The fourth Fruit of the Spirit is PATIENCE! Oh my...what a perfect fruit to be praying for and practicing during the busy season of Advent and Christmas! Patience with each other is a fruit of the Spirit that we all need to ask God's help for! When dealing with patience, we need to acknowledge it is the little things that can drive us to despair. (i.e. waiting in the long shopping and grocery lines etc...) Here's a little theological insight I learned the other day that I thought you might find interesting. The quote comes from a devotion series on the Fruit of the Spirit by Robert Strand. He states, "The Greek word for patience, makrothumia, is interesting in it's construction. The first half means "anger" and the other half means "long or slow." So we have the word meaning: "being able to handle one's anger slowly." Here is a major clue as to how patience is to be applied to interpersonal relationships. " As you know, our children observe, watch, and learn from our actions, more than from our words. So may our Lord help us to practice patience with one another!
Henri Nouwen said, "Waiting is a period of learning. The longer we wait, the more we hear about HIM for whom we are waiting."
ADVENT, the four week period before Christmas, begins on Sunday, December 2nd this year. It is a time of waiting patiently for the celebration of Christ's birth. As we wait, we will be busy learning more about God's plan for us through His Son Jesus by reading special Christmas books, working on purposeful Christmas lessons, and watching meaningful Christmas shows. It's a time to prepare our hearts and minds for the greatest gift of all, God’s Son Jesus.
I am teaching your youngsters that when we look at the Advent wreath we can be reminded of three “L” words: Love for the shape of the wreath which is Christ’s everlasting love for us. Light for the candles. Jesus said in John 8:12 “I am the light of the world.” And Life for the greenery of the advent wreath. Jesus gave His life for us. The four candles stand for Hope, Love, Joy, and Peace. Jesus is our hope for salvation and everlasting life. He shows us His love by offering us forgiveness and His unconditional love. He brings us inner joy, which is not dependent on our circumstances. And...He gives us peace. He's called the "Prince of Peace." So.....
in the frenzy of December gift-giving, let us not forget that our Heavenly Father sent us the greatest gift of all. Jesus didn’t come wrapped in a pretty package, but in a lowly, smelly manger. The gift of Jesus is not exclusive, it’s available to anyone who will accept it. A perfect gift for an imperfect world. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father.” (James 1:17)
When a little boy was asked the question “Why do you love Jesus?” the little boy replied, “I guess it runs in my family!” Does Christ’s love run in your family? Don’t forget to worship the King this season.
Blessings for a Christ-filled Christmas!
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