“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23)
We Christians are blessed with God’s Holy Spirit dwelling within us. Therefore, these fruits listed above should be displayed in our daily lives. So, the first fruit we come to is LOVE. “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31) Next, we have JOY. “Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” (Psalm 16:11) Then we have PEACE: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27) Then of course we have all the other fruits which are: patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. All of these are essential for us to have a sound Christian walk
So, having said all that, shouldn’t we be examining our own lives to see if we are displaying all the fruits of the Spirit. Because even though we may be doing great works for the Lord, it could profit us nothing if we’re doing it with the wrong motivation. For the Paul the Apostle said: “If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And if I shall dole out all my goods in food, and if I deliver up my body that I may be burned, but have not love, I profit nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:1-3 DBY)
Yes, everything we do must be with the motivation of love. For Jesus said: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” (Matthew 7:21-23 ESV) So, brothers and sisters in Christ, “Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest [thine] alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.” (Matthew 6:1-4)
“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.” (1 Corinthians 12:7-11)
Now we come to the Gifts of the Spirit. For Jesus said: “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” (John 14:12-14 NKJV) Wow, Jesus said that we would be doing even greater works than what he was doing. We can see happening by Paul the apostle where we read: “Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them.” (Acts 19:11-12 NKJV) We can see happening with Peter as well: “And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, so that they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them. Also a multitude gathered from the surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed.” (Acts 5:14-16 NKJV)
Also, during one of Peter sermons, three thousand souls were saved. “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.” (Acts 2:38-41)
Now, all those gifts displayed above are impressive by the early believers. So, I pray that God would help us do the same today as well. For we need to be a people who are willing to step out in faith as the early church did. However, that being said, we must make sure that God gets all the glory and praise in these acts as well.
Now, let’s look at what the scripture says concerning miracles:
So, we can see that our lives should be practicing and displaying all the gifts of the Spirit. And let’s remember that miracles are not just to heal and deliver people from bondage, but also to validate what we are preaching. For in Marks gospel, we read: “And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.” (Mark 16:20 ASV) So, shouldn’t we also be following not only Jesus our Saviors footsteps, but our brothers and sisters in Christ as well. For all these gifts are still available for us today just as they were back in Jesus and the early church time. So, let’s pray that God gives us the strength to walk in the Spirit and the ability to step out in faith, trusting God to do his work through us. Amen.
(Scriptures taken from the KJV unless otherwise noted)
There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. (Hebrews 4:9-11)
When you think of someone that’s resting, what example comes to mind? Could it be a person kicking back under a shady tree with a hat pulled over their face? Or even better yet, could it be someone on a vacation getaway relaxing on a white sandy beach on some remote island? Well, even though these may be a good example, the real truth may be just the opposite of what you think. You see, being under a shady tree or on a get-away vacation doesn’t promise relieve from anxieties, feelings of restlessness or fears. Because no matter where you’re at, your problems will still follow you.
So then, true rest is not that outward condition as we read above, but that inward condition which is of the heart. For it only can come from the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, given comfort and hope regardless of our outward condition. Oh, what peace and joy we have in Jesus, for in him we have true rest indeed. So, why not put all your trust in God and let Him lead the way for you. Remember, the Father truly knows best and he will direct all your paths by his Son Jesus as quoted above.
Below, you will find some scriptures on this topic of peace, hope and rest:
God’s word can surely keep you on the right path. For we first we must keep our mind stayed on God at all times, trusting him in every situation. For if we will do this, we can be sure that He will fill us with his perfect peace. Next, we must completely rely on Him to show us the way and the path we must take. So many times, we can lean on our own understanding and depart from the truth of God’s word. And finally, it is only through our Lord Jesus Christ that we can find true rest through all of this. We need not struggle and try to work our way into heaven but allow him to show us the way. For we are “a work in progress,” learning the truth as we walk in the Holy Spirit. So, the more we keep our mind on the Lord, the more we can’t help but fall deeper in love with him, and the deeper we fall in love with him, the more we can’t help but keep our mind stayed on him. Amen.
“Jehovah thy God is in the midst of thee, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love; he will joy over thee with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17)
According to the “Gesenius' Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon” and “Strong’s Definitions,” the Hebrew word for “he will joy” in the passage above means to get joyful, even to dance, leap for joy or to spin around. Now, we need to remember that this passage is speaking about our God and Creator. So, can you grasp the reality that God our Father does singing and showing this kind of emotion over us? Yet, we read here that he does over his creation whom he loves. So, we should do away with the mentality that believes God is some killjoy who wants to stripe us of all joy and pleasure.
Now, if God shows this kind of emotion over us, shouldn’t we be singing and getting emotional over him as well? We need to be rejoicing over the fact that he is our Awesome God and Creator. For: “Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” (Psalm 16:11) And not only that, but we who are in Christ Jesus will be spending eternity with Him in paradise. Oh, how wonderful that day will be my brothers and sisters in Christ!
“And David danced before Jehovah with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod.” (2 Samuel 6:14)
So, when it comes to worshiping our God, how many of us actually show any kind of emotions for Him? Oh, what’s wrong with us fellow brothers and sisters in Christ? Do not believe the lie that we must be reserved when it comes to worshiping our God. We do need to be rejoicing and praising him with our whole being, for our God is so worthy. So, let's truly get excited over our Awesome God and be in love with him always. For as mentioned before, he does joy over us with singing. Amen.
Okay, I know if you totally let loose at your next church gathering, you may escort you out the door. But it only takes a few people excited about God to get others going as well. So, go ahead and start showing a bit more excitement at your next assembly. Who knows, maybe eventually you will have the whole church getting excited while worshiping the Lord. For His joy is contagious and let us pray that everybody would catch it.
“Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him; Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.” (Proverbs 8:30-31)
Now, there are a few learned men who claim that this scripture above is referring to Jesus himself. So, because I don’t see myself as a biblical scholar, I can only show what these “three witness” proclaim as true. And what I do find interesting is that it says: “and my delights were with the sons of men.” Below are the comments of these learned men.
“Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.” (Isaiah 49:15-16)
Above is another passage that has more than one witness proclaiming its meaning. Below are some learned men who say that this passage above is in reference to the nail scared hands of our Savior Jesus Christ.
“That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” (John 17:21)
In conclusion to all this, let us always remember how much God the Father loves us and in like manner to be in love with him. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17) So, this being true, let’s have the same attitude as the apostle Paul who said: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, let’s always be aware of God’s Spirit within us. “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)Amen.
"It only takes a spark to get a fire going, and soon all those around, can warm up to its glowing. That’s how it is with God’s love, once you have experienced it, you spread His love to everyone; you want to pass it on. What a wondrous time is spring, when all the trees are budding; the birds begin to sing, the flowers start their blooming. That’s how it is with God’s love; once you’ve experienced it, you want to sing “It’s fresh like spring”; you want to pass it on. I wish for you my friend, this happiness that I’ve found. You can depend on Him, it matters not where you’re bound. I’ll shout it from the mountain top – Praise God I want the world to know; the Lord of love has come to me, I want to pass it on." Penned by: Kurt Kaiser
Scriptures on Rejoicing in the LORD: