Posted in FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT SERIES

THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT (Galatians 5:22-23)

Sometime in May 15, 2017 (gosh! How time flies – over a year now…), I published “The Fruit of the Spirit – LOVE” on ashsaltcom.wordpress.com, and today I’m summarising the nine aspects of the singular fruit of the Spirit in this blog post. Enjoy!

“A fruit is the seed-bearing part of a plant, often edible, colourful and fragrant, produced from a floral ovary after fertilization” (Oxford English Dictionary, 2018). This can be rephrased to say that the fruit of the Spirit is the demonstrable part of a Christian’s life and character that is edifying, graceful, distinct and pleasant, produced as a result of his/her fusion with the Spirit of God after salvation.

These nine fruits are love displayed in all of its aspects.” Someone has described them like this:

Joy is love’s cheerfulness.

Peace is love’s confidence

Patience/Long-suffering is love’s composure

Kindness/Gentleness is love’s consideration

Goodness is love’s character

Faithfulness/Faith is love’s constancy

Gentleness/Meekness is love’s comeliness

Self-control/Temperance is love’s conquest.

It is a fruit, (not fruits) as the Spirit bears only a type of fruit, though with nine different parts; each part being interdependent, and not mutually exclusive of each other. These nine parts are LOVE, JOY, PEACE, LONG-SUFFERING/PATIENCE, GENTLENESS, GOODNESS, FAITH/FAITHFULNESS, MEEKNESS and TEMPERANCE.

The natural man cannot manifest the fruit of The Spirit because of his unregenerated heart. Therefore, the following steps are required to be able to exhibit the fruit of The Spirit in one’s character- salvation from sin, sanctification of heart, Spirit (Holy Ghost) baptism, sincere prayers and constant dependence on God.

There is nothing like a selective manifestation of any part of this fruit, as they exist like the assemblage of the seven colours of the rainbow. Just as it ceases to be called the rainbow when either the red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo or violet colour is not evident in that beautiful semi-circle, so also a Christian ceases to be one when he/she refuses to exhibit any of the nine parts of THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT…(John 15:1-8; Romans 6:22; Romans 7:4).

So are you a Christian hungry for the manifestation of the fruit of the Spirit in your life? This fruit is all yours for the asking. Sincerely cry to the Lord to sanctify you and remove from within you the root of sin, and make you His glorious image through the manifestation of these wonderful fruit of the Spirit. But if you have not yet known Christ, why tarry, today is your day, NOW is the acceptable time – receive Christ’s love, renounce your sins and repent. Then seek Him for the manifestation of these fruit of the Spirit.

For now, we’ve come to the end of the fruit of the Spirit series, and we’re moving on to the “Blessed are ye series…” You can see more write-ups on the individual aspects of the fruit of the Spirit on ashsaltcom.wordpress.com

My earnest prayer is that as you read, you will receive a vision for holy living, and strengthen your foundation in Christ’s saving truth. In Jesus name.

Posted in FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT SERIES

THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT – TEMPERANCE

“NO!”
Thoughts from his spirit man echoed out
“You must be joking” she said with the wink of Delilah.
He just couldn’t imagine that he could be so weak at that point in time of his life, but he still managed to blurt out:
“No, ma’am” – I’ve told you several times that I love you as much as my master and won’t want to do anything to hurt God, nor your master.”
“You’re only saying trash”
“Ma!”
“I mean it – if you truly love me, you’d bend over and see what I’ve been ten – times willing to show you.”
“You mean on the couch”
“Yes of course – don’t dull it, prove to me that you’re a man”
Adorned with a silky velvet dress partly loose from the waist downwards and a transparent top she drew closer with prancing steps
“O my God, deliver me from this great evil”
“I love you J-buoy”
As she touched the hem of his garments he was gone in the twinkling of an eye, leaving himself barely clothed with his undies as she stuck fast to his Jalabia-like garment which she held in her hands tightly.
As J-buoy sat musing within himself alone in the woods, just one thought pervaded his mind – LOVE’S CONQUEST. At last love has conquered. He prayed, and uttered a word of thanksgiving to His creator.

Last, but not certainly least, is the quality of temperance (in other words, self-control. I’d be using the words interchangeably). This is radically missing in the lives of many professing Christians today. The Bible tells us that our spirits and our flesh will war against each other in this life. Our flesh wants immediate self-gratification at all costs and will stop at nothing to try and get it. Arthur Wallis once said “There is nothing essentially vile in the human body, for God created it, even with its desires and appetites. There is nothing evil in a hungry man’s desire for a square meal, or a healthy woman’s longing for a husband, children, and a home of her own. It is not the way of the Spirit to repress these natural instincts, but to control them and keep them within the bounds prescribed by God.”
Our spirits know that some of our fleshly desires are not right for us and as a result, there will be a tug of war between the two – and sometimes it will be a major tug of war. And the only thing that will be able to control and curb some of the desires of our flesh is the quality of self-control.
Since we all live in a very self-centred and materialistic type of world today, it is very easy to see people downplay the importance of self-control and exalt the god of instant self-gratification. Here are some of the definitions of what the quality of self-control is all about:
Temperance and rational restraint of our natural impulses.
Being sober, temperate, and calm, etc.
Having a mastery of one’s personal desires and passions.
Having a dispassionate approach to life.
Living a self-disciplined life following Christ’s example of being in the world but not of the world.
Being able to exercise restraint or discipline over one’s behaviour.
The above definitions perfectly describe what God is looking for once He imparts this quality into our personalities. This specific quality is one of the major keys in being able to get any kind of victory over the lusts and desires of our flesh like J-buoy in the story above.
It takes a self-controlled man to say “Others may, I cannot!” I once read a tract written by a self-controlled man, and some of its constituents goes thus: I cannot seek or desire the world though others do. Others may scoff at the sound doctrines of the Bible and allow little sins, but I cannot. The buildings that are demolished were not pulled down by elephants; they were destroyed by termites. Unless I am cleansed from evil thoughts, ill-temper, anger, envy, lust, jealousy, pride, laziness, and idleness, over-eating and backbiting, I won’t count myself as free from sin. Others may testify to being born-again and converted and still be conscious of all these in their lives. But what is that to me? I am called to follow Christ; looking on Him, I lose sight of all other examples. Jesus – my mirror, my pattern, my example. Others may be loved by their unbelieving relatives. I will not deny the faith to obtain favour of men.
Do you want to receive grace to manifest the fruit of the Spirit – that’s where the work of sanctification comes in, you can’t expect all these nine fruit of the Spirit if you are not sanctified, how can you express genuine love, love’s cheerfulness (Joy), love’s confidence (Peace), love’s composure (long-suffering), love’s consideration (Kindness), love’s character (Goodness), love’s constancy (Faithfulness), love’s conquest (Self-control) without a removal of the Adamic nature. It is not possible, but if you would earnestly covet the grace of God today to manifest the fruit of the Spirit through prayers and faith – you shall receive!
Shalom.

(Some of the ideas in this post were derived from biblehub.com and Pastor W.F. Kumuyi’s tract – Others may, I cannot!)

Photo Credit: Internet

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THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT – MEEKNESS

As I said earlier, meekness will be equated to gentleness in this series. What does it mean to be meek? To be meek means to be quiet, gentle and submissive. Hmmm! I like that third definition – to be submissive, but what really is meekness? Meekness is a state of being quiet, gentle and submissive. Let’s look at a man who epitomizes submission in the bible – Elisha. See what scriptures has to say about this man “Here is Elisha the son of Shaphat, which poured water on the hands of Elijah. 2 Kings 3:11 (KJV). I love this description of so great a man of GOD, but I’ve once been told that Moses is a better example of meekness, of which I consent to, but would rather prefer to talk about him when we get to the “BLESSED ARE YE…” series. For now, let’s continue to learn from so great a man who even possessed a double portion of the anointing of the original masterpiece after whose spirit Christ’s forerunner was to come.

“Here is Elisha the son of Shaphat, which poured water on the hands of Elijah. 2 Kings 3:11 (KJV). What humility! History tells us that Elisha was no mean fellow before God called him to be Elijah’s successor, yet after his call he abandoned all his fortune and became an errand boy for Elijah! Yet this same Elisha would possess a double portion of Elijah’s anointing up till the point that his dead bones would raise up the dead. Hear this, “The greatness of man’s power is the measure of his surrender.” – William Booth

Do you want to be great for GOD in this generation, then you must learn to be humble. “Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honour is humility” (Prov 18:12 KJV). Looking at JESUS our perfect example in Phil 2:1-13, we see that humility is the real deal.

How Do We Learn Meekness? We learn meekness by coming to Christ with the recognition of our own weaknesses and being united with Him by belief in His finished work on the cross. Then we must grow in the experiential knowledge of Christ, Who humbled Himself for us, that we might be conformed to His image.

How meek are you? Please sincerely answer these questions
• Have you dedicated yourself to God and yielded all your rights to Him?
• Do you have full confidence that God controls all that happens to you?
• Is it your goal to become more like the Lord Jesus Christ?
• Have you received and responded to the good tidings of the Gospel?
• Do others praise you for a meek and quiet spirit or do they do otherwise?
• Do people resist your advice or counsel when you try to help them?
• Do people ask you why you are so peaceful when serious adversities come into your life?
• Have you exchanged your burdens for the yoke of Christ?
• When you do good works and are praised for them, do you deflect the honour to others who helped you?

Posted in FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT SERIES

THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT – FAITH

 

Dr. Charles E. Fuller had one of the most fruitful radio ministries in history. It was called, The Old Fashioned Revival Hour, and it covered 90% of the inhabited world. Without faithfulness it never would have gotten to this level. He and his wife lost their first child. Then her health failed and they were separated. Then a serious financial crunch involved them in a hard five year battle to recover. 12 years after their first child died they had another child that almost died. Added to all this trial, they were deserted by some of their closest friends in the church. How do you get through all that, and touch the world for God? The only way is by the fruit of faithfulness. He could have let any one of his trials stop him, but he didn’t. He was faithful when there was only pain, and God rewarded him beyond what he could have ever dreamed.

Jesus will be ever faithful to us, but the question always is, will we be faithful to Him. Peter
Ainslie writes, “I shall never forget the time I saw Poynter’s great picture “Faithful unto Death.” in the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool. There stood the Roman guard on duty while the palace was falling into ruins during the destruction of Herculaneum. The dead were lying in the background; others were falling to the pavement amid the red-hot eruptions of Vesuvius; everyone who could was fleeing for his life. The Roman guard might have made his escape, but there he stood like a marble statue, preferring to remain at his post faithful unto death. The picture clung to me like an individual–not simply the man standing at his post of duty but the expression of faithfulness that showed in his countenance. I have thought of it a hundred times since, and have felt its influence as I have felt that of a living person.” Even natural faithfulness can reach great heights, and be a powerful example, but to be faithful to our Lord in day to day living we need more than natural faithfulness. That too is a valuable asset, but to be all that God wants us to be we need the fruit of the Spirit faithfulness.

– Glenn Pease.

Initially when I read Galatians 5:22-23, and came to the fruit of faith, I thought it was the faith referred to in Hebrews 11, but as I dug into relevant commentaries and books, I realized that the word ‘faith’ in this instance referred to faithfulness. Hence, don’t be surprised that today’s write-up speaks on the fruit of faith as being faithful to God rather than faith “being the substance of things hope for, the evidence of things not yet seen.”

If you’d remember, in the first write-up in this series, faithfulness was described as love’s Constancy. Waoh! What a description. I’m sure you know how difficult it is to be consistently holy without the help of the Holy Spirit. However, when Christ dwells in Your heart by faith, He lives His life in you, and as you obey His voice, you become more faithful to His every leading. Why not pray this moment and say LORD, I receive the grace to be faithful in all life’s endeavour, I repent of all my past unfaithfulness, and from today I choose to live a faithful life. Thank You for answering my prayers. In Jesus Name.

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THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT – GOODNESS

goodness

Once upon a time, a man by the name Adamu passed by the city of Lagos, on his way out he saw a terribly injured man who had met armed robbers hours before his arrival. This man was battered, bruised and crushed. Adamu felt a rush of compassion flow through his veins as he highlighted from his vehicle to take care of the dying man. When they got to a hospital, Adamu sponsored his health bill and promised to make extra payments when he came back if need be.

Do you know that Adamu was not the only one to pass through that road where the injured man lay? Two prominent religious people had passed that same spot earlier – one a General overseer (G.O) and the other a Chief choir master (C.C.M). Yet none of them even cared for the dying man.

This story picturesquely illustrates how many of us who seem to be religious lack one of the basic characteristics of love – GOODNESS. Goodness is love’s character. The man Adamu is the Good Samaritan mentioned in scriptures. Although the Good Samaritan to the Jews was no better than a sinner, yet Jesus exalted him in scriptures because he exhibited the fruit of the Spirit – Goodness.

The G.O and C.C.M represents religion without savor. No good done at all to neighbors, merely pet talk and vain attendance of activities. However, the Good Samaritan presents a challenge to us that can’t be turned away from. Are you good to your neighbors? I want you to know that only God can make a man good, “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure”. Phillipians 2:13 (KJV) Any goodness outside of GOD is all a “filthy rag” Isaiah 64:6. GOD BLESS YOU!

fruit-of-the-spirit-goodness

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THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT – GENTLENESS

the-fruit-of-the-spirit-is-gentleness-1-728

Jesus had great power, and He could have zapped people into conformity to the will of God, but He did not. He used love and persuasion. He did not compel people to follow Him. He called, and some did, and many did not. He was a gentleman, who treated all people with dignity, and he respected their right to say no. He did not say to the rich young ruler who walked away, “You swine, get back here and take up the cross and follow me.” Instead, He wept and let him walk away. Jesus did not force Himself on anyone. He might have had a greater following had He used some of the techniques others have used to browbeat and make people feel guilty. But Jesus was a gentleman. Samuel Butler wrote, “If we are asked what the essential characteristic that underlies this word is, the word itself will guide us to gentleness, absence of browbeating or overbearing manners, absence of fuss, and generally consideration for other people.”

The fruits of the Spirit all grow so quietly and gently. The gifts are often loud and attention getters, but the fruits grow as quietly as the fruits of nature. We know when fireworks is going off at the fair ground, because we hear the loud explosions in the sky. We know someone is hurt or ill, for we hear the screaming sirens, as the ambulance races to the scene. We know the weather is severe, because we hear the blaring sirens warning of a tornado. The presence of many things are known by the noises that are produced. But no one has ever awakened in the night and said, “Listen to all the racket the apple tree is making. The apples are growing again.” No! They grow silently, quietly, and gently. So the fruit of the Spirit grows in us. The gifts might draw a crowd, because of the shouting, singing, and noise of rejoicing, and this is great. But the fruits do not come with a bang. They come as the Holy Spirit gently nudges us closer to Christ. He works quietly as we read the Word of God, and as we pray for guidance, and as we reflect on life and where we fit in the scheme of things.

The Holy Spirit came upon Jesus, you recall, not as a vulture or a screeching hawk, but in the form of a dove, the symbol of gentleness. Jesus will be forever praised in heaven as the Lamb of God, the creature of gentleness. God is gentle, and that is why there is a plan of salvation rather than just a plan of judgment. We owe all we can ever hope for in Jesus to the fact of God’s gentleness. This is to have an impact on how we treat others. William Taylor wrote, “Forget not thou hast sinned, and sinful yet must be: Deal gently with the erring one, as thy God hath dealt with thee.” May this prayer of an unknown poet express the desire of your heart!

Give me Thy gift of gentleness, most gracious Lord;
For whom the way was rough, and darkly black,
For clouds of sorrow hung about life’s track,
Till tears and anguish seemed my double part–
It was Thy gentleness that healed my heart’!
And there are others–walking weary years,
With bleeding feet, the stony track of tears.
Oh, make me gentle, Lord; through me express
The healing grace of Thine own gentleness.
May God motivate us to pray such a prayer often, for the fruit of gentleness!

kindnessfruit

THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT – KINDNESS

I’ve decided to write on kindness and gentleness separately as a gift of the Spirit because I found out that in most versions, kindness is written as the fifth fruit of the Spirit, whereas in the KJV, gentleness is the fifth. Thereby equating gentleness with kindness; but, I felt that distinguishing both of them will make more sense and lead us to a fuller discovery of all the manifestations of the Spirit’s work so as to gear us to desire them all in its fullness. Although, gentleness is equated with meekness in all other versions as the eighth fruit of the Spirit, I would like to write on meekness as implying humility rather than equating it with gentleness when we get to the eighth fruit of the Spirit.

I once read about Mr. and Mrs. Grayson who were missionaries in Nigeria, Africa. One day he lost control of his car and went into the ditch. It was up to the hub caps in mud. He knew he would have to walk eight miles to the nearest town to get help, and Mrs. Grayson would have to wait in the car. She said it would be okay, but she was fearful. Darkness was coming, and she was soon hearing all kinds of strange noises. Then she heard voices. She flicked on the headlights and saw two men coming toward the car. They asked her who she was. She told them and they left. But shortly after, she heard voices again. The two men had come back with two women carrying blankets and bundles of wood. They spread the blankets out, and started a fire. They invited her to join them. They were so friendly she got out and sat with them. They talked of all kinds of things, and then she asked them why they came to keep her company.

One of the men smiled and said, “We have been waiting three years to do something for you. Three years ago your husband drove through our village, and when he saw that my little daughter was ill he took her to the mission hospital. She was there a long time, but they saved her life. We have waited three years to thank him. We would be happy to sit with that good man’s wife, and keep her company all night if necessary.” They were showing kindness because they had been deeply touched by an act of kindness. Glenn Pease wrote “People who do not grasp the theology of Christianity can easily grasp its love when they see it displayed in acts of kindness. Instead of thinking of kindness as a minor virtue, we need to exalt it to the level where the Bible puts it-a vital ingredient to being Christ like. William Penn, the Christian founder of Pennsylvania, has been quoted often for these words of wisdom, “I expect to pass through life but once. If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again.” Let this be your daily prayer as you dress each morning, Lord, help me put on this day, and for your glory display the fruit of kindness.”

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THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT – LONGSUFFERING

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I read the story of a young boy, who had reached the age where having a watch made life worth living, and he bugged his parents to get him one. He was told he would have to wait until he was older. But he continued to beg for one until his whole family was sick of it. His father finally laid down the law and told him he would get one later, but for now he was not to even mention the subject again. The next Sunday, as was the custom, each child in the family read a Bible verse at the dinner table. When it came to Edward’s turn, this was the verse he chose to read-“What I say unto you, I say unto all: Watch!” For every rule there is some way to get around it, and here was a lad who found a way to even use the Bible to disobey his parents.

According to Glenn Pease, most of us can identify with him, for we have had an obsession with getting something, and we could not rest until we got it. This puts our patience (ability to suffer long) to the test, and we realize it is no easy virtue to achieve-this ability to wait for what we want with a calm and undisturbed spirit in the face of obstacles and delays. In our age of instant gratification, nobody enjoys waiting for satisfaction, but God demands that His children learn to discipline their desires, and to persevere and not give up because they do not reach their goals as soon as they hoped. Shakespeare said, “How poor are they who have not patience. What wound did ever heal but by degrees?” Waiting and persevering are a part of God’s plan for His people, and those who can’t endure this part of it miss out on God’s best. The Bible is constantly urging Christians to look at life long range. Job is the greatest example of patience because he was able to endure and persevere. He did not give up even though all the evidence seemed to support that he should. He had the fruit of patience, and held on to see a happy ending to a very difficult story. All’s well that ends well is the message, and all is guaranteed to end well for those who wait on the Lord, and never give up, but let patience be their guide.

So are you currently in a situation like that of Edward above, I encourage you to keep waiting on the LORD, don’t rush. God will answer you in His own time. Remember that you can’t exhibit this fruit of the Spirit on your own, do you lack the ability to suffer long? Come to the LORD this moment and HE will grant you the grace to be patient? Shalom.

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THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT – PEACE

PEACE

I’ve heard about a place in the ocean’s depth, in which no wave or turbulence on the surface of the ocean can disturb. That is peace in the midst of turbulence.

As a continuation on the fruit of the Spirit series, today we would be looking at PEACE. It’s my prayer that as you follow these series you will experience the peace of God in your life IN JESUS NAME.

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (KJV)

It’s only in Christ that true peace is found. Any peace found elsewhere is counterfeit. Peace is one of the marks of a true believer.  Just like Psalms 23:2 says “He leadeth me beside still waters. He restoreth my soul.” Peace is one of the qualities of divine guidance.

This song vividly describes what God’s peace is like.

I Will Worship the Lord,

For He Is Worthy;

I Will Lay Down My Sword,

The Prince of Peace Is His Name,

King of the Flood,

The Lord Is Mighty;

The Lord Can Quench The Evil Flame.
Peace When Trouble Blows,

Jehovah Sees, Jehovah Knows;

He Is My Peace, When Sorrow Nears,

Jehovah Sees, Jehovah Hears.
Feel the Presence of God,

Upon The Waters

Hear the voice of the LORD

Within the thunder that roars

King of the Flood,

The Lord Is Mighty,

The Lord Can Calm The Troubled Soul.

Like The Breath,

I Need To Live,

Jehovah Takes, Jehovah Knows;

He Is My Peace, When Sorrow Nears,

Jehovah Sees, Jehovah Hears.
Peace When Trouble Blows,

Jehovah Sees, Jehovah Knows;

He Is My Peace, When Sorrow Nears,

Jehovah Sees, Jehovah Hears.
Judgment Coming, He Is My Peace;

Men Pursue Me, He Is My Peace.

Judge! Judgment Is Coming, He Is My Peace;

War may follow,

But I know He is my peace.
I Will Worship the Lord

For He Is Worthy;

I Will Lay Down My Sword,

The Prince Of Peace Is His Name.

King of the Flood,

The Lord Is Mighty;

The Lord Can Quench The Evil Flame.
Peace When Trouble Blows,

Jehovah Sees, Jehovah Knows

He Is My Peace, When Sorrow Nears,

Jehovah Sees, Jehovah Hears.
Like The Breath,

I Need To Live,

Jehovah Takes, Jehovah Hears;

Gives me Peace, when trouble blows,

Jehovah Sees, Jehovah Knows.

Ron Kenoly

So, if you’re not dwelling in the secret place of the most of the high place (I mean being born again), know this for sure – you can never know God’s peace.

But if you want to get God’s peace, you need to acknowledge your sinfulness, believe on Jesus Christ, confess and repent from them and become transformed by the word of His mouth.

Posted in FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT SERIES

THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT – JOY

THE FRUIT OF JOY

Joy is not a fruit of the natural man. It is a fruit of the Spirit. Without the help of the Holy Spirit, no man can rejoice in all situations. If you desire this fruit’s manifestation, then you must hunger and thirst after it. For blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled. Matt 5:6

According to author Glenn Pease “Joy is not a positive feeling that life is going great. Joy is a feeling that no matter how hard life is, I have the best that life can offer in Christ. Anyone can feel good and be happy when all is going well and life is free of negatives. But with the fruit of joy you can rejoice in the Lord always, even when life is full of negatives. This is not man generated joy, but the joy of the Lord which is our strength.

Madam Guyon was thrown into prison in France, and she wrote-

“I passed my time there in great peace, content to pass the rest of my life there, if such were the will of God. I sang songs of joy, while the maid who served me learned by heart as fast as I made them, and we together sang Thy praises, o my God. The stones of my prison looked in my eyes like rubies. I esteemed them more than all the gaudy brilliance of the world. My heart was full of that joy Thou givest to them that love Thee in the midst of their greatest crosses.” Her poetry, which she sang in prison, is still read and sung today, though she died in 171 7. She wrote forty volumes. Here are just a few lines –

Tho my foes have combined

and my body confined

yet my soul is with liberty blest.

I am humbly content

With whatever is sent

For I know that Thy pleasure is best.

Thy wondrous defense

Makes a cell seem immence.

It sheds so peculiar a grace.

Such a pleasure abounds,

Such a glory surrounds,

And the joys of Thy kingdom embrace.

John Wesley said, “Sour godliness is the devil’s religion.” Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, that even when Christians are persecuted and slandered, they are to rejoice and be glad for their reward is great in heaven. Joy in hard times is a Christian obligation. That is why we need the filling of the Spirit, for we cannot produce this fruit on our own. Paul says in I Thess. 5:16, “Be joyful always.” He does not say ninety per cent of the time, or ninety eight per cent of the time, but always. That is not natural, but is of the Holy Spirit. Augustine said over 1500 years ago, “There is a joy which is not given to the ungodly, but to those who love Thee for Thine own sake, whose joy Thou Thyself art.” Jesus was the most joy-filled person ever to live on this planet. We are told this in Hebrews 1:9, where it says of Christ, “…your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.” In other words, there has never been another above Jesus in joy. He had the highest level of joy possible, and none has never matched it. An apple is an apple, and a pear is a pear, but not all apples and pears are equal. Some are better than others. They are bigger, juicier, and sweeter than others. So it is with joy, and all the fruits of the Spirit. They grow like fruit, and so there are all different stages of growth. Jesus had the perfect fruit of joy. This is what all believers will have in heaven. This was the hope of even the Old Testament saints. David says in Psalm 16:11, “You will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasure at your right hand.”

So are you downcast today, you can say with Dr. Gregory Frizzell “Lord, I believe you to fill me with a supernatural joy that is unspeakable and full of glory.  Show me how I fail to rejoice and give praise at all times.” For the joy of the Lord is your strength!

(Much of this write-up was derived from Glenn Pease’s article on The Fruit of the Spirit).

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THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT – LOVE

The Fruit of the Spirit
Gal 5:22-23
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
In this portion of scripture, the fruit of the Spirit is not referred to as fruits, but to as ‘fruit’. This tells you of something, it’s not that it is different kinds of fruit that a person can choose to produce one and not have the other, but it is a singular fruit from the same tree or individual.
In writing about the fruit of the Spirit, I have decided to share what Glenn Pease wrote about the fruit of the Spirit, starting with the fruit of Love.
All of these fruits hang together like a cluster of grapes on the vine. You can’t pick and choose which ones you will have and leave the rest alone. They come together, and you have them all, or you don’t have them at all. You cannot say I’ll be loving and joyful, but I’m not going to be kind and good. This is a package deal, and although your personality may favour some of these over others, they all have to be a part of your personality for you to be Christ like. The lack of any one of them can spoil all the rest. They are one, and that is why some prefer the singular of fruit rather than fruits of the Spirit. They are like nine segments of an orange. They are parts, but together they make one orange. There is one fruit of the Spirit in nine segments.
Love never fails, does not mean the loving Christian succeeds in all he or she attempts to accomplish. It means they always please God without fail. God never says, “I am not pleased with your loving spirit toward your brother or your enemy.” God is always pleased with love, and, therefore, love never fails to achieve life’s highest goal, which is to please God. That is why Oswald Chambers said, “Love is the beginning, love is the middle, and love is the end.” God made us in His image, and thus, we are made to love, and when we do we fulfil our very purpose for being. It is life’s highest success. What is the purpose of life? It is to become what God made us to be-images of Him. This is achieved by bearing the fruit of the Spirit, for these nine fruits are love displayed in all of its aspects.” Someone has described them like this
Joy is love’s cheerfulness.
Peace is love’s confidence
Patience is love’s composure
Kindness is love’s consideration
Goodness is love’s character
Faithfulness is love’s constancy
Gentleness is love’s comeliness
Self-control is love’s conquest.
The point is, the more these nine fruits characterize your life, the more you fulfil your purpose for being, for you are a reflection of His love, which is to say, you are Christ like. Some years ago New York City had a murder mystery that was finally solved by the arrest of several notorious criminals. One was Jack Rose, who after he was convicted and imprisoned said, “I always believed that there must be a God somewhere. But when I gave Him thought, I felt He was so far away, and so occupied with great things, that He knew nothing about me. I am sure I never would have become a criminal if the thought had ever entered my mind that God cared anything about me.” The world is filled with people who do not know that God loves them because there is no Christian who is communicating that love to them. The poet says
Do you know the world is dying?
For a little bit of love?
Everywhere we hear them sighing,
For a little bit of love.
When we make choices to communicate the love of God to the lost, then we know we have gone beyond natural love to bearing the fruit of the Spirit. Every Christian needs to be praying the prayer of Dr. Will Houghton, former president of Moody Bible Institute.
Love this world through me,
Lord this world of broken men,
Thou didst love through death, Lord
Oh, love in me again!
Souls are in despair, Lord.
Oh, make me know and care;
When my life they see,
May they behold Thee,
Oh, love the world through me.
Even the desire to pray this prayer is a sign that you are growing in the garden of your life the fruit of love.