Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a
life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. ~Romans
have been doing what I call a Bible Scripture Study of the 9 Fruits of
I call it a scripture study, and not just a Bible study, because we are hunting through various scriptures to see what they have to say about the different Fruits of the Spirit.
We began our study in Lesson 1 by discovering why God gives us this spiritual fruit.
In Lesson 2, we searched through God's Word for what He tells us about Love, Joy, and Peace. In this lesson, we will continue our Bible scripture study by looking at the spiritual fruits of Patient Endurance, Christian Kindness, and Goodness.
on what translation you are using for your Bible scripture study, you
will read several
different words used to describe this one Fruit of the Holy Spirit.
In the King James version, it's translated as long-suffering. The Message Bible calls it a "willingness to stick with things." And, the Amplified Bible says that this Fruit is manifested when the Holy Spirit gives you an even temper, and something called forbearance.
Dictionary.com says that forbearance is patient endurance! This simply means that the Holy Spirit will give you the ability to endure trials and tribulations, as you patiently watch for your victory.
Consider it wholly joyful, my
whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort
or fall into various temptations.
Be assured and understand that
the trial and proving of your faith bring out
endurance and steadfastness and patience.
But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play
and do a thorough work,
so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed
[with no defects], lacking in nothing.
-James 1:2-4 (AMP)
Why can you patiently endure trials and tribulations?
Because you know that God's Word will always prevail in His
Notice what God is telling you through this scripture. He says that trials are only an opportunity for you to prove your faith in His promises. Do you believe what you see in front of your eyes, or do you believe what the Word of God says about your situation?
Anyone can believe God's promises for healing when they aren't sick. But what happens when they get a bad report from the doctor, and 6 months have passed with no improvement. Where is their faith then?
A trial is your chance to prove to yourself, your God, and the world, that you really do believe!
It is amazing that God says we should let patience and endurance complete their work in us. He tells us that they are what will really make us "fully developed" (James 1:4 AMP).
As I explain in our "Patient Expectancy" lesson of the Fruits of the Holy Spirit Online Bible Class, Patiently waiting on God with expectancy in your heart brings about spiritual maturity. That is why allowing this Fruit of the Holy Spirit to begin growing inside of you is so necessary.
been told to "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" since
we were 3 years old. So, sometimes we can take the idea of
kindness for granted.
But, when we do a Bible scripture study on kindness, we find out the emphasis that our Heavenly Father really puts on just being nice.
God tells us that, since He has chosen us to be His children that He loves, we have a responsibility to clothe ourselves in tenderhearted mercy and kindness (Colossians 3:12 NLT).
I mention mercy together with kindness, because they are so interconnected. You may consider yourself to be kind, but can your kindness pass the ultimate test? Can you show the mercy of God to those around you, or do you still need to learn how to forgive those that trespass against you?
Proverbs, known as the book of wisdom, holds some wisdom for us regarding kindness. We are told that there is actually a reward for being kind.
If you do this, you will live
and your life will be satisfying.
Never let loyalty and kindness leave you!
Tie them around your neck as a reminder.
Write them deep within your heart.
Then you will find favor with both God and people,
and you will earn a good reputation.
-Proverbs 3:2-4 (NLT)
I've heard many Christians confessing the end of this scripture - "I
have favor with God and man." But, as I have said before,
God works in covenant promises. If you are not doing your
part of the promise, you can not expect to walk in the provision.
Yes, we all want to live many years and have our lives be satisfying. We want to have favor with God and with people. But, have we hung kindness and loyalty around our necks as reminders to always walk in them?
That is where the Holy Spirit comes in. It is there to help you to be kind to people who do not deserve your kindness anymore than you deserve the kindness of a Holy God.
As you grow in the area of kindness through God's Spirit, you will be surprised how many people you begin to draw to God. Becoming a representative of His mercy and kindness here on the earth allows you to be a reflection of God's unconditional love.
Let the world see the love of God through your kindness.
For once you were darkness,
but now you are light in the
walk as children of Light...
For the fruit...of the Light
or the Spirit
[consists] in every form of
uprightness of heart,
and trueness of life.
-Ephesians 5:8-9 (AMP)
Of course, God's Word can explain the true heart of goodness better
than I ever could. And I truly believe that it does in that
This Fruit of "the Light or the Spirit," as God puts it in this scripture, is being kind, having a heart for righteousness, and living a life that is true and dedicated to the source of truth - The Lord.
What makes a person good? Sometimes religion can get us to focus on lots of little rules and regulations. We get distracted by denominations, or even things that amount to no more than rituals.
But, God is looking at your heart. And He is looking at your life. Is it full of goodness?
The Kingdom of God is not a
matter of what we eat or drink,
but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
-Romans 14:15 (NLT)
Those should be the things that we focus our energies on. Because those are the things that matter to God.
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