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“To-Do” or “To-Be”

Galatians 5:22-23 “But the Spirit produces the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. There is no law that says these things are wrong.”

No matter whether we are an adult or a child we all wake up each day with a ‘to-do’ list on our minds. For children it might be a lot simpler, like chores, school and homework, but those are the things that their days. For adults we have our jobs, a home to take care of, bills to pay, groceries to get, meals to cook, laundry to get through, projects around the home to complete. Our ‘to-do’ list seems to grow as our day progresses. When we wake up each morning, we present our ‘to-do’ list before the Lord, “This is my list, this is my schedule. Be with me, help me, bless me.”

Although it is a good way to start your day and accomplish your tasks, finishing projects and what not, it is more important to begin your day with a spiritual ‘to-be’ list before you tackle your ‘to-do’ list. Scripture shows us some wonderful ways to take our ‘to-be’ list before the Lord.

Help me to reflect Your love -1 John 4:7 “Dear friends, we should love each other, because love comes from God. Everyone who loves has become God’s child and knows God.”

---No matter nationality, beliefs, or differences between people, Jesus loved them all and accepted everyone. He ate with sinners, healed the demon possessed, talked with those in authority. Jesus was like this because He wanted to reflect who God was. We all are born of God and God is love, therefore we need to show the same love and acceptance to everyone.

Help me to display Your joy- 3 John 1:4 “Nothing gives me greater joy than to hear that my children are following the way of truth.”

---Luke tells us that there is joy in heaven over one sinner who has accepted Jesus as their Savior. Jesus’ joy comes when we find truth and hope. When we choose salvation and walk away from the sins of the world, Jesus and all the angels are full of joy. Helping further the hope and truth of Jesus should fill us with joy, seeing those lost saved, should bring joy. Being blessed by God in our day to day lives we should walk around with joy because we know Jesus, then bring that joy to others.

Help me practice Your patience -1 Thessalonians 5:14 “We ask you, brothers and sisters, to warn those who do not work. Encourage the people who are afraid. Help those who are weak. Be patient with everyone.”

---Oh, what patience Jesus showed while on this earth. How many times would you have lost it with those in authority as they sought daily, to tear Jesus down and find fault in Him. Or God and the Israelites? So many times, complaining and never appreciating what God did for them. Are we any different today? Let us continue to seek and show patience like Jesus.

Help me reveal Your faithfulness -Deuteronomy 7:9 “So know that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God. He will keep his agreement of love for a thousand lifetimes for people who love him and obey his commands.”

---What I love most about knowing Jesus is that He is faithful and keeps His promises. No matter how many generations have passed God still will not give up and He will fulfill His promises. May we be like Him and show such faithfulness to those around us especially friends and family. Let us never break promises and never give up on ourselves or our friends and family. Let us remain faithful to God and keep following Him no matter what we face or go through.

Help me manifest Your peace -John 14:27 “I leave you peace; my peace I give you. I do not give it to you as the world does. So, don’t let your hearts be troubled or afraid.”

---Although this world is full of turmoil, deceit and so much more Jesus wants us to have peace. Even while on this earth Jesus faced lies and troubles yet I believe He had a peace because He was confident in God and what God promised. He strove to bring that peace to a troubled nation, as He does today. Jesus wants us to have confidence that no matter what we face we can have hope in what is to come. Let us all manifest that peace to those around us daily.

Help me express Your kindness -Colossians 3:12 “God has chosen you and made you his holy people. He loves you. So you should always clothe yourselves with mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” Micah 6:8 “The Lord has told you, human, what is good; he has told you what he wants from you: to do what is right to other people, love being kind to others, and live humbly, obeying your God.”

----Ephesians 4:32 tells us God shows kindness and forgiveness to everyone and asks us to do the same. You know the golden rule, do to others what you want done to you. You want kindness and forgiveness then you need to show it. As God’s children we are also told to show kindness even to that most annoying person in our life. We can express kindness with not only our words but our actions. Show Jesus living through us, not the anger of this world.

Help me to show Your gentleness -Matthew 11:29 “Accept my teachings and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit, and you will find rest for your lives.

---Jesus invites us to go to Him and learn from Him. One thing we can learn is how to show gentleness like He did. Our words can be a good start. Proverbs 15:1a “A gentle answer turns away anger…” What about how we can show gentleness to the animals around us? Matthew 21:5 calls Jesus gentle on the donkey. There is a way we can talk without yelling or being assertive and throughout the gospels Jesus shows us how to be like Him. Let us show others the same gentleness Jesus did.

Help me to exhibit Your self-control -James 1:19 “My dear brothers and sisters, always be willing to listen and slow to speak. Do not become angry easily…”

---There is only one time we see Jesus lose it and that was when He yelled at those buying and selling in God’s house. Were there many times He could have yelled or lost it? Yes, I’m sure He had to show self-control when dealing with the rulers constantly attacking Him. Or He could have lost self-control while facing the temptations Satan threw at Him in the desert. But Jesus had one purpose, one goal, while on this earth and that was to show the love of God and the promise of forgiveness and salvation. So, He showed over and over self-control to all around Him teaching us that when we keep God in our lives, He will help us overcome things that might send us overboard. James says it best, be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger. It’s better to keep out mouth shut at times and walk away from things we can’t control.

Just like our ‘to-do’ list, these traits won’t just happen if we sit around hoping. We need to have an open relationship with Jesus allowing Him to guide our hearts and grow these traits. We also need to put them into practice each day. The best way to start is by inviting the Holy Spirit in to inspire us. We must allow ourselves to receive these things from Jesus first and then, we in turn, can share them with others.

Begin your day making your ‘to-be’ list your priority and your ‘to-do’ list will become easier and less of a burden to accomplish, to get through the day. Live the Fruit of the Spirit and shine your light so others will see Jesus.

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