Reflections on “The Effect of the Fruit of the Spirit!” February 20, 2024

But the fruit of the Spirit is Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-control; against such things there is no law.  Galatians 5:22-23.

You and I were introduced to God’s Love before the foundation of the world. This scripture intrigues me.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love He predestined us for adoption to Himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace, with which He has blessed us in the Beloved. Ephesians 1:3-6.  Verses 7-10 of this chapter declares this is God’s Purpose, in order to unite all things in Him in Heaven and on Earth.

We often want to do what pleases us for the moment. We change our desire in the moments as the earth revolves on its axis, without checking His Word to see if it is God’s Will.

I often think about Jesus praying in the garden of Gethsemane. And going a little farther, He fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” Matthew 26:39. What a price Jesus paid to do what His Father wanted His Son to do, and oh the anguish in the heart of God to put His Son in the position to suffer and die on the cross to be the sacrifice for us. When we say God is Love, little do we understand how much God loves us.

 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this, the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him. I John 4:7-9.

When God asks us to do something, how do we answer? Do we say, Not now, I’m busy! How did Abraham answer God? After these things, God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” Genesis 22:1-3.

 How do we get to really know God? “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord, which I am commanding you today for your good?” Deuteronomy 10:12-13.

 Why is LOVE the first Fruit of the Spirit? But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things, there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23. Each characteristic is birthed by knowing God’s Love. Only by learning to obey God’s commandments can we truly walk with God. And what tangible characteristic does obedience bring to us?

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 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. John 15:9-11.

 What brings a great-grandmother Joy? I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. 3 John 1:4. No banner or medal in this world can compare with watching each generation that follows walking with the Lord and serving others. A medal or banner lasts only a lifetime, yet the Joy of Jesus lasts for eternity.

Jonah tried to run away from God. There is no hiding place on earth from God. God placed Esther in the King’s palace “for such a time as this?” to save the Jewish people. Apostle Paul and Silas, placed in prison, sang hymns to God, testifying to their faith.

 It takes Joy in a person’s heart to sing praise under those circumstances! And Jude wrote a Doxology: Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of His glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. Jude 1:24-25.

The third Fruit of the Spirit is Peace. When the quarreling swirls around us, there is no peace. This quality can only come through the love of Jesus. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” Matthew 5:9. Even the quality of sleep is enhanced by our Lord God. In peace, I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8.

Pictures in our minds are what we think, and this can disturb our peace. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8-9.

Who is the Prince of Peace? For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6. Where does this peace emanate from?

Peace, I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. John 14:27-28.