The Fruit of The Spirit Challenge is a SEVEN day challenge or buffet. We will read our foundation scripture Galatians 5:22-23 daily, and study a specific Fruit for each day with relevant scriptures.
The plan for each day is here. The #FOSChallenge is not just about reading, I would love for us to share our understanding of what we have read with each other, so as you read, please hash-tag #FOSChallenge if you have twitter. In addition, either paste your notes for each day/Fruit of The Spirit, or a summary in the form below or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org with your and I will put it up on this blog page!
Galatians 5 will get a lot of us IN CHECK. We’re quick to say that we’re born again and have the Holy Spirit. But we don’t produce the fruit that reflects the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. We claim to be transformed…let the fruits speak for themselves in our lives. Let’s learn about these amazing fruits.‘My people perish for lack of knowledge’ (Hosea 4:6).
A lot of us are perishing in the spirit and need to head to the A & E which is the Bible – God’s word! It’s time to change– let us forsake the fruits of the flesh so we can have a buffet on the Fruit of the Spirit.
Points that I haven’t touched on in my summary are covered in everyone else’s contributions, OR I have purposely left out to encourage you guys to touch on!
Bible Challenge MOTTO: The Bible is JUICY. The Bible is LIFE. The Bible is for YOU!
Today’s Fruits are JOY & PEACE
Scriptures to read today:
- James 1:2-3,
- Romans 14:17-18,
- John 16:22,
- Matthew 5:9,
- John 14:27,
- Philippians 4:6-7
- Word for today (Fearful spirit – what peace isn’t) – See Below
- Read the scriptures assigned to each day/fruit.
- Pick two/three scriptures as your ‘favorites’…or even ADD relevant scriptures.
- Explain why they are your ‘favorites’ and how you can apply it to your everyday life!
- Share your thoughts with everyone.
- Manifest that fruit today!
Word for Today: A Fearful Spirit
‘They came to Him…saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!”…’ – Luke 8:24
The Bible says: ‘…He got into a boat with His disciples. And He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side of the lake.” And they launched out. But as they sailed, He fell asleep. And a storm came down…and they…were in jeopardy. And they…awoke Him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” Then He arose and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water…But He said to them, “Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and marvelled, saying to one another, “Who can this be? For He commands even the winds and water, and they obey Him!”‘ (vv. 22-25 NKJV).
Notice what is at work in this story: A fearful spirit. No matter how often God blesses us and answers our prayers, we still give in to fear the next time we face a crisis, especially when it’s one we haven’t faced before. Who told the disciples to get into the boat in the first place? Jesus. Understand this: faith doesn’t exempt you from life’s storms; it equips you to go through them. And when you are in the will of God; no storm, however severe, can take you under. Jesus knew the storm was coming before the disciples ever stepped into the boat. So why did He expose them to it? Because He was equipping them for the future, for the day when He’d no longer be around and they would face persecution, imprisonment, and even death. So the word for you today is, ‘Don’t be afraid. The Lord is with you; you are going to make it to the other side.’
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, 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. (James 1:2-4, NIV)
This kind of joy is defiant! It goes against every expectation. In hard times, the world will tell you ‘be angry’, your family will tell you to ‘fight’, your friends will ask ‘where is your God?’. God tells you to ‘consider it pure joy’. Come again!? Joy for what? Joy because you know as a believer, you will have victory. As believers in Jesus Christ, we can rejoice and have peace in the midst of the storm. We can enjoy our lives during the hardships because we truly believe that God is working on our behalf to bring deliverance.
When we look at John 15 (we will revisit this on day 7), we see that the branches that produce these amazing fruits are pruned. Pruning takes place to elicit more growth. Pruning can look painful; it even looks like it will produce the antithesis of growth by almost stripping everything off. But God prunes, allows us to go through stuff to increase the fruit we produce. Isn’t that amazing?
I wrote this song during a season in my life when I asked God ‘where are you in this situation?’ I hope it will encourage anyone going through a tough time. God is always with you – latch onto that joy during your trials. Praise God through the tears!
Joy is not dependent on the situation or our circumstances.
Peace That Causes Favour
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval. (Romans 14:17- 18, NIV)
You will gain favour from God and man when you exhibit that defiant joy and peace. Even though we don’t seek out to please man (Galatians 1:10). However, the production of our fruits will cause us to be favoured by God and man!
A small example/testimony – I started my placement at needaproperty.com in the HQ as a Junior Marketing Executive. I love it and really thank God for providing me with such a great placement. When I started, I knew that my purpose wasn’t just to do the ‘marketing’ stuff; I wanted to have a greater impact. So, I started sending out daily motivational to encourage my colleagues (you might have seen me tweet the emails). This resulted in ‘favour’ from the CEO who told me that since I had come into the office, there has been a peace. Guess what…my remuneration increased, in layman’s terms, I got a pay rise. This is an example of how peace will cause you to please God and gain approval from man.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. (Matthew 5:9 NIV)
Are you a peacemaker or a trouble maker? Is there a peace in the room when you’re around or do people feel anxious?
What this scripture tells me is that the fruit of peace is what God uses to identify you as His child.
I got a deep revelation that all the fruits we’re studying are essentially the genealogy/DNA of Christ. And just like children share the genes of their parents, it is the same way Christians ought to share the genealogy of Christ. Deep right?!
Is God able to identify you as is His child by your fruit (spiritual genes)?
Peace of God vs. Peace of the World
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. (Philippians 4:6-7, NIV)
The reason God’s peace cannot be likened with the world’s kind of peace, is because it transcends all human understanding. We don’t get it!
I’ll give you an example. Say you have a £50 bill to pay. The world will say you need the £50 now to be at peace. God says, I will give you peace, take it, trust me because I am faithful and just to provide all your needs according to my riches in glory (Philippians 4:19). God will give you the peace first – which is really what we need before any other thing.
Prayer increases Peace! If you are anxious about anything, get on your knees and pray to The Solution, the Prince of Peace!
My two fav scriptures are James 1:2-3 and Philippians 4:6-7.
James 1:2-3 – We should always remember that when we are faced with a problem or challenge it’s time to exhibit our faith because God is using this to put out faith to test. We should try as much as possible to overcome our problems with the faith we have in Christ Jesus because heb 11:6 says without faith it’s impossible to please God so overcoming our problems with faith is actually pleasing our God.
Philippians 4:6-7 – It’s just a self-check to everyone we should always remember to thank God for the one He has done with a hopeful heart of what he will still do. We should not only thank him when we want something new but we should learn to set aside a time for just giving him thanks as this will gladden his heart. Doing this will keep our hearts and minds safe because of the opportunity of God’s peace we will encounter. – Dami
James 1:2-3. I think it’s very hard to count it joy when you are going through situations. However, the best part is when you get through something that seemed like there was no way through it. The conquering of that seemingly disastrous situation helps you in the next seemingly disastrous one. You just keep in your mind that ‘if I made it through that, I can make it through this’. I will admit it’s hard to have a positive outlook when life gives you every reason to be negative, but Christ tell us to give Him our burdens and aches (Matthew 11:27). We don’t take care of it- he does. He is where the joy comes from.
Romans 14:17-18. What I get from this scripture is that on Earth, we really value food and eating. When we have gatherings or parties, food and drink unites us. When there is no food in the house, parents are worried about the welfare of their children, and what the children will have to keep them surviving. In God’s kingdom, however, there is no need for what we value most on earth. We won’t need to be filled with food because the joy and peace in His presence is enough. I didn’t really understand this scripture initially, but it is now starting to make sense!
John 16:22. This just reminds me that it is normal to have sorrow whilst on this Earth. Everyone experiences it, being a Christian doesn’t take away the problems life brings. It makes the problems worth it, knowing that Christ will take away the heartache and pain, and just give you peace.
John 14:27. I really love the repetition in this. The second time Jesus says He will leave us peace, He says ‘my peace’. Not just any odd ‘will-do-for-now’ kind of peace, but His peace. The peace He endured all the troubles He did in this life with. The peace that enabled Him to carry out His Earthly mission. The peace that will never die. I’d love that kind of peace.
Philippians 4:6-7. I think this just reinforces the previous idea that we must lay our burdens at Christ. I remember before, I used to keep my problems to myself because I thought God had too much to deal with and my problems were not significant enough. But God cares. Even the things we think are stupid, He wants to know. Only if we tell Him our problems are we allowing Him to help us. He can’t intrude and solve a problem we have supposed we can solve by our own strength. His love is astounding <3. – @michellenomsa
My favourite verse out of this Joy && Peace challenge has to be John 16:22; and i particularly love The Message’s version which compares sadness to labour but just like labour is painful but the birth of the child wipes away all memory of the pain, that is how the joy that is coming for us is going to be. Sometimes we get caught up in the contractions (just continuing with the childbirth analogy), that we start to lose hope and wonder if this new joy is ever going to come to pass which is where Faith (James 1:2-3) and Peace (Philippians 4:6) come in. We need to have faith that our joy will come in all entirety and God will give us Peace while this Joy is coming. Faith is really of the essence here. – Chimdi