Love it and Live it!

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Wouldn’t you love to do what you love to do? When we visit with young adults, we often encourage them to find an area where they are gifted and have a passion when selecting a career; that is, unless you are the Dad and you are still paying tuition bills – then you just want to see a paycheck!

Life doesn’t always offer us our desires or even our wants. We often have to make the best available choices. That is true with many situations and opportunities. Ironically, as a believer, we are taught to do and desire what we often do not want to do or desire…

   * To love our enemy when we want revenge.
* To give to others when we would prefer to keep everything for ourselves.
* To not become discouraged and give up when we need to press on

How can we live the Christian life when that is contrary often to our true nature? The answer is…we can’t, not in a consistent and authentic way. But we are called to do what does not come naturally. It must be done supernaturally. Only by the power of the Spirit can we overcome and become.

Through the power of the presence of Christ in us, we can become new creations, doing new and powerful things for the Kingdom. As we abide in Christ through prayer, Bible study, encouragement from other believers and authentic worship, we can be transformed. This change will best be seen in what we do with life.
Although we can never be certain of what motivates another person’s actions, we can gain some insights. The Apostle Paul uses a picture of fruit for an example to measure Christian virtue. If it is of the Spirit, it will look, feel and taste like the source from which it has come.

In First Place, the talk is not about DIEt, but rather LIVEit. It is about a change of inner life that is evident in outer living.

Take the quality control test of the fruit of the Spirit: Galatians 5:23-24

 * Love
* Joy
* Peace
* Patience
* Kindness
* Goodness
* Faithfulness
* Gentleness
* Self-control

None of us can see this fruit fully mature all of the time in our lives. Measure yourself by asking:

1. In the past six months have I become more like the above qualities?
2. Which one has matured the most?
3. Which one needs more nurturing?

We are called to live by these standards. With the help of God, we will come to love them as well.

Dr. Bill Heston
bheston@fpchouston.org

Bill Heston works on the staff of First Presbyterian Church of Houston