Love

love [luhv] – noun; unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another.  – verb; feeling or showing great care

God is Love.  “We love because He first loved us.”  (1 John 4:19 ESV)  How did He love us?  How much does He love us?  God in His matchless grace and mercy granted us – finite, imperfect, grimy – a chance to love.  He gave us the perfect example and bid us to follow in His footsteps. He loves us with an unfathomable love.  A love like, but far exceeding, a father to his son.  When we get a hold of that truth we are transformed!  We are changed from the inside out when we drink from the overflowing fountain of His love. When we are infused, when we are filled, it is then and only then that we can love as He loved with a passionate, consistent, undying love.  This love isn’t just toward the lovely.  It isn’t a respecter of persons or time.  This love is unmistakably recognizable.  Its countenance will be joyous, its smile will be genuinely ready, and its speech will be timely and edifying.

Reflect:
How has God demonstrated His love for you today?  What have you done to demonstrate your love for Him?

Think of someone in your life whom you find difficult to love.  How would grasping Christ’s love for you change your perspective toward that person?

How can you live in love today? How can you show love to those around you?

Verses:
Ephesians 5:2 “…and walk in love as Christ loved us.”

1 Corinthians 13:13 “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

Quote:
“The secret of loving is living loved.” – Max Lucado

On July 11th we are starting a 7 week series –> Unpacking The Lord’s Prayer <– Consider joining us!  Learn more –> here Sign-up to receive post updates via email –> here and/or If you’re on facebook “like” our Choose to Grow Page –> here

Goodness

goodness [good-nis] – noun; the quality or state of being good

Of all the attributes or characteristics of God, one could think of “goodness” as all-encompassing. It’s being kind, friendly, generous, honest. It’s extending grace and mercy; placing value on others. Everything God does is good. Everything. He created the universe and declared it to be good (Genesis 1:31), the Psalmist expounds on the goodness of God, and we, God’s creation, are to do the same. As His child, we know He is good, but do we really know in our heart of hearts that He is good all the time in everything? We can trust Him with our circumstances, our concerns, our joys, our LIFE!

Reflect:
What are some instances in your life that could only be attributed to a good God. (this could be a long list!)

Where are you right now? Are you finding it easy or difficult to believe in God’s goodness? Why?

What does goodness look like in daily living?  Is there someone who sets an example of goodness in your world?

Verses:
Psalm 100:5 “For the LORD is good;his steadfast love endures forever,and his faithfulness to all generations.”

Psalm 119:68 “You are good, and the source of good; train me in your goodness.”

Matthew 19:17 “…No one is good but One, that is, God.”

Quote:
“If you can’t see His goodness, you can trust His goodness.”  - Jack Hyles

On July 11th we are starting a 7 week series –> Unpacking The Lord’s Prayer <– Consider joining us!  Sign-up to receive post updates via email –> here and/or If you’re on facebook “like” our Choose to Grow Page –> here

Worship

worship [wur-ship] – noun; the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity
– verb; to show reverence and adoration for (a deity); to honor with praise and adoration

Worship. We were created to do it. In fact, that is the WHOLE point of our existence. But we messed it up. All of God’s creation does what it was created to do. Birds fly, fish swim, bees pollinate, flowers grow, the sun shines, …the list goes on and on. All of creation does what it was created to do except us. Nothing rebels,…except us. Man was given a choice – a choice to worship God and fulfill the purpose for which he was created, or deny Him. Unfortunately, man made the choice to deny Him and go against this beautiful plan. We gave up our purpose. God in His great love and mercy decided to give us another chance and sent His one and only Son to die on the cross to pay the debt of sin we owed – the debt that kept us from accomplishing our purpose. He equipped us to WORSHIP again! We again have the choice, and this time, let’s not fight His plan.

Reflect:
Since God created us for the sole purpose of worshiping Him, how important do you think worship should be to us?

Review the last 48 hours of your life.  Based on the definition of worship who or what are you worshiping?

Meditate on who your God is. Exult in His greatness. Take time to praise Him, to thank Him, to WORSHIP Him.

Verses:
Psalm 29:2 “Give to the Lord the glory due to His name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness…”

John 4:24 “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Quote:
“Worship is simply glorifying God; this means there is nothing required of us that cannot be done as an act of worship.” –John MacArthur

On July 11th we are starting a 7 week series –> Unpacking The Lord’s Prayer <– Consider joining us!  Sign-up to receive post updates via email –> here and/or If you’re on facebook “like” our Choose to Grow Page –> here

Optimism

Optimism [op-tuh-miz-uhm] – noun; a disposition or tendency to look on the more favorable side of events or conditions and to expect the most favorable outcome, the belief that good ultimately predominates over evil in the world

A disposition. Have you noticed that so many of the character traits of God that we must strive to develop in our own lives have so much to do with our disposition or attitude? An attitude of optimism chooses to “see the glass half full” instead of half empty. Yes, things come into our lives every day that we would gladly do without. Yes, we don’t always have “good days,” but regardless of our circumstance, we have to decide to view our life through God’s lens of optimism.  Through prayer you can keep negative and self-degrading thoughts at bay. They have no place in your life! Hope in God! Exult in HIM and what HE has done!

Reflect:
Make a list of things in your life that could use a change in perspective.

Think about how your disposition affects those around you. How would choosing optimism change the atmosphere in your circle?

Optimism is directly related to thankfulness – take a minute (or several) to stop and thank God for what He is doing in your life.

Verses:
Psalm 31:24 “Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for and hope for and expect the Lord!”

Proverbs 17:22 “A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.”

Quote:
“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” – Jimmy Dean

On July 11th we are starting a 7 week series –> Unpacking The Lord’s Prayer <– Consider joining us!  Sign-up to receive post updates via email –> here and/or If you’re on facebook “like” our Choose to Grow Page –> here

Meekness

meek-ness [mēknis] – noun; the feeling of patient, submissive humbleness, a disposition to be patient and long suffering.

The quality of meekness is often misinterpreted as “weakness.” For us to be humble and have a meek disposition, we often think we must be a “doormat” or have no backbone. Friend, this fruit of the Spirit is the exact opposite of any of those things. Meekness is a freedom from arrogance and pride. It causes us to have a low estimation of ourselves. It is not calling us to think badly of ourselves. That is another form of pride. Rather, it is calling us to realize our own faults, and in realizing that to treat our brothers and sisters in Christ with love and humility. Meekness is humility. We are called to be meek not weak!

Reflect:
Why do you think it is oftentimes difficult to BE meek?

In what ways did Christ demonstrate meekness?

How can you “consider others more significant than yourself” today?

Verses:
Philippians 2:3-8 “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

1 Peter 5:6 “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,”

Quote:
“Meekness is power under control.” – Warren Wiersbe

On July 11th we are starting a 7 week series –> Unpacking The Lord’s Prayer <– Consider joining us!  Sign-up to receive post updates via email –> here and/or If you’re on facebook “like” our Choose to Grow Page –> here

Patience

Patience [pey-shuhns] – noun; quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence

Another fruit of the spirit – Patience is demonstrated so beautifully by our merciful, longsuffering God. While this quality is placed in us by God, it does take effort on our part and cooperation with the work He is performing in us. It is patience or longsuffering that allows us to absorb the trials of life – to walk in love when those around us are unlovely or to trust when God’s timing is far from our own.

Reflect:
Patience is a multi-faceted virtue – what does it mean to you?

Are you cooperating with God’s work of patience in your life?

In what areas do you find most difficult to be patient?

Verses:
Colossians 3:12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

1 Timothy 1:16 But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me…, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example…

Quote:
“Patience is not passive; on the contrary, it is active; it is concentrated strength” – Edward G. Bulwer- Lytton

On July 11th we are starting a 7 week series –> Unpacking The Lord’s Prayer <– Consider joining us!  Sign-up to receive post updates via email –> here and/or If you’re on facebook “like” our Choose to Grow Page –> here