Fruit of the Spirit – Faithfulness

Fruit of the Spirit – Day 7

Faithfulness

What does it mean to be faithful? A few descriptors of this fruit: dependable, reliable, trustworthy, and persevering. There are many people in the Bible that possess this noble trait, but noone encompassess faithfulness like Jesus. When times were tough, He didn’t waver. He didn’t give up, and He didn’t give in. He held steadfast to what He knew was right, and He fulfilled His promises to a lost and dying world.

Another amazing example of faithfulness lies in the fact that while we are sinners God doesn’t give up on us. Even though we mess up, disappoint, and revert to the flesh time and time again, God stays true to His word. He doesn’t leave us or forsake us.

Just as God is faithful to us, we need to be faithful to Him – in serving, in worshipping, in cultivating a relationship with Him, and in fellowship. This is something we should intentionally work on every single day.

Without faith we cannot be faithful. The closer we draw to God the stronger our faith will be. From the small things to the big things, we will know without a doubt that God has it all in His hands. And no matter the outcome, we will honestly be able to say that it is well with our soul. We will keep going, we will keep growing, and we will trust God throughout it all.

“”Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments;” – Deuteronomy 7:9

“For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.” – 2 Chronicles 16:9

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Fruit of the Spirit – Goodness

Fruit of the Spirit – Day 6

Goodness

Integrity. Character. Morals. Virtuous. Justice. Truth. All of these words are associated with goodness.

As a Christian, the desire to do right – even when others are not watching – should burn within us like a fire. Although we are human and make mistakes, we should be extremely passionate about doing the right thing. We should be zealous about living a life resembling Christ’s journey on this Earth.

Sometimes the choices that we have to make won’t be easy. In fact, they will be downright uncomfortable. Living a life worthy of Christ means sticking up for others when noone else will, telling the truth, being selfless, and sometimes it means being separated from everything you’ve ever known.

Goodness is a choice, and it means choosing right over wrong. Every. Single. Day.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” – Philippians 4:8

“Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.” – Romans 12:9

Fruit of the Spirit – Kindness

The best description of kindness can be found in Philippians 2:3-4: “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”

Kindness is love manifested through outward acts of selflessness and mercy.

That’s what Jesus did. That’s what God is still doing today.

In a society consumed with activities that cause us to be in a constant state of “hurry” – our lists are long and our fuses are short. Kindness is often pushed to the back burner, which is the exact opposite of where it should be placed on our list of priorities.

Kindness is a catalyst. It’s a spark that can literally change someone’s outlook on life. One small act of kindness could be exactly what someone needs just to get through another day. I don’t say that lightly. Thankfully the Holy Spirit can and will guide us. If we listen, if we stay in close communication with God, we will feel Him nudging us when it’s time to show someone the love and kindness of a Savior that truly cares about them.

We are the vessel; God is steering the boat. We just have to go.

This holiday season I urge all of us to listen. To take notice. To let someone in front of us in the line at Walmart. To tip the waitress extra. To send a handwritten note. To help. To be patient when we are out and about. To smile.

Let’s be kind.

“But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.” – Luke 6:35

“Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart.” – Proverbs 3:3

Fruit of the Spirit – Patience

Fruit of the Spirit – patience

Patience

Patience can be defined as the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset. The opposite of patience – aggravation & agitation.

To me, patience is fully trusting God while being in a state of limbo – without working yourself into a tizzy because things aren’t panning out the way that you thought they should. There are so many people throughout the Bible that exhibited patience over and over. For example, Job, Jeremiah, and Moses. We can also look to Elizabeth for a lesson on patience. She waited for years – years – for a baby. She never gave up. She kept her cool. She kept her composure. She stood faithfully on God’s promise, and He delivered.

The world looks toward selfish desires to fulfill the longings of their heart, and they want these desires fulfilled right now. As Christians, we need to remember that God’s timing is key – not ours. He sees the big picture. We also need to keep Christ in the forefront of every detail of our life. I truly believe that if God is our number one desire, then all of our desires will in fact be fulfilled.

Not only do we need to be patient with God’s timing, we also need to be patient with one another. The thing is that we mess up every single day, but God still sticks around – and He does not have to. As followers of Christ we need to display that same type of love (agape) and patience for others. The book of James tells us to be slow to speak and slow to anger. This is key when dealing with loved ones and strangers alike. If patience is a virtue, then my prayer is for God to guide me and grow me in this noble trait.

“Be always humble, gentle, and patient. Show your love by being tolerant with one another.” – Ephesians 4:2

“The Lord is good to everyone who trusts in him. So it is best for us to wait in patience—to wait for him to save us—And it is best to learn this patience in our youth.” – Lamentations 3:25-27

Fruit of the Spirit – Peace

Fruit of the Spirit – Day 3

Peace

Peace can be described as a quiet and calm state of mind. The opposite of peace – fear. God repeatedly directs us not to worry or fear throughout the Bible.

God has called us to have peace within our heart and mind as well as peace with others. 1 Peter 3:12 tells us to seek peace and pursue it. The only way to achieve this is by spending time in God’s word, spending time in prayer, and spending time in worship. By committing to a relationship with Christ, by truly focusing on and communicating with Him, the peace that surpasses all understanding will dwell within us.

The world can’t understand this type of peace. In fact, when war is raging, when waves are crashing, when the walls of this life are tumbling down – the world caves; however, the child of God will not falter. When the world is spinning out of control – the child of God holds their head up high, digs in their heels, and keeps going.

This peace keeps us grounded. It gives us hope. It gives us joy. This inner peace ignited by God’s Holy Spirit dwelling within our soul lets us know that every little thing is gonna be alright.

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:7

Fruit of the Spirit – Joy

Fruit of the Spirit – Day 2

Joy

Joy can be defined as great pleasure or happiness; however, where is your joy found? Does your joy have staying power?

There is a vast difference in worldly joy and Godly joy. Worldly joy comes in the form of new cars, new electronics, maybe a new status. This “joy” is temporary. It doesn’t stick.

Real joy comes from building a strong foundation in Christ. This foundation is unwavering. Unshakable. Trials and tribulations will come in all shapes and sizes – that’s just life. We will all experience grief, sadness, and many other emotions. However, if we have firmly planted ourselves on Christ’s solid rock then no matter what happens, we will honestly be able to say, “It is well with my soul.”

It’s important to remember that worldly happiness is circumstantial, but the joy of the Lord is steadfast. This joy is evident in how we handle “life”. Our joy rests on the hope that no matter what happens, at the end of the day God is on His throne – and He is a good, good God. He will never leave us or forsake us.

We can smile. We can rest assured. We can rejoice in the good times and the bad times knowing that according to Romans 8:28, God works for the good of those who love Him.

“The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.” – Psalm 28:7

Fruit of the Spirit – Love

Fruit of the Spirit – Day 1

Love

The word “love” is probably one of the most overused words in languages all over the world. It’s easily thrown around; however, it’s not easily understood. The type of love, or fruit, that God wants Christians to bear is agape love. Agape love isn’t an emotion; agape love is a choice. Jesus demonstrated this type of love over and over throughout the pages of the Bible. He daily chose us over Himself. He daily sacrificed and served, no matter how hard or inconvenient it may have been. This was His choice. The greatest form of agape love ever shown was the day Jesus whispered “Not My will, but Yours be done,” and sacrificed everything for us on an old rugged cross. This choice changed everything for everyone.

Whenever you read the description of love in Corinthians, it’s important to remember that this is agape love. These are choices, and with Jesus living within us, these choices become more evident with each day of growth in Him. These choices are oftentimes not natural for us, but they are natural for the Holy Spirit.

It’s a choice to be patient. It’s a choice to be kind. It’s a choice not to envy or brag. It’s a choice not to be proud or to be rude. It’s a choice to look out for others’ interests first. It’s a choice not to become angry. It’s a choice not to keep a record of wrongs. It’s a choice to be full of joy, to protect, to trust, and to hope. It’s a choice to never give up.

How can we truly exhibit this type of love? WE can’t, but God’s Spirit within us can. And as we draw closer and closer to Him, the more evident His love becomes in our life – which then spills over outwardly in our everyday doings.

1 John 4:7-8  Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.  Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.