Note: I won’t be writing a Scattered Seed Devotional on Fridays during the 5 weeks of the Bible study. As it would just be doubling up my writing, and my weekly recap is nearly identical. Once the 5 weeks are over, we’ll return to the regular 7-day schedule. Please enjoy my thoughts on the Fruit of the Spirit below. See you on Monday!
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Concluding Thoughts on Chapter 3 – Joy
My sister and I clearly remember our school days during the 70’s when we were bombarded with the message, “The most important person in the whole wide world is you.” In fact it was a little song that accompanied many of the videos they played for my classmates and I.
What they weren’t teaching us is this:
Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be like-minded having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. (Philippians 2:2-4, KJV)
Thankfully when we gave our lives to the Lord we understood that life was about more than merely pleasing ourselves, it was about living beyond ourselves.
I heard a story once about a woman who approached her pastor before the morning service.
“I have a problem,” she said. “I feel like I lost my joy. I don’t fit in with the other women around me. I’m not good at anything, really. I don’t have a ministry, and come to think of it I don’t have a purpose.”
“Okay,” he said, “we’ll definitely talk more about this later. But I wondered if you could possibly do me a favor? I seemed to have dropped my wedding band some place. Would you take a quick look around the sanctuary for me?”
Knowing that he was recently widowed, Julie left his office determined to find the ring. She looked near the coats, she looked behind the copy machine, and before church started, she took a quick look around the sanctuary.
Resigned to the fact that it was no where in sight, she grabbed a seat at the back, laid her purse on the floor, and leaned in to listen. Just as she did, something shiny and bright caught her attention. It was the ring, laying under a chair, just two rows ahead.
At the end of the service, she met with the pastor again. “I found your ring!” she said, with a smile.
“Great,” he said, “thank you! If you can stick around for a few minutes, I’d like to ask you about something.”
When the crowd finally emptied, Julie and her family stood in the lobby with the pastor.
“Julie,” he said, “how are you doing since we talked earlier this morning? Are you still feeling down?”
“Well,” She said. “to be honest with you, I haven’t had much time to think about it, I was too busy looking for the ring.”
“Exactly,” he said. “you see, the more we’re concerned about others, the less we have time to worry about ourselves. Remember how I preached on the book of Philippians this morning, and how I pointed out that it’s the most joyful book in the Bible? Well, smack dab in the middle of that joyful little book, Paul writes, “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” That’s where you’ll find your purpose Julie. And that’s where you’ll find your joy!”
Answer Key – Chapter 3
Q. Look up the verses in Philippians that mention “joy” or “rejoice” and highlight them in your Bible. Write one of the verses out.
Q. Look up the word “joy” at dictionary.com how might that definition of joy be different from the fruit of joy in a Christian’s life?
The earthly definition of joy is that it’s caused by something good or satisfying. The fruit of joy stems from within and isn’t dependant on our circumstances.
Q. Think of a recent time in your life when you could have and should have traded sorrow for joy? What was getting you down? And why was it hard to let go of your pain?
(This answer will be different for everyone).
Q. What can we learn about joy from John 16:22?
That no one can steal it from us.
Q. What do you think it means when the Bible says “Weeping endures for a night, but joy comes in the morning?” (Psalm 30:5)
Some season in life that are harder than others, but His blessings are new every day. There’s always joy to be found up ahead.
Q. What does Hebrews 12:2 mean when it says, “…who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross…”
Rather than settling for the temporal high this world has to offer, He chose the joy set before Him. By enduring the cross, He chose to reach for the prize ahead instead of the earthly one at His side.
Q. I shared a story about my dad who found joy in the midst of his trial when he was dying of cancer. Can you think of a similar story that either happened to you or someone you know?
(This answer will be different for everyone).
Q. What hope can we cling to when everything feels like it’s slipping away?
The reminder that Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us, and that this world isn’t our home.
In my Father’s house are many rooms; if not, I would have told you. I am going away to prepare a place for you. (John 14:2, KJV)
Q. Fill in the blanks:
A joyful heart is good __________, But a ________ ________ dries up the bones.
(Proverbs 17:22, NAS)
medicine, broken spirit
Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with ______ __________ and full of glory. (1 Peter 1:8, KJV)
Q. What do you think this verse means? (If you aren’t sure, try looking it up in Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them. (Psalm 126:5-6, NIV)
When we mourn for our sins, or suffer for Christ’s sake, we are sowing in tears, to reap in joy. (Matthew Henry)
Concluding Thoughts on Chapter 4 – Peace
We talked about two aspects of peace in our study this week. One was peace from within, the other is peace with God made possible through the death and resurrection of Jesus. There’s a third aspect of peace that I wanted to talk about before we close this chapter, which is that of sowing peace.
There’s a saying among dieters that goes, “If you want to wear a different pair of pants, you have to live a different way.” I guess it’s just another way of saying that you reap what you sow. If you sow sparingly you’ll reap sparingly, and if you sow generously will also reap generously.
With that, we’re wise to remember that sowing can have either a positive impact on your life or a negative one. For example, if you’re sowing discord, don’t be surprised when trouble comes to find you. Discord has a way of destroying relationships and causing division. It might feel good in the moment to loosen your tongue, but the shockwave of repercussion can leave long-term effects.
On the other hand, if you’re sowing peace you’ve begun the work of restoration, unity, and friendship. The Bible tells us,
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. (Matthew 5:9, KJV)
A great example of a peacemaker is found in 1 Samuel 25:2-42, where we read the story of David and Abigail. Abigail was a woman of good understanding and beauty, but most importantly, she was a peacemaker.
Abigail was the wife of Nabal, and while she was a woman of good understanding and beauty, the Bible describes him as churlish. In other words, he was rude, impolite, hot-headed and lacked the wisdom his wife had.
In verses 7 and 16 we see that David had protected Nabal’s shepherds and was now asking for a reasonable favor in return: that Nabal would give them provisions when they arrived.
Nabal was rich, and so it certainly wouldn’t have been any trouble for him to comply, but instead of being wise and generous, he chose to be rude, which only provoked David to fight.
Gathering an army of 400 men, David set out to destroy Nabal’s household, and had it not been for the wisdom of one woman he would have.
Recognizing that David was a servant of the Lord, Abigail sent a generous gift to David, and with that gift she humbled herself at his feet pleading for the life of her husband. She didn’t deny that Nabal was ill-mannered or rude, but she sought grace on his behalf.
In this beautiful love story, we see that David granted her that grace, and within ten days God took the life of Nabal, and rewarded Abigail with her freedom.
Where did that freedom lead her? Into the arms of David, a valiant soldier and soon-to-be king.
Notice the seeds of peace she so generously sowed by avoiding conflict, working quietly to resolve the problem, and taking action where she could.
Through this story we that peace isn’t merely something we keep for ourselves, it’s something we do for others as we follow God’s lead.
Answer Key – Chapter 4
Q. When was Psalm 63 likely written, and what was David doing at the time?
It was likely written when David went to the forest of Hereth in Judah (1 Samuel 22:5). He was in hiding from Saul.
Q. Who did Saul punish for helping David evade him?
Saul ordered the priests of Nob to be put to death for helping David (but the king’s servants would not lift a hand to strike the priests of the Lord, so Saul ordered Doeg the Edomite to strike down the priests and the entire city of Nob as retribution).
Q. What is the Hebrew word for “Peace”, and what does it mean?
The Hebrew word for “Peace” is “Shalom.” It means wholeness or completeness. It carries with it the idea of living according to God’s Word.
Q. Who falsely declared “peace peace” in Jeremiah’s time, and what was the outcome?
The prophets and priests declared peace when there was open sin and rebellion against God. Jeremiah prophesied they would be cast down and punished.
Q. What did David do when he was unable to sleep?
He would meditate on God’s word.
Q. What was the common greeting found at the beginning of all of Paul’s letters to the churches? (Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, etc.)
Grace and peace to you.
Q. What was the first declaration of peace in the Bible, and to whom was it made (Gen 15:15)?
Abram. God declared He would send Abram to his fathers in peace at a ripe old age (Abram’s name was later changed to Abraham when God made a covenant with him.)
Q. The power to take peace from the earth was given to the rider of what color horse (Rev. 6:4)?
Q. What two things are we to pursue according to Hebrews 12:14?
Peace and holiness.
Q. Proverbs 12:20 says deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil. What is promised to those who bring peace?
Fill in the blanks:
And the _______________ of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your _______________ and _______________ through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7, KJV)
peace, hearts, minds
Thou wilt keep him in perfect _______________, whose _______________ is stayed on thee: because he _______________ in thee. (Isaiah 26:3, KJV)
peace, mind, trusteth
When I remember thee upon my bed, and _______________ in the night watches. Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice. My soul followeth _______________ after thee: thy right hand _______________. (Psalm 63:1, KJV)
meditate on thee, hard, upholdeth me
During the 5 weeks of the Bible study, I’ll be creating a set of 4 x 6 inch note cards. Each week I’ll give you 3 for a total of 15 cards in total. These high resolution images will correspond with the theme of each week. Just so you know, the cards do fold, but the inside of each card is empty for writing in.
Please note: The (4.25 x 6.25) envelopes are not included with this printable. I found them at Amazon and thought they were so cute and colorful, and so I’ll definitely be getting some for myself. Click here if you are interested in those. (affiliate link)
Click the links below to view and print this week’s note cards.
About the Author
Darlene Schacht and her husband Michael live in Manitoba Canada where the summers are beautiful and the winters are cold. Together they’ve come to learn that relationships aren’t always easy, but that marriage, the way God intended it to be, is a treasure worth fighting for.
She began her publishing journey about twelve years ago when she pioneered one of the first online magazines for Christian women, known at the time as “Christian Women Online Magazine.” After three years, Darlene left CWO to blog as a solo author at Time-Warp Wife Ministries.
It was also during this transition that she worked alongside actress Candace Cameron Bure to write the NYT Best-Selling book, Reshaping it All: Motivation for Spiritual and Physical Fitness. Reshaping it All was the winner of both the 2011 USA Best Book Awards and the 2012 Christian Reading Retailers Choice Awards.
Author of more than 15 books, Darlene continues to write and to minister to her readers through her blog at TimeWarpWife.com.
Connect with Darlene:
You are loved by an almighty God,
The Time-Warp Wife