Fruits of the Spirit In-depth Study and Application “Love”

“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

Introduction

Apples grow on apple trees and oranges grow on orange trees. Certainly you wouldn’t go to a grapevine searching for strawberries. Why? You recognize the trees by the fruit it produces. Jesus says in John 15:5 that He is the vine and we are his branches and If we abide in Him, we will bear fruit. The apostle, Paul goes on to identify that fruit in Galatians 5:22-23, but how do we recognize that fruit in our lives today? Let’s be clear, fruit in context is the byproduct of our constant communion with Jesus. So how does communion with Jesus produce such fruit?

Love

Love is emphasized in Matthew 22:37-40, as the greatest commandment. According to Jesus, everything depends on love. Really? Yes! 1 John 4:8, tells us God is love! John 3:16 tells us God loved the world, you and I, that He gave His only begotten son. Yes, Communion with Jesus produces love. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 gives us a picture of love that can be identified in our everyday living. Are we patient with others? Do we celebrate and encourage the successes of others? Are we humble team players and considerate of others? Are we happy when people fall?

Jesus is our example. Throughout the gospels, Jesus displayed love through patience and kindness with people especially by enduring suffering of the crucifixion. Can you imagine knowing that you are the righteous son of God that you are sacrificing your life for people who have rejected you and may still reject you afterwards? This certainly was a display of humility. Arrogance and pride would have caused many of us to become resentful, but Jesus produced perfect love that overshadows sin.

Prayer,

Lord Jesus, You are the true vine and we are Your branches. Apart from You, we can do nothing. As I abide in Your Word, I ask that You prune me and purge me of all ungodly works of the flesh. Make the fruit of love flourish bountifully in my life. In Jesus name, Amen!

Scriptures for thought:

1 John 4:7-21, 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, John 15:1-17, Matthew 22:37-40

Why Do We Praise & Worship?

Psalm 150: 1-6
Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise Him in his mighty heavens! Praise Him for His mighty deeds; praise Him according to His excellent greatness! Praise Him with trumpet sound; praise Him with lute and harp! Praise Him with tambourine and dance; praise Him with strings and pipe! Praise Him with sounding cymbals; praise Him with loud clashing cymbals!

Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness; tremble before Him, all the earth! Psalm 96:9

The Bible is filled with accounts of persons magnifying the Lord, offering heartful praise and worship in response to His unequaled love, faithfulness and sovereignty! One of the most notable worshippers was David, who wrote most of the book of Psalms. He played the harp and was recognized as a man after God’s own heart!

With much thanksgiving and exhilaration, praise is usually expressed through singing, shouting, standing, the lifting of hands, clapping and dancing. It is an external form of adoration to God, declaring his Word, worthiness, and joyfully recounting and remembering His work in our lives. Praise is also a mighty weapon in spiritual warfare! The enemy is confused whenever we can still acknowledge God’s goodness in the midst of attack and circumstance! When Paul and Silas were falsely accused and imprisoned, instead of giving into despair, they praised God and experienced a remarkable miracle! Acts 16:26

Worship can have characteristics of praise, but in general, this is a time of deeper, more intimate fellowship and connection with the Lord. In the quieting of the mind and heart, we are met by the Holy Spirit who speaks to, comforts and convicts us. During this time, we may find ourselves kneeling or bowing down as a show of complete surrender and humility, inescapably aware of the Lord’s presence and glory!

Be encouraged to give your whole heart, mind, body and soul in reverence to God, knowing that He loves and delights in you! Even in the times where you may not feel like praising or worshipping, I pray that you would sacrificially do so, holding onto His Word and promises! We join in with all of heaven and confess: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come!” Revelation 4:8

His Peace Outweighs My Anxiety


Read: Judges 6:1-16

Anyone who’s struggled with fear and anxiety understands the difficulty of overcoming these emotions. Gideon was a man who experienced great apprehension because he lived when Israel was being oppressed by the Midianites as a result of their rebellion against God.

Conditions had become so desperate that Gideon was threshing grain in a wine press so the enemy wouldn’t think to steal it. It was at this low point in his life that the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon and told him to deliver Israel from the Midianites. Imagine his stress! He didn’t see himself as a great warrior and felt totally inadequate for the task.

Gideon’s problem was his focus. Despite being reassured that God was with him, Gideon observed the situation through human eyes and concluded that the Lord had abandoned Israel. Then he looked at himself from that same perspective and listed all the reasons why he was not the one to deliver Israel. But the Lord again responded by saying, “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat Midian as one man” (Judg. 6:16).

Like Gideon, we too are prone to focus on our own weakness and inability rather than count on what we know to be true about the Lord. We can think of a thousand things to worry about instead of remembering God’s past faithfulness and the certainty of His future promises. 

Persevering through anxiety is easier when we know God intimately, believe His Word, and trust Him explicitly. In the process, we’ll discover that our anxiety is outweighed by His peace.

Prayer: 

Lord I ask you to comfort me and remind me of your peace. I ask of your  forgiveness, for not believing in who you say you are. Encourage me, and remind me each and everyday of your sovereignty and truth. I pray this in Jesus’ Christ name, amen.