The frustrating difficulty of kindness – Fruit of the Spirit: Kindness, Preview

“Just be kind!”  I can’t tell you how many times those three words have been uttered inside my house.  The reason why we have said those words so often over the years is because people in my house are not treating each other with kindness.  Usually this bad behavior is the outflow of sibling rivalryContinue reading “The frustrating difficulty of kindness – Fruit of the Spirit: Kindness, Preview”

Forgiveness as necessary for patience – Fruit of the Spirit: Patience, Part 5

As we walk in step with the Spirit, we will have the Spirit’s empowerment to live patiently.  That means we will be patient with others. In 1 Thessalonians 5:14 Paul writes, “[W]e urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone.” Wait, Paul…everyone? What Paul isContinue reading “Forgiveness as necessary for patience – Fruit of the Spirit: Patience, Part 5”

How to grow patience – Fruit of the Spirit: Patience, Part 3

What does growing patience look like? In Proverbs 19:11 we read that “A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.”  Patience is rooted in wisdom.  Proverbs are illustrations of what is a wise course of action almost all the time.  There will be exceptions to the rule whenContinue reading “How to grow patience – Fruit of the Spirit: Patience, Part 3”

Better to be a late bloomer, than a flash in the pan – Fruit of the Spirit: Patience, Part 1

I recently started using my phone to pay at the store. At the checkout, all you have to do is double tap on your phone’s fingerprint sensor, hold the phone up to the credit card reader, wait a second for the lights to flash green, and you’re done. The receipt comes flying out of theContinue reading “Better to be a late bloomer, than a flash in the pan – Fruit of the Spirit: Patience, Part 1”

Joy is a choice and a strength – Fruit of the Spirit: Joy, Part 3

Many Christians might wonder, “But what if I don’t feel joy?  Does that mean the Spirit hasn’t given this gift to me?”  Remember that being led by the Spirit requires action.  It is not a series of characteristics that he magically gives to us.  While the Spirit does work in, we also cultivate joy, weContinue reading “Joy is a choice and a strength – Fruit of the Spirit: Joy, Part 3”

Is there a difference between joy and happiness – Fruit of the Spirit: Joy, Part 2

What is joy?       When the writers of the New Testament wrote about joy, such as in Galatians 5:22-23, when Paul wrote about the Fruit of the Spirit, he used the Greek word kara. That’s right, the women’s name Kara is the Greek word for joy.  The people who study words tell us thisContinue reading “Is there a difference between joy and happiness – Fruit of the Spirit: Joy, Part 2”

When “rejoice always” sounds impossible – Fruit of the Spirit: Joy, Part 1

I once read the following quote:  “There are lots of reasons people cite for their loss of interest in faith, but one of the main reasons I have often heard stems from the perception that God’s people are boring, sad, anxious, narrow.  One person said: ‘I just think that life should be joyful; and manyContinue reading “When “rejoice always” sounds impossible – Fruit of the Spirit: Joy, Part 1″

God loves you like Beauty and the Beast, so you can love like that too – Fruit of the Spirit: Love, Part 5

In addition to the word agape, the Greeks had another word for love, phileo, which is defined as “brotherly love.” For example in Romans 12:10, Paul uses phileo when he writes, “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.” What does brotherly love look like?  Brotherly love is sacrificial, the willingness to lay one’s lifeContinue reading “God loves you like Beauty and the Beast, so you can love like that too – Fruit of the Spirit: Love, Part 5”

How can you love others if you don’t love yourself? – Fruit of the Spirit: Love, Part 4

This week we’ve been learning about the first quality in the Galatians 5 list called “The Fruit of the Spirit.” That first quality is love. But there is a roadblock to love, and the roadblock can be deep within us. There is a story in the Gospel of Matthew when Jesus said that the twoContinue reading “How can you love others if you don’t love yourself? – Fruit of the Spirit: Love, Part 4”

“Agape” love is hard work? – Fruit of the Spirit: Love, Part 3

In the previous post, I mentioned that, Paul, the guy who wrote about the Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23, used the Greek word, agape, when he was referring to love. What is unique about agape love? Paul describes it much more in-depth in 1 Corinthians 13, which is often called “The Bible’s LoveContinue reading ““Agape” love is hard work? – Fruit of the Spirit: Love, Part 3″