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

“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

It is important for every believer to do a self examination of their spiritual walk with the Lord. A Holy Spirit-led analysis of one’s daily living or situational decision-making processes will reveal areas where one can certainly grow or mature in God’s Word. According to Galatians 5:22, Goodness should be a visible fruit in one’s life. Often we think of goodness in relation to righteousness. However, Righteousness is a byproduct of our salvation and our identity in Christ Jesus. According to 2 Corinthians 5:21, we have become the righteousness of God through Christ’s ministry of reconciliation. This understanding should encourage a spirit of excellence and virtue that is unique to a blood-washed, born-again spirit-led Christian.

According to Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, the word Goodness in Galatians 5:22 comes from the Greek word Agathosune, which translates to an uprightness of heart and life. The term broken up into two is “agathos” which means good and “sune” that denotes quality. The word goodness appears in three other New Testament epistles. 2 Thessalonians 1:11 says, “ Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness, and the work of faith with power.” Romans 15:14 says, “…that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.” Titus 3:4 says, “…when the goodness and loving-kindness of our Savior appeared…”
 
So what does the goodness of God look like? If we look at the psalmist’s writing in Psalm 27:11-14, we understand that God’s goodness should not be mistaken to mean just being nice, but rather encompass His dependability and sureness. The psalmist’s faith in God’s goodness or sureness is what kept him from losing hope and falling into despair. God is reliable! God assures us in Isaiah 55:10-11 that His word will never return to Him void or without accomplishing what He sent it for. Psalm 138:2 declares that God honors his word above His name. That is excellence! Can others trust your words? Can others depend on you at crunch times? Does your work stand out above everyone else’s? This is what the fruit of goodness looks like in our lives. The Holy Spirit at work within us coaches us towards excellence. When we truly walk with Him and maintain a healthy diet of God’s Word, we are motivated to top the class and set a standard for the world to follow.

Let’s Pray!
Dear Heavenly Father, I thank You for Your goodness and mercy that endures forever! I praise You for always being consistent in my life even in times when I did not recognize You. You are faithful and You always keep Your promises!

Father, In Jesus name, I ask that You would increase the fruit of goodness in my walk with You. I ask that You would quicken Your Holy Spirit led excellence in me so that my life would bring more glory to You. Lord Jesus, I renounce everything that would cause me to be slothful, procrastinate, and neglect the works of goodness. I surrender to Your authority and I ask that Your love would increase in my life. From this day forward, let my life be a plentiful oasis for the starving to receive You and rejoice in You, the God of Salvation. I count it done in Jesus name, Amen.

Perfection is Overrated

Scripture: Luke 10:38-42 (NIV)

Why do we seek perfection? The short answer is Pride. As people, there is a natural desire to want to be acknowledged and known for being the best at something. And while there is nothing wrong with striving for excellence, a desire to be perfect can mask selfish ambition, a people pleasing spirit, fear and an orphan’s mindset. Believing you have to accomplish all in your own strength leads to exhaustion as we are incapable of bearing the right fruit without God. John 15:5 says: “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

As we dwell in Him, we are empowered and equipped. One of the most poignant examples of the striving versus surrender is the story of Mary and Martha. Martha had invited Jesus and the disciples into her home and was frantic, trying to ensure everything was ready and perfect for her guests. Things did need to get done, but she prioritized the activity versus being at Jesus’ feet. Martha was seeking to get everything right, but she failed to recognize the importance of time with Him at that very moment and that needing to be her fuel. The key to wholeness and maturity in Christ is locked up in the secret place.

Let’s Pray: Lord, I surrender all of my efforts to You and acknowledge that I need to depend on You every day to bear fruit.  I renounce any root of pride and performance and depend solely on You. Like Mary, I humble myself at Your feet and simply, worship, adore and receive of You. Though I may stumble at times, with a childlike trust, I cling to You. I am being made whole in You, by Your love! I receive it!

More Scriptures:

 “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” 1 John 4:16 (NIV)

“When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” Mark 5:28 (NIV)

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

“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

Throughout the new testament, the believer is encouraged to develop patience. It is synonymous with being steadfast or longsuffering. I want you to understand patience as maintaining your position and composure; not becoming restless or easily annoyed. Look at patience as withstanding any opposing force to your God-given peace. For example, James 1:2-3  tells us that we increase in patience or endurance when our faith is tried by life experiences. Paul echoes the same sentiment in Romans 5:3: “Our suffering produces strength or endurance to patiently wait for the promises of God.” Let us look at this more in detail.

Patience, as a fruit of the spirit, comes when you maintain a consistent diet of eating the Word of God. Psalm 1 tells us to meditate on His Word day and night. When we take the time to meditate, we allow the Word to process more deeply in our spirit. The very essence of the scripture will add value to our faith! In this process, we repeat or mutter the scriptures to ourselves. We are matured by the revelation and the application such that when the enemy arises, the Holy Spirit is able to stand for us and protect our peace in the matter.

An important area that we can apply the fruit of patience is in regards to our finances. God is faithful to us when we commit to tithing and sowing seeds to various causes. Meditate on these passages. Repeat them over and over. Pray with them. 

Malachi 3:9-11 “Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your soil, and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear, says the Lord of hosts.”

Psalm 34:8-10 “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack! The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.

Let me pray for you!

Father, In Jesus name, I apply my faith to the promises of your Word with the expectation that you will yield more patience in me. I ask that your Holy Spirit holds me steadfast, firmly planted and unmovable. Let patience maintain your love joy and peace in me so that I may yield goodly fruit and draw others to taste Your goodness in Jesus name, Amen!

God Wants Us To Grow

“God wants us to grow up, to know the whole truth and tell it in love — like Christ in everything” (Ephesians 4:15).

God wants you to grow up: “We are not meant to remain as children” (Ephesians 4:14).

God’s will and plan for us is to mature and develop the characteristics of Jesus Christ, living a life of love and humble service. God wants to see you live a life dedicated to growing closer to Him. Many Christians tend to grow in their faith the first year of their walk, then stay in the comfort of their own will and desires. 

They’re stuck in perpetual spiritual infancy, remaining in pride and maybe fear. The reason is because they never intended to grow. Spiritual growth is not automatic, it takes an intentional commitment. You must want to grow, decide to grow, make an effort to grow, and persist in growing.

Discipleship is the process of becoming like Christ, and it always begins with a decision. “‘Follow me and be my disciple,’ Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him” (Matthew 9:9).

When the first disciples chose to follow Jesus, they didn’t understand all the implications of their decision. They simply responded to Jesus’ invitation. I encourage you right now to accept this God given invitation and follow Christ!

I also encourage you to step back and look at the fruit your walk with God has or maybe hasn’t produced. Do you see a change in your life, or do you see yourself with one foot in and one foot out? Today take the time to study what discipleship looks like in the Bible. God desires to be with us and have relationship with us!

Scriptures to read and pray over:

Matthew 28:18-20

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Matthew 5:14-16

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Luke 14:27

Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.

2 Timothy 2:2

And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

John 15:1-17

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. …

Luke 14:33

So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.

1 Corinthians 11:1

Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.

God Defines Our Worth

If you were to describe yourself in a few statements, what would you say? When we are born, our view of self is highly dependent on our early experiences in life. As we get older, we often look to other persons, relationships, career pursuits, wealth etc. to determine significance. Even more, if we encounter trauma or other hurts and negative events in our past, that can contribute further to a skewed outlook of self. The enemy is strategic and will capitalize on anything to veil the truth of God’s love and regard for us. The absolute truth is that our true identity is defined and sustained by the Lord. Everything else is either a deception or lie. We were made in God’s image, to reflect His beauty and His glory!

We find peace in the knowledge that Jesus lives within us. The closer we connect to the Lord, the better we understand our individual design and purpose. Regardless of what we may have formerly believed about ourselves, in Christ we became NEW creations; the truest version of self possible! Though we live in this present world, we are not of it. We are meant to identify with the Kingdom. Who we are is based on the Word of God and the One who made us!

Key Scriptures:

You are forgiven! (1 John 1:9)
You are God’s child! (Galatians 3:26)
You are God’s workmanship! (Ephesians 2:10)
You are loved!  (Romans 5:8)
You are redeemed (Ephesians 1:7)
You are strong through Christ! (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
You are valuable! (Jeremiah 29-11)
You have been crucified with Christ! (Galatians 2:20)
You are a friend of God! (John 15:15)
You are an Overcomer! (Philippians 4:13)

Let’s Pray! Lord, I pray that you would help me receive your great love for me. I believe that You are my Lord and Savior, the One who knitted me together in the womb and has always known me. I am not an orphan, but have been adopted into Your family. I am not defined by my past or the world’s culture, but by You and You alone. Help me to not doubt, but to trust in who You are and Your plan for my life!