Resistant

Image result for secure drug bottle

Do you have a package that absolutely forbids entry for all those goodies concealed inside? Do you have a kiddy forbidding medicine bottle that needs an engineering degree to open?

My brain is similarly resistant to penetrating today. I couldn’t reason myself out of a soaked paper bag today.

Fortunately my faith is still intact without having to reason God’s love for me today. I just trust Him, no matter what comes my way.

Walk In One Spirit

Image result for fruit of the spirit

We have one divine spirit, the Spirit of God’s exclusive love(agapaō). All other types of “love” can be captured by our mortal enemy.

For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “YOU SHALL LOVE(agapaō) YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” (Galatians 5:14)

That’s it! It’s the key to God’s plan, for here and for eternity.

It’s that simple? Simple because God spoke the universe into existence. Simple because He gave us His Word. Simple because the Fruit of God’s Spirit is simple.

If you want your life filled with God, you need to bear God’s Spiritual Fruit. If you don’t want God in your life, take your chances with cruel fate.

God’s Simple Fruit

But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. (Galatians 5:18)

God’s domain rises infinitely higher than any given law. If you want wordly law, enjoy its bad fruit.

The Fruit of God’s Spirit is just one fruit.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)

It’s singular, ie the fruit. It’s not one kind of fruit called love, another called peace, a third called patience, etc. Singular fruit may have many characters, like sweetness, tartness, tenderness, scrumptiousness(getting a bit carried away). Also like fruit, it might be dry, grainy, tough, or other unflavorful characteristics.

This essay would become impossibly long if I covered the whole list. Instead, I will try to do a good attempt at each time I deal with it.

To be continued …

The Deeper Side of Christmas

This morning no gifts beckoned me from under my Christmas tree. For one thing, the Christmas tree belongs to my room mate, and any gifts there belong to his two little kids. And the other reason no gifts awaited me is I’ve sort of outgrown the commercial side of, “the Holidays.”

I received my greatest Christmas gift ever forty-odd years ago when I accepted God’s gift to me, “For God so loved [you and me] (so much) that He gave His only Son after His own kind (the physical embodiment of His eternal Word), that anyone who believes (accepts and places his confidence) in Him should not perish (see perdition or destruction), but have (possess permanently) [Jesus’] eternal life.” There’s a mouthful that you can take to God’s heavenly bank.

Those who believe this promise, and many others we find in God’s revealed Word, will feel a level of joy like none other. But those for whom Christmas has morphed into, “the Holidays,” get to enjoy a warm family time … after a month of chasing the perfect presents around the shopping malls and big box stores … and worry about paying for all the excess over the other eleven months. Amazing how heavy those little pieces of plastic can get, isn’t it?

Now that the rush is over, maybe you can flop into your favorite chair and contemplate what Christmas means to God. Think of what it would feel like to give your own child as ransom for the captives who hate you, for the ungrateful multitudes who have killed your messengers, despoiled your home and reviled your name. Most of them would reject your beloved child and suffer the consequences, but you would receive and embrace those few who love and embrace him and the freedom he bought for them.

May the deeper meaning of Christmas bless you now and forever.

Commentary On a Viral E-mail

What follows is the body of a controversial e-mail that a good friend and brother sent to me. If you think it looks familiar, check with Snopes, for a decidedly biased article about lots of related complaints. If you have lots of time, read the e-mail’s contents below. Otherwise, skip down to my commentary, which isn’t quite as long.

  In the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham asked the Lord to spare the city if he could find 50 righteous people. God responded to Abraham’s plea “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all.”….Genesis 18:16-33

The movie “Corpus Christi “is due to be released this June to August. It is a disgusting film set to appear in America later this year which depicts Jesus and his disciples as homosexuals! As a play, this has already been in theaters for a while. It’s called “Corpus Christi” which means “The Body of Christ”. It’s a revolting mockery of our Lord. But we Christians can make a difference.

That’s why I am sending this e-mail to you. If you do send this around, we just might be able to prevent this film from being shown in Canada and America. Let’s stand for what we believe and stop the mockery of Jesus Christ our Savior. Where do we stand as Christians?
I am forwarding this to all I think will respect and appreciate being informed. Please help us prevent such offenses against our Lord. There is no petition to sign, no time limit, or minimum number of people to send this to…It will take you less than 2 minutes!

If you are not interested and do not have the 2 minutes it will take to do this, please don’t complain if God does not seem to have time for you. Imagine what would happen if this film were depicting Mohammad in the same way…the Islamic world would be in flames!! . Apparently, some regions in Europe have already successfully banned the film. All we need is a lot of prayer and a lot of E-mails.

JUST GET THE WORD OUT!

Will God be able to find at least 50 righteous people who are willing to express their concern and voice their opinion against this act of blasphemy?

God Bless You All.

If you want to be thoroughly confused, the actual film is a documentary titled, “Corpus Christi: Playing With Redemption.”
 The issue in my mind isn’t gullibly accepting unattributed e-mails, but condemning blasphemy in the most depraved—yes, I said depraved—elements of society, while Christendom practices blasphemy of the Holy Spirit by attributing to Him what is offensive to God. Even among the Evangelical churches, some “Spirit filled” individuals publicly exhibit hatred, sour attitudes, conflict, impatience, critical spirits, meanness, conceit and arrogance, to name just a few of our sins, much of which is done in our Lord’s Name. Is it any wonder that corrupt people do their best to offend God’s church?
 Before we condemn corrupt—and yes, I said corrupt—people, with their corrupt entertainments, we need to cleanse our own house of its own worldliness and corruption. I believe silence on this issue is not the same as approving it, but the more bitterly vociferous our objections, the more we confirm the world’s view of us as ignorant bigots. While we must hate the world system, we must love those trapped in it—a most delicate balance that Jesus pulled off perfectly. Can we truly learn from Him?
 Another great tragedy with this, “Corpus Christi,” is all the people suckered into paying money to behold it in its play form, and in its film documentary form. This is a disturbing commentary on both society’s messed up values, and the church’s failure to keep Jesus and His Word holy before the world’s scrutiny. Jesus made the blind see; now He needs to make His church see as well.

Promises, Promises

2 Peter 1:3-4 NKJV as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, (4) by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

I believe God’s Word! When God tells me something through His Word, I know I can, “take it to the bank.” Unfortunately, actual banks don’t see it that way, but that’s their problem. If something in God’s Word seems out of whack, I know either the translation, or my interpretation, is in error, and not His revealed Word.

Apologetics

Daniel B. Wallace Ph.D. sets the record straight about alleged New Testament errors in his article, The Number of Textual Variants: An Evangelical Miscalculation. Though most Christ-followers would rather simply accept the Bible’s reliability, and that is certainly warranted, some knowledge of textual criticism helps greatly when trying to deal with skeptic’s challenges. Indeed, one of the major reasons for Christians loosing their faith is ignorance of apologetics (That branch of theology which defends the Holy Scriptures, and sets forth the evidence of their divine authority.1).

Human Promises

2 Peter 1 should give us great hope in God’s promises. Unlike Him, we mortals are quick with promises. Someone expresses a need and, with the best of intentions, we offer help.

A promise as simple as, “I’ll pray for you,” carries with it an obligation to actually pray for that person. Instead, it usually includes the unstated qualifier, “… when and if I get the chance.” And, yes, I’m as guilty as the next brother.

Those of us who have been reborn in the Spirit have no excuse for such laxity, as we are to always seek to become more like Christ. When we the church grow to where we can live by our promises, thereby completing Christ’s love in us, we will truly turn the world upside down.2

Father of all mercy, I am grieved that we who claim Jesus’ Name are so flippant about our word. By Your Holy Spirit’s power and through Jesus Name, empower us so we can complete our mission of turning the world upside down.

1 Webster’s 1913 dictionary entry for “apologetics” (Yes, Noah Webster was a Christian.)

2 Reference to Acts 17:6

Public Enemy #1

How peaceful are they?

First, lets dismiss the gangsta rap group, Public Enemy, although their name gives an accurate picture of their value to society. History gives us a long list of people who were tagged with the label, “Public Enemy #1.” Back in the twentieth century that label belonged to gangsters and mafiosos. Today that dubious distinction is obsolete, replaced by the “most wanted” list that includes drug cartel kingpins, serial killers, and terrorists, both domestic and foreign.

All of that is consistent with the natural, human perspective, but there is something that the public perceives as an enemy that is more to be feared than all of the Ten Most Wanted combined. That public enemy is peace and quiet.

I tend to accuse young people of stimulation addiction, as so many of them live with earbuds permanently implanted, feeding a constant stream of loud, popular music, or video game audio into their consciousness. But young people aren’t alone in their addiction to constant stimulation. “Adults,” including myself, seek constant entertainment and news media saturation. My personal addiction is tech/military documentaries, movies and TV police procedurals. It seems I too am afraid of silence.

The prophet Elijah experienced the eternally existing One as a, “still, small voice,” and preachers admonish us to seek that sort of communication with God. Yet, how are we to hear His voice when our senses are constantly saturated with distractions?

We Christ-followers gripe about not hearing His voice, but do nothing about achieving the personal quietness necessary to hear our Lord and Savior. Even our corporate worship is often boisterous.

Habits die hard. Addictions, much harder. But are we to settle for less than God’s best for us? And His best for us is intimate communication with Himself. He made us for that purpose, and anything less promises only unfulfillment of God’s glorious promises, and frustration of our ultimate purpose.

Yes, but how?

How can we break our noise addiction? First, we must realize, and then confess, that it is quite real in our lives. Second, we must pray for God’s conviction, as to refuse to change makes it sin. Third, thank God for the infinite grace that He shows when we fail to seek His best for us. His love for us is unfathomable, and if we claim to love Him in return, yet willfully disobey Him, we reveal our hypocrisy. Apostle John wrote, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 John 2:15)

Like all addictions, electronic media addiction is tough to crack. I don’t know of I could break its hold on me cold turkey, but I can try to cut down by substituting other activities that would strengthen me, rather than continuing to weaken myself by sitting mesmerized by Netflix and YouTube.

I want to honor God with my life, but I can’t do that by staying planted at home watching entertainment. Please pray for me, and the millions of other media-addicted Christians, for God to break us free, so we can love the lost to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Depression

Many highly knowledgeable authorities (pro or amateur) on depression walk the streets, and few of them have ever experienced protracted, severe, clinical depression. I’ve heard seemingly endless thoughts and theories on the subject from professionals and laymen alike, and they share one characteristic; all they have to offer is guess-work based on some academic’s, or pop-psychological guru’s, guess-work. Those who have lived in the depressive state don’t have much to say about it, except that it hurts. Beyond that, we really don’t care to expend the effort.

Expressions of My Depressions:

That last statement, taken by itself, could be viewed as a description of laziness. Instead, it encapsulates all the time-release capsules of trouble that depression releases in my daily life. It saps all potential enthusiasm, energy, motivation, and even the will to keep on breathing, very much like a summertime desert’s unrelenting sun saps the strength from an unprepared wayfarer. Perhaps the only difference between the two is the desert wanderer has some hope of finding a little relief from the sunshine in the sparse, desert vegetation or the occasional rock outcropping.

A Bit of Personal History

Much of the feedback I received from my mother was on the order of, “You’re slow as a seven year itch.” I also learned that I was lazy, careless, and a daydreamer. Some say I’m still trying to please her even though she is many years gone.

My early puberty and consequential interest in the female form caused its own set of problems. That’s where my dad came in; I was a shameful, nasty, dirty little boy, and I had to constantly go to confession before receiving communion. The shame issue was so deeply rooted that I still haven’t shaken it. Knowing I’m forgiven is wonderful, but that knowledge by itself can’t quite counterbalance the overwhelming sense of unworthiness that saps my victory, much like depression saps my sense of well-being. Come to think of it, the two are likely related.

A Little About School

A few guys let me hang around with them in high school, but their academic achievement-level was in a whole different galaxy from my own. My best friend Rick got a kick out of beating me on both the pool table and the tennis court, as well as any other games he chose. He went on to earn his CPA, while another friend, Dennis, received an advanced degree in math, and Peter eventually earned an organic chemistry PHD. Any time we gathered as a group I was the obligatory comic relief.

After moving to Montana, I married a girl eight-years my junior—she, eighteen, I, twenty-six—and she offered her life’s savings to finance my starting Bible college. I wanted to become a pastor, and she believed in me.

Once enrolled in Houston’s Gulf Coast Bible College, all my forgotten secondary school nightmares returned to haunt me. I was slow and poorly motivated. The same applied to the machine shop work I took to support my family. I neither completed my preacher-boy degree, nor journeyman status as a machinist. That’s just a very brief excerpt of my list of uncompleted endeavors.

Never Gave Up

One of the few endeavors on which I never gave up is my life in Christ, but the depression has even managed to cause trouble there, with the enemy finding it a convenient weapon for attacking my peace. That old shame has generalized into an overwhelming sense of unworthiness, exempting me (in my own mind) from many of my Lord’s promises. Even though I realize the enemy has found an easy sucker in me, on the emotional level I believe the lies. Nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day. (2 Timothy 1:12b)

Later On

At the tender age of fifty-one I experienced a myocardial infarction. During the followup with our family doctor he noted some alarming consistencies in my behavior, so I took a depression-screening test, and wouldn’t you know that’s the one test on which I scored quite highly. Thus began my treatment with anti-depressants.

At various times my wife and I tried pastoral counseling, but none of them could grasp the concept of clinical depression not being a choice. Of course, these people were all type-A overachievers, so my depression had to be an issue of sin in my life. I’m sure the degree of its impact on my faith-walk, my marriage and my work history had something to do with sin, but I could never pinpoint where I was going wrong.

My insecurity and stinking self-concept eventually broke up our marriage, not even twenty-years into it. One contributing factor about which I had little to say was the advice she received from her atheistic brother and humanist friend who happened to be a school counselor where she worked. She decided she wanted to throw me back in and cast her hook for a better catch.

My Dream

After the divorce my asphyxiating depression and hopelessness only magnified, until, that is, God gave me a special dream. Here’s the short version:

I found myself next to a young man who was reading what seemed to be a Bible. I had situated myself next to him in hopes of finding some spiritual fellowship.

As it turned out, the “Bible” he read was the NEW WORLD TRANSLATION, the Jehovah’s Witnesses own custom version since they couldn’t manage to make any of the valid translations fit their teachings. Continuing our conversation, I pointed out some of my reservations about their teachings, not directly attacking him or his religion. During the conversation I came to feel a profound love for him, the kind of love that a father feels for his child who is in danger of mortally wounding himself.

On waking from the dream I puzzled why I should remember it in such minute detail, when most dreams are lost within seconds of waking. Then God showed me that my feeling for that young man was but the most infinitesimal sensation of the love He has for me. I had to cry and laugh and sing His praise all at once.

While the dream convinced me that God’s love for me was unquenchable, my depression—or the enemy’s use of it—deepened my shame for being who I am, in view of my Savior’s great love for me.

The Thorn in My Mind

Apostle Paul had his thorn in the flesh(2 Corinthians 12:7). Would a thorn in the mind or emotions be all that different? Based on his zeal for the Law, and then for the law-Giver, we know he had no self-image problems; he knew that he knew what he knew. I have no such self-confidence, and even struggle with Christ-confidence. Even though I know He loves me beyond any definition of love that I can understand, I just don’t feel like I “cut the muster.”

I see my whole life as one great disappointment. My epitaph will say, “He had so much potential.”

I would believe that God is disappointed with me but for one fact. He knows the end from the beginning, so from creation’s beginning He knew how I would live my life … and still He loves me.

Maybe this powerful sense of unworthiness isn’t entirely bad; at least I have no illusions of my own goodness. I, if anyone, can appreciate God’s wonderful nature

Conclusion

Depression can’t be defeated by personal will alone, and certainly not relieved by the well-intentioned advice of shrinks. While I’ve prayed and hoped for an emotional healing miracle, I’m still waiting for my loving Father’s intervention.

Give Me A Sign … or Else!

I confess to allowing myself to feel envious of other Christians when they receive obvious miracles in their lives. Don’t get me wrong; God has blessed me in uncountable ways, but many of those blessings are very subtle and easily missed. Other believers get the spectacular signs, while I just … live.

I asked God about that, and while He didn’t answer me audibly, even in a “still, small voice,” He guided me to some words that Jesus spoke to the nit-picky religious experts of His time: Then the Pharisees came out and began to dispute with Him, seeking from Him a sign from heaven, testing Him. But He sighed deeply in His spirit, and said, ‘Why does this generation seek a sign? Assuredly, I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation.’ (Mark 8:11-12) And again: “’A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.’ And He left them and departed.” (Matthew 16:4)

 

Have you ever been to Charismatic meetings where the evangelist coaches seekers to ask God for the Baptism in the Holy Spirit? If so, you know how he tells them to babble, and believe it is the gift of tongues. Years ago I fell under that sort of evangelist’s spell and walked away convinced that I had spoken in tongues, assuring me that I had been filled with the Spirit. Shortly afterward I discovered several Bible passages in 1 Corinthians 12-14, and you know what? None of them instructed me to actively seek the gift of tongues. Between those passages and what I’ve quoted above, I walked away from tongues feeling I had been deceived. After all, “A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign.”

A number of times I’ve tried to share my testimony with skeptics. In response, they often demand proof, like miracles or other signs. How different is that from demanding a particular spiritual gift before we believe we have the gift of the Holy Spirit? Perhaps it’s just my lack of faith, but I typically just back down from such confrontations with some lame excuse like, “God doesn’t jump through hoops like a trained monkey.”

God Is Faithful, Always!

A trained monkey He isn’t, but faithful He is. Many years of fighting with God about the weak state of my faith has led me to a firm conviction; He loves me enough to withhold things I’ve wanted, that He knew would become barriers between Himself and me.

It’s sort of like Apostle Paul’s “thorn in the flesh.” While God hasn’t exactly given me an abundance of revelations, He knows that miraculous sign gifts would work against His greater purpose for me. And my demanding a sign would place me firmly in the same league as the Pharisees and lawyers of Jesus’ time.

Truthfully, He’s given me one of the greatest signs of all: I have peace with performing no miracles, speaking in no unlearned tongues, and receiving no prophetic utterances. Instead, He has given me a longing to love others as He loves me, and I think that is quite enough.

More Tears of Joy

Abundant Supply

Today’s Our Daily Bread reminded me once again of my Savior and Creator’s endless, boundless love for me. If you haven’t read it, click on the link above. It’s a true page-turner, even though it covers one scant page.

Glimpsing God’s personal love for me never fails to exercise my tear ducts. The only times I’ve been let down are then I’ve tried to accomplish things in my own strength, which seems to be most of the time. And I should know better—I have precious little of that commodity.

That’s the positive side of our glorious, unspeakable joy in Christ, but those sweet tears are always mixed with a touch of bitterness; His perfect, absolute love also humbles me, even grieves me when I think of my imperfect humanness. Or I should have said my perfect humanness, because humanity’s best (altruism) is terribly imperfect.

Thank You, Father, for resolving to love humanity, even though You knew when You formed Adam that we would need a Savior to complete us, and what that act would cost You. King David’s prayer complements my own:

Psalms 36:5-7
(5) Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.
(6) Your righteousness is like the mountains of God; your judgments are like the great deep; man and beast you save, O LORD.
(7) How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.

Amen!
BTW: Those in the know realize the photo at the top of this page portrays an unwise practice. We’re not supposed to feed any wild critter, even birds. Though we love to watch them eat, and think we’re doing them a favor, it spoils their God-given, natural foraging behavior. If you must feed something, feed the needy and the homeless, ’cause we humans are already spoiled.
You’re welcome.

The Fruit of the Spirit is …

One fruit, many nuances of flavor.

Sometimes I feel condemnation when I read God’s Word, because I fail to measure up. I realize what Romans 8:1-7 tells me, but the qualifier prevents me from easily claiming the passage and applying it to myself. It is a promise, “to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Can I claim to walk according to the Spirit? The problem is, I just don’t know. If I truly bore the Holy Spirit’s fruit, would I have any doubt?

According to Galatians 5:22-25, the foremost flavor of God’s Spiritual fruit, indeed, its very essence, is love. Where is my love? What does it look like? Loving those who love me is easy, but what of those who despise me and everything I stand for? Do I truly love them?

God’s word doesn’t tell me to feel loving toward such haters, but it does tell me to treat them well, to meet their needs, to show them grace, because that is the way Jesus treated His enemies. Do I go out of my way to show that sort of love to those who refuse to receive it? I don’t want to admit my honest answer to that question.

So, what about joy, the second flavor of the Spirit’s fruit? When I feel loved, or experience good fortune, I feel joy, and that’s only natural. But therein lies the problem; it is natural joy, and not joy from God’s Spirit. Is the joy I feel simply an emotional response to some favorable stimulus? If I don’t feel loved, but feel threatened, insecure, angry, inpatient, or doubtful, what of the Holy Spirit’s joy then? In the Holy Spirit’s context, joy must underlay all other emotions, whether negative or positive. In the flesh, that is impossible.

Like joy, the Holy Spirit’s peace must transcend all human emotions. This peace is not simply a lack of conflict, as the world defines it. The Holy Spirit’s peace comes from reconciliation with God. When I know that He no longer recognizes my sins, but has chosen to forget them completely, as if they never happened, peace overwhelms me, and all that inner conflict about falling short of His expectations just evaporates away. That’s the peace that defies understanding(Philippians 4:6-7).

Another flavor of the fruit of God’s Spirit is longsuffering, or patience, as the more contemporary versions translate it. Personally, I prefer the longer word, not because it’s longer, but because it paints a more vivid picture in my mind. Apostle Paul, in 1 Corinthians 13:4, tells us that love, “suffers long,” and I love that idea; love is willing to suffer(endure, not passively, but passionately), and to keep on suffering indefinitely. God expresses that idea most strongly in Psalms 27:14, where He tells us twice to wait on the LORD.

Kindness goes right along with the first four flavors combined in one sweet fruit of the Spirit. I think these five could be characterized under one label: grace, both God’s grace toward us and our grace toward those around us. Even if the fruit of God’s Spirit didn’t go any further, it would be the most beautiful of produce. But it does include more flavors, and each of the following four could stand alone under the category of Christlike character.

Jesus said, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but One, that is God.” (Mark 10:18) Obviously, then, goodness is a “God thing.” Yet, the fruit of God’s Spirit includes goodness demonstrated in us. That fact, as much as any other, tells us that God must live within us if we are to bear His spiritual fruit.

In the same way as goodness, as God is faithful, we must be faithful as well if we are to bear His fruit. That means consistently being good to our word, truthful and honest. I’ll be the first to admit that such faithfulness is unnatural behavior for me, and is a tall order in this unfaithful, lying and dishonest world. Yet, we are not of this world, are we? (John 17:16)

The next flavor of God’s Spiritual fruit is gentleness. Am I wrong, or is each new characteristic becoming more challenging? God’s church has picked up the idea that we must stand militantly for our beliefs. After all, Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 9:33, “as it is written, ‘Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.'” So there you go; God told us to be as offensive as needed to get our point across. Right?

Wrong! Jesus is the Stone of stumbling and Rock of offense, not individual Christ-followers. If we are to bear the true fruit of God’s Spirit, we will behave with gentleness of spirit and mildness of disposition. In other words, meekness, just as Jesus did when he faced the kangaroo court of religious Jews.

But wait, it gets even harder; the last flavor of God’s Spiritual fruit is self-control. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I have no natural self-control. But if it came naturally, it wouldn’t be from God, right? That means, at least for me, when I demonstrate self-control, as sitting at this keyboard for hours writing this stuff, I must be demonstrating the fruit of God’s Spirit. And the fact that you’ve sat reading this far demonstrates a good deal of supernatural self-control as well.

So that ends this particular list. I dealt with the fruit of God’s Spirit because the preceding few verses of this chapter reveal the works of the flesh (Gal 5:19-21), and I much prefer dealing with positives rather than negatives.

Remember, “against such things (the fruit of God’s Spirit) there is no law.” Oh, one other thing: Matthew 12:33 “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit.”