The Wednesday Word is going to look a little bit different over the summer. We will be pausing our podcast until August and sending out weekly devotionals instead, which I get the pleasure of writing and sharing with you.
The Wednesday Word Devotional for May 31, 2023.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
I am passionate about the ministry of camp. It is a ministry that I have been involved in for about 26 years, and I am very excited to be co-deaning the last camp of the summer with our very own Jake Skarin and Phyllis Murray. Along with many other Desert Spring kids and adults, we will be doing Elementary II camp from July 24th – 28th. Even though camp is two months away, we have been talking about and planning for camp since last November. The theme for camp this summer is FruitFULL Faith, which means I have been thinking about the Fruit of the Spirit for about 6 months now. So, I thought it would be fun to share a bit about what we will be learning at camp with you, and I hope you will join me in sharing a fruit-filled summer as we explore the Fruit of the Spirit in our lives.
On Sunday, Pastor David preached on Pentecost and the receiving of the Holy Spirit. He talked about the different ways in which the Holy Spirit shows up in our lives, one of which is the Fruit of the Spirit. He talked about how this fruit continues to grow in us as our faith grows. Unlike spiritual gifts which each of us has a few of in the Body of Christ, the 9 attributes of the Fruit of the Spirit are byproducts of our faith that we strive to grow in daily. They are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
This week, I would like to share a word about love.
In 1 John 4:7-8, we read
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
We are not talking about romantic love here, we are talking about agape love — love in action. And putting our love into action is not always easy to do, is it? The kind of love that God wants to grow in us is the kind of love that gives without expecting anything in return. And this love that the Holy Spirit has planted inside of us is a love that is meant to be shared with everyone — with ALL of God’s children. At Desert Spring Church, we talk about this ALL often. We are a place where ALL are welcome. And that can be, well, a little messy and inconvenient at times, can’t it?
At camp this summer, we will be teaching the children about the parable of the lost sheep that we read about in Luke 15. You probably know the parable well by now — leaving the 99 sheep to find the ONE lost sheep. In most circumstances, 99% is a pretty good statistic. I mean, 99% on a test or course would warrant bragging. But, when it comes to loving others, God wants us to get it 100% right. He wants us to actively love (welcome, encourage, pray with, break bread with) ALL of his precious children. He wants us to seek them out when they are lost — even if they made the choice to wander off.
The Bible is full of reminders about just how important love is. It is the greatest gift and the greatest commandment. God IS love. So my question for you (and myself) this week is: Who is in that 1% in our lives? Who is a part of that 1% that is hard to love, hard to accept, hard to be around? And what’s one small thing we might do this week to show them love this week? How might we invite them into the fold?
God bless you,