Impact

Living in Harmony with the Holy Wind

When we erect windmills or wind turbines to pump water or generate electricity, we may say that we are “harnessing” the power of the wind. However, we are not really harnessing the wind as it blows where it desires and we cannot control it (Ecclesiastes 8:8. John 3:8). The wind is actually following the sun as it directs its light upon our planet, causing it to heat up which results in convection currents in our atmosphere that we call the wind (i.e., wind power is actually controlled by solar or “Sun” power).

Consequently, it is more accurate to say we are cooperating or getting in “harmony” with the wind so that its tremendous ability benefits our lives by producing electricity or drawing water, etc. That is, the wind will do the work for us if we locate the windmill where it is blowing. Nevertheless, we must expend effort to erect the windmill where the wind is known to be consistently blowing, but then we effortlessly receive the benefit of the wind doing the work!

Similarly, we Christians cannot harness the Holy Spirit (1) to do our work as He follows the “Son” of God, doing and saying what He directs (John 15:26. John 16:13). However, we can come into harmony with Him by living our lives where He chooses to manifest. In other words, we can seek to be where the Holy Wind of God blows (2). To do this, we must expend effort to study the Bible, memorize scripture, fast, pray, worship, fellowship with other believers, minister to others, etc. However, the Holy Spirit then causes His fruit to grow effortlessly in our lives, giving us the character of Christ as we practice these Christian disciplines (John 15:4,5).

Realize that we can no more grow the fruit of the Spirit in our lives than we can cause the windmill to pump water without the wind. We could turn the blades by hand with some appearance of pumping water, but it is not sustainable without much effort. Similarly, we can act like we are Christlike, but it is not sustainable without much effort, and during times of crisis, what is in our hearts will come out of our mouths (Luke 6:45).

Therefore, let us go where the Wind of God is blowing and cooperate with Him in growing His fruit (1) in our lives. A question for you – what is the first fruit of the Spirit listed in the Bible? Answer: The first fruit that the Holy Spirit grows in our lives is love! (Galatians 5:22,23) Note that I said the first fruit that “the Holy Spirit grows,” not that we grow in our ability but rather He grows as we are in harmony with Him (remember the windmill).

Furthermore, realize without the love of God in our lives, we have no evidence that we are different than those who are lost in the world (John 13:35). Nevertheless, by learning 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 by heart – that is, by continuously thinking on and acting on its tenets – the love of God will transform our personality into that of Christ Jesus by the Holy Spirit. One result will be that the lost people of the World will see God in and through us (1 John 4:12). Therefore, let us live in the Wind of God and allow Him to cause His fruit to grow in our lives as we explore this love together.

But the aim of our instruction is love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith. (1 Timothy 1:5 NET)

Agape Love

The word for this kind of love in the original Koine Greek language of the New Testament is Agape (3) – the transliterated Greek word for a love that recognizes the worthiness of the object loved. This love consists of the soul’s sense of the value and preciousness of its object and its response to its recognized worth in admiring affection.  A love which sacrifices itself for the benefit of the object loved, that object being both unlovely and unlovable, and a bitter enemy of the one who loves—a love of devotion, not of emotion (Note: the transliterated Greek word “phileo” (4) is the love of emotion).

Love is patient, love is kind, it is not envious. Love does not brag, it is not puffed up. It is not rude, it is not self-serving, it is not easily angered or resentful. It is not glad about injustice, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. (1 Corinthians 13:4–8 a NET)

Love’s Nature:

Love meekly and patiently bears ill treatment from others. (Wuest) (1 Corinthians 13:4)

Love is patient.  This is the normal attitude of Love. Love passive, Love waiting to begin, not in a hurry, calm, ready to do its work when the summons comes, but in the meantime wearing the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit.

Let your beauty not be external—the braiding of hair and wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes—but the inner person of the heart, the lasting beauty of a gentle and tranquil spirit, which is precious in God’s sight. (1 Peter 3:3–4 NET)

For Love understands and therefore waits even with people who are not rich, influential, or powerful. It does not rush people but instead gives them time to grow.  

And the Lord’s slave must not engage in heated disputes but be kind toward all, an apt teacher, patient, correcting opponents with gentleness. Perhaps God will grant them repentance and then knowledge of the truthand they will come to their senses and escape the devil’s trap where they are held captive to do his will. (2 Timothy 2:24–26 NET)

Patience is the ability to have a Christlike attitude while waiting.

“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. (Matthew 5:5 NET)

Love is kind, gentle, benign, pervading and penetrating the whole nature, mellowing all which would have been harsh and austere. (Wuest) (1 Corinthians 13:4)

Love active. Think about how much of Christ’s life was spent doing kind things – merely doing kind things!

with respect to Jesus from Nazareth, that God anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, because God was with him. (Acts 10:38 NET)

God has put in our power the happiness of those about us, primarily to be secured by our being kind to them.

Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue but in deed and truth. (1 John 3:18 NET)

One of the greatest things a man can do for his Heavenly Father is to be kind to some of His other children.

And the king will answer them, ‘I tell you the truth, just as you did it for one of the least of these brothers or sisters of mine, you did it for me.’ (Matthew 25:40 NET)

Kindness is the quality of being warm-hearted, considerate, humane, and sympathetic.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. (Matthew 5:7 NET)

However, kindness has the toughness to confront others with their shortcomings and helps them overcome them.

Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are excessive... As iron sharpens iron, so a person sharpens his friend. (Proverbs 27:5,6,17 NET)
And let us take thought of how to spur one another on to love and good works, (Hebrews 10:24 NET)

[Love] is not envious. (Wuest) (1 Corinthians 13:4)

Love is not envious.  This is love, even when competing with others. Whenever you attempt good work, you will find others doing the same kind of work and probably doing it better. Envy them not. Envy is a feeling of ill will to those in the same line as us, a spirit of covetousness and detraction. Love is generous in the opinion of others. It enjoys the success of others!

If one member suffers, everyone suffers with it. If a member is honored, all rejoice with it. (1 Corinthians 12:26 NET)
Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. (Romans 12:15 NET)

If you only enjoy recognized personal successes, you will often feel rejected. It remembers that we cannot control how others will respond to us in the world, but we can control how we respond to others.

Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct he should show his works done in the gentleness that wisdom brings. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfishness in your hearts, do not boast and tell lies against the truth. Such wisdom does not come from above but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where there is jealousy and selfishness, there is disorder and every evil practice. 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 3:13–18 NET)

Love’s Behavior:

Love does not brag, nor does it show itself off, is not ostentatious, does not have an inflated ego. (Wuest) (1 Corinthians 13:4)

To put a seal on your lips and forget what you have done. After you have been kind, after Love has stolen forth into the world and done its beautiful work, go back into the shade again and say nothing about it. Love hides even from itself. Love waives even self-satisfaction. It is humble in relationships with others.

Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty but associate with the lowly. Do not be conceited. (Romans 12:16 NET)

It is not on an ego or power trip. It remembers that leadership is serving others.  Love does not boast and is not puffed up.

“Be careful not to display your righteousness merely to be seen by people. Otherwise you have no reward with your Father in heaven. Thus whenever you do charitable giving, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in synagogues and on streets so that people will praise them. I tell you the truth, they have their reward. But when you do your giving, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your gift may be in secret. And your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you. (Matthew 6:1–4 NET)
complete my joy and be of the same mind, by having the same love, being united in spirit, and having one purpose. Instead of being motivated by selfish ambition or vanity, each of you should, in humility, be moved to treat one another as more important than yourself. Each of you should be concerned not only about your own interests, but about the interests of others as well. (Philippians 2:2–4 NET)

[Love] does not act unbecomingly. (Wuest) (1 Corinthians 13:5)

This is Love in society, Love in relation to etiquette, Love in little things. The secret of politeness is to Love. Love cannot behave itself unseemly. Love is courteous. Love is friendly. Love has good manners. It treats others with dignity even if they do not seem to deserve it.  Love is courteous with good manners.

Show hospitality to one another without complaining. (1 Peter 4:9 NET)
So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who belong to the family of faith. (Galatians 6:10 NET)

[Love] does not seek after things which are its own. (Wuest) (1 Corinthians 13:5)

Love does not seek even that which is her own. This is the giving up of not just our rights but of ourselves. To be abandoned to God’s will and purpose for our lives. Remember that there is no greatness in things – greatness is only found in unselfish love. There is no happiness in having or getting, but only in giving – for Life consists of giving and serving.

By all these things, I have shown you that by working in this way we must help the weak, and remember the words of the Lord Jesus that he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ” (Acts 20:35   NET)

Love is unselfish and selfless.

Love must be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil, cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another with mutual love, showing eagerness in honoring one another. (Romans 12:9,10 NET)

Love’s Reaction:

[Love] is not irritated, provoked, exasperated, aroused to anger. (Wuest) (1 Corinthians 13:5)

Ill temper is the vice of the virtuous. The one blot on an otherwise noble character is to be easily ruffled, quick-tempered, or have a touchy disposition. An evil temper can cause the name of Christ to suffer more than vice, worldliness, greed, or even drunkenness. Temper is significant in what it is and even more so in what it reveals. Temper is the symptom of a lack of Christ conformity within our souls. However, souls are not made sweet by taking the acid out but by putting the Spirit of Christ within. Love is even-tempered even with less powerful, rich, or influential people.  Love is not easily provoked.

Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters! Let every person be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger. For human anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness. (James 1:19–20 NET)
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God. (Matthew 5:9 NET)
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor’ and ‘hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be like your Father in heaven, since he causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Even the tax collectors do the same, don’t they? And if you only greet your brothers, what more do you do? Even the Gentiles do the same, don’t they? So then, be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:43–48 NET)
Bless those who persecute you, bless and do not curse. (Romans 12:14 NET)
Do not repay anyone evil for evil; consider what is good before all people. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all people. Do not avenge yourselves, dear friends, but give place to God’s wrath, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Rather, if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in doing this you will be heaping burning coals on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:17–21 NET)

[Love] does not take into account the evil [which it suffers]. (Wuest) (1 Corinthians 13:5)

Guilelessness is the grace for suspicious people.  Love imputes no ill motive, sees the bright side, and puts the best construction on every action.  Love believes in others; knowing this helps others believe in themselves.  Love believes the best in others, giving the benefit of the doubt.

Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven. (Luke 6:37 NET)

Love leaves all judgment to God.

So for me, it is a minor matter that I am judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not acquitted because of this. The one who judges me is the Lord. So then, do not judge anything before the time. Wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the motives of hearts. Then each will receive recognition from God. (1 Corinthians 4:3-5 NET)

Love is guileless.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. (Matthew 5:8 NET)
Pursue peace with everyone, and holiness, for without it no one will see the Lord. (Hebrews 12:14 NET)
Who is allowed to ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may go up to his holy dwelling place? The one whose deeds are blameless and whose motives are pure, who does not lie, or make promises with no intention of keeping them. (Psalm 24:3–4 NET)

[Love] does not rejoice at the iniquity but rejoices with the truth. (Wuest) (1 Corinthians 13:6)

Self-restraint, which refuses to take advantage of the faults of others.  The Love which delights not in exposing the weakness of others but covers them like a medicated bandage over a wound. 

The one who forgives an offense seeks love, but whoever repeats a matter separates close friends. (Proverbs 17:9 NET)
Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers all transgressions. (Proverbs 10:12 NET)
Above all keep your love for one another fervent, because love covers a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8 NET)
My brothers and sisters, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone turns him back, he should know that the one who turns a sinner back from his wandering path will save that person’s soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins. (James 5:19–20 NET)

The sincerity of purpose that endeavors to see things as they are and rejoices to find them better than suspicion feared or slander denounced.  It gets no pleasure out of the shortcomings or failures of others.  Love embraces those who fail and builds up those who have been hurt.  It finds no room for racism or sexism. It is not full of hypocrisy or dishonesty.  Love is sincere.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God. (Matthew 5:9 NET)

[Love] endures all things, believes all things, hopes all things, bears up under all things, not losing heart nor courage. Love never fails. (Wuest) (1 Corinthians 13:7,8)

Love quietly covers all things.  Love does not give up, for the Battle is the Lords (1).

A horse is prepared for the day of battle, but the victory is from the Lord. (Proverbs 21:31 NET)
I am able to do all things through the one who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13 NET)
But we who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak, and not just please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good to build him up. For even Christ did not please himself, but just as it is written, “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.” For everything that was written in former times was written for our instruction, so that through endurance and through encouragement of the scriptures we may have hope. Now may the God of endurance and comfort give you unity with one another in accordance with Christ Jesus, so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 15:1–6 NET)
Do not lag in zeal, be enthusiastic in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, endure in suffering, persist in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints, pursue hospitality. (Romans 12:11–13 NET)

Love perseveres! (5)

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them. “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil things about you falsely on account of me. Rejoice and be glad because your reward is great in heaven, for they persecuted the prophets before you in the same way. (Matthew 5:10–12 NET)
When the fig tree does not bud, and there are no grapes on the vines; when the olive trees do not produce, and the fields yield no crops; when the sheep disappear from the pen, and there are no cattle in the stalls, I will rejoice because of the Lord; I will be happy because of the God who delivers me! The sovereign Lord is my source of strength. He gives me the agility of a deer; he enables me to negotiate the rugged terrain. (This prayer is for the song leader. It is to be accompanied by stringed instruments.) (Habakkuk 3:17–19 NET)

Discipleship for New Christians



Shalom
(Security, Wholeness, Success)
Peace

Then he said to them, “Therefore every expert in the law who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his treasure what is new and old.” (Matthew 13:52 NET)


(1) Select the link to open another article with additional information in a new tab.

(2) The Koine Greek word for “spirit” – transliterated as “pneuma” – is the same Greek word for “wind” or “breath.” I am not saying that the Holy Spirit (1) is the wind, but rather using the analogy to emphasize a point.

(3) “Agapao(Ἀγαπαο)” speaks of a love which is awakened by a sense of value in an object which causes one to prize it. It springs from an apprehension of the preciousness of an object. It is a love of esteem and approbation. The quality of this love is determined by the character of the one who loves, and that of the object loved. Agapao (Ἀγαπαο) is used in John 3:16. God’s love for a sinful and lost race springs from His heart in response to the high value He places upon each human soul. Every sinner is exceedingly precious in His sight. “Phileo (Φιλεο),” which is another word for love, a love which is the response of the human spirit to what appeals to it as pleasurable, will not do here, for there is nothing in a lost sinner that the heart of God can find pleasure in, but on the contrary, everything that His holiness rebels against. But each sinner is most precious to God, first, because he bears the image of his Creator even though that image be marred by sin, and second because through redemption, that sinner can be conformed into the very image of God’s dear Son. This preciousness of each member of the human race to the heart of God is the constituent element of the love that gave His Son to die on the Cross. The degree of preciousness is measured by the infinite sacrifice which God made. The love in John 3:16, therefore, is a love whose essence is that of self-sacrifice for the benefit of the one loved, this love is based upon an evaluation of the preciousness of the one loved. Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament: for the English reader (Vol. 17, pp. 60–61). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.

For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NET)

(4) “Phileo(Φιλεο)” is a love which consists of the glow of the heart kindled by the perception of that in the object which affords us pleasure. It is the response of the human spirit to what appeals to it as pleasurable. The Greeks made much of friendship. The word was used to speak of friendly affection. It is a love called out of one in response to a feeling of pleasure or delight which one experiences from an apprehension of qualities in another that furnish such pleasure or delight. “Agapao(Ἀγαπαο)” on the other hand, speaks of a love which is awakened by a sense of value in the object loved, an apprehension of its preciousness. “Phileo(Φιλεο)” is found in Revelation 22:15;Matthew 6:5;10:37;23:6;Luke 20:46;John 11:3,36;I Corinthians 16:22. Those who find pleasure in a lie and thus love it will go to a lost eternity. Hypocrites find pleasure in ostentatious prayer and thus love it. Those that take more delight in father or mother than in God, love them better and for that reason. Our Lord found delight in the response of the heart of Lazarus to his own and thus loved him. God has a love of delight in those whose love for Jesus is based upon their delight in him. “Phileo(Φιλεο)” like “Agapao(Ἀγαπαο)” has its quality determined by the character of the one who loves and of the object loved. “Agapao (Ἀγαπαο)” is a love springing from a sense of the preciousness of the object loved, while “Phileo (Φιλεο)” arises from a sense of pleasure found in the object loved. When used in a good meaning, both are legitimate, but the first is the nobler word. In John 21: our Lord uses “agapao (ἀγαπαο)” in verses 15 and 16, “phileo (φιλεο)” in 17. Peter uses “phileo (φιλεο)” three times. Our Lord uses the noblest word in the Greek language the first two times and changes to Peter’s word the third time but assures Peter that his coming martyrdom speaks of the fact that his future love for his Lord will be based not only upon his delight in his Lord but upon the apprehension of His preciousness. “Phileo (Φιλεο)” is used in John 16:27. The saints have a love for the Lord Jesus which springs from their joy in Him, a love of delight. The Father has a love of delight in the saints, for He finds in each saint the One in whom He takes delight, the Lord Jesus, and because the saints find their delight in Him also.  Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament: for the English reader (Vol. 17, pp. 62–63). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.

For the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. (John 16:27 NET) 

(5) Resources for the section on Love:

“The Greatest Thing in the World”, Authored by Henry Drummond in 1874, ISBN 1-55748-422-8, a partner with D.L. Moody

Tony Campolo (1992). Everything You’ve Heard is Wrong. Irving, Texas: Word Publishing.

Hal has taught the Bible for over three decades. Through an interdenominational ministry dedicated to helping the local church build men for Jesus, Hal trained men, the leaders of men’s ministries, and provided pulpit supply. Before that, he was a Men’s Ministry Leader and an Adult Bible Fellowship teacher of a seventy-five-member class at a denominational megachurch. Presently, Hal desires to honor Jesus Christ through this Internet teaching ministry, thereby glorifying the Heavenly Father in the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. He believes, second to cultivating his relationship with God that raising his family unto the Lord is the most significant task for him while on Earth. Furthermore, Hal believes that being a successful leader in the church or workplace is no substitute for failing to be a successful leader at home.  DOULOS HAL'S TOPICAL INDEX