Fruit of Peace

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace ..”
(Galatians 5:22)


In worldly terms peace is generally understood as an absence of something – such as hostilities or need. In God’s eyes peace is something that He gives independently of a worldly context.

First and foremost peace describes our new relationship with God. Sin and death have been overthrown and we have been welcomed home as the daughters and sons of God. There is a wonderful love, joy and peace now in our relationship with God. And because this peace flows from Him it cannot be contaminated by the world. Whatever the world throws at us we can trust God to bring us through, and so rest in His peace even in the midst of the storms of life.

Jesus said to His disciples,

  • “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”  (John 14:27)

Paul went on to write,

  • “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  (Philippians 4:7)

Nothing is greater than God’s love for us, nothing is greater than the power of God, and God is in absolute control of every single moment and every single aspect of our lives.

  • “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
  • “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)

As a child in pain finds comfort, rest and reassurance in the arms of its mother so too we find our peace in the ‘arms of the Lord’ for that is where we belong.

  • “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you” (Isaiah 26:3)
  • “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

God is with me – and always will be


Father please forgive me for my lack of peace when my word wobbles. Help me to trust You at all times and to know that You will see me through the storms of life. Please bless me with the peace that comes from Your great love for me and Your absolute power and authority. Amen.








Fruit of Joy

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy,”
(Galatians 5:22)

Joy follows immediately after Love. And it has to because it is a natural spiritual consequence. For once the reality of God’s great, unconditional and never-ending love drops in a blaze of light from our minds into our spirits, and begins to develop there, nothing can halt joy from budding, flowering and bearing fruit. And this is the way God planned it for Jesus told us that,

  • “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” (John 15:11)

Without love joy is a fleeting sensation that lifts our spirits from time to time but never stays. When we know that we are loved joy is greater and stays longer. When that love is the love of God – a love that is unearned, unconditional and unending – joy is intended to become a permanent part of us.

This joy is not dependent upon worldly success and wealth, upon activity or even enjoyment. It comes with a realisation and acceptance that we have been saved from the separation and degradation of our sin. Not only that but we have been saved into the eternal salvation and fulfilment held out to us through the unconditional and life-giving love of the glorious and mighty Father. A true appreciation of the wonderful love of God for us, individually, leads us into the almost unbelievable joy of our forgiveness, acceptance and new identity in God – our identity as the sons and daughters of the eternal Father.

And the wonderful quality of this joy is that no matter what happens in our world the love of God, and the joy of that love and because of that love, can undergird and strengthen us – for this great and glorious God is ever-present, ever-loving and ever attentive to us.

True joy comes from true love – the knowledge of a true and deep love, and the wonder of loving in return. God’s love brings God’s joy to us. Ours brings joy to Him.

  • “The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.”  (Zephaniah 3:17)

Keep dwelling on God’s love for you – allow it to bless you without making demands of Him


Father, may Your great love reach into the very depths of me, drawing my love to You, and leading me into the joy of our love. Amen.


Fruit of Love

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love .. “
(Galatians 5:22-23)


The fruit of the Spirit is made up of different segments but is one fruit, rather like an orange. Unlike the gifts which are separate, and where different gifts may be given to different people, each believer is intended to have the complete fruit of the Spirit become a reality in his or her life.

Just as the defining aspect of God’s character is that “God is love”, so we would expect that it would also become the one thing that stands out most in our new and God-given identity. This is highlighted by the fact that the two Great Commandments, and the new commandments given by Jesus to His disciples, have love as their foundation.

We cannot create love within ourselves, certainly not of the depth, height, width and breadth of God’s love. So, God has given us the gift of the Holy Spirit to transform our lives. One of His primary ministries is to develop within us, and to show through us, the great love of God.

“because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” (Romans 5:5)

Note that it is not just love that is poured into our hearts, but “His Love” – God’s love. We receive God’s love for ourselves as well as the love of God for others. And, just as a tree or vine bears fruit that is seen by and is received by others, so our fruit is expected to be perceived by and become a blessing to others. This was the model of Jesus and is to be ours as well. He made that clear when He told us to be the light of the world.

“In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”  (Matthew 5:16)

The first step is to believe in God’s love.  The second is to receive God’s love.  The third is to conceive God’s love for others.  The final step is to deliver His love around us. All of this is the work of the Holy Spirit as we allow Him to move and work within us. And it should become the most remarkable quality of any group or gathering of Christians.

“By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:35)

The love is there – ask God to develop and increase it – and practice living it.


Father, please fill me with Your love and let me become more of a person of love. Amen.


Spirit Life

“So I say live by the Spirit
 and you will not gratify
the desires of the sinful nature”
(Galatians 5:16)

A new journey begins when as believers we acknowledge the presence of the Holy Spirit within us. He will start to lead us away from sin – firstly by drawing our attention to it and them by beginning to convict us of its presence in our lives. By the grace of God He does not overwhelm us immediately with the sum total of it all, but rather begins to peel away the layers one by one. We may well experience some form of internal warfare that will surprise us – for we remain human surrounded by all the fleshly desires, temptations and weakness of the world. He will work to set us free and to empower us to overcome and avoid them – but we will need to co-operate and to walk with Him. This in itself will be a challenge at times for we may find to our distress that our wills are weak and we are inclined to stray.  It will mean that we need to continually return to Him to allow Him to pick us up, heal and cleanse us, and lead us onwards.

He offers us His gifts, power and guidance and expects us to follow Him – remember He is God and knows the way and the ways that are best for us in our situations. One of His gifts is to produce in us the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. He does so because they are the characteristics of the Father – in whose image we are being re-formed – and because we need them as we live and minister in a world which does not reveal them naturally.

It is a life-long journey of co-operation. He does not overwhelm and force Himself on us. Neither can we produce the fruit by ourselves. As we allow Him to work in us and respond to His guidance He will produce the fruit that we bear. We show our faith in Him by beginning to pray for and live these qualities in our everyday lives, believing that He is indeed forming them within us.

I believe that I am increasingly becoming a person of love …


Holy Spirit I ask and invite You to continue your healing and life-giving work within me, and pray that You will help me to recognise and respond to Your direction. Amen


Identity 5

“Now you are the body of Christ,
and each one of you is a part of it”
 (1 Corinthians 12:27)

Something dramatic has happened to us as believers. We have received the Holy Spirit of God. He makes our new relationship with the Father into a living reality. He also unites us to Christ in a new way as we become a part of the Body of Christ – the visible sign of His presence in the world, directed and controlled by the Lord Himself as the Head.

  • “Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:3)
  • “For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body–whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free–and we were all given the one Spirit to drink”  (1 Corinthians 12:13)
  • “And he is the head of the body, the church” (Colossians 1:18)

Now when we become united to Christ in His body we also become united to those who are also a part of that body. Our relationship with them becomes completely different as well for we are now brothers and sisters of each other and with the Lord Jesus, and are children together of the same Father.

 “In Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others”  (Romans 12:5)

What this means is not that other people have become like us, or we like them. What has happened to us all, and what we need to embrace, is that we have all left our previous backgrounds and identities and have stepped together into a new foreground in which we begin to explore our new relationship with the Lord and with each other. That this is important and what the Lord desires could not be clearer.

  • “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34)
  • “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35)
  • “This is my command: Love each other” (John 15:17)

It is a journey of which we are all a part and in equal relationship. And if we are to discover and enjoy the blessings and fruit of our new identity and these new relationship we will let go of what will not be helpful.

In summary – the Holy Spirit leads us into and witnesses to the reality of our new identity in Christ and as a part of the Body of Christ. He works with us to unite us to the Lord and to each other. And He produces the blessings and fruit that God has prepared for us all and that are found only in Christ Jesus.

I cannot have two identities for I cannot have two Masters. Choose the one that gives life


Lord forgive me for holding onto the things and ways of my old world – help me to embrace freely the people and ways of Your new world and to enjoy all that You have prepared for me. Amen.



Identity 4

“The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit
that we are God’s children”
(Romans 8:16)

Such is the desire of God that we should be redeemed as His children – and know it for ourselves – that He has given us the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is not to be with us as a companion but within us as a living Presence.

Here the Spirit has a number of functions.  The first is to testify to and with our spirit that we are God’s children. This is so important that God has not left us to believe only in His spoken Word for He knows how easily we can doubt not only His Word but ourselves. So He witnesses Himself, by the Spirit, to our own spirits of the truth of our new and eternal relationship with Him. This is one that cannot be broken. God desires, accepts and commits Himself to it for all eternity. And He wants us to know it, receive and trust it, and live within it always.

An allied work to which the Spirit is committed is that of introducing us to the fullness of God’s love for us.

  • “God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us” (Romans 5:5)
  • “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:16-19)

This testimony by God to our new identity, and of His great, unconditional and unending love, is vital to our relationship with Him – and of course to our relationship with ourselves.

The Holy Spirit is speaking to you at your deepest level. Are you listening and giving Him the space to be heard?


Holy Spirit of God please help me to listen, to hear and to respond to Your precious presence and marvellous message. Amen.


Click across to It Came To Pass for a good free recording of The Psalms!

Identity 3

“Having believed,
 you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,
who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance
until the redemption of those who are God’s possession–
to the praise of his glory”
(Ephesians 1:13-14)

Our new identity in Jesus Christ is not merely a matter of words on a page, or of a promise of something to come – it is a present reality for believers.

Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would come to us in a new way – in a relationship that was even closer to the one that His disciples enjoyed with Him. For whilst He was with them the Holy Spirit would be in them – and in us too.

“But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you”  (John 14:17)

Furthermore, Paul tells us now that He will be to us the ‘seal’ of God. That is a sign of ownership from God, indicating that we belong to Him in a new and unbreakable relationship. It is also a sign and a guarantee that we are under and within the power and protection of God Almighty. Lastly the Holy Spirit represents a deposit, or first payment, of our inheritance from God. The remainder of the blessings that God has provided for us are eternally secure and we will enter into and receive them in the fullness of time.

Paul underlines this new identity for us again when he writes,

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own” (1 Corinthians 6:19)

Very clearly something remarkable has taken place. We are no longer the people of the world. We are no longer the products of our past with all its influences and allegiances. Our new and primary identity now is as the people of God – even more, as the children of God, His daughters and sons, both now and through all eternity. And as such

nothing “in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39)

This is what we are called to live out with Him.

As a believer I have received the Holy Spirit – I am a precious daughter/son of God – He is my eternal Father


Holy Spirit I am so glad that You are a part of my life. Please fill every part of me with Your presence and light, cleansing, healing and growing me, and filling me with the Father’s great love. Amen.




Identity 2

“John answered them all, “I baptize you with water.
But one more powerful than I will come,
the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.
He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire”
(Luke 3:16)

All four Gospels testify to the fact that Jesus Christ will baptise His followers with the Holy Spirit. This Holy Spirit, whom we understand to be God, was poured out in a completely new way on the Day of Pentecost. He transformed the spiritual lives of the disciples and the way that they lived. He also equipped them with the gifts and power that they would need for their new lives and ministry. And when in response to Peter’s Pentecost sermon the crowds were convicted and cried out, “What shall we do?” Peter’s response was brief and explicit,

“Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off–for all whom the Lord our God will call”  (Acts 2:38-39)

This is the fulfilment of the prophecy of John the Baptist, it is the fulfilment of the promise of the Lord to send another “Counsellor, the Holy Spirit” and is the fulfilment of His word to Nicodemus concerning being born again through the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

New life does not come without the Holy Spirit and yet He is freely available to all believers – not only as a once off blessing but as a continuing source of life and love and light.

  • “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:13)
  • “God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us” (Romans 5:5)
  • “But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” (John 14:26)

Finally as Paul makes clear “if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ” (Romans 8:9)

Our new identity comes about because God has called us to Himself and given to us the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is the One who brings about the transformation in our lives from being children of the world to becoming children of the Most High God.

Keep on praying for more of the Holy Spirit in your life and invite Him into all your areas of concern


Holy Spirit of God please fill me with Your presence, pour the love of God into my heart and teach me all that I should know as I journey onward with You. Amen.




Identity 1

“Yet to all who received him,
to those who believed in his name,
He gave the right to become children of God–
children born not of natural descent,
nor of human decision or a husband’s will,
but born of God”
(John 1:12-13)

Jesus came to offer to us a new identity – in line with God’s original intention in creation.

No longer children of the Fall with all its consequences, through faith in Christ we become children of the Lord God Almighty Himself. John made it clear at the beginning of his gospel that this was not a natural but a supernatural event.

This new birth is important for us to acknowledge, to believe and to own. In coming to faith in Jesus Christ we are no longer to see ourselves as a product of our past – our human genealogy, our culture and our lives – but instead, and in all humility, as a daughter or son of God. This comes about not by our own actions but by the action of God Himself, and through the agency of the Holy Spirit. It is one of the reasons for the Church’s celebration of Pentecost – observed yesterday.

This has enormous implications for the way in which we see ourselves and other Christians and, vitally, the way in which we see God and our relationship with Him.

We will explore this further during the week.

For today as a Christian – live with the truth that ‘I am a child of God’


Heavenly Father – our Father – my Father – thank You for adopting me as Your own son/daughter. By Your Holy Spirit please help me to believe and receive the wonder of this truth and to live within it. Amen.


Where the heart is


“Peter asked,
“Lord, why can’t I follow you now?
I will lay down my life for you.”
(John 13:37)

It can be easy to be brave when there is no immediate threat. Sometimes it is just bragging and sometimes it is sincere. There is probably an element of both in Peter’s statement.

It seems clear that He was really committed to the Lord. And he was no doubt disappointed to be told that he could not now go wherever Jesus was heading. So he expresses his attachment in the strongest possible terms – only to be told that he will fail to carry out his boast. And to give him his due he did follow the Lord right into the courtyard of the high priest’s house – only to end up denying his relationship with Jesus when questioned by those around him.

However, the glorious truth would later be revealed – that instead of rejecting Peter as unworthy the Lord re-affirmed and re-instated him. And this would be because, unlike Judas, Peter really did want to be the sort of person who would give up everything for his Lord – and his Lord knew it! What Peter was to learn was that laying down his life for the Lord had more to do with his living than his dying!

If you have ever wept over your failures and failings – if like Paul you have cried out –

“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do” (Romans 7:15)

then take encouragement from the fact that the Lord does not merely consider your actions but He knows your heart as well. And it is your heart that He wants most of all – for if we give Him our hearts then all things become possible.

Jesus very next words to Peter and the others, after predicting Petr’s denials, were astounding.

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.”  (John 14:1)

He knew even then that they would all desert Him, but He also knew their hearts and that they would return. He knows your heart and He knows mine, far better than we know them ourselves, and so He asks us to just trust Him in all the ups and downs, the successes and failings, the joy and the pain, of our lives with Him.

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.”

Look to the Lord at all times – He will never look away from you.


Lord Jesus, I really do want to trust You with all my heart all of the time – it’s just that I don’t trust me! Please help me to keep my focus on You even when I foul up. Amen.