Countenance

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace. — Galatians 5:22

The evidence of Spirit-filled living will not be in what we say or even in what we do. It will be written on our faces in our countenance of love, joy, and peace.

The first proof is found in love. The Greeks had three primary words that translate into our English vernacular as love. One is a fleshly, sensual, or passionate kind of love. Another is a fondness or affection, a kind of brotherly love. And then there is God’s love, agape. This is a selfless love that seeks only the highest good for others — no matter what they may do to insult, injure, or humiliate us. Agape is the word Paul used here in Galatians 5:22. All the other manifestations of the fruit are simply different expressions of this agape love.

In addition to love, joy will also be evident on the face of a Spirit-controlled believer. This is not the sort of joy that comes from defeating an opponent or escaping some trouble. Instead, it is a joy that only God can give, a joy that persists and endures even when the shadows of life come our way.

And then there is peace, that blessed inner tranquility that the Spirit-filled believer is able to draw on when circumstances are anything but peaceful. It is the very peace Jesus promised when He said,
 

My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.
— John 14:27


For the believer, love, joy, and peace join together to shine on our faces — and give glorious proof of the presence of the One who lives within us.

CODE WORD: COUNTENANCE

When you look in the mirror, what do you see in your face? Ask the Spirit to grow His fruit within you so that it shines on your countenance for all to see.
 

The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. — Philippians 4:7


Lord, on my own, I can’t love everyone, or be joyful in all things, or have peace in the midst of troubles. It is only through Your Spirit within me that I can be filled with Your love, Your joy, Your peace. Live through me to touch someone today. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Seeking Power

Revelation 2:26

(26) And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:

Consider how much the lust for power is a major motivating force in this world. It can be seen operating in families, in workplaces, in churches, and in commerce—and possibly, it is most visible in politics. We can see in all of these instances that people are doing what they can to obtain power, often by any means available, fair or foul. They are just following the influence

1 John 5:19) of the one who first lusted for power: “I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High’” (Isaiah 14:13-14).

While the world is struggling to get power, God promises to give it to us as a byproduct of enduring to the end. In this life, the only power we have to strive for is power over ourselves. In the next, God will provide the rest.

Those who seek power in this world miss the fact that our life is but for a moment. Even if they do receive the power they seek, it lasts only for an instant in comparison. Consider how long our power will last if we endure to the end: “The LORD knows the days of the upright, and their inheritance shall be forever” (Psalm 37:18