Love, Joy, & Peace: The First Three Fruits 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

I have heard this verse many times throughout my life, each and every time it was just a verse. It had no special meaning, because I did not understand it. Honestly, until I really committed to strengthening my relationship with Christ in the last year, there were a lot of verses that sounded pretty but never held any substance to me.

I am currently lacking in the knowledge and spiritual growth that comes with years of studying, practicing, and prayer. I write this blog as someone who is growing everyday in my faith. I write about subjects in real time. If I write about it, chances are I am going through it and I know it, or I am about to face it and God has put it on my heart to study it to prepare me for what is coming up. Just in this month alone, I have experienced both circumstances.

I have a little jar in my house for every time I have a question concerning the Bible, a spiritual battle I am facing, or a Faith related subject that I feel needs to be addressed more pops up in my head. When this happens, I write it on a little piece of paper and throw it in the jar. This jar comes in handy for the times I have a blog coming up and I do not have a subject already set on my heart. I say a little prayer and I ask God “What do you need me to do to spread your message today?” He is very good about letting me know. Sometimes, I will suddenly remember someone or something or I will hear nothing. When I hear nothing, I place my hand in the jar and pull out a piece of paper.

Which is exactly what I did this time.

This was my result…

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But then I thought, how could I just speak on the Fruit of the Spirit I struggle with most if maybe you, reader, do not know much about them either?

I didn’t truly learn about the Fruits of the Spirit until recently when I started to notice changes within myself. For example, I have never been much of a dog person. I mean, I love them and all but I never had the patience for one. But when Cole and I got married, that meant I married his Corgi as well. Early on I was quick to lose my patience, I didn’t want all the hassle that came along with having a dog. However, the closer I became to God the more my patience grew. I mean it grew in all aspects of my life. It took more to get under my skin in general. If you know me now, you know Duke, our Corgi is my best friend and if you can’t find me, that is probably because we are cuddled up in bed napping.

 

Even though it took me much longer to make the connection between my relationship with Christ and these changes within myself, it was my patience with Duke that first made me realize there WAS a change in me.

What are the Fruits of the Spirit? 

The Fruits of the Spirit are the nine attributes of a Christian, nine great qualities that come with the Holy Spirit.

 “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17

The Nine Attributes are Love, Joy, Peace, Patience (Long Suffering), Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control. Today I will talk about the first three.

LOVE

The first thing we have to remember about Love is that love is not always a feeling, but always a choice. Everyone is made so differently with different personalities, like or dislikes, and some people can just be so unkind or cruel. Because of this it is nearly impossible to feel that lovey feeling towards them, but it is completely possible to make sure you SHOW LOVE with your actions. Choose kindness. Choose to sacrifice for the good of others. Putting personal feelings aside and choosing to put someone above ourselves…that is love.

“In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome,” 1 John 5:3

“But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.” Luke 6:35

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13

JOY

Personally, Joy is the easiest to experience but the hardest to explain. Joy is valuing God’s hand in everything. It is having the confidence in all that God has offered, rejoicing when he works through and for others. Joy may be a choice but joy is also a feeling. Although all 9 attributes work together to create the light within you that others recognize as Christ, I feel like Joy works just a little harder than the rest to make that light shine brighter.

“The fullness of joy comes to those who continue in the love of Christ and obey Him.” John 15:11

“You will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” Psalm 16:11

PEACE

I could easily explain the side of peace that is so readily talked about. When someone hears the word peace as it relates to the Bible, their minds immediately go to Christ as the Prince of Peace or the instruction to turn the other cheek when referring to conflict. Although both are true. Peace as a Fruit of the Spirit relates more to the peace within you.

Do the righteous have faith or do they have anxiety on what is to come?

Do they face the future with confidence, or recoil in fear?

The Righteous choose faith and confidence in their Lord, and with that comes Peace.

“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:1

“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” Isaiah 26:3

I have chosen today to focus solely on the first three Fruits because my hope is to lead others to Christ and if I am doing that I want to teach in the best manner I know how. Everything I learned concerning God while growing up was a summed up version. “Read it once, got it done, that’s it.” This same thing rings true for many people out there. You have to make the personal decision to sit down and devote time to the Word and in prayer. It is a personal decision if you want to truly learn. My goal is to give you enough information that it makes you want to research a little more to study for yourself, for you to also have the chance to meditate over it for a few days before we continue on with a new or continuing subject.

Friday I will write about Patience, Kindness, and Goodness. Then, Monday I will finish up with Faithfulness, Gentleness, and the hardest one for me….Self-Control.

If you or someone you know has anything you would like to add, please let me know! I encourage advice/thoughts/opinions from all others! You can leave a comment below or email me at I4CLifestyle@gmail.com

Have a blessed day,

Johnna Signature transparent

 

 

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