Abundance: Bearing Fruit for Every Good Work: A Study of Galatians 5:22-23
Life is good when everything is going our way, isn’t it? But, is that really all we want-to be happy one day and discouraged the next? God has a better plan for our lives than you or I could ever imagine: an abundant life steeped in peace and abounding in joy. It starts with a change from within, and it’s found in The Fruit of the Spirit.
Galatians Chapter 5 dictates what fruit we should bear, and as we go through this study we look at each one in depth. We examine what it really means to love. We see how joy stems from within, and we discover that peace comes from trusting in God.
When we choose love over hate, peace over stress, kindness over anger, and joy over disappointment, we’re choosing a life of abundance that produces good fruit.
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The world should know that we’re Christians by our love, but the sad thing is that some days we’re not all that recognizable. Sure, they might see that we go to church, that we listen to worship music, that we carry our Bibles around in our purse, or that we homeschool our kids. But do they know that we are Christians by our love?
Jesus endured the cross because of His love for the Father, and He gave up His life because He loved us.
And so, the Bible tells us to love, but are we willing to take up our cross in order to do so? To take up our cross is to endure the afflictions that come with the cross.
JOY & PEACE
As long as we’re holding on to this world, we’re left disappointed time and again. People come and go, fortunes are won and lost, everything fades including our health, and when they go they take our happiness with them.
The Bible tells us that joy is a fruit of the Spirit. In other words, our joy comes from within, not without.
We talked about two aspects of peace in our study this week. One was peace from within, the other is peace with God made possible through the death and resurrection of Jesus. There’s a third aspect of peace that I wanted to talk about before we close this chapter, which is that of sowing peace.
WEEK 3 LONGSUFFERING
Difficult people don’t set the tone of our day. What they do is offer us an opportunity to respond with Christ-likeness. No one has or ever will exhibit longsuffering in the way that He did.
He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth…
Looking into our chapter this week, we read about Jesus feeding the 5,000 in Matthew Chapter 14. Turning the pages of our Bible, we see that He feeds another 4,000 in Matthew Chapter 15. Without a doubt, the kindness of God is unusual.
GOODNESS & FAITH
Goodness is a powerful force, in fact the Bible goes as far as to say that husbands can be won over without a word by their wives (1 Peter 3:1). What does that say to you? To me is says that behavior speaks volumes. The question is, what are we shouting? Are we proclaiming the goodness of God by the way that we live, or are we turning others away?
One of the toughest things we’ll ever do is fully trust God with our future, because it means that we’ll trust Him with the unknown. It means that we’re ready to step aside so that God can step up. It’s the best choice to make as we grow in our faith.
WEEK 5 – GENTLENESS
Gentleness is found in many forms such as meekness, humility, and lowliness of mind. These are all things that go against our natural desire to excel and be seen in this world. We are driven by a need to be right, to be in charge and to come first, and time and again, our flesh deceives us into thinking that settling for anything less is a sign of weakness.
What we see in the scriptures is a call for every believer to be gentle and kind,
And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth. (2 Timothy 2:24-25, NIV)