Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Lent: Ash Wednseday

I thought that I'd like to write devotions during Lent, the same way that I did in Advent. I don't know that I'll be able to write every weekday for the whole 6 weeks, but, we'll see. I'd like to start with the Fruit of the Spirit. Let's start with Love.

In 1 Cor 13, Paul describes the first Fruit of the Spirit. According to verses 3-8, love:

suffers long;
is kind;
does not envy;
does not parade itself;
does not get 'puffed up';
does not behave rudely;
is not provoked;
does not think evilly, nor rejoice in sin;
rejoices in the truth;
bears all things;
believes all things;
hopes all things;
endures all things.

When you think about it, Jesus set the perfect example for us. I John says that "God is Love." Jesus said Himself that there was no greater love than to give up your life for a friend. That's exactly what He did for us on the cross.

Try it this way,

Jesus suffers long;
Jesus is kind;
Jesus does not envy... you get the idea.

Want the Holy Spirit to really convict you of your own sin?, then Try it this way,

(Your name here) suffers long;
(Your name here) is kind;
(Your name here) does not envy... you get the idea. I'd bet you anything that you'll feel guilty or embarassed because it just won't sound true when you say it about yourself.

So, let's try it as a prayer- first Adoring/Praising God, then Confessing your own sin, then Thanking Him, and asking Him to produce this fruit in your life:



You are patient;
You are kind;
You're not envious;
You don't brag;
You're not rude;
You're not easily provoked;
You're not evil, nor rejoice in sin;
You rejoice in the truth;
You bear all things;
You trust;
You hope;
You endure.

I'm none of these.

Please make me more like Jesus.

Holy Spirit, this Lenten season,
produce the fruit of love in me and in my life

Make me an instrument of Your love, oh Lord

Help me to practice love toward others.

In Jesus name,


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