Are You Letting the Spirit Lead?

Fruit of the Spirit

Look closely at the picture above.

Do you know the name of each apple variety pictured?

I recognize Red Delicious, Granny Smith, and Green Delicious.

The pale green with the flecks I am uncertain about.

The lighter red one could be a Gala, or possibly an Ambrosia, my favorite.

The opening sentence in Food & Wine’s The Ultimate Apple Guide to 85 Varieties, From Heirlooms to Hybrids published on October 9, 2023 states, “There are over 7,500 apple varieties around the world (and counting)…”

Wow!

The multiple apple varieties look and taste different from each other.

They also have different uses, such as snacking, saucing, baking, or cider.

Yet they are all apples.

What does this discussion of the vast world of apple varieties have to do with this post’s title, “Are You Letting the Spirit Lead?”

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Leading Hearts to Worship | Dt 30:15-20

leading hearts to worship

Who would you say is the most effective leader of our day?

What makes that person stand out from other leaders?

Centuries ago, God called Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt and traverse the desert for forty years to prepare for entering the land promised to their ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Moses was not a perfect leader.

Yet, with the help of the LORD, Moses transformed into a leader whom both Jews and Christians revere.

What does this have to do with leading hearts to worship?

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When Detachment is to Our Benefit

attachment vs. detachment

What comes to mind when you see the word detachment?

One definition of detachment is the action or process of detaching or separation.

Yes, this definition is from Merriam-Webster.com.

If you have a military background, you already know that detachment can refer to the dispatch of a body of troops or part of a fleet from the main body for a special mission or service.

Yep, also from Merriam-Webster.com.

The third definition supplied by Merriam-Webster.com describes detachment as indifference to worldly concerns or aloofness.

Detachment can also show freedom from bias or prejudice.

But what is the spiritual benefit of detachment?

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Giving to Remember God

Giving to Remember God

What does it mean to give?

Give as a transitive verb has sixteen definitions at Merriam-Webster.com.

There were five more definitions for using give as an intransitive verb and two for using give as a noun.

Then I found the section titled, “Choose the Right Synonym for Give”.

Before listing some synonyms with definitions, this section provided the following definition of the word give:

“Give, the general term, is applicable to any passing over of anything by any means.”

This definition, although lacking specificity, is valuable in understanding that “giving” can be a highly personal activity.

But how does this apply to giving to remember God?

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Communal Responsibility in Worship

Communal Responsibility in Worship

How would you define communal responsibility in worship?

According to Merriam-Webster.com,

  • A community is defined as a unified body of individuals.
  • Responsibility involves answering for one’s conduct or obligations.
  • To worship is to regard with great or extravagant respect, honor, or devotion a divine being.

So, a communal responsibility in worship could be described as a unified body of individuals answering for each other’s conduct to show great or extravagant respect, honor, or devotion to a divine being.

But what does that look like in actual practice for the Israelites in the book of Deuteronomy? And us today?

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Removing the Distractions from Worshiping God

Distracted

Recently I opted to work on my writing at a local cafe.

I thought it would be okay since the cafe had Wi-Fi and many of the research resources I use are now available online.

Plus, several friends of mine who are writers love to work at cafes or shared work spaces.

But it was too distracting for me.

Hearing orders called out, seeing a father play with his son out in the courtyard, and some odd technical difficulties made my writing experience frustrating.

I now know for certain that my home office space is the best place to work on my writing.

This does not mean I never get distracted at home. I do.

But I have more control over my home office space than I do in a public space.

How does this relate to the need to remove distractions from worshiping God?

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Reasons to Worship God

Scripture

Have you given any consideration to why you worship God?

What reasons would you share with others for worshiping God?

Do the reasons vary depending on whom you are sharing with? If so, why?

Or perhaps you came across this post because you have never worshiped God and are curious why others do.

The primary definition of the word worship is to honor or show reverence to a divine being or supernatural power.

Here, I am writing about the God of the ancient Israelites whom Christians also worship today.

I believe the most accurate source to learn the reasons to worship God comes from God himself in the Bible.

Today, we will explore the reasons God himself provided to the ancient Israelites for worshiping Him in Deuteronomy 11:1-20.

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Are You an Early Riser?

Some of us rise early, even if it does not come naturally to us.

But for others, rising early is something they cherish. Why?

I can think of many reasons someone might cherish the wee hours of the day.

  1. It affords a quiet time of meditation before the demands of the day begin.
  2. An opportunity to enjoy the sunrise or other aspects of nature.
  3. A preferred time to exercise one’s body.
  4. Time to work on a personal hobby or even a second job.
  5. I’m sure there are other reasons too.

But none of these reasons explain why some rose early to go visit a tomb as shared in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

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From Peter’s Confession to Palm Branches

Last week, a group I regularly meet with discussed Peter’s confession of Christ in Matthew 16:13-23.

In this passage, Jesus is alone with His disciples in a location most Jews of their day would never visit since it was a city full of pagan worship. (Matthew 16:13)

While there, Jesus asks his disciples these two questions:

  1. “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” (Matthew 16:13)
  2. “But what about you…who do you say I am?” (Matthew 16:15)

The disciple’s response to the first question was, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” (Matthew 16:14)

Peter responded to the second question: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:16)

After affirming Peter’s statement, Jesus warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ. (Matthew 16:20)

Why did Jesus issue this warning?

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