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Friday, February 10, 2012

The Nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit.

As you will see in the Scripture verse I will give you in this article – there is one very special incredible verse that will tell you that God the Father wants to transmit and impart 9 specific fruits of the Holy Spirit up into our personalities.

The first three articles that we have listed in our sanctification section all set the stage as to what God is looking to do with each one of us.

God wants all of us to enter into a true sanctification process with Him so that He can begin the process of molding, shaping, and transforming us into the express image of His Son Jesus Christ. He wants to make us into a better and more holy people. He wants to transform us by the renewing of our minds. He wants to put right thinking into our thought process.

In the first article we have listed under this section titled “Sanctification,” I gave you the specific verses from Scripture that showed you that it is by the power of the Holy Spirit that this sanctification process is done with you in this life. However, you will not be a passive robot in all of this. You have to be willing to work in cooperation with the Holy Spirit once He begins to start this sanctification process within you.

Your job will be to get into the Word to find out exactly what it is God is going to want to change about you. You will need to find out exactly what godly qualities God will want you to try and “put on” into your personality, and what qualities He will want you to try and “put away.”

This article will be the first of a series of articles giving you all of the appropriate Scripture verses showing you exactly which qualities and attributes God will want to get worked into your personality, and which qualities He will want to pull out of you. And there is no better place to start this series of articles than with the 9 fruits of the Holy Spirit.

If you want to start off by keying on some of the more positive, godly qualities that God would really like to get worked into your personality – really study and meditate on these 9 specific qualities.

When God the Father purposely isolates and spells out 9 specific qualities that will be coming direct from His Holy Spirit – then He is really letting you know the extreme importance of these 9 specific fruits.

These 9 fruits are major fruits and qualities that are coming direct from God Himself – and every Christian should do the best they can to work with the Holy Spirit in getting all 9 of these fruits worked into their personality.

I will first start off by highlighting each of these 9 specific fruits so that you can have all 9 of them isolated right at the top of this article. I will then give you the Scripture verse where these 9 fruits are coming from, and then do a brief commentary on each one of these fruits so you can fully understand what each one of these fruits are all about, and how they can dramatically change the quality of your life and state of well-being if you are willing to allow the Holy Spirit to start to work all 9 of these fruits into your personality.

Here are the 9 fruits of the Holy Spirit listed one right after the other in a bold, numbered format:

Love
Joy
Peace
Long-suffering
Kindness
Goodness
Faithfulness
Gentleness
Self-control

Now here is the specific verse from Scripture where these 9 fruits are being given to us by the Lord:

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” (Galatians 5:22)

Before I get into the appropriate commentary on each of these nine fruits, note the following:

The word “Spirit” is with a capital “S” – which means these 9 fruits are coming directly from the Holy Spirit, not from ourselves.

What this means is that God’s love, God’s peace, God’s joy, and God’s goodness can start to be transmitted up into our personality. These are His divine attributes and personality qualities that will start to move into the core of our personality.

Think about the ramifications of this – that God the Father Himself is allowing us to share in a part of His divine nature by allowing His Holy Spirit to transmit and impart these nine divine qualities right up into our soul and personality!

This is why God the Father is specifically telling us in this verse that these 9 fruits are coming directly from His Holy Spirit – so that we can all fully appreciate the magnitude of such an experience.

Jesus has already told us that He is the vine and we are the branches. The branches draw their life from the vine, not Vice Versa. Just as the branch draws its life from the vine, so too must we draw our life directly from Jesus. Jesus will release His divine life directly into us through the Holy Spirit in the exact same way that the vine will release the life of the tree into the branches.

In one short, but incredible powerful Scripture verse, God the Father is giving all of us an incredible revelation on what can go on behind the scenes in the spiritual realm for those who are willing to work with Him in this sanctification process.

Now I will go on to describe what each one of these nine fruits are all about and give you definitions from some of the different Bible Dictionaries and Commentaries, thereby making it easier for you to work with the Holy Spirit once He starts to move in on you to try and impart some of these divine qualities and attributes into the core of your personality.
1. Love

If I had to rank all of the above fruits in their order of possible importance, the quality of love would have to be #1. And this is why it may have been listed as the first fruit in the above Scripture verse.

Due to the extreme importance of just this one quality, I am going to do another article on this quality and title it “The Power of Love.” This article will also be listed in the Sanctification Section of our site. There are some very powerful and profound verses from the Bible on just this one quality alone, and it needs to have its own article to do it proper justice.

Here are some of the different definitions on what love is from the different Bible Dictionaries and Commentaries:

Unselfish, benevolent concern for another; brotherly concern; the object of brotherly concern or affection

The self-denying, self-sacrificing, Christ-like love which is the foundation of all other graces

Unselfish, loyal and benevolent concern for the well being of another

The high esteem which God has for His human children and the high regard which they, in turn, should have for Him and other people

To love, to have affection for someone; to like; to be a friend; the love of brothers for each other

One of the main messages that comes through loud and clear from studying our Bible is the extreme importance that God the Father is placing on that everyone learn how to love Him, love ourselves, love one another, and to even go as far as to be able to love our enemies and those who will try and hurt us.

However, our abilities as fallen humans to love one another is very limited. This is why it is so important for each and every Christian to work very closely with the Holy Spirit to get this fruit worked up into the core of our personalities.

It is only when the love of the Holy Spirit starts to flow and enter into our personalities can we even begin to love God, love ourselves, and love one another to the degree and to the intensity that God would really like to see from each one of us.

To those of you who will be entering into this sanctification process with the Lord – this quality should be listed as the #1 quality you should really attempt to put on into the core of your soul and personality. The Holy Spirit will be moving on you very early and very quickly to get this quality imparted into your mind, soul, and emotions due to the extreme importance of it in your walk with the Lord.

You can be the greatest man of God and have some of the greatest gifts of God flowing through you – but if you are not walking with all of this in the spirit of love and humility, it will have all been for naught. More on this in the next article.
2. Joy

In the rough and tough world we live in with all of the crime, disorder, and bad things that can happen to anyone of us at anytime, many Christians have lost a lot of their joy in the Lord as a result of some of the beatings they have taken in this life.

I remember I had a bank teller tell me one time that she very seldom sees people smiling anymore when they come in and do business with her. She says no one seems to be happy anymore and everyone seems to be carrying around the weight of the world on their shoulders.

Again, with the imperfections of our own fallen nature, and then you combine that with how people react differently to adversity – some Christians have literally had most, if not all of their joy in the Lord, knocked right out of them.

This is why the above verse from Galatians is so powerful and so needed by every single Christian today. In this verse, God is telling us that He can transmit some of His godly and divine qualities right up into the middle of us like filling up a new car with its first tank of gasoline. Many of God’s people need a fresh infusion of His divine qualities due to the leaks that have occurred as a result of some of the beatings His people have taken during the course of their lives.

And the quality of joy is a much needed quality in this day and age. No matter how bad of a beating you may have taken in this life – God can still fully heal, deliver, and restore you if you are willing to work with Him in this healing process. And one of the things that God can fully restore in you is your joy in Him. And not only can the Lord fully restore what joy you used to have in Him, but He can also increase it to a much greater degree and intensity due to the wording in the above verse – with the quality of joy being one of the 9 specific fruits of His Holy Spirit!

Here are some of the different definitions of what real joy is all about:

Great delight; gladness of heart
The happy state that results from knowing and serving God
That deep, abiding, inner rejoicing in the Lord
To rejoice, to be glad
Happy, joyful, cheerful, rejoicing, festive

Realize that God can transmit this divine quality right up into your personality – and this will be His joy, not your joy, once it starts to flow up into you. And once God starts to release His joy into your system, you won’t be able to help but feel it. And once you are able to start feeling it again, it will become much easier for you to learn how to walk back in it in your own daily walk with the Lord.

The Bible says that the joy of the Lord is your strength. This is why it is so important that every Christian have some level of God’s joy operating through them in this life. Without God’s joy operating in your life, things can begin to dry up. Nothing is ever fun anymore. Everything can start to become a chore. Before you know it, you will want to start to withdraw from others and life in general.

The joy of the Lord can really give you an incredible surge of strength in your own daily walk with God – especially when you have to take on some really tough situations. This is why each Christian should work very closely with the Holy Spirit in not only getting Him to release His joy into their system, but to also keep it running through them on a very regular and consistent basis.

The Holy Spirit will do this for you if you are open to receiving this divine infusion from Him and are willing to work with Him to keep it properly flowing through you on a regular basis.
3. Peace

This is another major quality that we all need operating in our lives, especially with all of the uncertainty of this life and never knowing what is going to happen next.

Jobs are no longer as secure as they used to be. You never know when the company you work for may be bought out and your job will be gone in a flash. Half of all marriages are still ending up in divorce. We are all forced to constantly live under the threat of future terrorist activity, never knowing when or where the next attack will come from.

With all of this kind of heightened activity that we are all forced to deal with on a daily basis, it becomes very easy to lose your sense of peace, especially your peace in the Lord. Again, this is one of the 9 fruits of the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit can really help you pick up the slack if you start losing your own sense of peace over some of the storm clouds that could come against you in this life.

Realize that the Holy Spirit has His peace to give to you and that He can give it to you in great abundance.

I have found that once His peace starts to flow up into your mind, soul, and emotions, it really is as the Bible says – a peace that surpasses all human understanding – especially when that peace comes in right in the middle of a severe storm cloud that you may be going through.

Here is how the quality of peace is described in some of the different Bible Dictionaries and Commentaries:

The presence and experience of right relationships

The tranquility of soul

Sense of well-being and fulfillment that comes from God and is dependent on His presence

The inner tranquility and poise of the Christian whose trust is in God through Christ

Tranquility, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord

The quality of peace should be one of the main qualities that you should try and get worked up into your soul through the Holy Spirit in the sanctification process. Without the peace of God operating in your life, you could become very easily rattled, shaken, tormented, and knocked right off your game in the Lord the first time any kind of adversity should ever come your way.
4. Long-suffering

One of the main definitions of the word long suffering is that it is referring to patience. And patience is another sorely needed quality in the fast paced world in which we live in today.

Just watch people standing in line at the grocery store or at your local fast food restaurant and watch how short some people’s fuses are today. Road rage is still a major problem on some of our highways. Look at someone the wrong way and they will want to try and take your head off. Many people have been killed or seriously injured because someone lost his temper over something that was very trivial.

With the fast-paced ways of our society, many people have had their fuses shortened up and it thus takes very little to set them off. As a result, many people have very little patience operating in their personalities today.

For Christians, this poses a major dilemma. One of the ways of our God is that He is a very patient and long suffering God. His ways are not our ways. And one of the things you will find out very early on about His ways is that He works on a much slower time frame than we do. And unless you learn to adjust to His slower way of working things out, you will find yourself easily losing your patience with Him and how He wants to work things out in your life.

God operates on a much longer and slower time frame than we are used to operating in the fast paced world in which we live in. You will really have to work with the Holy Spirit on this particular quality to get it properly worked up into your personality. The reason for this is that your own impatience will start to act up and try to override the patience and long suffering that the Holy Spirit will try and transmit to you. At times, it may become of battle of wills – your will against His will.

But once the Holy Spirit starts to try and manifest this quality up into your personality, then you have to try and move with it and allow it to get worked into your mind and emotions. If you do, then His patience will start to override your impatience, and before you know it, your fuses will start to lengthen and you will not lose your patience like you used to do.

Here are the different definitions for the word long suffering:

Forbearance, patience

Patient endurance and steadfastness under provocation

Forbearance under ill-will, with no thought of retaliation

Patience, endurance, steadfastness and forbearance

Forbearance under suffering and endurance in the face of adversity

Ability to endure persecution and ill-treatment

With the way all of these definitions are reading, you can really see why we all need the patience and long suffering of the Holy Spirit to start operating in our souls and personalities – especially when we are forced to face any kind of adversity. Sometimes it will be the patience and long suffering of the Holy Spirit that will be the only thing that will give you the ability to last the entire length of a bad trial.

Learn how to ride and flow with the patience of the Holy Spirit in your daily life and walk with the Lord – and you will then be able to enter into a much more restful, peaceful state within your mind and emotions.

5. Kindness

As a result of more people being impatient, having short fuses, and with everyone always being in a hurry – many people have lost the ability to treat others with kindness and respect. A kind word, a kind action to another person can really do wonders for them.

When you really study the life of Jesus in the New Testament, you can really tell how kind He always was with other people in His dealings with them. Jesus is without question, the ultimate role model for all of us of someone who was fully walking and operating in all 9 fruits of the Holy Spirit.

The quality of kindness will go hand in hand with the quality of love. Once the Holy Spirit starts to transmit His love up into you, the quality of kindness will follow right along with it. It will then become much easier for you to be able to be kind to others once the love of God starts to flow more into your personality.

You cannot help but be more kind to others if God’s love is flowing through you. This is why the quality of love has to be the main quality that you really concentrate on getting more of from the Holy Spirit. Once the love of God starts to flow and operate through you to touch others, many of the other fruits of the Holy Spirit will then start to follow right after it in domino fashion.

Here are some of the different definitions of what real kindness is all about:

Quality or state of being kind

The steadfast love that maintains relationships through gracious aid in times of need

Goodness of heart, serviceable, good, gracious, pleasant

Love for mankind, hospitality, acts of kindness, readiness to help, human friendship, benevolence, taking thought of others

Goodness in action, sweetness of disposition, gentleness in dealing with others, affability

The ability to act for the welfare of those taxing your patience

As you can see from some of these different definitions, this is a very beautiful quality to have transmitted up into your soul and personality by the Holy Spirit. Not only will you be able to touch others with this godly quality, but you will also be able to touch yourself – because you will feel so much better about yourself if you can learn how to treat others with much more kindness and respect in your daily dealings and affairs with them.
6. Goodness

The Bible says that it is the goodness of God that will lead sinners to repentance and salvation. The quality of goodness is another real powerful quality to have operating through you.

This particular quality has a real drawing power to it. Not only does the goodness of God draw people direct to Him, but this fruit of goodness operating in a believer can also draw people direct to God through the actual believer.

Spirit-filled saints who are walking with many of these fruits operating through them are like a magnet. Many people who have been saved through an individual believer say that what drew them in was the love and goodness they saw shining through that believer.

Jesus says that we are to carry His light and let that light shine before men and not attempt to hide it. Part of His light are these 9 fruits of the Holy Spirit shining through an anointed believer. Nonbelievers are really drawn to someone who has some degree of these nine fruits manifesting through their personalities.

However, there is something extra special about the quality of goodness. Many Christians can effectively witness to others by just living right and being a good example and role model for others to follow. Many nonbelievers carefully watch and study some Christians because they know there is something really different about them.

One of the key qualities a nonbeliever will pick up on in a solid Christian is this quality of goodness. This quality has an ability to really get down deep into the core of a believer’s personality. To those who really have this quality, you can tell that it is something operating deep down inside of them. This quality is not something that waivers like some of the other qualities can do. These people are good down to their very cores of their personalities. You can see it and feel it when you get around these types of people.

As a result of seeing this God-like goodness deeply ingrained into their personalities, there is an immediate drawing towards them. You feel totally safe being around them because you know you can totally trust them, and you know they would never deliberately hurt you.

Children are quick to sense and pick up on this quality in people who really have it. These types of Christians draw children and adults to them like magnets. This is why this particular fruit and quality is so important for each Christian to have. Because with it, you can easily draw many more people to the Lord.

If the goodness of God will lead people to repentance and salvation with Him – then the goodness of God operating through an anointed believer will have the ability to draw nonbelievers into salvation. And the goodness of God can be transmitted and worked up into your personality through the power of the Holy Spirit. You can have the actual goodness of God shining through you to reach others if you are willing to work with the Holy Spirit in this sanctification process.

Now here are some of the different definitions of what this quality is all about:

Beneficence, ready to do good, love in action

Kindness in actual manifestation, virtue equipped for action, a bountiful propensity both to will and to do what is good, intrinsic goodness producing a generosity and a Godlike state or being

The word beneficence means the fact or quality of being kind or doing good

This particular quality is a very powerful fruit to have operating in your personality because of the drawing power it has in it. And the beautiful part about this fruit is that this quality is so pure in its goodness – it does not have any manipulative qualities within it.

In other words, a truly good person could not even begin to try and use you or manipulate you for their own personal gain because they are too good and righteous to even begin to think along those lines. This is why these kinds of people are so trustworthy and why so many people are drawn to them – because you feel so safe by just being around them.
7. Faithfulness

In the times we live in with half of all marriages still ending up in divorce, and with many people getting back-stabbed in the workplaces with people they thought they could initially trust – this particular quality is one that is really needed in our day and age. This quality is not only needed in our own personal relationship with God, but it is also needed in our own personal relationships with our friends and our families.

Once you are saved and have entered into a true personal relationship with the Lord – one of the first things you will really have to grab a hold of is holding fast to the Lord and staying faithful to Him for the rest of your eternal life. Once you are saved and have entered into a true personal relationship with the Lord, there is no turning back – ever!

This is what got the Jewish people in major trouble with God the Father back in the Old Testament. They could not stay faithful and loyal to Him on a consistent and regular basis. There were times that God the Father was literally calling them harlots and adulterers because they would not stay faithful to Him, especially when they kept chasing after other gods.

God the Father really holds this particular quality in high esteem, and this is one quality that He will really expect you to operate very strongly in – not only in your own personal relationship with Him, but also in your other personal relationships with your family and friends. In other words, He wants you to be faithful and loyal to your spouses, to your children, to your parents, and to your good friends.

Too many people are bailing out from their spouses and their children if they hit a few minor speed bumps in their marriages. Too many spouses are having affairs behind their spouse’s back, thereby destroying all of the trust and faithfulness that may have been built up in the early years of their marriages. Too many fathers are bailing out of their marriages, and then forgetting and forsaking their own children – and sometimes for good, never wanting to see any of them ever again!

If God brings you a wonderful mate, wonderful children, and good and wonderful friends – then He will expect you to stay loyal and faithful to all of them in your own personal relationships with them. A true friend will stay by your side for life – through thick and thin and for better or for worse. Just as God will stay faithful to you in His own personal relationship with you – He will expect you to stay loyal and faithful in your own personal relationships with the other people in your life.

Now here are what some of the different Bible Dictionaries and Commentaries have to say about this particular quality:

Fidelity which makes one true to his promise and faithful to his task

Steadfast, dedicated, dependable and worthy of trust

Steadfast, unchanging and thoroughly grounded in relation to the other

Dependability, loyalty and stability

With the self-centered and materialistic world in which we now live in, where many people’s only goals and ambitions are to get as much as they can out of this life while they still can – I am afraid this is one quality that is in very short supply. Most people are lucky if they manage to make 2 or 3 good, loyal, and faithful friends in this lifetime.

This is one quality that God the Father is really watching all of us on. He is watching who is going to stay true, loyal, and faithful to Him – and who will stay true, loyal, and faithful to the friends and family that are brought into our lives.

The flesh is strong – especially in the area of wanting to satisfy its lust for the material things of this life. This is why this quality is one of the 9 fruits of the Holy Spirit. We all need the faithfulness of the Holy Spirit worked into us to help us keep loyal to God, family, and friends.
8. Gentleness

Many men may draw back a bit from this next fruit, which is the quality of gentleness. However, Jesus was fully incarnated into a human flesh body – but this incarnation was done as a man – fully Man and fully God.

Since Jesus walked our earth as a man – the Son of Man – study His actions very carefully when you read the gospels and how He handled different types of people. There were times that He would engage and set people straight, like He did with some of the Scribes and Pharisees. But there were other times that He dealt with people very gently, with kindness and love. His gentle way of handling some of these people is what really jumps out at you when you really study how He handled different types of people.

Again, Jesus is the perfect role model for all of us to study and learn from – especially with how He handled people while He was walking down here on our earth. For men in particular, His actions and behavior towards others should be a major study for all of us and we should seek to pattern our own daily walk after Him. And one of the divine qualities that He had operating in Him with great abundance was the quality of gentleness.

The quality of gentleness is another major quality needed in our world today. So many people have been beat up and hurt in their dealings with other people – that just a gentle word, a gentle touch from another Christian can really open up the door for that person to be able to receive Jesus and His healing, saving, and deliverance power into their lives.

Once you really start walking in the Holy Spirit with His divine fruits operating and flowing through you – you will really be able to feel and sense when you should handle a certain person or a certain type of situation with more of a touch of gentleness rather than with any kind of stern rebuke or condemnation. There is a time for tough love – but there are also times that just a gentle and loving touch is all that is really needed to properly handle a certain situation.

The Holy Spirit will guide you in all of this. Just realize that the quality of gentleness is one of the 9 fruits of the Spirit, and this is one of the fruits that He would really like to get worked into your personality, especially in being able to use it when dealing with and helping out others.

Parents especially need this fruit operating through them, as it is very easy to get out of balance with the way you are correcting your children. Sometimes more of a tough love approach is needed, but at other times more of a gentle approach will be better suited for the situation.

If all your children ever hear from you are stern words of rebuke and criticism, and it is never properly balanced out with words and actions of love, kindness, and gentleness – then after a certain period of time your children will start to pull away from you, and they then will have no more desire to want to establish any type of good, solid, loving relationship with you.

Now here are some of the different definitions on the quality of gentleness:

Mildness combined with tenderness

Gracious, kindly disposition, controlled strength

A disposition that is even-tempered, tranquil, balanced in spirit, unpretentious and that has passions under control

A character that is equitable, reasonable, forbearing, moderate, fair and considerate

Power and strength under control

Willing to pardon injuries, correct faults. One who rules his spirit well

Not only will other people love and gravitate towards you more if you learn how to walk in this quality – but you will be at much more peace with yourself since you won’t always have to be fighting and striving with others when trying to help them out.
9. Self-Control

Last, but not certainly least, is the quality of self-control. This one is huge, and I mean huge! Once you start to enter into a true sanctification process with the Lord – expect the Holy Spirit to move on you very early with this specific quality. The reason for this is that we all have a certain amount of character flaws operating in our personalities. There are some bad and negative qualities that will have to go.

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. 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-centered and materialistic type world today, many people have very poor impulse control. If they see something they immediately want, they will do anything they can to try and get it. They will not be denied until they get what they are going after. These people are obviously very weak in the quality of self-control. This is why the Bible tells us that if we can learn how to really walk in the Holy Spirit, then we will not fulfill the lusts of our flesh.

Due to our fallen and sinful natures, all of us are weak to some degree in the quality of self-control. This is why God the Father made sure to have this fruit listed as one of the 9 fruits of His Holy Spirit. We all need God’s self-control operating in our lives and in our personalities if we are going to have any hope in getting cleaned up and properly sanctified to the degree that He would like to get us to in this life.

If you do not have God’s self-control operating through you – you will have very little victory over such things as bad tempers, judgmental and critical spirits, an unforgiving spirit, and vices such as smoking and the abuse of alcohol.

Once the Holy Spirit starts this sanctification process within you – be prepared for some major battles and tugs of wars with Him once He starts coming after some of the negative qualities operating in your personality.

But if you are willing to yield to Him and allow Him to start to work all 9 of these fruits into your personality – then you will find yourself starting to grow in ways and in areas that you never thought were possible in this life. His supernatural power in this area will blow you away once you see how far He can really take you to become the person that God would like you to become in Him in this lifetime.

Here are some of the definitions of what the quality of self-control is all about:

Temperance, rational restraint of natural impulses

Sober, temperate, calm and dispassionate approach to life, having mastered personal desires and passions

Calls for a self-disciplined life following Christ’s example of being in the world but not of the world

Restraint or discipline exercised over one’s behavior

The above definitions perfectly describe what God is looking for once He starts to work and transmit this quality up into our personalities. This specific quality is one of the major keys in being able to get any kind of victory over some of the lusts and desires of our flesh.
Conclusion

All of the above definitions on each one of the 9 fruits of the Holy Spirit give you a perfect description of what each one of them are all about, and why God the Father really wants to work each one of these 9 fruits into our personalities.

As you can see when reviewing each one of them, they are all very powerful – and they not only have the ability to help change, transform, and sanctify you – but they also have the ability to touch all of those around you.

Nothing will draw nonbelievers and believers alike to the Lord than a truly sanctified saint in the Lord who is walking and operating in all 9 fruits of the Holy Spirit. If you are willing to allow the Holy Spirit to work and transmit all 9 of these fruits up into your personality to some appreciable degree in this life – you will then become a light that will literally radiate the presence of God Himself through your soul and personality.

You have no idea how many people you will be able to save, touch, witness to, and help disciple if you have these fruits operating through you. These fruits will give you a credibility with God and with other people that no degree or title can give you in this life. This sanctification process is the ultimate, highest aim and goal with God for our lives.

For those of you who are not afraid to let God begin this deeper sanctifying work in your life – keep these 9 fruits of the Holy Spirit directly in front of you – and work very closely with the Holy Spirit once He starts to manifest these fruits up into your personality.

These fruits will be coming directly from Him. They will be His love, His goodness, His joy, and His peace that will start to flow into you. But you will still have to do your part in all of this. Once these divine attributes start to be released into your personality by the Holy Spirit – your job will then be to start to walk and operate in them.

If the Holy Spirit starts to release His quality of love into your personality, but you start refusing to walk and operate in that love in your words and actions to others – then He will start to pull it back from you after a reasonable length of time.

If He starts to manifest His quality of self-control in you in an effort to try and take out some of the negative qualities that He will not want operating in your personality, and you refuse to rely on that self-control, and you override it and continue to operate in those negative qualities – then again, He will pull it back from you until you are ready to work in cooperation with Him.

This sanctification process is a two way street. God is more than willing and anxious to do His part – but you will have to be willing to do your part. And your part will be to learn what changes God will want to make with you – and then start to live, walk, and operate in those specific changes once the Holy Spirit starts this supernatural, sanctification process within you. This part God cannot do for you.

Jesus gave Peter the power and ability to be able to walk on water. But there was one thing Peter had to do before that supernatural power was released to him. He had to get out of the boat and start walking straight forward on that power. It was only when he got out of the boat and started walking straight forward did the supernatural power of God manifest that allowed him to literally walk on water!

It’s the exact same way in this sanctification realm with the Lord. God, through the Holy Spirit, will give you the supernatural power to change, transform, and sanctify you – but you will have to be like Peter and be willing to live and walk in that supernatural power before it can really start to work to change and sanctify you.

Jesus is coming back for a Bride that will be without spot or blemish. He is calling His Church to clean up their act and allow His Holy Spirit to begin this deeper sanctifying work in their lives. However, the choice is up to each individual believer. Sanctification is not something that can be forced upon anyone. God really respects everyone’s free will and He will never force His will or His ways on anyone.

To those of you who will decide to enter into this sanctification process with the Lord – realize that all of this will not occur overnight. The Holy Spirit will set the pace and timetable that He will want to work with you on. You can perfectly trust Him to handle each of the areas that He will want to get into.

Though some of this may be a bit painful at times, since none of us likes to admit that we have anything that needs to be changed, let the Holy Spirit take you as far as He will want to go with you in this realm – and I guarantee you that your life and your state of well-being will all be changed for the better – much better!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The 10 Commandments of the Bible

I thought I would draw up this article for all of you in order to give you a complete list of the 10 commandments. Most Christians do not have all of them memorized.

I will give you the specific verse from Scripture where the 10 commandments are being given to us by the Lord, along with some of the additional statements that God makes under some of these commandments that you usually do not see on the little tablets of the 10 commandments at your local Christian bookstore.

Before I give you this verse, consider one thing. Even though the 10 Commandments are from the Old Testament, all of these commandments still apply to everyone in this day and age. No exceptions! I call each of these commands “stone commandments.”

The fact that God the Father would manifest 10 specific commandments on a tablet of stone tells me that He is very serious about these specific commandments!

This was one big huge event when it happened in the story of Moses. The fact that God would go this far in manifesting these special 10 commandments on a real, live tablet of stone tells me that these commandments should never be taken lightly or for granted.

Most Christians have heard about these 10 commandments while going through grade school and high school and the story as to how they all came about. As a result, I feel that many Christians take these special ten commandments for granted and really do not realize the power and authority that is on these special commandments.

The 10 commandments come to us from Exodus 20:1-17. Here is the verse:

And God spoke all these words, saying: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

You shall have no other gods before me.

You shall not make for yourself any carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.

You shall not murder.

You shall not commit adultery.

You shall not steal.

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

The above 10 commandments need no explanation. They mean exactly what they are saying. It’s quite amazing how many of these commandments are being broken on a regular basis, even by Christians themselves. If you look very closely at each of these commandments, they really do cover a broad spectrum as to what God is expecting from each one of us.

These 10 commandments are good, basic, moral laws that will help keep us out of trouble with ourselves, family, friends and neighbors. God knows what is best for all of us and He simply wants all of us to stay out of trouble in order that we may be able to live in peace and harmony with one another.

The fact that God would go so far as to have these basic 10 commandments manifested on a stone tablet really tells me they are very important, and that each Christian should know what they are and do their best to abide by them with the help of the Holy Spirit.

Feel free to pass this list of the 10 commandments onto your friends and family.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Avoiding the enemy's attack God's way.

Dealing with difficult people not only tests our faith in God, but it also puts our witness on display. One biblical figure who responded well to difficult people was David, who triumphed over many offensive characters to become king of Israel.

When he was only a teenager, David encountered one of the most intimidating types of difficult people—the bully. Bullies can be found in the workplace, at home, and in schools, and they usually frighten us with their physical strength, authority, or some other advantage.

Goliath was a giant Philistine warrior who had terrorized the entire Israelite army with his size and his skill as a fighter. No one dared to meet this bully in combat, until David showed up.

Before facing Goliath, David had to deal with a critic, his own brother Eliab, who said:

"I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle." (1 Samuel 17:28, NIV)

David ignored this critic because what Eliab said was a lie. That's a good lesson for us. Turning his attention back to Goliath, David saw through the giant's taunts. Even as a young shepherd, David understood what it meant to be a servant of God:

"All those here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord's, and he will give all of you into our hands." (1 Samuel 17:47, NIV).

While we should not respond to bullies by hitting them in the head with a rock, we should remember that our strength is not in ourselves, but in the God who loves us. This can give us confidence to endure when our own resources are low.

Dealing with Difficult People: Time to Flee

Fighting a bully is not always the right course of action. Later, King Saul turned into a bully and chased David throughout the country, because Saul was jealous of him.

David chose to flee. Saul was the rightfully appointed king, and David would not battle him. He told Saul:

"And may the Lord avenge the wrongs you have done to me, but my hand will not touch you. As the old saying goes, 'From evildoers come evil deeds, so my hand will not touch you.' "(1 Samuel 24:12-13, NIV)

At times we must flee from a bully in the workplace, on the street, or in an abusive relationship. This is not cowardice. It's wise to retreat when we are unable to protect ourselves. Trusting God to exact justice takes great faith, which David had. He knew when to act himself, and when to flee and turn the matter over to the Lord.

Dealing with Difficult People: Coping with the Angry

Later in David's life, the Amalekites had attacked the village of Ziklag, carrying off the wives and children of David's army. Scripture says David and his men wept until they had no strength left.

Understandably the men were angry, but instead of being mad at the Amalekites, they blamed David:

"David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters." (1 Samuel 30:6, NIV)

Often people take their anger out on us. Sometimes we deserve it, in which case an apology is needed, but usually the difficult person is frustrated in general and we are the handiest target. Striking back is not the solution:

"But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God." (1 Samuel 30:6, NASB)

Turning to God when we're attacked by an angry person gives us understanding, patience, and most of all, courage. Some suggest taking a deep breath or counting to ten, but the real answer is saying a quick prayer. David asked God what to do, was told to pursue the kidnappers, and he and his men rescued their families.

Dealing with angry people tests our witness. People are watching. We can lose our temper as well, or we can respond calmly and with love. David succeeded because he turned to the One stronger and wiser than himself. We can learn from his example.

Dealing with Difficult People: Looking in the Mirror

The most difficult person each of us has to deal with is our self. If we are honest enough to admit it, we cause ourselves more trouble than others do.

David was no different. He committed adultery with Bathsheba, then had her husband Uriah killed. When confronted with his crimes by Nathan the prophet, David admitted:

"I have sinned against the Lord." (2 Samuel 12:13, NIV)

At times we need the help of a pastor or godly friend to help us see our situation clearly. In other cases, when we humbly ask God to show us the reason for our misery, he gently directs us to look in the mirror.

Then we need to do what David did: confess our sin to God and repent, knowing he always forgives and takes us back.

David had many faults, but he was the only person in the Bible God called "a man after my own heart." (Acts 13:22, NIV) Why? Because David depended completely on God to direct his life, including dealing with difficult people.

We can't control difficult people and we can't change them, but with God's guidance we can understand them better and find a way to cope with them.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

David and Goliath - Bible Story Summary

Scripture Reference:
1 Samuel 17

David and Goliath - Story Summary:
The Philistine army had gathered for war against Israel. The two armies faced each other, camped for battle on opposite sides of a steep valley. A Philistine giant measuring over nine feet tall and wearing full armor came out each day for forty days, mocking and challenging the Israelites to fight. His name was Goliath. Saul, the King of Israel, and the whole army were terrified of Goliath.

One day David, the youngest son of Jesse, was sent to the battle lines by his father to bring back news of his brothers. David was probably just a young teenager at the time. While there, David heard Goliath shouting his daily defiance and he saw the great fear stirred within the men of Israel. David responded, "Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of God?"

So David volunteered to fight Goliath. It took some persuasion, but King Saul finally agreed to let David fight against the giant. Dressed in his simple tunic, carrying his shepherd's staff, slingshot and a pouch full of stones, David approached Goliath. The giant cursed at him, hurling threats and insults.

David said to the Philistine, "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied ... today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air ... and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel ... it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord's, and he will give all of you into our hands."

As Goliath moved in for the kill, David reached into his bag and slung one of his stones at Goliath's head. Finding a hole in the armor, the stone sank into the giant's forehead and he fell face down on the ground. David then took Goliath's sword, killed him and then cut off his head. When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they turned and ran. So the Israelites pursued, chasing and killing them and plundering their camp.
Points of Interest from the David and Goliath Story:
• Why did they wait forty days to begin the battle? Probably for several reasons. Everyone was afraid of Goliath. He seemed invincible. Not even King Saul, the tallest man in Israel, had stepped out to fight. Also, the sides of the valley were very steep. Whoever made the first move would have a strong disadvantage and probably suffer great loss. Both sides were waiting for the other to attack first.

• David chose not to wear the King's armor because it felt cumbersome and unfamiliar. David was comfortable with his simple slingshot, a weapon he was skilled at using. God will use the unique skills he's already placed in your hands, so don't worry about "wearing the King's armor." Just be yourself and use the familiar gifts and talents God has given you. He will work miracles through you.

• David's faith in God caused him to look at the giant from a different perspective. Goliath was merely a mortal man defying an all-powerful God. David looked at the battle from God's point of view. If we look at giant problems and impossible situations from God's perspective, we realize that God will fight for us and with us. When we put things in proper perspective, we see more clearly and we can fight more effectively.

• When the giant criticized, insulted and threatened, David didn't stop or even waver. Everyone else cowered in fear, but David ran to the battle. He knew that action needed to be taken. David did the right thing in spite of discouraging insults and fearful threats. Only God's opinion mattered to David.
Questions for Reflection:

Are you facing a giant problem or impossible situation? Stop for a minute and refocus. Can you see the situation more clearly from God's vantage point?

Do you need to take courageous action in the face of insults and fearful circumstances? Do you trust that God will fight for you and with you? Remember, God's opinion is the only one that matters.

Peace Rally in Bakersfield Ca.

We are currently planning a Peaceful Protest Rally that will be held on Sun. August 1, 2010. It will be located at the Liberty Bell on 1415 Truxtun Ave. at 3p.m. Volunteers will be needed for making signs, and fliers to inform the public. Local media will be in attendance. This will be a Non-Violent gathering of concerned community members. Please spread the word. This will be your chance to show the community that do you care. Let's stop waiting for someone else to do what we can do ourselves. "Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
Harold R. McAlindon

Monday, May 3, 2010

Boy do I miss Crunch Tators

Who makes the world's greatest potato chip? If you asked me in 1990, I would have told you Frito Lay's Crunch Tators were the undisputed greatest potato chips of all time. For whatever bizarre reason, Frito Lay suddenly dropped Crunch Tators and their alligator mascot. Personally, I think they recognized that the out of this world Crunch Tators would eventually wipe out their regular Lay's brand chips. There wasn't much of a contest there. Sure, Lay's are good chips, particularly certain flavors. But Crunch Tators were from another world: thick, high-quality chips with five-star potato taste. And chef-quality seasonings such as Cajun, Barbecue, and Jalapeno. A great package design topped it off. Only Fruit Pie the Magician suffered an equally disrespectful fate as the Crunch Tator Gator.

My travels around the internet confirm the greatness of Crunch Tators. Hundreds of people are demanding the return of Crunch Tators potato chips. I certainly hope Frito Lay comes to its senses soon and starts making those fantastic Crunch Tators again.

But until that day, fellow Crunch Tator fans, I have wonderful news for you. It turns out that Frito Lay didn't invent the Crunch Tator. Rather, they copied it from the originator, Zapp's Potato Chips outside of New Orleans, Louisiana. On a trip there, a bag of Zapp's Original Flavor was included with my room service order. One chip and I recognized a thick potato slice, extra-satisfying compared to the ordinary thin chip, and realized that I had the original Crunch Tator.

Zapp's chips are five-star gourmet chips, with less salt and fat but more quality and taste. Remember Cajun Crunch Tators? Try Zapp's Cajun Crawtators. They are probably the best flavor. Other great ones are Cajun Dill, Sour Cream and Creole Onion, and Hotter n Hot Jalapeno. I usually don't like burning hot chips, but found Zapp's Jalapeno to be surprisingly good - less heat than some others and more flavor. But you still notice it. And even plain Original Flavor is outstanding. That's what happens when you start with a quality chip and unique cooking process. Zapp's also has frequent special flavors such as a Steak flavor I had years back, and recently, Creole Tomato with real Tabasco sauce (much hotter than the Jalapeno!). Currently, they have two special packagings of Crawtators and Original Flavors called, TigerTators (in honor of LSU) and WhoDat?

You may find Zapp's at finer stores, but there is always their entertaining and easy to use web site, where you can order the flavors you like and have them shipped right to you. Enjoy the world's greatest potato chip, Zapp's.