29. Temperance

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It is good when we can orchestrate all our varied activities and maintain a manageable routine that results in us doing all the things we need to do without undue stress.   This requires wisdom and discipline.

God desires us to achieve, but He knows we cannot do it all at once.  God gives us the strength we need each day, so each day’s tasks and decisions will systematically culminate in success.

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28. Meeknees

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Admitting that we are wrong can be a difficult task, especially if the other person has an ‘I told you so’ attitude and continues to refer to our errors in conversations.  But meekness will be displayed in how we deal with wrongs and how we deal with accomplishments – of our own and of others.

I believe that meekness is one of the more difficult attributes of the fruit of the Spirit to comprehend and emulate, but we can be assured that God will help us to cultivate this trait as we acknowledge more and more who God is and submit completely to Him in humility.   As we dwell on who God is, we will experience a sense of reverence knowing that we are alive because of God alone.

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27. Faith

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As followers of Christ, our steps ‘are ordered by the LORD” (Psalm 37:23), so we can be confident in God’s leading.  God has reassured us that ‘there hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way of escape, that ye may be able to bear it’ (I Corinthians 10:13).

As we walk with God, like children, our steps become stronger.  Also as a young tree grows, the trunk of the tree becomes wider and stronger.  So exercising faith in God causes us to become stronger, but not because of our own abilities; but because we learn to depend more on the power of God that is available to us.

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26. Goodness

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In Proverbs 3:27 we are told ‘withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it’.  Because of the many issues faced in the world, at times we may wonder, what can our deeds of kindness do to really make a difference?  But let us remember that every kind deed matters, irrespective of how small it may seem to be.

Let us look for the opportunities to do good each day, and in this way God will shine through us.

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25. Gentleness

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I am always amazed by the sacrifices of firefighters, police, first responders and medical personnel.  They are calm and composed and a source of strength in a crisis, yet they have the skill to do what would be impossible for the average person to accomplish.  They execute their duties in very stressful conditions when the people that they are seeking to help are in a state of panic.  They are strong and gentle at the same time, and knowledgeable and alert to their surroundings, responding appropriately as things change.

During the spiritual battle, as God’s children we are called to help each other make it through this turbulent world.  We are advised to be “swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath” (James 1:19 KJV) and be a conduit for God’s healing.  We can only achieve this if God is leading our lives.  Let us be determined to submit to God today.

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24. Longsuffering

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The Bible encourages us to ‘by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let … [our] .. requests be made known unto God’ (Philippians 4:6 KJV).  The Bible also tells us that ‘he that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city’ (Proverbs 16:32 KJV).  When we follow God’s will one step at a time, as we reflect on God’s leading in the past, we will be amazed at the progress that we have made.

Nehemiah’s story (in the book of Nehemiah) is also one of encouragement.  He worked consistency and patiently to build back the walls.  In our lives, what walls do we have to build back today? Like Nehemiah, let us focus our time and resources on what we can do with God’s help and guidance to move in a positive direction.

Let us spend our time building up, even while we wait. And while we are doing all that we can, let us in prayer ask God to identify any triggers in our lives that will tempt us to act contrary to God’s will and let us prayerfully give these situations over to God.

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23. Peace

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We don’t have to look far to see the extent of chaos that exist in our world.  So to be productive and to maintain a healthy mental focus, we have to let God fill our minds with His assurance and His peace. The internal and external issues that we face are too much for us to face alone, so we can only experience true peace if we are grounded in Christ.

Being grounded in Christ involves looking to Him to understand what He has to say about the sin problem and doing what He says regarding the solution.  Daily we need to ask God to remove all things from us that are unlike Him.  God alone can help us.

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22. Joy

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You may have had the opportunity to be around people who even when they are facing challenges can find something positive to focus on.  They see the pearl that can develop from the irritant and the growth that can result from the trial.  In addition, the positive and encouraging words an individual hears while going through his or her own personal difficulties can help to lift the individual up; bringing joy to their heart.

And above all else, when we dwell on the reality that God has the solution to all of our problems and that His goodness and solutions are universal and encompasses everyone, this helps to solidify the joy in our hearts and gives us the ability to face every day in confidence.

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21. Love

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As Abraham’s attention was directed to the thicket and he saw the ram that was to take the place of his son (Genesis 22:11-13), all the stress and fears that Abraham was experiencing must have melted away.  Abraham saw God’s solution and he experienced God’s love abundantly.  It is this love that draws us to God and gives us the confidence to embrace wholeheartedly God’s solution.  Bitterness provides an environment for the enemy to work, but when we allow God to replace any bitterness with His love, God’s love in us will also bless the lives of those around us.

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20. Beauty for Ashes

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In 1741, Charles Wesley wrote the words of the hymn “I Do Believe’.  The first line of the first verse goes like this, ‘Father, I stretch my hands to Thee; No other help I know;’. I love this song because it is a reminder to me that as we realize our great need of God’s intervention in our lives, instead of holding up our hands in desperation, we hold up our hands knowing that God will lift us up and change us.  Becoming more and more like what God wants us to be is a wonderful experience.

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