“Walk in the Spirit…” Galatians 5:16
“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
“For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap,if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Galatians 6:8-10
In her book, A Woman’s Guide to Making Right Choices, Elizabeth George describes the fruit of the Spirit, or the fruit of righteousness (Philippians 1:11), as “‘those gracious habits which the Holy Spirit produces in the Christian.'”
And as I read through Elizabeth’s description of the fruit of the Spirit, I thought, I just have to share this with my friends.
The fruit of LOVE is the sacrifice of self.
Romans 5:8 “God demonstrates His own love toward us, that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
God asks us to choose to…
– give love when you want to withhold
– reach out to others when you are tired
– serve when you want to be served
– help others when you yourself are hurting.
The fruit of JOY is the sacrifice of praise.
The scripture that this description of JOY makes me (Rachel) think of is : Hebrews 12:2 “…looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
I (Rachel) have learned that we find JOY as we fix our eyes on Jesus, not the world, ourselves, our circumstances, all for His glory, so that we may know Him as our friend, eternally.
This is certainly helpful for me (Rachel), something that I learned from a friend : JOY – Jesus . Others . You .
The fruit of PEACE is the sacrifice of trust.
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:4-9
The fruit of PATIENCE chooses to “do nothing.”
patience aka long-suffering
Psalm 46:10 reads, “Be still and know that I am God.” A command with a promise. Listen and obey, sweet child, and the Lord will bless you with patience.
The fruit of KINDNESS chooses to “plan to do something.”
Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” This is one of my most favorite scriptures, but how often do I stumble with putting it into practice. Thankfully, the Lord continues to help me by His Spirit to do something kindly.
The fruit of GOODNESS chooses to “do everything.”
Just like that Scripture verse that I quoted at the beginning of the post, “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Galatians 6:10
John Wesley writes…
Do all the good you can
by all the means you can
in all the ways you can
in all the places you can
in all the times you can
to all the people you can
as long as ever you can.
The fruit of FAITHFULNESS chooses to “just do it.”
The fruit of GENTLENESS chooses to “take it.”
1 Peter 3:4 encourages, “Let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.”
Elizabeth George writes, “Gentleness grows from trusting the Lord with what is happening – or not happening – in your life. A woman who is characterized by gentleness finds her refuge and strength in the Lord. The strong faith and trust enables her to endure the unkind behavior and suffering knowing she belongs to an all-knowing, all-wise, caring Father and trusting fully in His love… Gentleness is like velvet-covered steel.”
The fruit of SELF CONTROL chooses “not do to it.”
Romans 12:2 reads, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
As a mature child of the Lord, not as a spoiled child, let us choose not to indulge self-gratification and our fleshly sense of entitlement. Instead, with happy, grateful hearts full of self control, let us glorify the Lord in all that we do, and not do anything that would not bring honor to His name and long-lasting happiness in our lives.
I am so thankful to Elizabeth for describing the fruit of the Spirit in this way. When we walk with the Lord as His child, the Spirit will fill us and will bear fruit in our lives that glorifies the Lord and blesses those around us, today and for generations to come, into all eternity.
This Spirit-filling living all only can be done in the Spirit, by the Spirit, and through the Spirit. We must confess and repent of our sin, trust the Lord that when we do He forgives us and cleanses us, and walk in the newness of life that He gifts us with. Yesterday’s grace is not good for today. That’s why His mercies are new every morning and we must look in His face, ahead to eternity, to experience His grace day by day.