Fruit of the Spirit Study

Fruit of the Spirit Study

Jai God, Religion, Uncategorized

The sisters in my prayer group are some of the most insightful bunch of women I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and growing with! We started gathering on Facebook for the Lent season as a way of support and corporate prayer, but the Word was so good (and the communion amongst us) that we continued on … our latest study was the fruit of the Spirit from Galatians 5:22-23, and my sister, Mrs. Kim Ebony, was the leader of the pack during this study. Her commentary was so good I just had to share with you (with her permission of course)!!

— COMMENTARY BEGINS —

The Fruit of the Spirit by Kim Ebony

Day 1- CONNECTED

When disconnected from my Source, MY fruit is a flawed, anemic, malnourished product because it is limited in ability. Just a whole lot of FLESH!  In ORDER to produce the beautiful bounty of FRUIT that the SPIRIT of GOD produces, we must first BE CONNECTED TO THE VINE.  The HOLY SPIRIT is the xylem & phloem (water cleansing & nourishment/ teaching/ wisdom/ reproof) that we need to become what God has purposed/planted in us to be. When we are connected to the vine, all that is God can and will flow to and through us to produce actions that contain Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness & Self-Control.

Thank you Jesus that the Holy Spirit is with me forever! Thank you for petitioning on my behalf through the Love of God not to leave me to my own resources to produce fruit. Thank you for your Holy Word that continues to encourage our growth in You. Thank you for being the Vine, the trunk, the stabilizer and the Source of all that I am. AMEN

Day 2 (Love) & Day 3 (Joy) – CONNECTION

Nobody likes to toil! No one is “in” to strife! No woman is “in” to the pains of labor! No man is “in” to the pangs of manhood! Yet somehow in the darkest of times, after the fighting, rejecting, crying, snotting, and exhaustion of it all, there comes a push to “make it”, “finish it”, “excel beyond” or even just to “get over it!” That’s God’s Love in us. The fuel that stirs us to get off the bed- feed the baby; wash the clothes; talk with our burgeoning adults we call our kids/teens. The Source of our relationships fosters Love in us when we don’t feel like it and it seems most inconvenient. God’s promise to us was made in Him out of Love. This thought brings me a feeling of relief, insurance, assurance and glee that I cannot credit to my own acts…Joy! I love him because He Loves me! Love and Joy are Action-packed stimuli to keep on, keeping on!

So today, whatever your lot, acknowledge that the prompt to say “It is well with my soul” is the essence of His Fruit being made perfect in you…Love. In like manner, the relief and exuberance of the moment when your heart and mind hears your declaration, that is Joy! Our connection to the vine bears good fruit in ways we don’t deserve or can add to our merit. It is a 1-2 action packed infusion by God to help us grow.

God we thank you for Your Unfailing, Immutable Love that gives us great Joy moment by moment, day by day, and carries us from victory to victory.

Day 4 (Peace) & Day 5 (Patience) – PRUNING GROWTH

Peace Antonyms=Noise, Agitation, Distress, Conflict
Patience Antonyms=Hurry, Eager, Anxious, Desirous, Gung Ho, Wild, Hungry/Thirsty, Chomping at the Bit

(Cue violins & harps)

Here we are taking in the Love & Joy of our Vine and experiencing the beauty of salvation, right? Then, here comes those “devils” that have come to knock you off course… Peace & Patience! No?? But Yes! We plead the blood over them all the time, don’t we? That spouse, co-worker, church member, in-law, sibling or acquaintance that for some reason just “gets under our skin” or “makes” us want to take it to the street and lay our religion down. Those kids, bills, diseases, deaths, severances & transitions all work our nerves, I mean, WORKS Patience in us. As we get through them, we experience GROWTH!

Now…we are growing like wildfire because life does not take a doggone lunch break!

And while we are growing, KNOW that the Husbandman, who watches over us, SEES our growth BUT not all of our branches will lead us into a productive harvest. His Love for us exceeds so far beyond just ACCEPTING our growth “As Is”. He wants us to GROW AND PRODUCE GOOD FRUIT. Sooooo, we need to be PRUNED. We need God to clip away all of those “comfortable” behaviors that we call “our skin”, “just who I am” and “ME”. THIS IS PAINFUL, IRRITATING, ANNOYING AND “Downright Disrespectful!” but it has to be done!!!!!!

In our pruning times, we can literally feel God stretching us, tying us down and covering us. It sounds like “WHY God???; I can’t take it anymore!; or God, I need You, Where are You?!?!”

Peace has a TRUST factor!  It is an inner flow system used to assure you that God is in control. It assures us that God sees, knows and cares! When we are growing and become reliant on our OWN RESOURCES (our branches), we tend to forget about our SOURCE (the Vine). It can distract us from the utility of staying connected. When this occurs, we see the antonyms of peace taking place in our lives. In return, we exhibit the antonyms of patience.

Conversely, when we are pruned and redirected to our Vine as our Source, we still experience these antonyms yet somehow more positively. We sing songs out of our wellspring of Joy. “I’m thirsty for You; As the Deer; and Strength Like No Other”.

My sisters, whatever is working your nerves, I mean, patience know that God acknowledges your growth and believes in your potential! Be encouraged.

Day 6 (Kindness) & Day 7 (Goodness) – DNA

What’s in our blood?  What do you carry from situation to situation?  Okay, so we have the Water to cleanse us. The SON to shine His Light on us. We are growing and being pruned for a more productive harvest. Let’s talk about our nourishment… Kindness & Goodness. These are the elements that flow through Love and allow us to resemble the Vine. Like our DNA. They determine how much we look like God, operate in the Holy Spirit and sound just like our big brother Jesus. It’s the epitome of “WWJD (What Would Jesus Do)?”

Thank you Lord, for feeding me what I need to look, sound and be like You. Less of me, More of You, is what I need. Thank you for the nutrients/DNA that flow through Your Love. Thank you for Kindness that CARES FORWARD, and Goodness that HAS MY BACK. Everything I have, need and will become directly flows from You to me, even HOW I am to be. I’m grateful.

Day 8 (Faithfulness) – BEARING PRODUCE

“The fullness of God’s purpose for each of us comes when our faith propels us to offer up our lives for the glory of the Kingdom. Not later, when we feel more qualified or can see just where He’s leading us—but right now, just as we are.”

I am a promise
I am a possibility
I am a promise with a capital “P”
I am a great big bundle of potentiality
And I am learnin’ to hear God’s voice
And I am tryin’ to make the right choice
I am a promise to be anything God wants me to be.

I can go anywhere that He wants me to go
I can be anything He wants me to be
I can climb the high mountains
I can cross the wide sea
I’m a great big promise you see!

I am a promise
I am a possibility
I am a promise with a capital “P”
I am a great big bundle of potentiality
And I am learnin’ to hear God’s voice
And I am tryin’ to make the right choice
I’m a promise to be anything God wants me to be
Anything God wants me to be!

Day 9 (Gentleness) – FLESH/THE GOOD STUFF

Knock on it, sniff it, check the surface, squeeze it, check the color, test the weight…these are all the things we do to check what’s inside of the fruit; check out the flesh. Some may even taste test a grape or two right on the spot.  Gentleness is a tough one for many of us because we are not always sure of how it looks or may be tested, for that matter. Gentleness must weather the rigorous testing of what’s inside of us, “strength under control”. You see, gentleness, has to be engaging enough to entice but strong enough to protect what’s on the inside, the seed(s).

So my sisters, take heart and take courage that your gentleness is protecting what God has placed inside of you. It’s that drawing power that Jesus talked about when he said “Come unto me all you who are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” It’s the palatable substance that causes the impromptu therapy sessions in the car, grocery store, the job, etc. Gentleness beckons us all to “taste and see that the Lord is good.”  So, toss out that raisiny pruned up idea you had about just what it means to be like Him. Gentleness is the good stuff!!!

Day 10 (Self-Control) – SKIN/SHELL

We toss them, chop them up, place them in vinegar, grate them, eat them, most often never think about them…The skin. For a minute, let’s take a moment to recognize the importance of the skin that houses all that good stuff in a fruit.

This thing that has labored through all the changes, transitions, growth spurts, and toiling has somehow managed to keep the fruit intact, presentable and good to eat. It has its own set of healing powers, nutritional properties. It is defensive and offensive all at the same time. It has a job to do! It has a standard to meet! It has a demanding timeline (a season). It can give off a scent, and when pressed, produces valuable oil.

The skin is really the glory of the vine. It is the reward of the husbandman for his diligence. It is a sign to all that through it all, you made it IN TACT. It carries the weight. When it is mishandled or malnourished, it shows the signs. Unfortunately, we tend to notice it more when it does not meet our expectations to always be “ON”.

Self-Control is the “real” skin you’re in and it brings direct Glory to our Vine. It is the reward of the Husbandman. It shows the world that we’ve taken the time to be pruned, stretched, managed and we have weathered through all of these changes, intact. We have teamed with Gentleness & Goodness to protect the seed inside or attached to us (like the strawberry).  Today, Celebrate the tenacity of Self-Control in you and applaud its Divine Purpose.

Day 11 – QUALITY CONTROL

“I am the vine; you are the branches.  If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5, NIV

Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness. Goodness. Faithfulness. Gentleness. Self-control.

Closing thoughts… I fervently believe that all of these are COMPONENTS of what is classified as “good fruit”.  I believe God designates the TYPE of fruit that we are and what we are designed to operate in/bear seed.  No matter the classification, you are to utilize your connection to the Vine to possess all of these components in your product.

I have enjoyed this reading plan, and sharing my discoveries. I am grateful for this SAFE & INTIMATE space where we can journey on the road of Salvation together.

— END COMMENTARY —

That Kim know she preached that thang and I was so blessed each and every day from each and every post. When we stop trying to bear our own fruit is when God steps in and bears it within us. We can stop trying and only disappointing ourselves more. We must rely on God’s spirit in order to walk in the fruit (not many but only one) of His Spirit. Just knowing that I can’t do it removes the heavy weight upon my shoulders! Jesus, take the wheel.

4 Comments

Kim Ebony June 4, 2015 at 7:22 pm

This is a TREMENDOUS HONOR. I am so glad God decided to let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in His Sight. #MyRedeemer #ThankYouJamie

Reply

EmileeOPafel July 13, 2015 at 8:58 am

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