Tag Archives: gifts

The Human Condition

21 Apr

There are times that I sit in total awe of God and His power, trusting fully in Him, humbled, peaceful, knowing He is in charge.  There are also times that I wonder at His [perfect] wisdom in giving us free will, knowing that we would spend our entire relationship with Him in battle over it. Our struggle to be close to Him will be daily working to overcome our human condition and free will.

As we seek to stay in obedience, we will struggle with our thoughts, our emotions, our pride, our ego, our fears , and all of our sin nature. So much to overcome! But, He shows us how simple it really is, when we are humbled, in awe of Him.

We will walk a constant battle between trying to be mini-Gods, thinking we are part of God and the humbling truth that we are merely His creation, meant to submit and walk the path He planned for us, for His Glory and not just for our good but the good of His chosen people.

God shows us in 1 Samuel 25 the perfect example of the human condition with the story of David, Nabel and Abigail.

Nabel  in his time of excess, refused and mocked David and his army for asking for provisions. This is the world and the people we come across every day. This is the one that is rude or selfish, the one that hurts, harms, or attacks us. This is the consequences of our own choices or the consequences from other’s free will; the one that lies about us, or simply cuts us off in traffic.

David, the man after God’s heart, shows his heart also had the human condition. He reacted with “righteous”, justifiable anger with plans to kill Nabel and his family.  David was going to make things right, on his own terms.

Abigail (Nabel’s wife) upon hearing of her husband’s foolish arrogance, responds immediately with wisdom. She showed strength in her response. Her faith becomes obvious as she plans to face head on, the leader of an army that plans to kill her and her family.

She sends ahead of her the provisions and gifts David had requested of Nabel.  As she faces her enemy, she shows great courage and humility, taking the full blame for Nabel’s foolishness and begs for mercy. She acknowledges righteousness and God and that David is surely a man that also knows and loves God.

Nabel displays the selfish, cruel world we live in. David showed our weakness in his human struggles with his temper and emotional reaction. Was it justified and righteous? David thought so in that moment. The world would probably agree. Abigail shows the humility and strength that comes from trusting in God’s righteousness.

Abigail’s obedience and truth convicted David. He realized his folly; pride had caused him to stumble and take matters into his own hands. He reacted to the rejection and who would argue? He was justified by human standards, but God intervened. Abigail knew the greatness of God and faced her enemy with the courage of faith, humility and strength.  The call to retaliate was an emotional reaction that was all David’s, not God’s, plan. Abigail’s obedience and humility in turn humbled David and softened his response. He realized his own foolishness.

When we walk with God, no matter how closely, we must remain aware of our human condition to take matters into our own hands. We must remind ourselves constantly to humble ourselves, to seek God’s plan for each day.

In adversity, when we have our emotional reactions,no matter how obvious right and wrong are, we absolutely need to humble ourselves, stand before Him and seek His will. We can’t be mini-God’s, acting on our own, no matter how justifiable we or the world, thinks we are.

All too often I put on God’s shoes ,all too often I react and respond from my own limited human condition.
Learning to submit all matters to His hands before I take them into my own hands is a learning process and a building, maturing faith. Seeing all people and circumstances including the enemy through God’s eyes, diminishes our reactions and reminds us not of how small we are, but how big He is.

We are not God and we are certainly not God-less.

From Redpath “If you begin with God, your enemies grow small. If you begin with the enemy, you many never reach God. “

Father help me seek your ways long before I think or speak from my human condition, remembering in humility, that my ways are not your ways, and Your way is always good, always right. Help me to be like your humble servant Abigail with righteous response to all circumstances

Amen

33 “So above all, constantly chase after the realm of God’s kingdom and the righteousness that proceeds from him. Then all these less important things will be given to you abundantly. 34 Refuse to worry about tomorrow, but deal with each challenge that comes your way, one day at a time. Tomorrow will take care of itself.” Matthew 6:33

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Other Gods

2 Dec

“If God isn’t enough, more than enough, no one and nothing ever will be”  

I have repeated this thought, that came from prayer time, several times lately; To myself and to the way too many discarded or left behind people I have come to know.

When we are faced with being alone (it can feel pretty awful, right?) it shows our faith by who or what we fill that space with.

Do you fill it with God, or do you fill with something else? Another person/relationship, or do you drink more, or maybe you fill it with busyness.

Maybe you have been brave or like me, simply kept apart. In that time of loneliness, of being set apart; did you rekindle the love you first had with the one Who loved you first? Did you seek to fill that empty space with your perfect Creator, Father, and with his Son, the Bridegroom?  Did you allow Him to minister to your heart, He whose promises never break, He who’s greatest desire is to know you intimately.

As you sought the distraction of anything, of others, instead of Him, who is enough, did you pray about something? As you ignored His request of you, did you petition your own requests of Him?

If you keep trying to fill the place He is trying to fill – you’re missing out on so much. He is enough. He loves us beyond measure.

Just a couple of His love letters to us:

Jeremiah 31:3

 The Lord appeared to us in the past,[a] saying: 

“I have loved you with an everlasting love;

I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. 

Psalm 91:14-16 (MSG)

“If you’ll hold on to me for dear life,” says God,
    “I’ll get you out of any trouble.
I’ll give you the best of care
    if you’ll only get to know and trust me.
Call me and I’ll answer, be at your side in bad times;
    I’ll rescue you, then throw you a party.
I’ll give you a long life,
    give you a long drink of salvation!”

When you spend time in the hurt and loneliness with Him, you gain the perfect comfort of Him, the lasting confidence in Him, you heal and grow in His unfailing, abiding love and from there – He brings you “THE people” the ones to walk beside you, and the ones to share His light with.

Beloved, you must guard your fears as much as your heart. Trust in Him with your fear. Tell Him you are lonely, tell Him it isn’t fair, tell Him you are afraid. He minister’s to your obedience with peace.  You are His and you were bought for a high price. All He wants in return is your whole heart.  From that intimate relationship, He can bless you to be the blessing you are called to be.

When you can’t be alone it simply means that God is not enough for you. It may not feel great at first, but it is the most obedient, healing, protected place you can be. If you fill that gap, You are worshiping another God, You have an idol and a faith issue with Him.

What you chase after is your God.

The beauty of this amazing, perfect, loving God? As soon as you put Him back on the throne of your desires and seek Him again, you are right back in His perfect path. Welcomed with loving arms.

Psalm 23 (TPT)  

The Good Shepherd

 David’s poetic praise to God[a]
The Lord is my best friend and my shepherd.[b]
    I always have more than enough.
 He offers a resting place for me in his luxurious love.[c]
    His tracks take me to an oasis of peace, the quiet brook of bliss.
That’s where he restores and revives my life.[d]
    He opens before me pathways to God’s pleasure
    and leads me along in his footsteps of righteousness[e]
    so that I can bring honor to his name.
 Lord, even when your path takes me through
    the valley of deepest darkness,
    fear will never conquer me, for you already have!
    You remain close to me and lead me through it all the way.
    Your authority is my strength and my peace.[f]
    The comfort of your love takes away my fear.
    I’ll never be lonely, for you are near.
 You become my delicious feast
    even when my enemies dare to fight.
    You anoint me with the fragrance of your Holy Spirit;[g]
    you give me all I can drink of you until my heart overflows.
So why would I fear the future?
    For your goodness and love pursue me all the days of my life.
    Then afterward, when my life is through,
    I’ll return to your glorious presence to be forever with you!

Filling Holes

17 Oct

There was a time in my walk that I found great joy and deep fulfillment in my one on one relationship with Christ. I loved my alone time with Him. I was also surrounded with constant activity and demands of my time and attention. He was my solace, my retreat.   He wasn’t my first and most, He was my refuge. He instructs us to make Him our firm foundation, not just our  ‘go to’ for peace.

He calls us deeper and we tend to put more energy, more weight in the tangible: Leaning on friends in hard times and trusting Him from a distance. Like the Wizard (Oz)  behind the curtain.

I have just walked through a season of loneliness.  I am reminded that Jesus wants the firsts and the most of us. He tells us over and over that we are not alone. Yet…we are all afraid of being alone. We seek friendship, we seek love, we occupy our spaces of alone times. We focus on our kids or keep the television on as a distraction.

Learning to enjoy Him, to lean into Him first, truly is the foundation of faith- removing all idols and just be still with Him. He wants to sit with you one on one before anyone else pulls up a chair.  No distractions, no other loves before Him, no busy life. He wants to be that call on the drive home.

When life changes and you find yourself alone, as well as lonely; Trust Him.

Commune with just Him. Let Him show you the deep content of relationship with Him. Over time He will bring your people to you – the right people will show up at the right time.

In His infinite wisdom, He has kept me to himself until I finally stopped hearing the silence and began to hear Him. Feel Him again.

Until being alone with Jesus is enough, more than enough – even a full room won’t fill the ache, the hole of loneliness we feel and strive to satisfy. So, turn off the world -begin to speak to Him of your day, your thoughts. Join Him. He is waiting for you.

 

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you.”‭‭John‬ ‭14:16‬ ‭NLT‬‬                 

““If you don’t go all the way with me, through thick and thin, you don’t deserve me. If your first concern is to look after yourself, you’ll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you’ll find both yourself and me.”Matthew‬ ‭10:38-39‬ ‭MSG

“I cried out, “I am slipping!” but your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me. When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.”‭‭Psalms‬ ‭94:18-19‬ ‭NLT‬‬

“This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.””‭‭Joshua‬ ‭1:9‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Grace

19 Sep

Grace. What a powerful word.

There is a calling on each of our lives, plain and simple.

When we mature in our faith, and walk in Grace, we walk with The Lord and we are the light that shines hope. When we forgive, (because we are instructed to forgive), and offer grace to someone that by the worlds standards, we should despise and reject, we are heeding our call to  ‘lead like Jesus’.

In the process of grieving my short marriage, I often asked God why?  I have grown to understand, what He reminds me of; There is not one moment in our lives that has not come through God’s hands. Even betrayals (and hurricanes) have been allowed for reasons only He knows and understands.

Only because of His incredible mercy towards me, His healing in my heart, have I found peace.  Grace and Mercy through forgiveness that is not really possible without the fullness of God in our hearts.

There is something about seeing the full power of God coming straight for you that changes everything. What is good and righteous, surfaced within me.  It was purged through raw grief which poured from the deepest part of me. As quickly as it began, it healed, and it healed swiftly. My soul was raw and opened up to His final healing.

When you extend mercy and kindness to someone that caused anguish in your heart it is obviously God. Knowing Him, seeking Him, being surrounded by wise women that walked with me through the valley, all pointed me straight on the path He laid before me. I am so grateful for the peace found there.

Here is the important lesson: as with all trial, this wasn’t just meant for me.  As we grow in our faith, we realize that whatever we walk through, truly is meant to shine the light of Hope to one or many. My grappling attempts, my moments of humanness, are elementary, as common as the darkness in this world and they don’t heal.

But God! He placed his supernatural healing in my broken heart because He needed me to be the light for a soul that is lost.  Grace shown and shared with someone that harmed us is a powerful healer. For both.

In the end, nothing we endure is just meant for us. With God leading us, we will be shown beautiful mercy in our trials when we focus on shining His light. What we journey through is meant to bless the broken with hope, to be the beacon of possibility to a lost and broken world.

When we are well on our journey of faith, we know our lot is already secure and we know who has us, who holds our future. We may get tossed a bit, but we remain steady in the end. We know the outcome.

When we let that Grace fill us to overwhelming joy, it spills over and pours out on everyone. No matter the circumstances, no matter the trial; That just builds more joy.

Thank you, Jesus.

14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deedsand glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16

 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.  Matthew 7:1

14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:14

Before You Go

5 Aug

If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.~ Mark 3:25 NIV

The Church family, like a safe marriage will go through times that simply don’t make us “happy”. I pray that you look within yourselves for the source of that unhappiness before you act on that feeling. In quitting a thing…there is a huge piece of the pie missing. Commitment.

First of all, marriage and church is meant to help us stumble along the journey to become Holy. To mature and grow in our faith and relationship with God. To prepare us to be the Bride/Groom of Christ in Heaven.

Do your interactions and actions towards a solution match your level of energy spent in your unhappiness. (It is important to add that God never intended for people to be abused in a marriage or a church so I want that clear…People need to be safe, in those instances, leave.)

Commitment is something that isn’t about feeling “happy”. It is change and it is boring, it is arguing and crying and loving and liking and giving and refusing to give another inch sometimes. It is laughing and watching and talking and barely speaking. It is human and it is forgiving. It is about staying when it’s tough.

It is about the whole, not the moments. It’s about seeing who we are supposed to be, where we need to grow, where we need to accept and give Grace and Mercy to one another. It is about agreeing to disagree sometimes as long as it is biblical truth. It is forbearance,because we are all so fallible.

It isn’t about the immediate. It is about building a thing. Starting with foundation. Sometimes you need to rebuild the foundation to get it strong again. You may not always want to be somewhere, but commitment is a promise that gets you through to the other side. To another plateau of enriched learning and growth. To new joy and acceptance. Today, most people leave at the most important parts and never fully understand the blessing of working it out.

If you are led in a different direction, if you are not being “fed” at church, happy in your marriage, there are many questions you need to pray about, and seek answers to.

God is very specific about speaking against and dividing a church. I am not a fan of divorce and neither is God.

There are great reasons to leave a church. I am linking several great articles. I encourage you to read, pray, seek to rectify. Honor your commitment or at best, evaluate your commitment.

Romans 12:3
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.

1 Corinthians 4:17
For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church.

1 Corinthians 10:32
Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God–

1 Corinthians 11:16
If anyone wants to be contentious about this, we have no other practice–nor do the churches of God.

1 Corinthians 11:34
Anyone who is hungry should eat something at home, so that when you meet together it may not result in judgment. And when I come I will give further directions.

1 Corinthians 14:33
For God is not a God of disorder but of peace–as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people.

2 Corinthians 8:18
And we are sending along with him the brother who is praised by all the churches for his service to the gospel.

2 Corinthians 11:28
Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.

Galatians 1:22
I was personally unknown to the churches of Judea that are in Christ.

1 Thessalonians 2:14
For you, brothers and sisters, became imitators of God’s churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own people the same things those churches suffered from the Jews

2 Thessalonians 1:4
Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.

http://www.churchleaders.com/pastors/pastor-articles/148839-how-to-leave-a-church-well
http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung/2010/07/23/good-reasons-for-moving-on

Called For More

30 Jul

Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise, but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:15-16)

As Christ followers, we are called to live Holy lives. Lives free from sin, living in such a way that when other’s look at us, they can’t help but see Jesus.

I fail. All the time. I seriously feel like I just never get there. He must just shake his glorious fist at me sometimes.

Give me a journey that is laughter, sunsets, no money issues. I am THERE! I am in-tuned, plugged in, so God focused and driven. Yep. I am great with no distraction. When life is smooth…

Now, throw a hardship in my way and I am all over the place. I become drama mama *big sigh*

Here is the truth. I know too much now. I am not a child any longer. I have grown into a mature Christian. It is time for me to walk like Jesus. What does that mean? Does that mean I am wiser, more confident in myself, sin less, take life’s ups and downs in stride with ease? Actually it doesn’t. It means I submit more, seek more, trust more, hope more, lean more, obey better, learn more,become convicted quicker and surround myself with friends that will keep me on His path, not my own.

Maturity isn’t about wisdom, it is about knowing where to find my wisdom, whom my wisdom comes from. Maturity isn’t about telling other’s how to live, it is about showing other’s the truth about living in The Light of Salvation. Showing other’s where my hope comes from, about showing them how I get through hard times, being transparent and sharing all the Love I receive.

Maturity is knowing, nothing I have is because of me, but because He has showered me with favor. Nothing I have lost is because I deserved it. It is all meant to keep me close to Him. Maturity knows that I am to Love. If I love God first, ALL people second, and love this person I have been created to be, then the rest of the law is redundant.

My life will always be shared, I will be transparent. I think in a world that has had so much hurt and harm done, even in the name of thinking they were doing good, it is important to share my heart, my mistakes, my weakness, my complete hypocrisy. I will seek to ask myself if I can cast a stone at you, before I throw it. I will do my very best to always be truthful with myself, I will surround myself with friends and leaders that will speak truth into my life, even when it hurts. Friends that will say, why on earth are you holding that stone? I am a willing example of a truthful journey to understand and know God, to seek truth and to give all of my heart and soul to pleasing The One, The Way, The Hope, My Savior.

You heard the story! You know what He did for us! What is my life worth without that? He is so patient with me. The bible uses the word forbearance. Synonyms are patience, long-suffering, sufferance, tolerance. Such truth in that word! He didn’t just suffer on the cross, He is still suffering over me! I am so not close to being Him…. But I would so love to love His people like He does.

Romans 2:4 (MSG)

3-4 You didn’t think, did you, that just by pointing your finger at others you would distract God from seeing all your misdoings and from coming down on you hard? Or did you think that because he’s such a nice God, he’d let you off the hook? Better think this one through from the beginning. God is kind, but he’s not soft. In kindness he takes us firmly by the hand and leads us into a radical life-change.

Matthew 8:23-27 NIV
Jesus Calms the Storm
23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”

26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”
Romans 3:25 (NIV)

25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement,[a] through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—

Construction Help Wanted

28 Jun

“If you think someone or something other than yourself is responsible for your happiness or success, I’d guess you’re not that happy or successful.”
― Rob Liano

We cannot surrender ourselves to Him, if we don’t first surrender our own controlling need to blame others. Joy is a gift, happiness is a choice. Beckie Halaska. =)

Construction Crew or Wrecking Crew~

When my children were little, it amazed me how their behavior was always at its worst on the days I could tolerate it the least. Now I see how this is so logical.

It took me a very long time to realize I was “creating” the circumstances in my own life. It was a slow process for me. I kept waiting for everyone else to change. I wasn’t looking within myself to identify the problems.

Change is a process, it takes time. Having a different attitude is the first and most important step to allow that change to take place. Having knowledge has nothing to do with having the ability to apply it to yourself. It takes effort and a conscious decision.

Looking within, I found that my fears were the roadblock, keeping me from letting go of the past. The past was still what I based the future on, clouding my ability to see the changes that were possible. I was afraid. Afraid of failure, or maybe even success.

Seeing that I have a choice…if I choose not to react to my fears, instead, simply just acknowledge my fear and choose to trust… Thats all that is really needed…Nothing more than that.

I gave fear a lot of power and didn’t realize trust, love and forgiveness were a choice. I knew I loved, the feeling love. But I didn’t choose the attitude to love. The verb.

I had a light bulb moment. It wasn’t huge, just a hmmm..sort of moment. From that moment on, I have been calm. Conscious christian, bible based dialogue focuses on the positives, reaffirms the good. It sheds love and allows for a positive attitude. If you focus on the negatives, it could be awfully impossible to have hope, good times, closeness. I am learning that attitude on my part is simply just a choice. Actually what I am doing by reacting is saying I believe I know what will happen next, what this means about how you see me, what my worth is, what the outcome is going to be. Assuming I will be hurt, when in reality I will in fact be unhappy, we will be stuck, but only because I convinced myself of it. Knowing this is actually calming. It has been the single most important thing I have ever done for my relationships.

What kind of life, relationship’s I have is entirely up to me! It’s attitude. If you really see that, embrace that, it becomes so simple. If you look for negatives, you will find them, if you look for positives, you will find them. People will never disappoint you either way. We are the greatest critics of other’s, yet we want no criticism. Oh yeah, that’s fair!!!.

What we are really afraid of is that we are not worthy. I feel a peace inside that I never have felt before. The rest is purely circumstantial. I still get ticked off and I get hurt and I get frustrated. But, they are not monumental. They are circumstantial. They are not hopeless. There is some good to be found inspite of those things. If I look for it. I am learning to not fear, to not assume, to trust, to see the positives, to look within myself to see why I am reacting. By changing my attitude in just this one area, I change the dynamics completely. I see happiness and I feel content. I feel strong and in charge of myself.
It isn’t what I am getting, it’s what I am telling myself I am getting.
It’s not coming at me, it’s coming from within me.

I am now on the construction crew in my life. I make the choice to love, trust and forgive.

“The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz, defines harmony by these attributes.
1. Be impeccable with your words. To speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using words to speak against yourself or others, directly or indirectly thru gossip. Use the power of your word to speak with truth and love.

2. Don’t take anything personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What they say and do is simply a projection of their own reality, their own life experiences. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you no longer are the victim of needless suffering.
3. Don’t make assumptions. Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, hard feelings and drama. With this one simple agreement, you can completely transform your life.
4. Always do your best. Your best is going to change from moment to moment. It will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, be your best self, and you will avoid self-judgement, self abuse, and regret.

Charles Swindoll advises us that our attitude is key to our success.
He states: “The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company…a church…a home.
The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitudes we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past…we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have and that is our attitude..I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you…we are in charge of our Attitudes.”
Stephen R. Covey tells us in ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” that love is a decision. That love is a verb (an action word). Love – the feeling- is a fruit of love, a verb.
For healthy people, love is a verb (something they do). Taking this one step further… so are trust and forgiveness. People who react rather than respond to what’s going on around them see love as a feeling. They and their behavior are driven by their feelings. Proactive, responsible people place their values above their feelings. Making the “decision” to love, trust and forgive.

In your relationships, do you tend to be on the construction gang or on the wrecking crew?
The following are the attributes of the “construction crew”
*Prayer *Affirmation *Positive Attitude *Present and Future focused
*Communication (dialogue, listening and discuss) *Cooperative attitude *Forgiveness *Affection *Positive self-talk *Change *Reliability *Romance

The following are the attributes of the “wrecking crew”
*Criticism *Withdrawal *Negative attitude *Continuing Negative Behaviors *No Communication *No reliance on god *Holding a grudge *Name calling *Negative self talk *Disrespect *Must win attitude *Living in the past *Untrustworthy behavior *self soothing

Psalm 103:8 (NIV) The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.

Ephesians 5:2
and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Galatians 5:22-24 (NIV)
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.