The Apostles’ Code: Countenance

Philippians 4:7

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.

Excerpted with permission from The Apostles’ Code by O. S. Hawkins, copyright Dr. O. S. Hawkins.

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Your Turn

How’s your countenance these days? We all could use a little more peace in our homes (especially if they’re our virtual workplaces as well), right? Today, let’s ask the Lord to give us His peace as we walk in relationship with Him and produce the fruit of the Spirit! Come share your thoughts with us on our blog. We want to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily

Dr. O.S. Hawkins

For more than 20 years, O. S. Hawkins served pastorates at the First Baptist Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and in Dallas, Texas. He is president of GuideStone Financial Resources, which serves 200,000 pastors, church staff, missionaries, doctors, and other workers of various Christian organizations with their retirement needs. He is the author of more than 25 books and preaches regularly at Bible conferences, evangelism conferences, and churches across the nation.

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