Tag Archives: fruit of the spirit

Unselfish Generosity

Organizations, teams, relationships and people groups function best when people look out for each other as much or more than themselves. Problems arise when people are selfish and trying to get their own instead of helping others succeed. A culture of selfishness breeds greed, distrust, back stabbing and division. It’s unhealthy and stunts growth. I believe that’s why one of the characteristics God desires for Christians to have is selflessness. It promotes growth, healing, unity and trust.

God’s desire for you and I is to help others in our journey through life. If you look around you, there are people in your life every day that need a word of encouragement, a helping hand, someone to share their burdens with or your time. If you haven’t seen them, you’re too busy being focused on your own needs. God gave us His selfless love and wants us to show selfless love to others so that we can point them to Him. If you struggle in this area, ask God to open your eyes to the needs of others and to help you show His love. If you pray that way, you’ll not only change the life of others, your life will change too.

Here are some Bible verses on unselfish generosity.

1. So I, the prisoner for the Lord, appeal to you to live a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called [that is, to live a life that exhibits godly character, moral courage, personal integrity, and mature behavior–a life that expresses gratitude to God for your salvation], with all humility [forsaking self-righteousness], and gentleness [maintaining self-control], with patience, bearing with one another in [unselfish] love.

EPHESIANS 4:1-2 AMP

2. And God, who supplies seed for the sower and bread to eat, will also supply you with all the seed you need and will make it grow and produce a rich harvest from your generosity.

2 Corinthians 9:10 GNT

3. But generous people plan to do what is generous, and they stand firm in their generosity.

Isaiah 32:8 NLT

4. Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults—unless, of course, you want the same treatment. Don’t condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang. Be easy on people; you’ll find life a lot easier. Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity.

Luke 6:37-38 MSG

5. But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.

GALATIANS 5:22-23 AMP

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Developing Godly Traits

A friend recently posted, “Lord, give me patience.” I thought, “Girl, that’s a dangerous prayer! You’re about to go through some stuff because that’s how you get it.” Growing patience is like growing a muscle. You’re going to have to push it to it’s limits continuously if you want to it to grow. When we need patience, God uses things in our life to push our patience beyond where it currently is so we can have more of it.

The great news is that you don’t just get patience when you go through the things that build it. You’ll also gain endurance, character, joy and more. God wants to grow all these things in our life, but we are quick to pray, “God, get me out of this,” when He’s trying to make us stronger. If we are willing to endure the difficult things that come our way, God can grow some amazing things in our life. Yes, praying for patience is dangerous, but rewarding.

Here are some Bible verses on the developing Godly character traits.

1. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

Romans 5:3-5 NLT

2. Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]. And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing.

JAMES 1:2-4 AMP

3. But the Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control. There is no law against such things as these.

Galatians 5:22-23 GNT

4. So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus. Without these qualities you can’t see what’s right before you, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books.

2 Peter 1:5-9 MSG

5. Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive. Above all, put on love — the perfect bond of unity. And let the peace of the Messiah, to which you were also called in one body, control your hearts. Be thankful.

Colossians 3:12-15 HCSB

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Producing Good Fruit

How long has it been since you looked at the Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5? To me, they’re a measuring stick of where I am in my growth. I have to ask myself, “Is my life producing these fruits?” Paul told us that a life controlled by God’s Spirit would produce those fruits. If I’m not producing them, then I’m not being controlled by God. In that same chapter, he also described the fruits of the flesh. These describe what a life that is not controlled by the Spirit looks like. It’s important to look in the mirror often to see what your spiritual life looks like.

Each morning as I get ready for the day, I stop and look in the mirror to fix my hair and to make sure I look presentable before going out in public. The same thing should happen for us as believers. We should look at ourselves in the mirror of God’s Word to see what we look like. If we don’t like what we see, we need to make adjustments just like we would to our physical appearance. If you had bags under your eyes you could either cover them with make up (this doesn’t solve the problem) or get more rest.

Too many times when we look in our spiritual mirror and see something that doesn’t look right in our lives, we try to cover it up. We want to appear to others as having it together when really the problem is one of the heart. David tried to cover up his sin with Bathsheba. He didn’t want others to know he had committed adultery, so he brought her husband home from the war. When he wouldn’t sleep with his wife, David sent him back to be killed so he could marry her and make it look like they got pregnant on their wedding night. He went to a lot of trouble trying to cover up the physical actions of a spiritual problem.

David had quit being led by the Spirit and was being led by his fleshly desires. He reaped the fruit of that choice. Since he wouldn’t look I hope a spiritual mirror, the prophet of God came and held it up. When he did, David recognized the spiritual problem. Instead of continuing to try to cover it, he dealt with the spiritual problem. In Psalm 51:10 he prayed, “Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. (NLT)” He realized he needed s change of heart to change his ways.

We are not so different from David. We have fruit we are not proud of and we try to cover it up. You may not have a prophet come knock on your door to call you out like he did, but the problem still has to be dealt with. If you look at the fruit in your life and know you need to change, don’t try to cover the problem up. Deal with it at the source. Pray like David did that God would give you a clean heart, that He would put a right spirit in you and that you would live a life that is led by His Spirit. When you do that, you will produce love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.  

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10 Scriptures On Patience

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1. There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. (Romans 5:3-4 MSG)

2. Finishing is better than starting. Patience is better than pride. (Ecclesiastes 7:8 NLT)

3. Patient persuasion can break down the strongest resistance and can even convince rulers. (Proverbs 25:15 GNB)

4. Now may the God Who gives the power of patient endurance (steadfastness) and Who supplies encouragement, grant you to live in such mutual harmony and such full sympathy with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, (Romans 15:5 AMP)

5. For you have need of steadfast patience and endurance, so that you may perform and fully accomplish the will of God, and thus receive and carry away [and enjoy to the full] what is promised. (Hebrews 10:36 AMP)

6. Hot tempers cause arguments, but patience brings peace. (Proverbs 15:18 GNB)

7. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! (Galatians 5:22-23 NLT)

8. Teach the older men to exercise self-control, to be worthy of respect, and to live wisely. They must have sound faith and be filled with love and patience. (Titus 2:2 NLT)

9. May you be made strong with all the strength which comes from his glorious power, so that you may be able to endure everything with patience. And with joy give thanks to the Father, who has made you fit to have your share of what God has reserved for his people in the kingdom of light. (Colossians 1:11-12 GNB)

10. Because you kept my Word in passionate patience, I’ll keep you safe in the time of testing that will be here soon, and all over the earth, every man, woman, and child put to the test. (Revelation 3:10 MSG)

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Changing Your Roots

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One of the sayings I have when talking to people is, “Look past the fruit. Look for the root.” What I mean by that is that when we see a behavior in someone else or hear an excuse as to why they can’t do something, that’s not what’s really going on. That is a fruit that is being fed from a root somewhere else. I tell them to dig deeper beyond what lies on the surface if they really want to help them. What I mostly see is people dealing with fruit and they wonder why things keep happening over and over and they’re helpless to stop it.

When we only deal with the fruit, the behavior we see, we can affect change. We have to find the source of that behavior and deal with that if we really want to create change. When I think of sin in my life or in the life of others, it’s usually something we can see. We tell ourselves, “Don’t do that!” It’s a temporary fix, because eventually we go back to it. We took away the fruit, but we never did anything with the root. It just takes a little time and it grows right back. Ask yourself, “Why am I doing this? Where is this coming from?” Follow the trail to the root.

Hebrews 12:15 says, “Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.” The Message puts it this way, “A thistle or two gone to seed can ruin a whole garden in no time.” If we don’t deal with the roots of our sins, we will continue to struggle with them and possible corrupt others. If you’ve ever dug in your yard and came across a root, you know this is no easy task. You have to pull on that root. Follow where it goes and chop it off at the source. You have to get the whole thing out.

If we want to change the fruit in our lives, we have to change the roots. In Romans 8, Paul tells us that we have no obligation to do what the flesh wants to do. In verse 5 he tells us not to be dominated by our sinful nature, but to let the Holy Spirit control our thinking. When we’ve pulled up the roots of our sinful nature and let the Holy Spirit take roots in our lives, Galatians 5:22 says the Holy Spirit will produce this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. That is the fruit that we should be producing as Christians.

If you’re looking at the fruit of your life and want to change it, don’t keep dealing with the fruit. Look for the root and deal with that. Romans 8 has a lot of good stuff to say about the struggle we all face in wanting to do good, but having trouble with it. Take time to read that chapter today. See of you can relate to Paul’s struggle. I know I do. The way he tells us to change the fruit in our lives is to uproot the sinful nature that controls our mind and then to submit our minds to the Holy Spirit. Once we learn to do that, we can produce the fruit God wants us to show in our lives.

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The Snooze Button

If you’re like me, you love the snooze button on your alarm. Somehow I feel like I’m pulling a fast one on my body and I am really getting extra sleep. I have mine set to a maximum of five snoozes. On that one, there is no option to hit snooze anymore. It’s just a red “X” on my screen. I have to get up. I have to get out of bed and get ready for work. There other days where it goes off and I don’t remember hitting snooze or hearing the alarm and I wake up late.

Sometimes we treat the Holy Spirit like a snooze alarm. He comes to warn us of approaching sin or danger and we push Him away. He comes right back telling us to run or change our course, but we don’t listen or we tell Him, “I’ll be all right. Just a few more minutes wont hurt.” Eventually, we quit hearing Him because we’ve become immune to the sound of His voice warning us.

There is a war going on inside each of us. The Holy Spirit is wanting us to live one way and our flesh another. We get to choose who we hit the snooze on. Paul put it this way in Galatians 5:16, “But I say, walk and live habitually in the Holy Spirit (responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit); then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh.” He asks us in verse 18, “Why don’t you choose to be led by the Spirit?”

The Holy Spirit is in our lives to point us to living the way God desires for us to live. His desire is to produce the kind of fruit in our lives that comes from living God’s way. Those fruit are listed in verses 22 and 23: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. Why would we ever want to push the snooze button when it comes to developing these? These are the qualities God desires to bring out in each one of us.

Paul also makes it clear what fruits come when we snooze the Holy Spirit and choose our flesh. In verses 19-21, some of the fruits he lists are: an accumulation of mental and emotional garbage, paranoid loneliness, all consuming yet never satisfied wants, a brutal temper, divided homes and divided lives and the habit of die personalizing everyone into a rival. These are the things that living according to the flesh produces. There is a clear difference between the two.

Understand that fruit is the end product. When the choices are presented, you don’t see the fruit that will bear from your decision. If you were presented with the end product, it would be easy to choose the Holy Spirit every time. That’s why Paul spelled it out this way. He knew we would see the choices before us and not think of what the end result would be. He knew our internal, fleshly desire is to snooze the Holy Spirit. When we look at the fruit that each choice bears, it should make our choice easier. Who are you going to snooze today?

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