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Fruits of the Spirit

LOVE . . . Is your love unconditional? OR is your love the most visible when everything goes your way? Only unconditional love is the type of fruit that keeps on loving even when it is most difficult to show affection to others. The capacity to love grows out of the agape love from the heavenly Father. Matthew 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; (KJV)  http://www.godcannotlie.org/1_cor_ch13.htm

JOY . . . A TRUE Christian can have joy even in times of chaos because #1) God is with you through it and #2) God uses every trial to help you become stronger in the faith. Luke 10:20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven. (KJV)

PEACE . . . We do not have to worry or be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make our requests known to God. Philippians 4:6-8 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. 8  Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (KJV) . . . You can either be devastated with anxiety or worry OR you can rest in God’s peace! The Bible tells us that there is no peace for the wicked (Isa.48:22; 57:21); but . . . for believers it is available EVERY time you pray and leave your concerns with God. http://www.hisservants.org/g_p_gpd's_promises_of_peace.htm

LONGSUFFERING (FORBEARANCE, PATIENCE) . . . Can you be still and wait on God . . . OR are you tempted to move ahead and do it your way? Patience is a fruit that will grow with your experience of being stretched in faith especially in times of trial. Some say that you do not need to pray for patience, because it’s already there . . . but I strongly disagree. Patience is a fruit just like faith, and the disciples asked Jesus to “increase their faith” Lk.17:5), and He did not tell them they did not have to do that! It is my humble opinion that if we lack any of the fruit of the Spirit, we are wise if we go to the Lord and ask Him to increase that fruit so that we can be like our Master. Colossians 1:11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; (KJV)
KINDNESS (COMPASSION) . . . Can others sense your kindness in your actions and words OR do they expect an angry response from you? A gentle word, a soft answer, or a helping hand, all exhibit the fruit of kindness in this modern culture of rudeness and selfishness. Colossians 3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; (KJV)

GOODNESS . . . Is your language marked with sincere virtue and honor? Or is your conversation tainted with blasphemy, worldly language, immoral tendencies, filthy jokes or gossip? Goodness does not mean that you are perfect, but instead it means someone who truly reflects the honesty of God within. A believer who demonstrates the fruit of goodness has the tendency to believe the best about people. Psalm 107:9 For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness. (KJV) Ephesians 5:9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) (KJV)
We must NEVER imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God. 3 John 1:11 Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God. (KJV) http://www.godcannotlie.org/phil_ch2.htm

FAITH, FAITHFULNESS . . . Does your character reveal that you are dependable and steadfast in your faith in Christ? Or do people expect you to be late, know that they cannot depend on you, or that they simply cannot trust you? Steadfast faithfulness represents the Spirit of Christ (Rom.8:9) dwelling within you. When we cultivate the fruit of faithfulness, we are compelled to do every good work for His glory. Proverbs 20:6 Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find? (KJV)
Proverbs 28:20 A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent. (KJV)
Matthew 25:21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. (KJV)  
Galatians 3:9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. (KJV)
1 Corinthians 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. (KJV)  
Revelation 2:10  Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. (KJV)

MEEKNESS (GENTLENESS, HUMILITY) . . . Is your meekness felt by those who live or work with you? Or do they think that you are a hard and proud person? When the Spirit dwells within you, a meek, gentleness flows freely and steadily. Believers and unbelievers should feel at ease around you because of the presence of your gentleness.
Psalm 22:26 The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever. (KJV)  
Psalm 25:9 The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way. (KJV)  
Psalm 37:11But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. (KJV)  
Matthew 5:5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. (KJV)  
Romans 12:14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. (KJV)

TEMPERANCE (SELF-CONTROL) . . . How much control do you have over your appetites? Restraining oneself is not always easy. Many times we give in. Believers can reveal self-control and discipline in a world where EVERY day is an opportunity for gluttony of some kind: anger, food, drink, greed, lust, power, etc., etc. You have the power through the Spirit within you to control your cravings. This is another instance where I believe that we should always be in prayer to the Lord to increase our fruits of the Spirit! Proverbs 14:29 He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly. (KJV)  
Proverbs 17:28 Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding. (KJV)  
Ecclesiastes 7:9 Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools. (KJV)
Titus 2:11-12 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12  Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; (KJV)
James 1:19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: (KJV)  http://hisservants.org/christian_characteristics_h_s.htm

Things to consider: Where are you in your production of spiritual fruit? Are you at 10%, 50% or 100%? It is doubtful that any of us qualify for the 100% status!

SO . . . what is it that really matters? Do NOT ever give up producing spiritual fruit! Keep cultivating it . . . and with the light of Jesus, the wind from the Spirit, the bread from the Word of God and the fellowship of the saints . . . production will continue and increase!

BUT . . . we mere branches must stay connected to the Vine (John 15:1-6). IF a believer does not abide in Christ, strays from Him and does not have close fellowship with Christ . . . so they cannot produce good fruit, and the branch withers spiritually.

Holy Spirit Empowers Believers

Fruit Considered

Fruits Described

Fruit, How It Is Produced

Fruits Are Spiritual Attributes

Fruits of the Spirit

Fruits, How to Live a Holy Life

Fruits, Warning

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