A Bouquet of Graces

by | Jan 15, 2018

Put off the old man with his deeds… and put on the new man.” This means that the very image of Christ takes the place of the old man.

“Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercy.” The Apostle is here describing the Christian experience under the figure of spiritual robes. God clothes everything He makes. He clothes the trees with leaves, the animals with a garment of their own kind, and the saints with the graces and virtues of the Spirit. The phrase “put on” means to put on as the grapevine puts on leaves from the inward sap until the whole vine is covered. So the Holy Ghost clothes the saints.

Let us notice some of the garments that are to be put on. “Bowels of mercy” means softness and tenderness of heart. The Holy Ghost cannot live in a hard, crusty heart. As flowers and plants grow more rapidly in tender, mellow soil, so the graces and fruits of the Spirit flourish in a tender heart….

There are some things that are non-conductors of electricity, such as glass and dry wood and cotton string. So there are a great many lives that are non-conductors of the Holy Ghost. They are narrow, little, selfish, and harsh. The Lord may get such to Heaven, but they will never be used very much of the Spirit here unless they have a breaking down, a smashing-up time in their souls…. We need to pray much over keeping our hearts tender.

Put on kindness.” Divine kindness is a plant that does not belong to this world, but is introduced into the heart in the new birth. Under the mighty baptism of the Holy Ghost, it becomes natural and easy to be kind. It will unlock more old rusty hearts’ doors than any one thing in the world. “Kindness” is a slight change of the word “kin-ness.” It means to have the mutual feeling for each other that we have for our own family or kin….

Humbleness of mind.” This means to be so little in our own eyes that we can be contradicted, corrected, and reproved without feeling sore or touchy. The reason some are so easily provoked and offended is that they have such a great opinion of themselves. They must be looked up to, flattered, and praised in order to be gotten along with. A humble saint…can be overlooked, set aside, and not feel hurt…. Such a soul is easy to warm up to and live with.

Meekness.” This is the attitude of the soul toward God. All the self-life has been burned out. “It is perfect love with a bowed head.”

Longsuffering.” This means that one bears all that men or devils may put on him with a sweet, Christlike spirit, without complaining or grumbling. The beauty of perfect love is that it can suffer long and still be kind. Some can suffer, but after a while their patience gives out. The very same trials, sorrows, crosses, and losses that make a heart in which Satan reigns turn in open rebellion and bitterness will make a believer more Christlike, tender, and sweet.

Forbearing one another” means to put up with each other’s faults and peculiarities. Just so long as we live in a fallen world, we might as well make up our minds that we are going to have to bear some things if we grow in grace and keep an even, sweet temper….

Forgiving one another” means to carry a heart full of forgiveness for everyone that may have injured us. People often wonder why their prayers are not answered, their sicknesses healed, and their lives filled with joy and peace…. Remember, no prayer reaches God so long as we harbor an unforgiving spirit. A spiritual heart would rather forgive than not forgive.

These are the seven beautiful graces or garments we are to put on by the power of the Holy Ghost. These garments are very popular in Heaven. If we want to be in style with the heavenly world, let us see to it that our souls are clothed with these graces. Above all these things, put on charity, which is Divine love. This is the outer garment that is to cover all the others.

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