Monday, March 28, 2011

Patience! Again?

Exquisite handiwork of God!
I recently gave a devotion to our homeschooling support group on the topic of Patience (see previous post).   As I studied all the "patience" passages in Scripture, I also had time to reflect on my own life.   And the many times in which I had a lack of it.   Funny, in a not-laughing way. 

This past weekend I went to a Christian homeschool conference.    The keynote speaker* led several sessions, and in his last one "Standing on the Promise," he gave a totally new (to me) spin on the Fruit of the Spirit.   I want to share this with everyone I know!

The speaker* mentioned that there were NO punctuation marks in ancient Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament)--which I already knew.   But I'd never given thought to the placement of commas and colons that much before.    He took Galatians 5, verses 22 & 23 which Christians refer to as The Fruit of the Spirit.    He wondered if we keep in mind the fact that Fruit is singular, then the fruit of the Spirit would be "love"---and the remaining list of attributes would be various FACETS of love when it is mixed with the Spirit.   So like this:
The fruit of the Spirit is love:   joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
He then took Love and added the definition which would lead to the next facet/attribute like this:
  • Love + emotion = joy
  • Love + confidence = peace
  • Love + time = patience
  • Love + action = kindness (visible)
  • Love + character = goodness
  • Love + commitment = faithfulness
  • Love + sensitivity = gentleness
  • Love + discipline = self-control
Isn't that neat? 

Wait for it!  Patience!!  Spring is arriving . . .
In studying this passage many years ago, our pastor  mentioned that if you look at WHERE in the list a  specific topic is---it makes a difference too.   So as I studied for my devotion, I did that, too.    Interesting to note that patience comes AFTER love - joy - and - peace.    And that from patience follows kindness, goodness, faithfulness and gentleness....and that Self-Control is the last thing!    And isn't that the truth?   The last thing for most of us is always self-control.  

The Holy Spirit is impeccable in the way He ordered these things.   Another passage in Scripture tells us  

"All Scripture is God-breathed 
and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting 
and training in righteousness, 
so that the man (or woman!) of God may be 
thoroughly equipped for every good work."  
(2 Timothy 3:16 & 17)

When we take the time to read carefully, and peel back the layers, there is ALWAYS something there for  us.    Every time!  

*NOTE:   Bernie Beall of "Great Commission Ministries" in Maryland

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