“Wherefore by their fruits you will know them” (Matthew 7:20). Their fruits? What is this fruit? Galatians 5:22–23 gives us the answer: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law." The Fruit of the Spirit, then, is the true character of the Christian life that replaces the self-life, or old man, as the Scriptures label our sin nature (Ephesians 4:22-24). The result will be that you will fulfill the intended purpose of the Law – loving God and man (Galatians 5:23).
The first three of the Fruit – love, joy, and peace are primarily inner virtues. The next three virtues – longsuffering, gentleness, and goodness deal more with social situations; best expressed in our relations with others. The last three virtues – faith, meekness, and temperance are all linked to one’s personal discipline.
Jesus taught His disciples they could only be fruitful as a direct result of abiding in Him; a relationship that is carefully nurtured. Jesus explained how He would make it possible for them to abide in Him and bear the same Fruit. He would send the Holy Spirit after His death—the mind and power of God—to abide in them and guide them (John 16:5-7; John 14:26). The Holy Spirit is the Christ-life within you that produces the Fruit of godly character in you.
This month we will concentrate on: “But the fruit of the Spirit is Joy – Gladness not based on circumstances”
JOY is more than happiness. It is not based on financial success, good health, or popularity. It is not the joy that comes from earthly things, nor from triumphing over someone else in competition. Neither is Joy temporary or based on conditions that are happening at the time.
Joy is a deep and abiding inner rejoicing which was promised to those who abide in Christ (John 15:11). Joy is an inner joy that defies circumstances because it rests in God’s sovereign control of all things (Romans 8:28). Joy is the inward stability that God through Jesus Christ has already worked it out on your behalf (Hebrews 12:2). Joy is having God as your source!
In order to bear good Fruit, you must first join your life to Jesus Christ (John 14:6). In order to join your life to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, you must believe in Him and receive His offer of forgiveness (1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Romans 10:9-10).
You can use the following prayer or your own words: Lord Jesus, I believe You are truly the Son of God, who came in the flesh. I believe You died for me and that Your blood pays for my sins and your resurrection provides me with the gift of eternal life. I receive You as my personal Savior and Lord. Thank You for saving me. Help me to live a life that is pleasing to You. Amen.
The tendency to sin remains part of the human experience, but as a Believer, you have been set free from sin’s power over you and no longer have to give into it (Romans 6). Willingly turn from your sins and nail your natural evil desires to the cross, how, by daily confessing your sins (1 John 1:9), committing your sinful tendencies to God’s control (Philippians 2:13), crucifying them, and moment by moment drawing on the Holy Spirit’s power to overcome them (Galatians 2:20; 5:24; 6:14).
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