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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Tootsie Pops & Almond Candy Kisses

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. (1 John 4:18 NIV).

Today Pastor David spoke of the Fruit of the Spirit: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Galatians: 5-22-23 NIV). Pastor David called this the Christian’s accountability passage. He stressed that the fruit of the spirit is acquired though cultivation over a period of time; full development is the result of a learning process. That is, we must come to recognize two sides of vulnerability: we are vulnerable to sin, but it is also possible to be vulnerable to change brought about by learning. Pastor David spoke of church members that out of fear are defensive and deny vulnerability to sin and resist being vulnerable to positive change. The members are like the hard-shelled candy Tootsie Pops—they are contrarian to the Methodist motto: Open hearts, open minds, open doors.** Other church members know that full development of the fruit of the spirit is a learning process and that we must be vulnerable (amenable) to change. Rather than hard-shell, these church members are like almond candy kisses. They are filled with grace (the accessibility of milk chocolate) yet posses the kernel and core of spirituality and faith (the almond kernel) through cultivation and growth in the Holy Spirit. Anyone with any experience in the world will recognize immediately that this does not apply only to church goers. We have all seen individuals at work or elsewhere as brittle as Tootsie Pops or, like almond candy kisses, the embodiment of grace and truth.

Pastor David gave us an assignment this week—to read every day Psalm 51. Essential for spiritual accessibility and vulnerability to the Spirit is 51:17— The sacrifice pleasing to God is a broken spirit. God, You will not despise a broken and humbled heart. (Holman Christian Standard Bible).

** The Founder of Methodism John Wesley wrote the following:

I observed, "Love is the fulfilling of the law, the end of the commandment." It is not only "the first and great" command, but all the commandments in one. "Whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, if there be any virtue, if there be any praise," they are all comprised in this one word, love.

John Wesley "The Circumcision of the Heart" (1 January 1733)

Pastor David Miller’s sermon found here:

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