Randy's Reflections
July 6, 2018, 2:09 PM

Pastor Randy's July/August Reflection


Sometimes I get frustrated with my life; things are going well then something comes up which sabotages the good

moments. Sometimes it seems like I am making no headway in becoming more compassionate toward others and more forgiving when wronged. Sometimes it seems like I am not changing, not being transformed by Jesus, as I continue to make this journey of faith.

 

These last few months it has been good to be reminded about a proactive way to walk with Jesus as I hear again his words in the Sermon on the Mount. This is a compendium of sayings from Jesus which call us to a higher ground when following God’s way. There are times when others treat us poorly and our first impulse is to fight back, either with words or actions, but Jesus says that is not God’s way. God is more concerned about growing relationships not tearing them apart. That may mean even when justice is compromised we are to turn the other cheek and one step further is to willingly give what that person needs at our own expense, Matthew 5:38-42.

For a general guide in life we look to the Golden Rule, Matthew 7:12, “Do to others what you would have them do to you.” We can do this, however, without necessarily growing in our faith, so it would be helpful if we had some other evidence that we are growing into Christ’s likeness.

In Galatians, the first letter Paul wrote to followers of “The Way,” Paul says we are not only to serve one another humbly in love, but we are to walk by the Spirit (Galatians 5:13 & 16). It is this walking with the Spirit that produces the “fruit” that is the evidence of God’s transformation in us and of our maturing in faith. So in Galatians, Paul says the fruit of that walk is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

These nine fruits of the Spirit will be the subject of our next series of sermons. We will explore each of the fruits as they are discussed in scripture and then hear the challenge to exhibit these fruits.

There will be times when this fruit just seems to grow over time; as we recognize God’s hand in our past, his faithfulness encourages us to be faithful as well. I think of our move to Iowa and the opportunity our children had to grow up in a small town where doors were left unlocked and they could roam freely throughout the town of 1600, always knowing that we had a loving community watching out for them.

As we are given unexpected kindness so we, in turn, become more kind – like the time a stranger paid for my movie ticket because I had made sure he could go before me in the ticket line. Then there are the times when we can choose whether to treat someone with goodness or not. We can decide if we will go out of our way to offer someone a ride or give their car battery a jump or to give blood.

How is your transformation going? Do you seem stalled in your growth of love for others? Are you having a hard time finding peace in the midst of the turmoil around you? Let’s take some time this summer and explore how God wants you to grow in your faith. Come, listen and be ready to hear the Spirit speak to you about how you are growing already and how you can grow even more in your faith. Join us for worship as we explore how to be transformed from the inside out.

Blessings,

Pastor Randy