Select Page

“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.” (Galatians 5:22-23, NLT)

This past week I began taking a closer look at the fruit of the Spirit:

  • Love >> “this means the attitude or emotion of deep affection with a focus on action and not feeling alone.” So basically – Love does. The commentary in my Bible (NLT Study Bible) says this …”It is significant that love heads the list. Love is not merely a first among equals in this list but rather the source and fountain from which all the other flow.” We are able to love because He loves us. We love each other because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:19, NLT) Perhaps love is listed first because it is of the utmost importance that we KNOW to the depths of our being that God. loves. us. Not that He loves or that He loves others or that He loves everybody. We must come to the place where we KNOW God loves {{insert your own name here}}. For it is then we will be able to love others. It is then we will be able to do (remember love does) for others with and in and through the love of God. May you know He. Loves. You. Deeply. Eternally. Tightly.
  • Joy. We all want joy in our lives. Joy is not the same as happiness, which is based on what is currently “happening” to me. So here are some truths I discovered about joy:
    ~ joy is a divine dimension of living not chained by circumstances at all. You can have joy no matter what is happening.
    ~ joy stems from discovering and concentrating on the truth that God is totally trustworthy.
    ~ joy is “to sense the sovereignty of the Spirit of God bringing order out of confusion, direction out of despair, and joy out of despondency.” (from “A Gardener Looks at the Fruits of the Spirit” by W. Phillip Keller)
    As I have thought about joy, I realized joy is marked by a feeling of celebration. But what is it exactly that we are celebrating I ask? We celebrate, we rejoice, that our God brings victory. He makes us overcome in this life. This brought me to a familiar Scripture in which I think I missed something important until now …
    In Nehemiah 8, Ezra is reading the Scriptures to the people. The people weep as they realize their failure to have kept His Word the way they should have. And Nehemiah says this in verse 10 –
    “Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!” We always seem to quote the end of that verse but not the beginning. In spite of feeling sad, he is telling them they can have joy in the Lord. Now continue to read down to verse 12 – “So the people went away to eat and drink at a festive meal, to share the gifts of food, and to celebrate with great joy BECAUSE they had heard God’s words and understood them.” Did you see it? Their joy came BECAUSE they heard God’s words and understood them. There is a joy which comes from being in His Word, from the understanding He brings of His Word. This is why we need to be in His Word each and every day. May we hear His Word today and understand what He is saying to us. And “may the JOY of the Lord be your strength” today!
  • Peace >> “The quiet, potent, gracious attitude of serenity and good-will that comes to meet the onslaught of others with good cheer, equanimity, and strong repose.” (Keller). Based on that definition I can see why it is a fruit of the Spirit because only God would be able to keep me at peace when facing the ” onslaught of others”. Yet Jesus was our example, the man of Peace. The one who even made Peter, the impetuous “cut off his ear” man, into a disciple. This tells me that when Jesus enters our lives, He penetrates our personality, He is the One who makes us into a person of peace. “Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it.” (Psalm 34:14, NLT)  “And this righteousness will bring peace. Yes, it will bring quietness and confidence forever.” (Isaiah 32:17, NLT) “God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.” (Matthew 5:9, NLT) Interesting that this “peace”, mentioned in Galatians 5:22, is a peace with God which then spills over into peace with others. He makes us into peacemakers. And this will take His Spirit in us for sure!
  • Patience. This is the ability to bear with people who are difficult or adverse circumstances without breaking down. It takes in endurance under intolerable circumstances. “It is the quiet willingness to wait” (Keller). I loved that this author then went on to say what patience is NOT: It is not… “weak indifference. Does not say, whatever will be, will be.” Patience is a steadiness in situations. It enables a person to keep on. Patience allows us to prevail. Patience produces hope in those around us. It produces a toughness in us because God is at work in us to produce it. This is a toughness to endure hard people and hard situations with stability. Keller calls patience “gracious optimism”. The more I read about patience, the more I understood only God can truly produce this in us and how very grateful I am for His patience with me.
  • Kindness. I found it interesting that this is included in the list of fruit and Paul is writing to the Galatians who were known “for biting and devouring one another”. We shouldn’t need to be told to be kind to one another and yet we surely do. Kindness is associated with mercy as you can’t be kind without showing mercy. It is a deep and genuine concern for another. Kindness is “getting involved with the personal sorrow and strains of other lives to the point where it may well cost me real pain or inconvenience.” (Keller). Kindness takes courage as we don’t know if the other person will appreciate and receive our kindness or turn around and refuse it. Kindness will demand that we treat others or see others with work, dignity and esteem and regard them as such. And just because we are kind to someone does not guarantee they will treat us with kindness. But here’s what hit me  … God saved us because He is rich in mercy and loved us so much (Ephesians 2:4). Why? “So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as show in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:7, NLT). We become examples of God’s kindness toward us.

This was only the first five characteristics of the fruit of the Spirit. To live displaying these will take a work of His Spirit in us for sure! Next Monday I will share on the last 4 fruit of the Spirit > goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.



Today I am joining … Inspire Me Mondays and Sharing His Beauty and Create With Joy and #SmallWonder and Playdates With God .