Sunday, December 16, 2018

Fruits of The Spirit

Introduction - Bible Truths


Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things, there is no law.

The more connected you are to the fruits of the spirit, the healthier you will be physically and emotionally. The less connected you are, the more you are disconnected from God; one’s soul remains out of balance. The lifestyle of the fruit of the spirits is as essential as the air we breathe.

  • Learn to love unconditionally
  • experience pure joy
  • the peace that passes all understanding
  • the forbearance to accept things that you cannot change
  • the kindness that is compassionate and thoughtful
  • the goodness that comes from being righteous and having integrity
  • the faithfulness that originates from a pure heart
  • gentleness like that of a peacemaker
  • the self-control that shows discipline and obedience

 As part of your daily quiet time, work through the fruits of the spirit one at a time. I believe by doing so; you will be challenged to think, learn, grow, and live the life that God created you to live.

 Along with this devotional and your bible, keep a real and personal journal. I suggest that you describe your spiritual state as you meditate on and reproduce each of the fruits with your mind, body, and spirit.

The Power of Love

 Pure unconditional love built on God’s supreme qualities of love. We are to demonstrate that same “awe-inspiring love” which He shows us. Unconditional love comes from wisdom; it begins when nothing expected return. We automatically like without thinking. It exists in the heart like radiation. It becomes a habit and a way of life.

Love is not only a feeling it is an action that Knows no fear and can be understood. We unchain ourselves and become brave enough to step out of our comfort zone and look past our differences and show God’s love through us by showing affection without limitations. It does the heart good for the giver and the receiver to love unconditionally.

Unconditional love plants seeds for harvest and allows us to reap the benefits without conditions or even an expiration date. It plants seeds, and people change. It has no demands and cannot earn it.

Love without discriminating; treating everyone as brothers and sisters even if the person doesn’t deserve it; must be shown in our words and actions from a joyful heart. It is a blessing to be able to love unconditionally and freely because it teaches others to do the same.

Do we all hunger for love, great peace, and contentment? Do we all detest judgmental words, jealousy or evilness? We can practice the powerfulness of unconditional love by demonstrating real forgiveness, encouragement, peace, give of our time, and expect nothing in return.

Love God first and with all your heart and soul; makes all this possible because God is Love. The heart's lost without God.

The Power of Joy

Genuine Joy built on God’s supreme qualities of being joyful. We are to demonstrate that same “awe-inspiring joy” which He shows us. Therefore we can be in a difficult situation and yet experience pure joy.
   
We must yield to God's purpose and seek biblical joy, a fruit of God's Spirit. Jesus suffered disappointment and persecution from various sources in his life on Earth. His joy was more significant than any situation that occurred while he was in human form because he had the joy of the Lord in Him that lifted Him.
   
In today’s world, where the pursuit of happiness involves being famous, successful, and wealthy; when this type of joy is glorified, it is easy to lose focus on what brings real joy. Put simply; we can seek comfort in our accomplishments, good fortune and athletic endeavors, hobbies, travel, dancing, fashion, home improvements, wealth, status, alcohol, food, and drugs. These all fail except for a brief period of satisfaction and sense of well-being because it’s not pure joy.
   
The real joy is a sweet and delightful passion that is “God's way.” It must evolve as a result of being sincerely submissive to the purpose in which God is working in our lives.
   
Pure joy is spending time in God’s presence; feeling His presence, feeling His touch and feeling His love through our faith. God’s reflection fills us with joy, which makes us joyful through song and praises.
   
It has that pure joy deep down in our hearts no matter the circumstances. We must let our joy shine through our troubles; allowing other’s see that Godly joy within us.

The Power of Peace
   
Inner Peace built on God’s supreme qualities of Peace. Mental or emotional calmness is a desire. How can we have peace when reason rules the mind? A peace, above all things, has to be desired. With malice toward none, I believe that the pursuits of peace make one truly happy. It is a mind game. We are to strive to build peace, have a desire for peace, a willingness to work for that genuine peace and charity for all.
   
No matter what someone else has done, it still matters how we treat people. Sometimes we can't be at peace with others until we are at peace with ourselves, forgiving ourselves and others. We should, by all means, refrain from gossiping, disrespecting others, and violence. We should never abandon the pursuit of peace.
   
Smiling is crucial. If we are not able to smile, then the world will not have peace. It is with our capacity of smiling, breathing, and being the peacemakers that we can make peace. Smiles, draw hope, and move us irresistibly toward peace.

The Power of Patience - Forbearance
   
Today's society and way of living do not encourage one to be patient. We live in fast food, microwave world. Patience does not come naturally; It is a challenge as a child, and the concept is learned as you get older and more mature.
   
In the dictionary, "patience" has several meanings: 1) bearing pains or trials calmly and without complaining, 2) not being hasty or impetuous, 3) being steadfast despite opposition or adversity, and 4) showing forbearance under provocation or strain.
   
We often think of patience as something benign, but the dictionary definitions and the Bible imply that pain, trials, adversity, and strain may also be involved.

The Power of Kindness and Goodness
   
I grouped kindness and goodness together because I feel as though they are close in meaning. Divine Kindness/God's goodness being taught throughout the Bible and goes hand in hand with the other fruits of the spirit.
   
God's kindness is intended to lead to repentance, not to the rejection of him ( Rom 2:4 ). Human imitation of God's goodness does not come naturally.
   
In fact, ultimately, no one is kind. It is only as of the fruit of God's Spirit that kindness can be a consistent part of our daily living. As the "worldly" saying goes; you can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar.

The Power of Faithfulness
   
Being faithful and honest is not always easy. Temptations overflow, and as Christians, our lives are busy. It is easy to become amused by movies and magazines.  The Internet, cell phone texting, kids homework, school activities, and events keep us busy.

Being reliable means making mindful choices to follow God. It means standing up when others disrespect you and your faith. Sometimes, explain why you are a Christian. It involves doing what you can to grow stronger in your faith and be a witness. Noah was presumably not accepted by his fellow man because he made the chose to follow God. 

Faithfulness is having an abundance of faith. Adhering firmly and devotedly, as to a person, cause, or idea; being loyal, responsible, dependable, and reliable.

The Power of Gentleness
   
As believers, we can display the fruit of gentleness as we abide and trust in Christ. When we, are saved; the Holy Spirit lives inside of us, He gives us the power to be gentle, and we can be people who overflow with gentleness!

Being gentle does not come easy, and we are not calm at times. But as we get closer to God, we change! The sweetness becomes part of who we are.

We communicate with people with gentle words. We do not have to tip-toe on eggshells but can be calm and respectful to everyone.

The Power of Self-Control
 
Self-Control is about making wise decisions/choices. Building self-control can be a bit challenging, but it is possible to create change in your life and control impulsivity.

You will feel more in control and your actions when it comes to the way you treat people. Monitoring and restraint of one's activities, feelings, etc. Resist temptation and urges.

It is so easy today to give in to the temptations that Christians face. Sometimes it is harder to work to walk away from temptation than to give into it. There is so much peer pressure to drink, have sex, do drugs, not go to church, etc. and more in the world.

However, God rewards your self-control. Look at Joseph. While he spent many years in prison and as a slave, eventually he rose to the highest appointed position in Egypt and even found his family once again. God will ultimately reward your self-control.

Unconditional Love