Perry: (singing) I got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in me heart. Hey, Mateys. It be a fine night in AWANA land. Me ships been fixed, I feel back to me ole self, and I be ready to learn that song! (shouts to back of ship) TrueBeard? TrueBeard! Get yer hide ta the main deck pronto or youíll be sharing the crowís nest with oleí Polly there.
Polly: Braaachhh. Shariní with Polly, shariní with Polly.
TrueBeard: (enters huffing and puffing) Blimey, Perry. Whatís got a bee under yer capítnís hat this evening? I had to leave me ice-cream cake melting in me bowl.
Perry: Iím ready ta learn that banana song.
TrueBeard: The Fruit of the Spirit song?
Perry: Right, BANANA Fruit of the Spirit song.
TrueBeard: Not banana! Just Fruit. Speakiní of fruit, does the bright Captín have a favorite fruit heíd like to have us sing in the song tonight?
Perry: Yup, the Ugli fruit.
TrueBeard: Ugli fruit?
Perry: You heard me, Mate. Ugli fruit.
TrueBeard: Now where did you hear of a fruit like that?
Perry: In Jamaica,chum. Only in Jamaica the proper way of pronouncen it be HOO-glee fruit. Iíve eat one, me has. Quite tasty too, it is. A lot like a tangerine. Now quit yer whining and sing the song. I like Ugli fruit and thatís the fruit weíre goiní ta use.
TrueBeard: Okay, are you all ready me AWANA chums? Letís goÖ
The fruit of the Spiritís not Ugli fruit.
The fruit of the Spiritís not Ugli fruit.
If you want to be an Ugli fruit, you might as well hear it, you canít be a fruit of the Spirit.
The fruit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Perry: (speak before kids get started) All right, all right.
We donít have to go singiní it all night. Besides, I need to speak ta ya bought somethiní.
TrueBeard: Iím all hair, I mean ears, Mate.
Perry: (in a confidential tone)Ever since, well, you know, askiní Jesus into me heart and all, Iíve been sort oí noticiní I donít feel so, well, ornary and all. I kinda feel, um, I canít quite find the word. Blimey, I ainít never felt like this afore.
TrueBeard: Aye. Chum, it sounds ta me like you been bit by the Joy bug.
Perry: (in a knowing, but not really knowing tone) Aye, the Joy bug. (pause) Uh, whatís a joy bug?
TrueBeard: Well thatíd be the next fruit of the Spirit we be talkiní about, the fruit of joy! You got it, Mate! It ainít really a bug, thatíd just be a term of expression ifín ya know what I mean.
Perry: Right, right. (tilts his head as if thinking awhile) Have I had this joy all along since I asked Jesus into me life?
Perry: And youíve got this same joy since you invited Jesus into yer life?
TrueBeard: Certainly, why might ye be askiní, mate?
Perry: Well, that terrible wreck on the high seas last week? The one where you was hurling your cheese and crackers all over the deck, ifín ya know what I mean?
TrueBeard: Donít remind me, chum. That was pretty rough!
Perry: Yep, ifín I remember rightly, you didnít seem too full o joy when all was said and done. In fact, you seemed a mite upset, what with all the damage to the ship and all.
TrueBeard: Very perceptive, Perry! Ifín I didnít know any better, Iíd say youíre borderiní on genius, me PiRat pal. Aye, I did forget fer a moment where me joy should be cominí from. The second part of 1 Peter 1:8 tells us where this joy you and I have comes from. ďand even now you are happy with the inexpressible joy that comes from heaven itself.Ē
Perry: I get ya, mate. But I donít get just what this joy is or even just HOW we get it from heaven.
TrueBeard: Well, itíd all be tied up in what we know and WHO we know, eh? Letís put it like this. We know the creator of all things, there ainít anyone more powerful or more important than him. And this very same creator loves us so much he sent his son to die so that our sins could be forgiven and he could adopt us as his sons and daughters. Just knowing that is enough to fill us with joy. But that isnít all we know!
Perry: It isnít? What else do we know?
TrueBeard: We know that God wanted us to be born because he has a plan for our lives. And now that we have his Holy Spirit, we can carry out that plan. Isnít that exciting?
Perry: I guess so, but what is the plan, Mate?
TrueBeard: I canít speak for you, Perry ole pal, but my guess is that our being friends is part of it. Even that storm fit into the big picture. Romans 8:28 says, ďAnd we know that all that happens to us is working for our good if we love God and are fitting into his plans.Ē
Perry: Ifín I was to try to find me plan, just howíd I go about it? Is there a treasure map I can be a followin?
TrueBeard: Right-O, me chap. Itís the Bible. Our AWANA mates are learning parts of it each week. Keep doing that and it will help ya figure out your plan.
Perry: Alright, soís I need to read me Bible to help me figure out me special plan and the Holy Spirit will help me do it?
TrueBeard: You got it. You can also pray and ask. Prayers are just conversations with God and he doesnít mind if we ask him whatís on our minds.
Perry: I still donít understand just what this joy is?
TrueBeard: Donít worry, Mate. Even those of us whoíve had Jesus in our lives for a long time still have trouble graspiní all this joy stuff. Iíll try to explain it with this verse. 2 Cor 6:10 ďOur hearts ache, but at the same time we have the joy of the Lord. We are poor, but we give rich spiritual gifts to others. We own nothing, and yet we enjoy everything.Ē This joy from the Spirit is not like the joy the world knows.
Perry: I remember that evil Pirate Johnny Rottenseed sayiní that he found a lot o joy in makiní me miserable. That ainít the joy we be talkiní Ďbout fer sure.
TrueBeard: Right mate. OUR joy is a gladness that comes from contentment or satisfaction, not the misery of others. For example, in that storm, I should have beem cheerful. Even though things were blowiní apart, I was never alone or without hope. God has said, ďBe strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." Thatís in Deut. 31:6.
I guess it all can be summed up like this. Rom 8:38-39 says, ďFor I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can't, and life can't. The angels won't, and all the powers of hell itself cannot keep God's love away. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, or where we are-high above the sky, or in the deepest ocean-nothing will ever be able to separate us from the love of God demonstrated by our Lord Jesus Christ when he died for us.Ē That means that no matter what happens to me or what my life is like, I can feel that all is settled and okay because no one can ever take me away from Jesus and Jesus will never stop loving me.
PLEASE ENCOURAGE AUTHOR,
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