What is the reason behind your deeds or works? do you do it out of righteousness, obligation, or personal code ? This week we are talking about goodness, faithfulness and kindness to end our fruit of the Spirit series. Let’s dig in.
Whenever I think of the word goodness, I think of psalm 23, “surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life”. I used to think goodness was all about feeling good, you know the warm feeling you have inside when you think about God, but as I reflect on this week fruit, I realize how wrong I was. Goodness is not a feeling but instead it is when your deeds or works is motivated by righteousness. You can summarize it with this phrase ” holiness in action”, or in plain language you become a blessing to someone. Knowing the true meaning of this fruit put the right perspective when reading the psalms or any verses in the Bible because I know the intention of God’s heart and it is never to harm me but to bless me. Example of goodness is giving to the poor, feeding the homeless, confronting someone about sin, praying for the enemy and visiting the sick.
If you can’t be faithful to God, then you most likely can’t be faithful with others on earth. Faithfulness has to do with having faith in God, consistency, following through with what you believe and not giving up in the hard time. We can’t be faithful to God with our own strength or will, but if we trust in him, the Holy Spirit will help us to be faithful. Once you understand the importance of faithfulness to God then the Holy Spirit can help you to be faithful to others. 1Thessalonians 5:24 says, “He who calls you is faithful, who will also do it” . So we never have to worry about if God can do it, because He will.
Are you a kind person? well, I just realize I am not as kind as I claim to be when studying for this week fruit. God has revealed to me that kindness doesn’t mean having a nice attitude or to be pleasant. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s important to be nice and pleasant but these things don’t always mean that you are useful. Smiling when the person is struggling to open the door does not reflect your kindness. Driving by when you see your friends standing in the rain waiting for the bus will not reflect “your kind heart”. Kindness is the compassion we have for others that lead us to be useful, to do something to help them with no expectation. God showed his kindness when he provided salvation to us because it was free. God’s kindness protects us when we are afraid, as he wraps us up under his wing, and he helps us breathe when we’re being kicked by life’s trouble. God’s kindness lead us to repentance. Because of the Kindness God has towards us, we can learn how to be kind to others.
We all wake up differently, some wake up tired from a long night or not enough sleep, while others wake up refresh and renewed. Despite on how we wake up, we all can have peace and joy in our lives. How? You must start with the condition of your heart because that is where peace and joy begin. By answering these two question, you can begin your peace and joy process. Are you at peace with God through Jesus? and have you made the joy of the Lord your strength to be victorious daily?
watch this video for more information on this week fruit: Peace & Joy.
How long can you endure hardship? do you quickly react when you are being provoked? can you bear with others when they don’t see things your way? Based on your answer you can have an idea where you stand for this week fruit. The fruit longsuffering requires you to move beyond your strength by not relying on what you see but instead on the rewards that comes with waiting on God. Jesus demonstrate what it means to experience long suffering as he hangs on the cross with the power to the end it all but choose not. He was provoked, ridicule and went through physical pain so we can become right with God and through the power of the Holy Spirit we can live a life pleasing to him. Please check out this video.
Scriptures for this video:
BIBLE VERSES ABOUT LONG SUFFERING
2 Peter 3:9 – The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
Ephesians 4:2 – With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
Romans 8:28 – And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.
James 4:7 – Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you
Exodus 34:6 – And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,
Hebrews 4:15 – For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as [we are, yet] without sin.
The fruit of the spirit gentleness is about giving God control over our words, thoughts and understanding. Gentleness doesn’t mean you don’t deal with problems firmly or not able to be stern when you need to be but instead its about balance, knowing when to be kind, merciful or gentle and knowing when to be harsh as we all need tough love. The bible shows us different scenario when Jesus showed gentleness and harsh treatments. As believers we are called to do the same by the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Check out the audio-video on gentleness.
Self control is essential in a Christian life; without self control you will not be able to live a life pleasing to God. The great news is, the Holy Spirit produce in us a regenerate heart that leads to living life by the spirit. As we live by the spirit we will bear fruit. Check out this video and feel free to share it.