But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, accommodating, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial, and not hypocritical. And the fruit that consists of righteousness is planted in peace among those who make peace. – James 3:17-18
What are the things that protect you? You might have a wall or fence, strong locks on your doors, or even some kind of weapon. You might have a security system or army of bodyguards. Your house could be flood-proof, fire-proof and built to withstand earthquakes. The list could go on and on. All of us want to feel free from harm or danger.
O Lord, you examine me and know. You know when I sit down and when I get up; even from far away you understand my motives. You carefully observe me when I travel or when I lie down to rest; you are aware of everything I do.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. – Galatians 5:22-23 When we look at this beautiful series of attributes, we can only marvel and rejoice at the ways in which God’s Spirit works in our thoughts and hearts. Goodness: Rightness, or righteousness. Our hearts and minds are filled with the virtue and mercies of God. Faithfulness: Being full of faith, trusting fully. Yet even our faith is a result of the working of the Spirit, and He helps it to grow. Gentleness: We have power and strength, but we deal with others and the situations around us with humility and compassion. Self-control: Our desires and passions are not focussed on ourselves, but on loving and pleasing God. It might be called “self”-control, but it is only through the working of the Holy Spirit that our hearts and minds give up control and turn it over to God. All of these originate with the Holy Spirit, and the starting point is love. God wonderfully loves us, our relationship with Him and our joy, peace and all the rest flow from that love.
Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples went back to their homes. But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene …