What Is A Budget?

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Growing up, I had no one to teach me how to succeed at finances. I learned how to win with money after I already had a family to feed. A budget was not in my vocabulary nor did I ever hear anyone around me speaking about one.

My family never had any sort of savings. I had no idea what a budget was and how empowering it can be to have one set in place. I’ll be the first in my family to save money, get out of debt, invest money, and become financially free. I’m not there yet, but it all starts in one place: the budget.

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My husband was spectacle at first, but now he loves having a budget set in place. We know all our bills are covered and we have money to spend on ourselves. I feel at peace in our financial life and we agree on every decision together.

What Is A Budget?

written budget

A budget is a written plan that describes what you’re going to spend your money on. If you don’t have a plan, dollars will fly out of your hand into the hands of someone who does have a plan. Winning with money doesn’t happen by accident. This is one of those things that you’re going to have to be intentional about if you want to succeed. Read more

Grow In The Spiritual Fruit of Self-Control

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All scriptures are taken from NKJV unless otherwise marked.

Self-Control

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice of fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind self-control].”

-2 Timothy 1:7 AMPC

Woo! We finally made it to the last fruit of the Spirit. If you’re new to the series, you can view the other parts by clicking here. Either way, I’m so proud that you want to grow in the area of discipline and self-control. Many people do NOT reach their full potential because they aren’t willing to sacrifice. Discipline hurts. I get it. “Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it (Hebrews 12:11).

Discipline produces freedom. It can create the life we truly desire. Nothing will happen without an action first occurring. Once an action is taken, then a result can be produced. If you want a different result, you must carry out a new action.

“You can suffer the pain of change or the pain of remaining the same.”

-Joyce Meyer

The question is: Do you want to have a powerful, victorious life? Do you want to obey God in your everyday life? Read more

Grow In The Spiritual Fruit of Gentleness

Grow in the spiritual fruit of gentleness

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All scriptures are taken from NKJV unless otherwise marked.

Gentleness

“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.”

-James 4:10

The word gentleness is the same quality as humility and meekness. They all mean this: submission to the Lord, knowing one’s sense of worth and mildness of temper. A humble person is not trying to impress others because they already know who they are in Christ. They carry themselves in authority and is aware of all that belongs to them.

A meek person has the ability to harness their emotions and dictate which actions they will take. A gentle person is not critical, sharp, or pressing. They’re understanding and know which words to speak at what moment.

This is probably the most difficult Christian virtue to master. It feels good to get revenge when it’s in your power to do so. A meek person allows the Lord to fight their fleshly battles while they obey Him by praying for that person and blessing them. A humble person is not puffed up. They know they can do nothing apart from God and rely on Him in all circumstances. It’s a great understanding of, “I’m not better than anyone else, but I have all power through Christ Jesus to do all that needs to be done on earth.”

The best way to grow in this area is to constantly be connected to the Holy Spirit and continually water the fruit with the Word. Try these tips below to really boost your humility walk. Read more

Grow In The Spiritual Fruit of Goodness

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All scriptures are taken from NKJV unless otherwise marked.

Goodness

“Depart from evil and do good.”

-Psalm 34:13

How are you feeling today? Did you wake up refreshed? Or did you have a hard time sleeping last night? Was it easy getting ready today or frustrating? And other people, how have they treated you today? All these things affect us, but the way to conquer those things is by keeping a good attitude. Things don’t have to be perfect (in fact, they never will be) for us to display the fruit of goodness. It’s a decision that we make. Decide, “I’m going to treat people good regardless of how I feel.”

I think it’s easy to forget the degree of Jesus’s sufferings. We remember him on the cross, but that was the end of His sufferings. The journey to the mount was way worse. His family tried to kill Him. The religious people of His day constantly plotted how they might overtake Him and kill Him. He lost a large portion of His followers when He told them He was the Living Bread and Water. John the baptist doubted Him. When Jesus needed His disciples to pray with Him and while He was sweating blood, they were snoozing away. One of His disciples betrayed Him and sold Him out for thirty shekels of silver. One of His best friends (someone who witness the transfiguration on the mount) denied Him.

He was beaten. They blindfolded Him and hit his face. Then, at the only hope of being released the town’s people shouted for the release of a murderer instead of Jesus. He was assigned to carry His own cross up a hill. Upon fainting, they appointed Simon to help Him. He was on the cross for 6 hours. That’s 360 minutes! He didn’t curse anyone or plot for revenge…. He just prayed for them.

Read more

Grow In The Spiritual Fruit of Kindness

Grow in the spiritual fruit of kindness featured photo

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All scriptures are taken from NKJV unless otherwise marked.

Kindness

“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”

-Phillippians 2:3-4

Kindness can be described as a few things: compassion, generosity, tenderness, sweetness. When fully developed, this fruit of the Spirit is the salt and light of the world. This makes people stand out in today’s society. It touches the souls of others and can cause tears to flow. There’s a golden rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. (Treat others the way you want to be treated.)

There are plenty of ways we can practice sharing kindness with people. In this article, I’ll share a few ideas with you.

Greet People And Smile

I personally love when people greet me. It’s a form of respect from one fellow human to another. Smiling is communicating. It’s just as effective as a, ”hello”. As much as some hate to admit, we all need one another. Every relationship began with some sort of acknowledgment. Start with a smile, and if you feel led by God, start a conversation. That person may end up becoming a new friends of yours. Even if they don’t, you can still make a difference in their life.

One day, I had to go to Shoprite. I wanted to go to the one by my house, but God told me to go to the one across town. Although I didn’t know why, I decided to obey and traveled the 15 minutes to arrive there. In my parked vehicle, I prayed and said, “I don’t know why I’m here. But I believe you sent me so allow me to be aware of my surroundings. Show me where you need me.” Then, I went inside and began to shop as usual. Read more

Grow In The Spiritual Fruit of Peace

Grow in the spiritual fruit of peace

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All scriptures are taken from NKJV unless otherwise marked.

Peace

“And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.”

-Colossians 3:15 NLT

The world would be such a better place if we all lived at peace with one another. Could you imagine? It’d be like the movies where all the neighbors get along and know each other by name. People would share with others and love would spread. We’d have more friends than enemies and I believe the world itself would be a brighter place.

Unfortunately, the sad truth is our world is not currently in that state. Certain neighborhoods are cluttered with crime and hatred. I don’t understand what causes someone to murder a person. Now a days, there’s articles of parents killing their own child. If a person could do that to their own offspring, what would they be willing to do to a random human in their way?

Although we can’t change the entire world, we can start with the person in the mirror. The Bible teaches us to be the light of this world. Let’s learn how to become part of the solution. Read more

Grow In The Spiritual Fruit of Love

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All scriptures are taken from NKJV unless otherwise marked.

Love

“Owe no man anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.”

-Romans 13:8

Love is the most important thing to me in my walk with God. And to be honest, I’m not that great with it. I do a good job at times, but I’ve realized that if I don’t constantly keep the importance of this in my face, it’ll slip away from me. It depends on our personality. Some people were born with the gift of love. Me? Not so much. So I’ll show you what I do to get into my ‘love state’.

Study the Scriptures

This step is crucial. We must be in our Word if we want to change our ways. For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). Don’t you know the song? “There is power in the name of Jesus to break every chain.” It’s true. The quickest way to see results is to spend time examining the character of God and the ministry of Jesus.

There are a whole lot of scriptures that express God’s love for us. The scriptures say He chose you before the foundations of the world that you would be holy and blameless before Him in love (see Ephesians 1:4). Because of His great love for you, He made you alive to Christ even while you were dead in your trespasses (see Ephesian 2:4-5). You’re the apple of His eye and He has your name tattooed on the palm of His hand. Read more

Begin To Grow Your Spiritual Fruits Intro

Begin to grow your spiritual fruit series

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All scriptures are taken from NKJV unless otherwise marked.

Welcome to the ‘Begin To Grow Your Spiritual Fruit’ Series!

“You will know them by their fruits.”

-Matthew 7:16

It’s clear that we should grow in the fruits of the Spirit. In this series, we will cover all the fruits and ways we can see growth in each area. I hope you enjoy it and thanks for joining us!

The Bible states that we can accurately evaluate if someone is a godly person by their actions. That doesn’t mean that godly people are perfect, but that they would have one or more of the following character traits:

Although it takes time, a believer in Christ should fully develop into all of these things. Typically, a believer in Christ should not be:

  • Hateful
  • Unhappy
  • Stressed
  • Impatient
  • Rude
  • Selfish
  • Harsh
  • Unreliable
  • Out of control

My goal is to help you to understand how you can grow out of these areas and into the fruits. I want to see the church of Christ get along and work with one another to save people. I want unsaved people to thirst for the living water from the well when they see our lives. That’s only going to happen if we change our actions (thereby changing our results). Read more