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The Fruit of the Spirit




Contents

Love is patient... 

Love is kind... 

Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude... 

Love does not demand its own way... 

Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged... 

Love does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out... 

Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance... 





"Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt Love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." (Matthew 22 36-40 KJV).

"4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance." (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NLT). 

"22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other." (Galatians 5:22-26 NIV)

Love is a joyful heart that looks for the beauty around it. Love is a thankful heart that makes the most of what it has. Love is kind to others. Love doesn't look for what it doesn't have but freely shares what it has. Love builds up and doesn't destroy. Love is a childlike innocence that is beyond human understanding. Love grieves when it has been hurt.
 


Love has 7 parts...

Patient: Not jumping to conclusions or making rash decisions,
Kindness: Gentleness, compassion, giving, not envious,
Humble: Modest, not proud or rude or arrogant,
Accepting: None judging, Non demanding, accepting ourselves and others for who they are,
Forgiving: Not irritable, not holding past transgressions against ourselves and others,
Truthfulness: Maintains justice, honest to ourselves and others,
Enduring: Lasting, persistent, believes all things, bears all things.

Love is a seed that God plants in us. The fruit of that seed is Love, Joy, Peace, Forbearance, Kindness, Goodness and Faithfulness.

"3Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. 8Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times." (Mark 4:3-8 NIV)

Love has been planted in ourselves through the Holy Spirit. It must be attended to properly or it will not survive. God is the Father that we can ask for support and guidance when we fail. We are nothing without him. God is pleased when he sees his work yield worthy fruit.

Love is a sacrifice. Just as the farmer, we need to prepare the ground in ourselves and others. We need to turn the ground over and remove the rocks and other impurities from the soil. We need to be able to provide water and nourishment, protect it from the pests and storms as it grows to maturity. We need to nurture the seed so it can grow strong and healthy so it will bare such mighty fruit that all will be astounded.

Sometimes this is easy. For some God has been preparing their ground since their birth through their life experiences. Mostly it requires hard work and frustration. Birds and insects pick the young buds and disease will strike at the roots and branches and yield sour fruit. We need to be vigilant and be able to decrease or eradicate any threat to the young plant until its roots deepen and its branches strengthen. If a plant or a crop fails, we need to learn from our experiences and start again.

For others, it's rocky and barren. Nothing will ever grow there, no matter how hard we try.

Love is something that takes us our whole life to learn and put in practice. Just when we think we have it right we become complacent and self-righteous. Satan then comes along and moves the goal posts. This is true, I have found this out from my personal experiences the hard way. We may think we have the answer, but we don't. We can only do our best and leave the rest to God.

Love is not a formula that we can unpack and apply to any situation. It is something learned from experience. Of course we are going to make mistakes. We need to adapt to different situations. We are not perfect and God knows this.

It is only through Jesus, through prayer and meditation, that we can have a relationship with our Father. When we ask him how we can Love others, he will show us.

 

  

Love is patient...

Patience is self-control in every circumstance.
Patience is giving others the benefit of doubt, even when we feel uncomfortable.
Patience is trying to understand others point of view.

Patience is waiting for something to happen with eager anticipation.
Patience allows us to realise our goal.

 
It can be very hard to be patient in the world. Things happen that are out of our control that have an impact on our expectations, plans and goals in life. We have our own ideas about how we should be treated by others and if someone does not behave according to those expectations, or something happens that we don't like, we can lose the plot and become frustrated and angry with others or at a situation that we can't control.

When impatience gets the better of us we focus of our own feelings and desires, we don't want to see others point of view, it's all about me. Impatience can lead to frustration, which can lead to self-centeredness, which can lead to increased stress and ill health, which can lead to anger and resentment, which can lead to a loss of reasoning and self-control, which can lead to extreme violence.

I remember when I really needed something that was really important to me. The more I didn't have it, the more I wanted it. It was destroying me. I used to Prey... "Farther, please give me patience NOW. I need it NOW." This is true, I have prayed this many times, and I suspect there are a lot of others that have done the same. Now that I'm older I can see Father smiling at me and saying to me "My son, you already have it. You are welcome to use it whenever you want to."

It's like a car in our garage that we know it's there. We look at it and think it's a beautiful thing we have got. One day someone comes along and says "Wow what a great car. What's it like to drive?". "What do you mean?" you reply, "How do you drive it?". Isn't Patience a bit like the car in the garage? It's always been there but we never use it, or, don't we know how to use it. I'm still learning how to use it properly.

I remember when I was a child my mother dropped me off at school. She said she would pick me when school was out at the end of the day. I remember going to the place where I was dropped off and waiting for her return. I waited and waited and waited, and waited (even a short time is a long time for a child), and finally she came. While I was waiting, all sorts of things came to mind. She forgot, she was sick, she had an accident, and worst of all, she had abandoned me. But I had no choice, I could not do anything but to have Faith that she would arrive. And finally she did. She apologised and explained why she was late. My Faith in her was restored.

Sometimes impatience can still get the better of me. I still struggle when I am driving. There are so many people that are inattentive and have little regard for others on the road. I get frustrated with slow drivers that think everyone else should behave the same as they do. I really don't understand why some people drive at 75ks on the freeway on a Saturday afternoon.

When I get a speeding ticket, or are cut off by someone else or stuck in traffic I may try to justify my actions by saying that I am late or some other lame excuse, and swear and curse at the officer, the other driver or the traffic. Don't we ever think that it's God's way of slowing us down.

Do we ever think about the consequences of our actions and what could have happened? Doesn't God do this to us all the time. His ways are perfect. He knows us better than we know ourselves.

I prefer to arrive early to an appointment or function to allow for unseen events that may happen. I can't see the point of leaving late. If I am traveling with another person and they are late, or like to take their time and not feel rushed, I feel uncomfortable and want to hurry them up. The other person may feel that I am pushing him and them becomes impatient with me.

How often do we try to explain something to someone over and over again and they still don't get it. They may ask the same question a number of times. Is this because the person just doesn't understand what we are saying because they are not listening? This happens a lot of times. Or, is it because we have not thought it through ourselves and assume the person knows what we are talking about and become impatient with the person because they can't read our thoughts. I am guilty of this. I do it all the time.

When we take on a project we look for the right advice and then become impatient with ourself and angry with the next person that comes along when things go wrong. We may find other issues and problems we did not know or expect. We expect everything to go as we anticipate. We get frustrated with ourselves and others. The more we try to fix things when we are impatient, the worse things get.

When we fail in our project, how often do we curse ourselves and say "I'm a failure, Ill never make it.", or, "You're a failure, you will never make it.".

Shouldn't we bless our selves and others "Its OK, I have Faith I'll get it the next time." We have Faith in our Father that he will get us through our impatience. We need to rest and take a deep breath, put aside the frustration and disappointment, and start again when we are the right Spirit. We need to be in a quiet peaceful place, in prayer, where our Spirit is with our Father. This gives us authority over impatience so that the next time it happens we have the experience, and tools, to manage it properly.

When we are impatient with others doesn't our Father slow us down, or, wait until we ask him what to do. I have often asked Father "Am I really doing the right thing?" and he will speak to me through others to support me and help me in my time of need. My Faith in him is restored.

Patience comes from a Faith and confidence that things will work out the way they should, even if they are not what we may have expected, or even wanted. A sopiled child may be given whatever they want, whenever they want. Do they learn about Patience? Patience needs to be experienced rather than learned. Today we live in an instant society. We don't need to put the time and effort into anything nowadays. Some Christians may look for instant gratification, they want it now, and become disapointed or lose Faith when it doesn't happen immediately.

Faith is like a bus timetable. We see on the timetable that the bus we want to catch will arrive at a certain time and dutifully arrive at the bus stop a few minutes before the arrival time of the bus. We wait and there is no bus. What has happened? Do we just leave the bus stop and vow never to return? Do we get angry with the others around us? Do we wait a bit more for the bus and then storm off? Or, do we have Faith that the bus will arrive eventually? Do we loose Faith completely if the bus never arrives?

Our Fathers timing is perfect. It is his in timing and not ours. "Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see." (Hebrews 11:1 NIV)


Father please forgive me of my sin. Please show me how to be Patient with myself and others. Let your Peace and Love for others be in my heart. Let your Spirit be in this situation and let your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.

 

Love is kind...

"15 But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness." (Psalm 86:15 NIV).

"34 Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'" (Matthew 25: 34-36 NIV).

Kindness comes from understanding the needs of others. Kindness is a deep compassion for others. Did Jesus heal the sick because he was told to do it? Unfortunately we need to be told, it is not in our nature. We need to do it intentionally again and again until it becomes a part of who we are.

Anything we do to ourselves or others come from the mind. The seeds of our thoughts come from our own expectations and experiences in life and how we have previously learned to cope with similar situations in the past. We generally treat ourselves and others the way we have treated ourselves and others before. It is an accustomed response because that's all we know. We need to learn a different behaviour.

We need to understand that seeking vengeance or hurting others does not achieve anything. It may be a temporary solution. When we have gentleness and compassion for others we can help carry their burden. We begin to see their pain and bitterness. They feel Loved. They feel that there is someone they can talk to without being judged. We can share our own story and build a bond in Love. When they have peace and Love in their heart they can begin to Love themselves. We can encourage them to think about all the wonderful things that they have been blessed with.

It's the greedy, the angry, the hated, the despised and unloved we need to reach out to in Love. We need to show them that there is another way to live. We can give them shelter or something to help them through their time of need. We show them God's mercy and Love. We can tell them that they are not alone. We can tell them that there is a God with a confidence that can only come from a relationship with Jesus.

"7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us." (1 John 4: 7-12 NIV)

When we have a genuine unconditional Love for another, we lose our own sense of self. We die to self. There is no anger, jealousy, envy or greed. We may experience something we have never experienced before.


Father please forgive me of my sin. Please show me how to be Kind to myself and others. Let your Peace and Love for others be in my heart. Let your Spirit be in this situation and let your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.

 

 

Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude...

When we are attacked for doing wrong, shouldn't we be humble. When we are attacked for doing what is right, shouldn't we have the Joy of the Lord who already knows what we do (1 Peter 3:14-17 NIV).

"Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves." (Philippians 2:3 ESV).

 
Humility in action...

You can defuse arguments when you are humble.
You can handle unfair treatment peacefully when you are humble.
You do not have to put on a "false front" when you are humble.
You can eat "humble pie" without being crushed when you are humble.
You can ask for forgiveness when you are humble.
You can talk with the right attitude when you are humble.

  
"Oh Lord, it's hard to be humble when I'm perfect in every way" Song.


Father please forgive me of my sin. Please show me how to be Humble with myself and others. Let your Peace and Love for others be in my heart. Let your Spirit be in this situation and let your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.

 

 

Love does not demand its own way...


Father please forgive me of my sin. Please show me how to be Accepting to myself and others. Let your Peace and Love for others be in my heart. Let your Spirit be in this situation and let your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.

 

 

Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged...

 
Forgiveness starts with recognising our own sin of unforgiveness of their sin against us.
Forgiveness is compassion for ourselves and others.
Forgiveness is kind-heartedness to ourselves and others.
Forgiveness is tolerating the behaviour of ourselves and the behaviour of others.

 
Shouldn't we bless the ones that curse us?
Shouldn't we bless the ones that hurt us?
Jesus died on the cross for our sins. Shouldn't we forgive them of their sins against us, as we were forgiven of our sins?
Shouldn't we just Love them?

 
There are 2 things that happen when we feel hurt by events or actions against us.

1.      Emotional pain: We can become emotionally attached to the event.
We can let it conquer us, or we can conquer it. We can let it pass through us and move on.

2.      Physiological Pain: The mind remembers the event.
Our whole life can revolve around the event, or,
We can learn from the experience and help others in their time of need.

How often do we condemn or crucify ourselves over what we have done to ourselves? We may work out at a Gym to loose weight and then walk pass an ice cream shop and indulge in a few sweets. Later on we may say to ourself "I should never have had those treats.", "I'm a failure.", "I hate my self." There is judgment and unforgiveness in our heart.

Shouldn't we forgive ourselves and say "It's ok I will try to go another way next time." After a few unsuccessful attempts at this, we finally get the message. For some this may take a long time and they may need lots of encouragement from others. To say to ourselves "I am a failure." is like a death sentence.

How often do we feel that we have nothing to forgive ourself for? That person did wrong to us and we didn't do anything wrong to that person. Don't we feel hurt by that person and have unforgiveness in our heart against that person because they did to us. Our sin is taking offence when the person did nothing wrong in the first place and lash out without thinking. Most of the time the other person is totally unaware that they have hurt us through their words or actions. We need to let the other person know how they have hurt us, "I feel upset that you said that.", or, "I feel that I am being judged.", or, "I am not feeling respected", or, "I am unhappy that you feel that way."

 Most importantly don't accuse the other person of anything. That's when we invite Satan to join us.

Sometimes we are unaware that we have hurt another person. When a person says something totally unexpected or lashes out because of something we have said or done to them, do we become offended and tell them "You have a rebellious Spirit", or, "Stop complaining and MAN up."? Or do we just brush it off with "Your just being silly.", or, "Grow up, and stop being a spoilt child.". Isn't it better to say "I'm sorry, please forgive me. How did I upset you?".

 If we can't recognise the unforgiveness in our own heart how can our Father forgive us?

"30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." (Ephesians 4: 30-32 NIV)

True forgiveness cannot be forced. It can only come from a compassionate heart. This comes from the Holy Spirit. We need to change our thinking. We need to speak life over ourselves and others. We need to deliberately change our thought pattens. It is the Spirit we battle with. Love can be very difficult when we hold on to past negative experiences and destructive memories.

The beginning of this process can be very challenging. We need to be able to let go. We try to forgive them, but there is still that small seed of unforgiveness against them. We need recognise our own sin, before we can let go of any sin against others. It's only then that we can forgive them. We need to forgive our selves of our own anger and unforgiveness before we can forgive others.

God is patiently waiting for us to acknowledge our sin of unforgivness. He can not do anything until we do. For some this is really hard to do. They have had a lifetime of abuse and don't know any other way. They may need to consciously ask God to show them how to Love that person or people. They may need to look for the good in others and not the evil. They may need to do this intentionally again and again and again until they feel forgiveness in their heart.

God will deal with the emotional experience, but will leave the physical memory as a warning to us, or to protect us from further damage. God can turn the experience into a blessing if we let him. We can use this blessing to support and encourage others in their needs. We can help carry their burden because we have come out the other side stronger and better equipped to deal with it.

Most of the time, when we say something to another, we don't understand the power of our words or actions. We may say or do something out of total innocence, but, the other person will take it as an offence or judgment against them or their belief. They may be in a dark place and only see and hear anything as another brick in their wall. It's not there fault.

They may lash out at us because of the pain and suffering they are going through. Its not really their fault. Most of the time it's because they really don't know what they are doing, they are on autopilot.

I remember a saying "It takes two to Tango", that, "Both parties involved in a situation or argument are equally responsible for it." Aren't we responsible for our own actions in what we say and do to others.

 "... 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it." (1 Corinthians 12:25-27 NIV)

Sometimes, it doesn't matter what we say or do, things just get worse. We can try prayer, healing, fasting, encouragement etc., but nothing happens. I'm not saying that we should give up on the person, of course we should prey for a breakthrough. We should carry each others burdens. We should be there for others. In time, and with lots of Love and Faith, the person will make it through.

We may say "That person has backslidden, is possessed, or any number of other things." Little do we know about what is going on inside that person. Are we not speaking a curse over that person when we say those things. Yes, there are Demonic forces are out there and do create a lot of suffering amongst Christians, and people are possessed, but, we need to be sure about what we say to others. Maybe they just need some TLC. A friend to share with without judgment or condemnation.

I remember a few years ago I was in this same place. I was in darkness and did not have any hope. Whatever anyone said to me was like a death sentence. I was lucky I met some kind people at a Church and helped me through.


Father please forgive me of my sin. Please show me how to Forgive myself and others. Let your Peace and Love for others be in my heart. Let your Spirit be in this situation and let your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.

 

 

Love does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out...

We all have our own understanding of what Justice is. We mostly see Justice as a way to receive compensation for some hurt or misfortune that someone has done to us. It becomes personal, we can only see our side of the disagreement and how we have been hurt. Because our feelings are self-centered we can lose sight of the bigger picture and deny the truth about what actually happened.


Father please forgive me of my sin. Please show me how to be Honest with myself and others. Let your Peace and Love for others be in my heart. Let your Spirit be in this situation and let your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.

 

 

Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance...


Father please forgive me of my sin. Please show me how to endure myself and others. Let your Peace and Love for others be in my heart. Let your Spirit be in this situation and let your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.


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