Thursday, November 19, 2009

Celebrating Hannukah

Today was the last day of our Bible study on the Fruit of the Spirit, learning to live beyond our selves. This has been a wonderful ten weeks of looking at each of the nine qualities of the Spirit found in Galatians 5. At the end of the study we can summarize each of the fruit in this way:
  1. Love never fails.
  2. Joy cometh.
  3. Peace rules.
  4. Patience waits.
  5. Kindness tenders.
  6. Goodness does.
  7. Faith fights.
  8. Gentleness bows.
  9. Self-control stops.

I have said before, and it bears repeating, that the most valuable lesson I learned is that I will never be able to exhibit those qualities in my own strength. They are qualities of the Spirit and as such can only be exercised by yielding to the Spirit. I am only a vessel through which God can communicate His character, so long as I am willing to yield.

Well, today, we celebrated our personal Hannukah. Hannukah is Hebrew for dedication. Paul informs us in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 that, once we have believed in Christ for eternal life, our body becomes the temple of the Holy Spirit and is no longer ours. We do have a choice, however, in how we present that temple, whether to ourselves or to God. It is our desire, collectively as our study group, to dedicate our "temple" as a spiritual offering to God and to yield ourselves to the outflow of the fruit of the Spirit. May we now faithfully go forth and bear much fruit.

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. Gal. 5:22-23 Amen.

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