you use?  Pause reading this, think about it, maybe write down the word, and then come back to the email. What word to you land on?  Holy?  Pure?  Trinity?  Jesus?  Perfect?  All-powerful (or its fancy synonym, “omnipotent”)?  AnotherContinue reading “God is______? – Fruit of the Spirit: Love, Preview”

Hope for the condemned – Easter 2022, Romans 8, Part 2

What do you do when you feel the anxiety and the pain and the stress of condemnation from people? Other people can sure be condemning, can’t they? Maybe you have a family member, a co-worker, or a classmate that is like that. They might even be a church member, someone you would call a friend,Continue reading “Hope for the condemned – Easter 2022, Romans 8, Part 2”

You can be set free to love – Galatians 1:1-5:15, Part 5

Do you find it hard to love some people? Maybe there are people you really struggle with? Keep reading because there is hope! Because Jesus died and rose again, we can be free!  Look at chapter 4:1-7.  Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, Paul says, we can receive the full rights as sons and daughtersContinue reading “You can be set free to love – Galatians 1:1-5:15, Part 5”

God’s heart to stop oppression – Ezekiel 45-48, Part 2

This week as we study Ezekiel 45-48, we are following these chapters as a map to God’s heart. In Ezekiel 45, verses 8-12, we see God’s heart very clearly in another way.  Notice verse 8 where we read God say that the princes must not oppress the people.  Who were the princes?  God is referringContinue reading “God’s heart to stop oppression – Ezekiel 45-48, Part 2”