I Like Lists

I am a guy who does not like guess work and appreciates detailed definitions. For example, if you take the word “love”, I along with many men have trouble understanding this simple, fundamental word.  The good news is in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, Paul the Apostle lists fifteen characteristics of “agape love” so that we clearly, in detail can understand what “love” looks like:  Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Paul precisely gave the characteristics that make up Christian love.

Since the Holy Spirit is God living life within us, what does the “fruit of Spirit” look like in our lives?  Again, Paul the Apostle is crystal clear.  In Galatians 5:22-23, He gives us nine specific characteristics what our lives will look like if we are filled with the Holy Spirit, “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Be filled with the Holy Spirit and folks will see the evidence of the “fruit of the Spirit” in your life.

There is another essential list that most of us are unfamiliar.  James the brother of Christ in 3:17 clearly defines to us what Godly wisdom looks like, “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.” Now, you have the eight characteristics of wisdom.  Earlier in his book in chapter 1:5, James exclaims to us, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”  God wants us to be wise knowing how to live life out in practical ways evidencing Godly knowledge and good judgment.  Wisdom is soundness of mind…often lacking in today’s world. 1:5 says that we who “lack wisdom…should ask God (for wisdom),” and he “will give generously without finding fault.”  God commits to us that He will bless any of us generously with wisdom if we ask. That’s a huge statement.  You can change from foolish to wise by asking God for wisdom.  He wants to make you wise.

James 3:18 gives us a view what the person full of wisdom looks like, “Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.” 

Above are three powerful lists.  Don’t leave them as ink on a page.  Get to know these lists backwards and forwards and flesh them out in your daily walk.  God will bless you mightily in the process.

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