Galatians 5:22-23

WHY DO WE COMPLAIN SO MUCH?

(September 4, 2021) Carol Round challenges us about grumbling…

Most people probably aren’t aware of how much they grumble!

James had something to say about complaining – ‘Friends, don’t complain about each other. A far greater complaint could be lodged against you, you know. The Judge is standing just around the corner’ (James 5:9Mge).

I used to laugh when my dad used that expression, which originated, according to some sources back to medieval times when people had to be hung with a new rope to ensure it didn’t break. The idiom became a satirical way of chastising those who tend to complain even about the most trivial things.

Thus, the irony of complaining about the roughness of new rope around the neck when one should be really worrying about the much more important matter of being executed.

Without realising it, griping can become a habit, leading to overlooking the good in life and in others.

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THE WIGGLESWORTH CHALLENGE

(July 17, 2021) Robert and Maureen McQuillan again encourage practical Christianity in one’s locale…

Firstly, many thanks to so many friends worldwide who congratulated us on our 60th wedding anniversary last Wednesday. One cheeky young girl immediately asked Maureen how she’d put up with me for so long to which Maureen gave her usual response that she was still working on me!

The reality is that our threescore ‘diamond anny’ journey with its typical marriage challenges (yes, even Christian have them!) owes its success to the Lord!

Good, sumptuous meals
So we celebrated at Hogan’s Hotel, Wallan and were treated as royalty, repeatedly congratulated by helpful friendly staff, expressing that 60 years married is a rarity.

And what meals we were served! Sumptuous, delicious… particularly the unexpected, excellent huge desserts! Our tastebuds were more than satisfied! Thank you, Darren and staff! As we left we again expressed our gratefulness, adding ‘You’ve really blessed us… so we’re believing that you and your staff will be blessed.’

Simple words… but such that get people thinking in these uncertain times, and to which one hears a thank you response, or sees a nod, and sometimes an ‘Amen. You too.’

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THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT

(July 17, 2021) Robert McQuillan responds to a question linking with our The Wigglesworth Challenge article and Geri B’s Abiding in the Vine

Dear Dr Robert
You’ve encouraged me to trust the Holy Spirit. Please explain about the fruit of the Spirit. Mitch

Hi Mitch

Most happy to share on this… but it means writing a full article!

Firstly, fruit grows and is meant to be enjoyed.  ‘Fruit’ is karpos, usually used in connection with the vine (See John 15:1-5’s requirements!). Singular in source, it’s collective multiple manifestations are as if the first mentioned love – is the fruit that contains all the rest.

In Galatians 5:25, Paul urges us to follow the Spirit. Follow is stoicheo keeping in step, walking virtuously and orderly in respect to flowing in the fruit of the Spirit, thus displaying the character of Jesus, not the works of the flesh.

To simplify Galatians 5:22-23’s declaration of the love aspects of the Spirit’s fruit, let me quote Donald Barnhouse’s definition: ‘Love is the key. Joy is love singing. Peace is love resting. Long-suffering is love enduring. Kindness is love’s touch. Goodness is love’s character. Faithfulness is love’s habit. Gentleness is love’s self-forgetfulness. Self-control is love holding the reins.’

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ANTI ‘CANCEL CULTURE’ CHRISTIANITY

(April 13, 2021) When folks become subscribers to this free monthly Onliner,we receive a brief intro, such as a young Asian describing himself as… ‘A Normal Person: 100% Honest and Trustful Person.’

In other words… who and what he is.

The fruit of the Spirit
Not that this young man’s a prophet, but Jesus warned his followers against untruthful, dishonest Christianity: ‘You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act’ (Matthew 7:15-16NLT).

Christianity needs to be kept simple! Jesus liked to keep things simple and here he makes recognition simple… ‘the way they act’ identifies all true Christians, let alone prophets. He went on to teach that a good tree produces good fruit whereas a bad tree, bad fruit, rapping it with ‘Thus, by their fruit you will recognise them’ (vv17-18). How simple!

F B Meyer has written ‘The worth of the gospel has been attested all down the ages by the characters which it has produced… There are many new systems of theology, many nostrums are being loudly advertised, but the one test of them all is in the fruit they bear.

Nothing superspiritual here… ‘fruit’ is fruit, something easily recognised and desirable. For followers of Jesus, this is reaching out with our Christian characteristics to help whoever we can in some way. People see us in action, observe us! We’re the fifth gospel – The Gospel According to You. May they see the characteristics of honesty, trustworthiness, generosity, helpfulness and more.

Paul describes nine of these in Galatians 5:22-23, calling them the fruit of the Spirit

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