SERVANTS' MINISTRY, Inc.
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Considering the Fruit of the Spirit
1. Love. Love does not refer to warm feelings but instead a thoughtful attitude of good will and devotion to others. Love gives freely without looking at whether the other person deserves it, and it gives without expecting anything back. . . . Are you grateful for what Jesus has done for you . . . do you give only because you want something in return?
2. Joy. Joy is much more than happiness. Joy is contented pleasure, completely freed of the good or bad things that happen during the course of the day. Joy is a supernatural gladness given by God’s Spirit that really seems to show up during our hardest times. Joy is fixing your focus on God’s purposes for the events in your life rather than on the circumstances. . . . Do you experience joy on a regular basis, or does joy come only when things going smoothly?
3. Peace. Peace is not the absence of turmoil, but instead it is the presence of tranquility even in a time of chaos. It is a deep feeling of content knowing that God controls the events of the day. . . . Are you stressed out by the crashing waves of turmoil in your life, or do you experience the peace that passes all understanding? Philippians 4:6-7 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (KJV)
4. Patience. Patience is leniency, long-suffering, forbearance, perseverance and steadfastness. It enables us to endure ill treatment from life or at the hands of others without lashing out or paying back. . . . Do you fly off the handle when things go wrong or people irritate you . . . or are you able to keep a godly viewpoint in the face of life’s problems?
5. Kindness. Kindness is when we look for ways to adjust our lives to meet the needs of others. Kindness is compassion on our fellow man. It is moral goodness that overflows. It is also the total absence of malice. . . . Do you serve others with kindness, or are you too focused on your own needs, desires or problems to let the goodness of God overflow to others?
6. Goodness. Goodness reflects the character of God. Goodness in you desires to see goodness in others and is not beyond confronting or even rebuking (as Jesus did with the money changers in the temple) for that to happen. . . . Does your life reflect the goodness of God, and do want to see others experience God’s goodness in their own lives?
7. Faithfulness. A faithful person is one with real honesty and integrity. A faithful person is someone we can look to as an example, someone who is truly devoted to Christ and to others. Our old nature always wants to be in charge, but Spirit-controlled faithfulness is obvious in the life of a person who seeks good for others and glory for God. . . . Do you any hide areas of hypocrisy and indifference toward others in your life, or is your life characterized by faith in Christ and faithfulness to those around you?
8. Meekness. Meekness is not weakness. I think that meekness is power under control! Gentleness is not without power, it just chooses to submit to others. It forgives others, corrects with kindness, and lives in tranquility. Jesus is an excellent Example! . . . Are you impetuous and headstrong, or do you allow the grace of God to flow through you to others?
9. Self-control. Our fleshly desires, Scripture tells us, are continually at odds with God’s Spirit and always want to be in charge. Self-control is literally releasing our grip on the fleshly desires, and choosing instead to be controlled by the Holy Spirit. It is power concentrated in the right place. . . . Do you control your life, or do you allow the Spirit to guide and direct you to the things that please God and serve others?
10. Walk by the Spirit. While this is not a fruit of the Spirit, the final item on the checkup produces all nine qualities listed above. When we follow the Spirit’s lead instead of being led by our self-focused desires, He produces the fruit.
But even when we do not walk by the Spirit, He is the very One who convicts us that things are not right in our lives.
God promises that if we are willing to admit that we have been walking our own way and ask for His forgiveness and cleansing (1 Jn.1:8-9), He will empower us through His Spirit to live the abundant life for which He has created us. . . . Do you depend on the Holy Spirit to guide you, or do foolishly and stubbornly try to guide yourself? Let us all be willing to confess to God that His ways are better than ours, and that we need the Spirit’s guidance to help us live right.
Holy Spirit Empowers Believers
Fruit, How It Is Produced
Fruits Are Spiritual Attributes
Fruits of the Spirit
Fruits, How to Live a Holy Life