The Source

Last night I had the privilege of speaking to our teen youth group at church.  This blog comes from a portion of what I taught on:

As Christians, our lives should be attractive to those around us.  People should look and see a difference in how we live, act and in what we say.  What they see in us is the evidence of God at work (or not at work) in our lives.

Often, we talk about wanting to be empowered by the Holy Spirit to do the works of the kingdom.  We want to be empowered to heal the sick, preach the gospel, bring deliverance and freedom to others, but we totally forget to engage with Holy Spirit to work on the inner man inside us.

The greatest gauge of whether we are engaged with the work of Holy Spirit in our own personal lives is – do we have the evidence of His fruit in our lives?

Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT) says, “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives:  love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”

The fruit, not the fruits…  all of it, not some.

If we are connected to Jesus as the source and empowered by His Holy Spirit in our lives, not only will we be able to do the works of the Kingdom, but we will have evidence in our lives – in the spiritual fruit we produce.

We will have love for others.

We will have JOY.

We will have an inexplainable inner peace that goes beyond things happening around us.

We will have patience for those we live and work with, go to school with, interact with in the store or on the highway.

We will be kind, not just when we feel like it, but all the time.

We will choose to do what is good.

We will be faithful and loyal to friends, spouses, neighbors and those around us.

We will be gentle.

We will have self-control and live balanced lives directed by the voice of Holy Spirit.

ALL of these are the fruit of the spirit.

It isn’t 9 different fruits to pick and choose from. The fruit of the Spirit is all of these encompassed in one.  Often I pick and choose and as long as I am doing well in most of these areas, I rationalize that my children make me impatient, rather than facing the fact that I have sin issue that needs to be dealt with.

 

So what happens when anxiety creeps in?

We allow the outside circumstances of life to dictate our inner peace.

 

What happens when we become depressed?

We allow the lies of the enemy to overshadow the truth and reality of our status as a son or daughter of the King.

 

What happens when we are unkind?

We allow our flesh and selfishness to overtake the reality of putting others before ourselves and live humbly like Christ.

 

What happens when we are out of control?

We allow the circumstances of life and our human desires to dictate our choices and often we choose to disobey how Holy Spirit instructs you to live.

 

The choices often dictate us and how we feel and how we live – the varsity coach that compliments us and pleads to have us on the team, the rehearsal schedules that keep us out every night of the week on top of our work, school and family responsibilities.

How often do we ask Holy Spirit if we should do something before we say yes?

Now, don’t get me wrong, there are valid reasons for us to feel depressed, anxious, sad and upset.  We are human and situations often affect how we feel. I’m not saying we should not have feelings or just sweep them under the carpet and shout, “God is in control”.  However, when this becomes the ongoing status of our lives – depression, anxiety or fear, we are not aligning our soul to the work of Holy Spirit and allowing him to dictate the choices we make.

We have the power of the Holy Spirit living inside of us and if we choose to activate His power, He can help us overcome anxiety or depression. His power can enable us to live a self-controlled life and make wise choices.

Today I want to encourage us to partner with the work of Holy Spirit in our lives, to align our hearts, minds and souls to his gentle whispers.  He will lead and guide us, often we aren’t listening.  We must learn to plug into the source, not only to do the works of the kingdom, but to live as a believer with spiritual fruit that others can be attracted to.

If we would only walk in love, joy and peace – how attractive is peace right now to the world? How priceless is peace in today’s society?

How attractive is kindness and gentleness?

The world will be drawn to us by the spiritual fruit we produce and the evidence of Holy Spirit at work in our lives.

 

Pam Lozano is the Founder and President of Pure Design Ministries and Magazine, a Youth Pastor and worship leader. She is a conscientious leader who believes in investing in and mentoring the next generation to raise them up to be who God has designed them to be.

 

Big change starts with small Actions

imagesI’ve been back from Cambodia for less than a week now, but the streets of Cambodia linger in my mind like a disease. I can see the children climbing through the mosh pit of traffic to beg for money in the streets. Many parents will punish their children if they come home empty-handed, and for some their financial situation is so dire that they will sell their daughters into sex trafficking to pay a bill.

I never imagined the kind of conditions people were living in around the world. I’ve seen the commercials fundraising for children in Africa before, and you probably have, too. The problem is that we filter those images with the same processing capabilities we use to filter everything else we see on TV. Our minds interpret those very real situations on the same level they interpret crazy movie affects.

Our minds tell us, “Don’t worry, none of this is real.”

Well, it was real. It was very, very real. And it is real right now to millions of people.

Ever since I got off the plane and stepped back into this world of instant gratification, I’ve been asking myself, “What can I do to make a difference? What can I do to make someone else’s life just a little better?”

What I’ve discovered is a new passion for people–a challenge to impact everyone I meet in some small way.

Every single person has a purpose for their life, and God has strategically put you in a place of influence with your friends, co-workers, and the acquaintances you pass on a weekly basis. God has given you the ability to make a difference wherever you’re at, simply by being like Christ.

“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.” 

 Catherine of Siena

I frequently make the mistake of thinking, “When I have a really big opportunity to share Christ, then I’ll do it. Maybe if God really shows up and tells me to do it then I’ll go pray for that person in the grocery store.” The thing is that God has already given me the huge opportunity to share Christ! God orchestrated those people to be in my path—me, out of billions of other people in the world. And I could be the very reason they’re standing where they are—because God wants me to make a difference in their life.

I can’t help but wonder how many people God has put in my path that I’ve missed, simply because I was waiting for God to do something He already did. The Bible is a book about evangelism–so why am I always waiting for confirmation that God wants me to evangelize? It makes no sense! That’s because it’s an excuse. It shifts the responsibility from us to God, but let’s be clear: the responsibility is on us. God would take every opportunity to minister to people if He could.

I have had experiences in my life where I had to make the decision to reach out to someone, and not in a “smile across the foyer” way, but actually taking the time to share the love of Christ with them. It was hard for me to do, but every time ended with an amazing story of how God put me in the right place at the right time. In fact, those simple conversations brought people to know Christ and even reached people who were on the verge of suicide.

After I reached out to these people and heard their stories, it became clear to me how selfish I was for not wanting to share the good news that’s changed my life with someone else. The excuse that once felt so cement, the embarrassment that tried to hinder me from reaching out, all of it now seemed worthless.

God has a plan for you. Where you’re at, the people you know, the strangers you pass by—those aren’t coincidences. It doesn’t take much to make someone’s life a little bit better.

Be bold. Be courageous. Stop waiting for the “magic green light” and GO! Do what God’s called you to do! Big change starts with small actions.

Image found on Google images.

 

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Kirsten Keesee is 19 years old and lives in Mt. Vernon, Ohio, where she works as a content writer for the Drenda Show. She enjoys traveling, collecting books, and dreams of someday owning a first edition Jane Austen novel!

Pure Design Newsletter is Here!!

ValentinesDayFinal
Dear Designers –
Happy Valentine’s Day to all our readers!!
We are so excited to launch our very first Pure Design Newsletter in lieu of Valentine’s Day today.
We have an article on Love, a “Sneak Peak” at the cover of our Spring Issue coming out March 1st, a fashion forward peak at our spring fashion segment and a few other fun things.
Take a look through and let us know what you think. We’d appreciate thoughts and feedback for future issues.
Click on the link above that says “ValentinesDayFinal”
Have a great Friday!