CHM - Christian Harvest Missions
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Spiritual Alphabet

A is for AWE. “The fear [properly translated as awe] of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Know who God is and respect Him, and your spiritual life will have the only correct foundation.

B is for BELIEF. “... [T]hose who would believe on Him would not perish, but have everlasting life.” Knowing and accepting the love of God, and His sacrifice for all mankind, is what makes us spiritually alive.

C is for CHOICE. “Choose this day whom you will serve...” Choice is part of our life; we choose whether to eat breakfast or skip it, whether to turn left or right, what to wear, whom to make our friend, for whom to vote, and whom to worship. Making wrong choices can ruin our life and restrict future choices. We must learn to value our ability to choose, our free-will, and use that ability to choose for the best in the issue of right and wrong and in the issue of God.

D is for DELIGHT. “Delight yourselves in the Lord” - hence, we will recognise the perfection of His will and delight in His promises and His laws, knowing that they are good and equip us for a satisfying and exciting life in this world and the next.

E is for ENDURANCE. “Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.” Any hardships we encounter can be faced with courage and honour if we trust in the Lord's purposes, to glorify God and to express God's love for the sake of all mankind. Who are the elect? They are those who come to love God.

F is for FAITH. “Without faith, it is impossible to please God.” Faith (or faithfulness) is specifically mentioned as one of the fruits of the spirit; we must display this in our lives to please God and to find full satisfaction within ourselves. Hold fast to God and believe in and obey His Word, no matter what temptations may come. “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world - our faith.”

G is for GOODNESS. “But the Fruit of the Spirit is... goodness...” Goodness is explicitly mentioned as one of the fruits of the Spirit. The difference between good and evil is very real, and we show our goodness or our evil in even our smallest actions. When we practise what is good (goodness being defined by the nature of God), we please God and give happiness to others and to ourselves.

H is for HUMILITY. “...everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.” A man who thinks himself better than others because of his good deeds, abilities, wealth or high position is displaying arrogance - and God will not listen to an arrogant heart. But anyone who is properly humble before God and man will be blessed by God and his prayers will be heard.

I is for INDUSTRY. “...if any would not work, neither should he eat.” To be industrious is not only necessary for continued provision, but it shows that we are responsible and wise. “Slothfulness causes deep sleep to fall; and an idle soul shall suffer hunger.” We are exhorted to be “not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord”. Being “imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises” conquers laziness.

J is for JOYFULNESS. “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again, I say rejoice.” Joy is another of the fruits of the Spirit - how wondrous that it is not merely something all of us wish for in our lives, but quite literally a commandment. Joy comes from being in the presence of the Lord; for those who always dwell in God's presence, joy is ever-present.

K is for KINDNESS. “But the Fruit of the Spirit is... kindness...” Knowing that kindness is one of the fruits of the Spirit shows us how God wishes us to live. Kindness is the behaviour of the true neighbour, such as the Good Samaritan showed. It is our responsibility and our joy to give kindness. When we practise charity and consideration towards others, it is also spiritually enriching for ourselves.

L is for LOVE. “And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” There is NOTHING more important than love. We must love God with all our heart, and love our fellow man - whether friend or enemy. Love is patient, kind, it does not envy, does not vaunt itself, is not puffed up, doesn't behave in an unseemly way, does not seek its own purposes at the expense of others, is not easily provoked, does not impute evil without cause, rejoices with truth rather than in unrighteousness, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails: “...if I have prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing.” Love is the first Fruit of the Spirit mentioned: it is what must guide us in every aspect of our lives.

M is for MERCY. “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.” We must not hold grudges or be resentful, but we must forgive swiftly. When we deal mercifully with cheerfulness, and avoid grumbling or constant self-praise, we find out spiritual life cleaned and made joyful. We are instructed as the elect of God, holy and beloved, to put on “bowels of mercies” - to have a heart of compassion for others.

N is for NEW. “Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things have become new.” We are born anew by being in Christ, through the Holy Spirit, “being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which lives and abides for ever.” This new birth is not a modern charismatic phenomenon; it's how the early Christians understood the process of becoming Christian, to love God's Word and to practise His righteousness.

O is for OBEDIENCE. “If you love me, keep my commandments” - these are the words of Jesus Christ. From as far back as the time of the prophet Samuel, God told His people that “to obey is better than sacrifice”. His commandments are “not burdensome”, but rather they help us to gain the fullness of life. Moreover, we gain eternal salvation when we obey Christ.

P is for PRAYER. “ ought always to pray, and not to faint.” We are told to “pray without ceasing”, which means constantly being aware of God, constantly desiring His will, constantly asking God for blessings upon others, constantly praying for the fulfilment of the good pleasure of goodness, praying as Jesus illustrated in the Lord's Prayer. Prayer is good also for getting rid of anger and contentious arguments. Jesus warned us not to pray like hypocrites who stand loudly declaiming their prayers in public places in an attitude of display in order to show off, but rather to pray secretly - the Father hears us when we pray privately, and He will reward us.

Q is for QUIETNESS. “...let it be the hidden man of the heart, in the incorruptible apparel of a meek and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is of great price.” Quietness in the sense of not being quarrelsome and contentious, not being a trouble-maker, being peace-loving, is highly desirable. To seek peace with all men is a characteristic of those who walk with God, and is associated with righteousness and wisdom. “And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.”

R is for RIGHTEOUS. “If you know that He is righteous, ye know that every one who habitually practises righteousness is born of Him.” Righteousness - as opposed to self-righteousness - shows us how to walk rightly with God, to worship Him and to value others. If we love God's laws, we will find happiness within ourselves, and when we make errors and let ourselves down, God is swift to forgive our sins, and we have not “[our] own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.”

S is for SELF-CONTROL. “And [giving] to knowledge self-control; and to self-control patience; and to patience godliness.” Self-control (temperance), another fruit of the Spirit, demonstrates the need for our will to be exercised. To walk rightly with God in spiritual victory means using our ability to make good choices. “For the saving grace of God was manifested to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world.” Self-control is clearly linked to knowledge of God's grace and to practising making the right choices. Those who indulge in destructive worldly lusts - drunkenness, hooliganism, gluttony, sexual abominations and so on - will end by being destroyed by the very things they have let loose.

T is for TRUTH. “He who says, I know him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” “Thou shalt not lie” - it goes back to the Ten Commandments. Lies can be attractive, but lies are not eternal. Love rejoices in the truth, and all things hidden will be revealed. Jesus said, “If you remain in my word, then are you truly my disciples, and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

U is for UNSELFISHNESS. “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” We are warned that “men will be lovers of their own selves, coveters, boasters, proud...”, but selfishness is avoided by seeking the good of others and putting God first. The inevitable end of selfishness, for those who “bite and devour one another”, is destruction one by another.

V is for VICTORY. “For whatsoever is born of God overcomes the world: and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith.” The greatest victory we have is in defeating the worldly nature - our propensity to sin - by the grace of God. Then we know that “when this corruptible body shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.” This victory which enables us to live righteously and to please God is given through Jesus Christ.

W is for WISDOM. “Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not;” - but how is wisdom to be gained? “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God... and it shall be given him.” We must not substitute wisdom for godliness, because a wise man can still believe something that is not true. “Where is the wise? ... Has not God made foolish the philosophy of this world?” But the deepest wisdom comes from Jesus Christ who “is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.”

X is for ΧΡ. “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” Jesus Christ, the Word of God who was God and was with God, became flesh (man) in order to become the sacrifice for our unrighteousness. The abbreviation ΧΡ for Christ arose from the Ancient Greek Χριστος and was used to signify Christ as early as 1021 AD in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. Christ is the centre of our spiritual walk, the cornerstone of our belief, because it is through Him that we are reconciled to God the Father in a new covenant.

Y is for YIELD. “And other [seed] fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and incrased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred.” The seed in the parable of the sower is the Word of God, and when we yield good fruit, it means we are bringing forth the aspects of God's Spirit which begin with love. If we hear the Word and don't change our lives to be loving, kind, peace-loving and good, we fool ourselves - we are not following Christ if we exhibit selfish, cruel or worldly character traits. We can only change the fruit we bear by holding on to the Word of God and practising what God teaches us.

Z is for ZEAL. “...that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a special people, zealous of good works.” Zeal for God, for His goodness, and for the performance of good works is of great importance for our spiritual life. When we seek with zeal for sorrowful repentance from the things we did wrong, that vehement desire brings us to salvation. And let us never forget with what zeal we must love God: as Jesus said, “And you will love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength: this is the first commandment.”


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