Friday, May 30, 2014


Stitched Panorama
Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;

I learned a new word today, HORTATORY: strongly urging to some course of conduct or action; exhorting; encouraging. I found the word while studying Romans 12:12. That verse is part of a longer section, Romans 12:1-14:23 where Paul takes time from his doctrinal writing to include everyday examples that would display in our lives when we practice those doctrines we believe.

The Complete Pulpit Commentary explains:
Saving faith is ever with him a living faith, to be shown by its fruits. Nor, according to him, will these fruits follow, unless the believer himself does his part in cultivating them: else were these earnest and particular exhortations needless.
That reminded me of the parable of the sower in Matthew 13:3-33. Because of the length, I’ll not post the verses – just open your Bible and read it, or click the link to I think you’ll make the connection between the Commentary’s paragraph and this verse:

But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. (Matthew 13:23 KJV)

Paul gives us specifics on those fruits:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
(Galatians 5:22-23 KJV)

A rather short list, isn’t it?  Much shorter than the fruits of the flesh – which cause great heartache and physical pain:

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21 KJV)

We hear much more about the fruits of the flesh in all the media, social or news. Is there that much more of that fruit than of the Spirit? As Christians, we are to be walking with and in the Light of the World:

I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. (John 12:46 KJV)

Paul explains that, along with mentioning the fruit of the Spirit:

For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. (Ephesians 5:8-12 KJV)

Paul also explains how to obtain the faith necessary to cultivate that fruit of the Spirit. Will you take this hortatory to heart and build faith?

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17 KJV)

Please, spend some time reading and studying the Bible to see if this is indeed true.

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