It is easy to ignore some of the more 'famous' Bible verses. Things like "For God so loved the world..." and "In the beginning God created...." But sometimes it is those very verses that pack the most punch. There was nothing. and THEN out of that very nothingness, God created. Few things are more powerful than that. How many of us have created something out of nothing. Really, I venture to say no one. I am not much of a cook, but sometimes it seems like I create a masterpiece (relatively speaking) out of a bunch of seemingly random and unrelated ingredients. But I still have ingredients. I did not create a casserole out of black nothingness. I had something to make something else. But in the beginning- God just created. Powerful verse.
Another verse I feel like gets brushed over is the "Fruits of the Spirit" It is one of those verses that you learn in Sunday school. Then when you get older it is taught in women's Bible study and the occasional church service. But the true significance is lost in the normalcy of the verse. It is so common, we, or at least I, don't stop to think about the real impact. The real meaning.
"But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." Galations 5:22-23
Take a minute and think about how different the world would be if everyone lived according to the fruits of the spirit. It everyone was loving and faithful, patient and good. Think about how different the world would be if everyone who said they were a Christian lived by those principles. Life would look a lot different.
When we were still living in London, we went out nearly every Saturday night (or match day, or any day really...) with the rugby team. You could find us at our local pub sharing pints and laughs with people that we came to know as family. I remember one night in particular I had a conversation about God and suffering with a boy that was as far away from Jesus as you could get. He was no where near accepting the truth of Christ or even realising his need for a savior. He asked me if God was so good and powerful like Christians say He is, then why is there suffering, famine and pain in the world. I feel this is a common question non Christians ask. Why....? It is a hard question to answer. What I responded back with was this: Everything is a choice. God is God, but He gives us free will. People make choices, both good and bad. So think about the 10 Commandments (because he knew about those) They say don't steal, kill, lie etc.... If everyone in the world lived by those standards there would be no war or famine or heartache. But people don't. People choose to live in greed, malice, murder and manipulation. So when people choose to go against what God has ordered, then bad happens. He wont hit us over the head to make us love Him, but it will break His heart when we go against Him.
For some reason, my friend accepted that answer. He said he had never looked at it that way, people choosing the wrong things instead of God just doing them. And it got me thinking about the fruits of the spirit.
If someone followed me around for a week in my normal life would they see a wife, mother and daughter that truly lives according to the fruits of the spirit? Would they see patience when my little one is driving me crazy by disobeying? Would they see joy when things dont go my way? Would they see gentleness when I am tired and frustrated? uh, probably not.
So this my verse for the year. "The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control" Principles by which I want to actively commit myself to pursing in the coming months. A verse that I want so ingrained my mind and heart that when unpleasant situations arise, those words are the first thing that come to my mind. I no longer want this to be a Sunday school verse, memorized as a 10 year old and long forgotten, but a active part of my daily life.
Galations 5:22-23, Verse of 2012.