Monday, August 11, 2014

The Fear of the Lord

Imagine this scenario. You go to the doctor and he tells you that you have a terminal illness and you have only a short while to live.

What do you do?

You'd get a second opinion, right?

And, what do you when that doctor agrees with the first doctor?

You'd get a third opinion, right?

They all agree that at best, you have a year to live. They tell you there will be no effects of the illness until the very end when the disease has reached the end of its course.

When do you stop seeking opinions and live what's left of your life?

In the Handbook to Wisdom by Kenneth Boa he says this, "How would this scenario affect your vision of life, your roles on this earth, and the way you should invest your remaining time? The degree to which it would alter your remaining time? The degree to which it would alter your present perspective and practice is the distance between your current view of live and biblical view of life. The latter emphasizes the brevity of our earthly sojourn and stresses the urgency of investing our most precious asset, time, in a way that will have lasting consequences. The former view typically denies the imminence of death and, for all practical purposes, treats the temporal as though it were eternal."

"Lord, make me to know my end and what is the measure of my days; and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life." -- Psalms 39:4

"Teach me to number my days, that I may gain a heart of wisdom." -- Psalms 90:12

What would you do in this situation?

Copyright: dimakp / 123RF Stock Photo

Monday, August 04, 2014

Fruits of the Spirit

Do you know what the "Fruits of the Spirit" refer to in the Bible? It refers to the virtues produced in a Christian's life by the Holy Spirit.

Are we showing this cluster of fruit in our lives?

According to "What the Bible is all About" by Dr Henrietta C. Mears when it comes to Paul speaking to the Galatians, he's telling them about their own personal freedom from the law. Paul is very adamant about the Galatians holding firm to their personal liberties.

But, Paul makes very sure to tell his brother Galatians that they must use their freedom to indulge in a sinful nature, " You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature, rather serve one another in love." Galatians 5:13


Serve one another in love.

He's telling us to "love your neighbor as yourself." Galatians 5:14 That's what the message is from God and Jesus Christ.  Use love!

In Galatians 5:15 Paul tells us that that we must not abuse our liberty. If we do so, we're going to end up fighting amongst ourselves and living among sin.  "If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch or you will be destroyed by each other." If one goes, the rest will follow.

Paul tells the Galatians about all the seventeen evil works, that are sins of the mind as well as the body. "The acts of sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery, idolatry and witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy, drunkenness, orgies, and the like.

Paul warns the Galatians that he used to do as they do, and that those who live like this will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

But, let the Holy Spirit rule your life.

"Children begin to walk by someone holding on to their hand. We begin our walk by the Spirit holding on to us." says Dr. Henrietta C. Mears.

So, this is what we are to do: Think of ourselves walking arm and arm with the Holy Spirit. "So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what they want." Galatians 5:16-17

In contrast to the seventeen evil works, God gives us the nine-fold fruit of the Spirit. If we live and love Jesus Christ and live by God's word, then we will be free to bear fruit with God.

The nine graces are as follows:

Toward God: Love, Joy, Peace
Toward Others: Patience, Kindness, Goodness
Toward Myself: Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-Control

"Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit." Galatians 5:25

I'll ask you again, Are you showing this cluster of fruit in your life?

Reference: What the Bible is all About by Dr. Henrietta C. Mears
Copyright: jherald211 / 123RF Stock Photo