Fruit of the Spirit Peace–Various Verses

The next fruit of the Spirit is Peace.  While Love is a picture of Our Lord, and Joy is an evident sign of His presence in our lives, Peace is the fruit that is in most demand and the hardest to acquire outside a humble faith in God.  We live in a world of chaos and discord.  There is truly no peace among men.  Throughout God’s word, God gave peace to His people no matter what the circumstances were at the time.  

Peace allows us to thrive no matter what else is going on.  No amount of success, power, or wealth can replace the sense of peace granted by the Lord.  The same holds true in nature.  We travel thousands of miles to escape the turmoil of daily life and rest by a quiet shore or out in the open woods.  In those places there is a peace and calm that wipes away the stress of our lives and for a brief moment models the peace of God.

As we look at this fruit of the Spirit, we can look at the world around us and know that peace comes from God and not from anything this world has to offer. Then we need to look in our lives and lay on the alter everything that stands between us and God’s peace for our lives.

God Bless You

Numbers 6:24-26

The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you

and give you peace.

John 16:33

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

Philippians 4:6-7

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

2 Thessalonians 3:16

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.

Psalm 26:3

You will keep in perfect peace

those whose minds are steadfast,
because they trust in you.

Joy-The Fruit of Unity and Selflessness–Various Verses

When we finally come to a place where we are actively following the Lord, we begin to understand the meaningless waste of time that comes from needing to be right, to see ourselves as the center of the universe, and to have our own way.  Suddenly, we begin to understand that selflessness and unity are much more fulfilling than the pride of being right or being “on our own”. 

God teaches us to make ourselves the least important and to live a life of unity.  There is strength in unity.  We all do better when we are together.  Covid has taught us that being separated and isolated has so many detrimental implications that as a cure, it is often more devastating than the illness.  

God speaks clearly on the subject. We know that the joy of the Lord brings strength and unity of faith. God’s purpose brings joy.  So, God’s word reminds us again and again to live lives that are selfless and unified with the brotherhood of believers.  When we live in unity, we can draw upon each other’s strength, we can lift each other up in prayer, and we can leverage the gifts that God has given us to compliment those around us.

There is no doubt that unity and selflessness bring joy to God and to us.  If we will seek God and seek unity of Spirit, we can rest assured that God Himself will give us Joy and make that joy complete.

God Bless You

Psalm 133:1 NIV

1 How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!

2 Corinthians 13:11 NIV

11 Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.

Philippians 2:2 NIV

2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.

Romans 12:4-5 NIV

4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.

Rejoicing in the Lord–Romans 5 and Philippians 4

Romans 5 tells us that our joy comes primarily from selling out to Christ, allowing Him to cleanse us of our sin, remaining committed to Him in Good and bad times and trusting Him to provide His Joy all the days of our lives.  We can never underestimate the value of surrendering who we are to God and then allowing Him the freedom to make us into the person He called us to be. 

 As we allow the Father unbridled access to our lives, He transforms us into His image and prepares us for an eternity with Him.  In that process, we learn to hold on to things loosely.  We do not know what God has planned, but we do know He has a plan for us.  We can also be confident that like any good father, God will not turn our trust into some evil thing.  Instead He will lead us to a great life and a great end.

Additionally, we understand that we are to rejoice in the Lord always.  God does call us to trust and follow sometimes, but all the time.  As we trust and follow Him all the time, in turn, His hope and joy are also present all the time.  When Paul wrote His letter to the Philippians, He was living a very difficult life and anticipating his end.  Still, during that, Paul told the Philippians to rejoice, to be prayerful, content, and to trust God to meet their needs. Philippians 4.

Let us be cleansed, confident, committed and content in our Lord.  If we do that, God will allow us to walk in Joy until His return.  

God Bless You

Romans 5

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we[a] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we[b] boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we[c] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

             Philippians 4

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus…

 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

 19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

Fruit of the Spirit Joy–Accessorized by Completeness

When the Bible speaks of Joy it is often accompanied by the term complete. That is no coincidence.  As the word has made clear, Joy comes from the Spirit and is not tied to circumstance.  In fact, As Jesus’ brother James expressed, we should count it PURE joy when we encounter trials of various kinds.  It is those trials that act as our training, our spiritual fitness guides, ultimately the very way we are made complete in Christ.

Paul reiterates that in his letter to the Philippians.  He knows his trials has allowed the Gospel to be spread and the Brothers in Christ to preach boldly.  It is joy and completeness born out in the spreading of the Good news.  

But the talks of joy also define David in Psalm 16.  David sings God praise because God has carried him through all things.  God is His source of joy and has made His joy and life complete.  David saw that Joy and completeness because he trusted and followed the lord.  It is not a fleeting emotion, joy is a way of life granted by God and invaluable as a tool in our walk of faith and ministry to others.

We can never underestimate Joy’s power in our lives.  We must cling to it as we experience the daily challenges of walking with God in our world.  God will never leave or forsake us, but He will allow us to experience the same rigorous challenges that He allowed David, Paul, and James.  We face these days, knowing that God will complete us in His time and in His way.

God Bless You

James 1

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 

Philippians 1

12 Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters,[b] that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. 13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard[c] and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. 14 And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.

Psalm 16

Keep me safe, my God,
    for in you I take refuge.

I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
    apart from you I have no good thing.”
I say of the holy people who are in the land,
    “They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.”
Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more.
    I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods
    or take up their names on my lips.

Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
    you make my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
    surely I have a delightful inheritance.
I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
    even at night my heart instructs me.
I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
    With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
    my body also will rest secure,
10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
    nor will you let your faithful[b] one see decay.
11 You make known to me the path of life;
    you will fill me with joy in your presence,
    with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

Fruit of the Spirit, Joy–the Joy of Abiding in Christ

I have seen it in God’s word so many times, abide with God and you will have complete Joy.  Still, after following God for over 50 years, I can spend days trying to do enough to obtain God’s favor and think my actions would merit a new level of Joy.  Sadly, that simply is not so.

God recognized that we are simply unable to live a sin free life on our own.  What is more, We are never going to perform enough feats or complete enough tasks to somehow make up for our sin and separation from God. 

The sacrifice Christ made on our behalf, and his resurrection to restore the ability for us to have a relationship with God, allowed men the ability to experience the joy of once again being in God’s presence.  If we do as Peter describes, and trust God to come into our lives and forgive and fulfill us; then we will experience the inexpressible and glorious joy Peter mentions in1 Peter1:8-9.

Then as we abide in Christ, allowing Him to transform us into His image, we will have a complete joy.  Paul promised us in Philippians 1:5 That He who began a good work in you–the Spirit of God, will carry it to completion until the day of Christ’s return.  That sanctification, the ongoing process of salvation, will allow us to abide with God and experience the joy that comes with that.  That promise is our hope in this life.  That hope, in turn, is the very source of our Joy–the true fruit of the Lord’s Spirit in our lives.

God Bless You

1 Peter 1:8-9 

Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

John 15:9-11

9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

Psalm 16:11

“You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”

Romans 15:13

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Romans 12:12

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

The Fruit of The Spirit–An Introduction

Welcome back to the walk through the Fruit of the Spirit.  In no uncertain terms, Love as a fruit of the Spirit is a God honoring and defining fruit.  When one shows unconditional love, it is the closest that person comes to emulating God. 

The second listed fruit is Joy.  Joy is the soul-filling and enriching fruit God uses to keep us moving forward in our walk with Him.  Joy is not “happiness”. 

Happiness is a circumstance-based emotion.  We “feel” happy when circumstances bring that emotion forward.  Happiness is an important emotion.  Happiness keeps us young and allows us to walk through life with less fear and stress.  

Joy, however, is a different thing entirely. Joy comes from our relationship with the Lord and is distributed to us through God’s power.  Throughout the Word of God, prophets, priests, and apostles speak of Joy as a gift from God’s Spirit that provides completeness and strength.  It is better than riches, wine, or feasts as those things are temporal and can disappear in a moment. 

Conversely, Joy comes from the Lord and is a part of us that lasts through all of Life’s seasons. When we cling to the Lord, His Joy explodes in us to make us complete and able to face whatever circumstance with hope and confidence that God Himself will prepare, protect, and provide for His Chosen.  It is a fruit that is ever present and almost a permanent label of who and Whose we are in Christ.

This week as we look at Joy, we can rest in the confidence that as His own, God wants us to experience and be filled with His Joy!

God Bless You

Galatians 5:22-23

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

1 Peter 1:8

Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory.

Psalm 16:11

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.Romans 14:17For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Psalm 16:8-9

I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore, my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure.

John 15:10-11

If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

Nehemiah 8:10

Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Psalm 4:6-7

There are many who say, “Who will show us some good? Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord!” You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.

Mark 12–The Fruit of the Spirit Love, God’s Greatest Command

Throughout Jesus’ ministry, He modeled and taught us how to live the life that God intended for us.  His primary goal was to show men the real nature of God and how God’s design and plan for men would bring life.  As Jesus’ ministry grew, the religious leadership tried time and again to prove the Lord was evil or at least deluded.  They plotted and planned on ways to trip Jesus up.  In this passage, a teacher of the law was ready for a debate. 

He asked Jesus to tell Him what the greatest command from God was.  Jesus was blunt, quick, and clear.  Love God and Love others.  It left the teacher with no argument and ultimately ceased the religious teacher’s attempts to trick Jesus.  The command is the most freeing command in the Bible.

If we will love God selflessly, live a life devoted to Him we will not be tempted to follow other gods.  We will be content in what we have and where God has placed us.  We will not seek ways to be independent of the Lord or to “Help God Out!”  We will focus on how we may serve God and not on how God can serve us.

Additionally, if we love others the way we love and care for ourselves, we will not become selfish, bitter, or lonely.  Our attention will be on selfless pursuits, which in turn will free God to meet our needs and lead us by His spirit.  Love is a tremendous fruit of the spirit.  It supersedes all others and is the heart of God’s greatest commands.  Help me Lord to live a life of Love for You.

God Bless You

28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” 29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[5] 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[6] 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[7]There is no commandment greater than these.” 32 “Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. 33 To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 34 When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.


Various Verses–Fruit of the Spirit Love Played Out in Our Lives

In America, the word Love is so overused that we can lose sight of its import to our lives.  As a fruit of the Spirit, Love is the single most important fruit that we can display.  Paul made it clear in 1 Corinthians 13 that we cannot worship, serve, or give without Love.  Those intimate acts done apart from love are worthless and useless,  God’s word also reminds us throughout that we are to live a life filled with Love for God and for others.  Love must be the binder that holds our lives and our ministry together.

We love because God first loved us.  It is not some trait we make up or develop.  We simply need to model the behavior God modeled for us.  When we look at how God did that, We see Hs plan after the fall.  His continued patience with men, despite their sinful lives.  His building of Israel as a people despite their constant rebellion and disregard for Him.  His love of David despite his many failings.  We have a great picture of what love looks like. The clearest, however, is Christ’s sacrifice for us.  That single act restored our ability to love as God has loved us.

We need to walk in that selfless and sacrificial mindset as we live a life of love.  We understand that people will disappoint us, and we will disappoint others.  Still even in that, Love will cover a multitude of sin.  If we will trust and follow God, He Himself will perfect a life of love within us.  We can love and praise God for all He accomplishes in our lives; and we can love others knowing it is the greatest way to show the fruit of God’s Spirit inn our lives!

God Bless You

1 Corinthians 13:1-4–If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 

3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Psalm 143:8–Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
for to you I entrust my life.

Colossians 3:14–And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Proverbs 3:3-4–Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
Then you will win favor and a good name
in the sight of God and man.

1John 4:16–And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.

1 John 4:18–There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

1John 4:19–We love because He first loved us.

1 Peter 4:18–Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

I Corinthians 13–The Fruit of the Spirit, Love

It is only appropriate that the 1st manifestation of the fruit of the spirit is Love.  Jesus told the Rabbi, Nicodemus, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son,  That whoever would believe in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16. Love is truly God’s signature. 

God loved HIs people, He dealt with their many frailties and never abandoned them.  He took the least likely people and scenarios and used them to make Israel a great nation.  He prepared them to become a nation of priests so that they could share His love with the rest of the world.

Then, He became flesh. God walked on earth and in 3 short years turned it upside down.  He took away sin’s barrier and opened a way for men to be in relationship with Him.  As, Paul said,  “Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, or free; but Christ is all, and in all..” Colossians 3:11  God’s love for people transcended all barriers and opened a door for us to have a personal and love relationship with Him.

So, when we, as His chosen, demonstrate the fruit of His Spirit, it is only appropriate that we too demonstrate love. We love God, We love others, and we love the journey the Lord has set before us. As we walk in the Love of God, we cannot help but demonstrate the remainder of the fruit if the Spirit. Thanks Lord, for loving us.

God Bless You

f I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[b] it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends.

Galatians 5–The Fruit of the Spirit

It is the age-old battle.  Do I try to do this life on my own, or do I allow God to reign in my life and lead my steps.  The battle rages daily and some days the Lord wins, while on the other days, sadly we both lose.  See, when one is running independent of God, like any wayward child, the pain of bad choices is felt very heavily by the Father.  

Holy Bible open to Galatians 5. Focus on verse 22.

It is obvious when we are walking with God.  Our life shows certain traits.  The Fruit of the Spirit.  Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.  Each of the traits are counter to the culture’s leanings.  Everything in our culture says look out for yourself, that does not lend itself to love, or joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness or self-control.  

So, as we walk with God, He provides the guidance and the strength to step outside the culture and live selfless lives.  The crazy part of it is when one allows the spirit to control his/her life, the selflessness, the God-centered mindset brings a quality of life and richness that the worldly life will never provide.  For the next several days, we are going to look at the fruit of the spirit. How each particular manifestation provides a different context to his life.  For now, it is simply a matter of trust that allows the spirit to work in our lives.  As we see these fruit in our lives, it will give us more confidence that Christ does provide a full and meaningful life.

God Bless You

13 You, my brothers, and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh[a]; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[b] 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever[c] you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

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