Hey Reader,

The past few weeks haven't been easy, both for me personally and also for my local community.

But through all the challenges, these two thoughts have been on my mind:

Abide in Me.


The fruit of the Spirit is love.

Over and over, those words washed over me like a soundtrack on repeat.

Abide in Me. The fruit of the Spirit is love. Abide in Me. The fruit of the Spirit is love.

Perhaps these phrases have stuck to my soul because last week's prayer was "Abide in Me" and today's prayer episode is "The Fruit of the Spirit: Love." (You can listen to those here and here.)

Even so, that endless loop made me wonder: why love? Why is the very first aspect of the Spirit's fruit love and not something else, like holiness, joy, or faith?

I don't have a great answer, but these words jumped out at me as I was reading Absolute Surrender last week, a book by the South African preacher Andrew Murray, who lived in the late 1800s. In Chapter 2 of that book, he also grapples with the question "Why is the Fruit of the Spirit Love?"

"Because God is love (1 John 4:8). God's nature is to be always giving [and He] delights to pour His love into us. [...] Love is God's gift. Without [the Spirit in us] we cannot live the daily life of love. ... God, keep me from saying anything that would be unloving; God, shut my mouth if I am not to speak in tender love.
God's love brings unity. ...The Spirit of God has come to make our daily life an exhibition of divine power and a revelation of what God can do for His children. ...Only that is true love that is large enough to take in all God's children: the most unloving and unloveable, the unworthy, and unbearable, and trying.
Let love fill your heart. Ask Christ to pour it out afresh into you every day. ...The fruit of the Spirit is love. God, help us understand it."


Would you join me this week in praying for God's Spirit to work His love in us? Listen to the 10-minute prayer episode here, and set aside some time each day say to God: Lord, let me not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. (1 John 3:18 NIV)

Recommended Resource:
Absolute Surrender

A few days ago I found out that the audiobook version of the book I referenced above, Absolute Surrender, is currently free over at ONE Audiobooks. I thought you might want to know about that too. :)

On the Podcast:
The Fruit of the Spirit Is LOVE

If you're convicted, like I am, that you need more of God's love in your life, I hope you join me for this week's episode of Prayers of REST. We're praying through through John 15:12 and meditating on how Jesus showed LOVE and wants to grow His love in us too.

If you haven't already, grab a few friends, start a group text, and subscribe to the Prayers of REST podcast to get weekly prayer episodes straight to your phone:

Apple | Spotify | Stitcher | Listen in browser

Readers' Corner:
Your Creative Bible Habits

​Thanks to everyone who replied to last week's email with your creative ways of enjoying Jesus' presence in your unique season of life this summer!

Here are just a few of the replies that came in:

  • I’ve been using the Pause App after a friend recommended it to me and it is a helpful way to engage in prayer break and pauses throughout the day to connect with Jesus for those like me who need a little more hand holding and guidance! (Liz S.)
  • I’m really enjoying the praying through Fruit of the Spirit. Just the slowness of abiding and meditating is so rich. (Emily D.)
  • Hi! I set an alarm on my phone last week to do this and have been doing something similar. Your post was confirmation that He was leading me to do this. He is so amazing, isn't He? I am always amazed at His ways. ❤❤❤ Thank you! (Holly J.)
  • I LOVE, love the Creative Devotions Collection!! All of this! I've passed some of your emails along to a few friends and I hope they are as excited as I am about these helpful ways to spend time with God! (Sharon M.)
  • I’ve committed to pray with you through the Fruit of the Spirit series. I’ve asked some friends to join and I pray the Lord will motivate them to do so. (Odette O.)

I'm thrilled to hear how God is leading so many of you to enjoy Jesus this summer! If you're still trying to come up with a summer rhythm of abiding in Jesus, perhaps this will help?

Enjoyable Bible Habit:
Dwell Memorization Challenge

What if Scripture memorization was actually... enjoyable?

That's what my friends at the Dwell Bible App are doing with their summer memorization challenge, and I'm jumping in to join them! Using their beautiful app, you can read along, then listen along, and finally recite along, for an immersive memorization experience that's joyful and effortless.

Whether you're a visual learner, an auditory learner, or a kinesthetic learner (or any other kind of learner), I hope you'll join me for Treasure These Things Dwell Memorization Challenge starting June 6th!

And no matter what your season looks like, may you make time with Jesus your one thing alone today.

With much joy,

​PS Know someone who would be encouraged by today's email? Feel free to forward this to them and let them know you're thinking of them!

Asheritah Ciuciu

Helping women find joy in Jesus through creative Bible habits

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