Joy - Fruit of the Spirit Episode 3

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22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
— Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV)

Joy! Just the word “JOY” brings a smile to my face. It’s so much more than happy.

Many of you know that happy is derived from our circumstances, but JOY is from the Lord. If you look up the word ‘joy’, you’ll find one of the definitions as “the source or cause of delight”.

That’s the believer’s JOY! Jesus is our Source and our Cause of delight! Jesus and Jesus alone.

Just check out Nehemiah 8:10  “Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

I often wonder how in the world non-believers make it through this life. I know I have faced things that only the Lord could bring me through. In those hard times, I am reminded by God’s Word that joy will come in the morning.

Psalm 30:5 “For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.”

While we are looking a verses on joy, take a look at these:

Habakkuk 3:18 “Yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.”

 John 15:11 “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”

 Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”

 James 1:2 “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,”

We have all seen people who have suffered significant loss or devastation and exude an inner joy in the midst of the circumstance and long after. That “joy” only comes from the Source of joy, Jesus Christ.

This week, join me in studying God’s Word, letting the joy of the Lord be our strength. After all, He is strong and has already overcome this world!

Love - Fruit of the Spirit Episode 2

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22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
— Galatians 5:22-23 ESV

Have you ever wondered why “LOVE” is mentioned first in the fruit of the spirit? Well, we may come up with many reasons and scriptures to support those reasons, such as:

  • Faith, hope and love but the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13.13

  • The Lord abounds in steadfast love. Exodus 34.6

  • I love the Lord because He hears me. Psalm 116.1

  • Greater love has no man than the one who lays down his life. John 15.13

    or

  • God shows His love by dying for us when we were sinners. Romans 5.8

But I think it might have to do with this verse:

Hate stirs up strife,

but love

covers all offenses.

Proverbs 10.12

You see, to me there is nothing more like God than the willingness to love and forgive offenses. Did you notice the word ‘willingness’? Willingness means we have a choice in the matter. Let that sink in.

Yes, the Holy Spirit in us will develop His fruit in us, but we make choices that may slow or speed up the process. For example, when we choose love, we choose to forgive offenses. It’s amazing how sweeter life is when we choose to love others.

Sometimes that choice comes by choosing not to take offense at things. It’s easy to wear our feelings on our shoulders and get offended by comments or lack of comments from others. I made a decision a long time ago to not be offended by an “assumed” offense.

What I mean by an “assumed” offense is the comment that is not an outright offense. Maybe it’s not outright because the words were okay but the tone or inflection was not. I choose to let that go. Maybe a comment was more abrupt than I would like, but not necessarily an offensive comment. I choose to let it go.

How is that showing love? I’m glad you asked. Love covers all offenses according Proverbs 10.12. When I choose not to be offended, I am choosing to love the other person over the offense.

God is love. He IS love. He doesn’t exemplify love. He IS love. And He lives in the believer through the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we HAVE the capacity to love. And we have the choice to demonstrate it or not.

Let’s choose love today and everyday as we grow in the “fruit of the Spirit”!

Fruit of the Spirit Episode 1

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"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law."

Galatians 5: 22-23


I've been thinking about a series that I could write that would be easy to follow, even if it isn't always easy to live out.  But good news, God is the Master Creator who is molding us into His image.  So...by Him, His fruit is being developed in us.

Whew!  If it were all up to me, I would be in trouble! Anyway, I digress.  Before we start looking at each attribute of the fruit, let's take a look at these two verses as a whole.

First, the word fruit used in this passage is SINGULAR. Bear with me here.  I know that fruit technically does not have a plural unless you are talking about different kinds of fruit.  With that being said, the passage says "fruit" but then lists several different words.

I'm no scholar, but my thoughts on the matter are that as we mature in the Spirit, we produce His fruit.  To become like Christ, we grow in an intimate relationship with Him and begin to take on His characteristics.  The "fruit" of the Spirit is exemplified in the outward characteristics of:

  • Love
  • Joy
  • Peace
  • Patience
  • Kindness
  • Goodness
  • Faithfulness
  • Gentleness
  • Self-control

Image all those things wrapped up in ONE package and you get the "fruit of the Spirit". Isn't that just the perfect combination?  It sure is! As believers, the Spirit lives in us. (That's a whole other topic of discussion!) 

With the Spirit living in us, it's only natural that as we mature in the faith, His fruit becomes more and more evident in our lives.  I can certainly attest to some significant changes in my life - as can the people close to me!

If you know me, you know that I can be a little rough around the edges, well, maybe more than that at times.  But as a young person, and even as a young believer, I could be pretty painful around the edges.  But God (my favorite phrase in scripture) is changing me! Every day, every week and every year I see changes that the Lord is making in my life.

Some changes are subtle.  Such that you may not notice them, but I do.  It is quite exciting to see God working in your own life!  Oftentimes, we can easily see something in someone else's life, but find it hard to see something in our own life.

Take a glimpse back to the time of your salvation.  Think of all the things you have learned in your faith journey.  Are you the same?  I bet not!

This week think about your life and how God is changing you.  Leave a comment below if you'd like.  I'd love to hear from you!

 

Flowers Fade

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The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.
— -Isaiah 40:8

I love flowers!  If you've seen my yard you know that's true.  When my husband put his foot down on NO MORE PLANTS in the yard, I switched to pots on the deck.  (Even that gets out of hand sometimes. But don't tell him I said so!)

Every single year I am reminded that flowers fade.  Invariably, I lose some through the winter. Try as I might, a frost will get by me and my plants that I have protectively put on the porch and one or more of my plants become history.

Not to worry, I replace them the following spring.  And so the love of plants continue to bring me pleasure and my husband is thankful that they are in pots and not beds! 

Many people have the "here today and gone tomorrow" attitude about all sorts of things these days - not just plants.  Maybe it's material things or relationships or friends/family or truth or... well, you know what I mean.

Thankfully, the Bible is not that way.  God's Word will last forever.  There is no changing it.  He said it thousands of years ago and He still means it today.  He is Truth.  The only Truth that will stand forever.

You can believe Him that He loves you!  He sent His Son, Jesus, as proof.  Jesus paid the atoning sacrifice that God requires for sin because God knew we could never pay it.  Isn't that amazing!  And guess what.  His love for you NEVER changes!  That's right!  No matter what you've done or failed to do. God - Jesus, loves YOU!

Yep, flowers will fade, but the word of the Lord stands forever.  He said He loves you and He means it.  Forever.