Some joy experienced at Christmas is seasonal. Is our joy only related to Christmas because of all the pleasant things associated with it? Or is it “all-weather” joy like the tires, good to run on all year through all seasons?
It is correct to say God wants me happy. But He doesn’t want us to value it above other things or base our happiness in superficial temporary circumstances. God built us to desire happiness but He wants us to find it in relation to Him.
Jesus has provided us a faith which frees us from the bonds of sin and frees us for the purpose of following Him. Let’s take a closer look at Paul’s exhortation that we stand firm in our freedom.
When we live God’s way, we experience the Fruit of the Spirit in good times and bad. Because it’s a supernatural gift of the Holy Spirit, this fruit is not tied to things of the world, emotions, health, or anything else.
Christians since the first century have been tempted to trade grace for a life directed by strict law and high-minded requirement. The Apostle Paul addressed the Galatian church on this very issue, warning them against trading God’s Gospel for a different, human-made gospel. As we hear the word to the Galatians, keeping our message grounded in grace will help our lives exude grace.
Joy—it makes people wonder at your secret. Yet joy is no secret to the trusting Christian. When we choose to grow closer to God, resting in His character and provision, joy spills over into our lives so that others can’t help but notice.
There will always be those who abuse God's grace. Let's clarify and analyze this tension while being careful not to allow the abuse of a few to diminish the message of grace.
In Ephesians 5:18 the contrast and comparison to being drunk illustrates the idea that we are to be influenced by the Holy Spirit. When we are under the influence of something, we will say and do things we normally wouldn’t.
Jealousy is a sin, which cannot be hidden. It starts small but ultimately leads to envy, strife, and conflict. Whether it’s at home, at work, or on a team jealousy always promotes bitterness. The only cure is contentment. When you accept where you are and who you are, you’re able to contentedly live your life...and give others the freedom to do the same.