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God Hears

God hears his people when they cry out. He hears the cries of the oppressed. In the big story, God has not abandoned his world. From the story of creation up to the beginning of the Exodus story, God was at work the whole time to put in motion the restoration/redemption/rescue of all things. When God’s people cried out…he heard their cry and he was moved to action.

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Self-Control

Self-control sounds great, it really does...but I need _______. I want ______. I deserve ______. "I have the right to do anything," you say-but not everything is beneficial. "I have the right to do anything"-but I will not be mastered by anything (as Paul says 1 Cor. 6:12). In a world that romanticizes the notion of losing control and giving in to our impulses on one hand, and idolizing self-help through our own will on the other, we're invited to offer up our entire selves to the refining fire of God's Spirit. By his power at work within us, he will "sanctify us through and through that our whole spirit, soul, and body may be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls us is faithful, and he will do it."

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Gentleness

"Seize the Day." "Grab Life by the Horns." In a world of aggression, self-promotion, and violence, those who win seem to be the ones who do whatever it takes. But Jesus models, and calls us to do the same, a life of gentleness, humility, and meekness. He invites us to let the Spirit cultivate this fruit in us, reminding us that, "Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth."

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Faithfulness

“No contract.” “No commitment required.” Even beyond our cell phone bills and our gym memberships, we hesitate to make commitments. When everything changes so rapidly, culture tells us it makes little sense to limit ourselves or tie ourselves down to something or someone, or even a course of action. This is rooted in our individuality - we perceive that commitment is a great threat to our autonomy and freedom. In a culture such as this, what does it mean to be faithful and committed? We turn our eyes once again to the God we worship, who shows again and again what it faithfulness looks like, and we boldly seek to let the Spirit of Jesus cultivate this fruit in us.

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