The View From Here

The Fruit of the Spirit (Pt. 8): Faith

It is hard to imagine the night terror of the German blitz—the bombing of London—in World War 2. A story of a dad and his son is often retold.  They sought shelter as bombs exploded and buildings burned around them. The best refuge was the black circle of a bomb crater. Dad disappeared into the crater, but the son hesitated, unable to see his dad.  “I cannot see you,” he cried. 

 His dad reached out his hand, but the boy could not make it out against the darkness of the hole in the ground.  The dad was able to see the boy, a black silhouette against the glow of burning London.  He encouraged his son, “You might not be able to see me, but I can see you.” 

That was what the boy needed to hear. He jumped and soon felt the unseen arms of his dad.

German bombs no longer fall on London, but this story of faith has been used a hundred times since. It encourages us to leap into the safety of God’s unseen, yet loving arms.  You might find yourself in situations like this boy, unable to see where the next step, or leap, will take you. God calls us to trust in Him because trusting in Him is the only way we can be saved from sin and death.  God then uses life as his school of faith, using everything to teach us that He is trustworthy.

It might not feel good at times.  You may not see where the next step leads, but faith rests in the fact that God sees your story from start to finish.  You may not see God, but He sees you. 

Faith in Christ results in salvation, but it is also part of the fruit, the character quality that God will grow in you. God uses difficult times, people, and situations to stretch your faith.  Recount the experiences in your life that required you to trust in God.  He always see you, and He is teaching you to see Him with the eyes of faith.

Posted by Joshua Holland with 0 Comments

The Fruit of the Spirit (Pt. 7): Goodness

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A misunderstood title in Christianity is the word “saint.” It means “holy one” and applies to all in Jesus, not just those distinguished by their works. We are holy in Christ, but we are still called to be good.

Goodness is part of the fruit of the Spirit. The word means uprightness of heart and the stress is on how we treat others rather than our position in Christ. In other words, the emphasis is not on who we are in Christ but our response to who we are in Christ. We are to be characterized by goodness towards others.

Ben Franklin said, “Well done is better than well said.” So does this word.

The motivation for our goodness is the goodness of Christ shown to us. We, the ones who have benefitted from the overwhelming grace of God, now show grace to others. And one of the ways we show grace is by our goodness to them.

An accountant decided to apply his bookkeeping skills to the balance between God’s goodness to us and ours to others. He started writing down all the ways God favored him including the basics like food, air and sunshine to the special things like answered prayer, unique blessings and more. On the other side of his ledger he wrote down the things he did for God, being kind and good, giving, and serving. Finally, he gave up and closed the book. He said, “It is impossible for me to balance the books. I find that God is indeed my creditor and what I have done for Him is next to nothing.”

Being good to others can sometimes require a tough choice from the heart, but remember the One who calls you be good has been very, very good to you.

Posted by Bill Knepper with 0 Comments

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