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 Fruit is LOVE
- 1 Corinthians 13,
- John 3:16, Romans 8:37-39
- Matthew 22:36-40
- 2 John 1:6
- 1 John 4:18-19
- Colossians 3:14
- 1 Peter 4:8
- Romans 5:8
- Word for today (Self-seeking spirit – what love 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 Self-Seeking Spirit
‘A dispute arose among them as to which of them would be greatest.’ Luke 9:46
The Bible says: ‘Then a dispute arose among them as to which of them would be greatest. And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a little child and set him by Him, and said to them, “Whoever receives this little child in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me. For he who is least among you all will be great”‘ (vv. 46-48 NKJV). What’s at work in this story? A self-seeking spirit. As long as your motive for serving is to make yourself look good, you’ll never enjoy God’s approval. And His ‘well done’ is the only thing that counts.
The ability to serve behind the scenes, and do it with joy, comes from the knowledge that ultimately your service will be recognised and rewarded by the only One whose opinion counts. Why did Jesus feature a child that day? For three reasons: 1) A child is teachable. When you’re finished learning, you’re finished! When you can’t be told, God will have nothing more to tell you. ‘The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge; the ears of the wise seek it out’ (Proverbs 18:15 NIV). 2) A child is trusting. When you promise a child something; they believe you, act on it, and expect it to be so. ‘It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man’ (Psalms 118:8 NKJV). 3) A child is tender-hearted. ‘Finally, all of you…be tender-hearted…’ (1 Peter 3:8 NKJV). The Holy Spirit is symbolised in Scripture as a gentle dove, so keep your heart tender and receptive to His dealings.
I focused on 1 Corinthians 13 and 2 John 1:6.
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. – 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
You can do all the ‘church’ stuff…but if you do not have love – Gods isn’t moved by it. The world may congratulate you, big you up, but God says it is important to have love as the clear foundation of your good works. It makes more sense, because we understand that God IS love. So doing all the ‘church’ stuff without love, is to do it without God.
Without faith it is impossible to please God. – Hebrews 11:6
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. – 1 Corinthians 13:13
So if love is greater than faith, and without faith we cannot please God, then we can also understand that without love it is impossible to please God. Since God is love, we can then know that without God it is impossible to please God.
I’ll ask the question again; are you in a relationship with God or the ‘things’ of God/activities?
I’ve always said this: I love to sing, I love more the God that I sing about. I love to talk, but I love more the God that I talk about. I love to tweet & blog, but I love more the God that I tweet and blog about. Let’s adopt the same stance.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
The qualities of love directly reflect the Fruit of The Spirit
We see patience, kindness, joy, gentleness, self-control in anger etc. What this highlights to me is something that is consistently emphasised throughout the bible…’love’. Love is the greatest of them all (verse 13). Without love it is impossible to really manifest the entirety of the other fruits. We need to love before anything else.
The qualities of love remind me of what The Word says regarding the Ten Commandments.
That if you keep 9 commandments but are guilty of breaking 1, you are equally guilty of breaking all.
‘For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it’ – James 2:10
The qualities of love are not partial; they are to be displayed altogether! You cannot be ‘kind’ but lack patience and say you have love. You cannot be ‘humble’ but keep a score card when someone as wronged you and say you have love.
Love doesn’t work like that. With the help of God’s grace, let us strive to exhibit all the qualities of love.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. (1 Corinthians 13:8 NIV)
Love goes beyond the good works. There will be times when you won’t be able to physically manifest the ‘good works’, but you can always show love. Love is eternal. Good works are great, but they have a time limit.
The qualities of love communicate the characteristics of God
Lastly, the characteristics of love listed in 1 Corinthians 13 ultimately communicate the characteristics of our amazing God.
Think about how patient He is with us. Ponder on how He puts our sins in the ‘sea of forgetfulness’, doesn’t remind us of them and doesn’t condemn.
God’s kind of envy is not worldly. He is jealous for us. He wants us. God is not easily angered, but He is also not a mugu…He will discipline us out of love.
Grace vs. Good Works
And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love. – 2 John 1:6
I promised to offer some clarity on this to avoid confusion. Saying it’s about our heart and not our good works, addresses our motives for doing the ‘good works. Just like 1 Corinthians 13 emphasises that one can do so many ‘good works but without love the good works mean nothing.
What God’s Grace does is it changes our motives for doing ‘good deeds’. We don’t do them to be safe or in check with the law. We do it because of the love we have for God and the things that pleases Him. 2 John 1:6 says love is walking in obedience to God’s commands!
This is not an endorsement to say that good works aren’t necessary as a Christian. As James 2:18 says ‘Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds’. Deeds are needed with faith as the foundation.
It is about the condition of the heart that produces these good deeds
Love the things that God loves and hate the things He hates. That should automatically cause us to fall in action with ‘good deeds’.
The law is there to point our sin and show how much we need God. It is not to be neglected because of ‘grace’.
What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” – Romans 7:7
If we want to be justified by good deeds we need to be able to keep the ‘entire’ law. This is impossible for us as depraved humans…hence God’s grace steps in – Superman.
I repeat: It is about the condition of the heart that produces these ‘good deeds’.
Love places others before itself. God is love, He came down to do what no one else could do. As He transforms us from the inside out, we’ll develop characteristics of love. Being patient and not irritable [1Corinthian 13:4-5]
Developing the fruit of the spirit, love, requires us to grow up [vs 11] – we will have to change the way we interact with one another and trust that God will protect us from heartbreak. As young women and men of God, we must strip away the world’s definition of how we express love and seek the Father’s counsel- daily. 1 Corinthian 13:11 is one of my favourite scriptures because God revealed to me that He wants me to mature as His daughter and leave behind my old banterous ways, He revealed that He wants me to be able to speak words of love without expecting anything in return and showed me that my ‘joking’ ways was a defence mechanism that I was using to protect myself.
When we start to grasp and accept the magnitude if God’s love for us [John 3:16] and understand that nothing that is seen or unseen [Romans 8:37-39] can change God’s love for us then we can begin to outwork [Matthew 22:39]. God’s love is a sacrificial love and not self seeking. Matthew 22:37 isn’t an easy task, to love The Lord our God with all our heart, soul and mind will require a lot of prayer, accountability and discipline but thank God for the Holy Spirit who prompts us and encourages us. Surrendering our heart means that we must learn to trust the Father and let go of the insecurities that we have. Our mind [the flesh] will tell us differently but we will renew it daily in His word. I love this scripture because it shows how much God desires to have an intimate relationship with us. Truly we are made in His image and for His glory. – Isha Webber
1Corinthians 13. For me, the main thing to take away from this is that instead of seeking spiritual gifts, we must seek spiritual fruit. Our gifts are nothing if they are done to boast. We can only use our gifts to serve in love.
John 3:16. Genesis 1:1 and this are the scriptures I remember everyone resorting to when asked an on-the-spot memory verse in Sunday school. We all know it, to the point that sometimes we forget it. We forget the sacrifice and love in giving up that one thing you love the most for the greater good. That’s love. One thing I struggle with understanding in this scripture is that to have eternal life, you must believe, but other scriptures say you will see the kingdom of God if you obey His commands. Does this suggest a difference between eternal life and being with Christ in heaven? I would appreciate it if someone could clarify!
Matthew 26:36-40. I believe this just emphasizes what we focused upon yesterday- LOVE! Nothing else matters if we lack the basic foundation, which is love. Although I say basic, this is in fact the hardest thing to exercise. I was once told that a sure sign of your love is when you are willing to lay down your life for someone. Using this definition, I definitely haven’t reached that stage of loving like Christ does. Loving in a way that makes the critics have nothing plausible to say.
It’s amazing. Christ also teaches us to love others as we love ourselves. Often times, we do things for others, and give so much of ourselves to/for others that we have nothing left to give ourselves. All our energy and time has gone to others. However, love starts with you. It starts in the way you look at yourself in the mirror, what environment you allow yourself to dwell in, how you take care of your body, mind and soul. You cannot lead someone to a place you haven’t been. It makes no sense to tell others that in order to be ‘wifey’ material, they must be able to be independent when you are over twenty and your parents are still waiting on you hand and foot. Love starts with you and it does so internally. If you hate yourself, you will also spread negativity and hate to others.
2John 1:6. In order to show our love for Christ, we must walk in His commandments. I firmly believe that our love for Christ causes us to walk in His commandments. For example, we shouldn’t give offering because we want to show that we love Christ, no amount of money can prove love if our soul/heart is not correct. Rather our love for Christ should show us that there is work to be done in the ministry and therefore compel us to give offering. I find that this is especially true in terms of tithing and how much of our time is spent in church meetings.
Romans 5:8. This is one of my favourite scriptures. Today, it served as a reminder that in the same way that Jesus loved me in my sin, I should also be prepared to love others in theirs. Most times, I expect someone to be perfect and consistent in all they do, and when I don’t see this happening, I tend to give up on the relationship/friendship. However, Christ loved me even at a time when I had no intent of changing and when I saw nothing wrong with my sin. I should therefore be prepared to love as He does. To love others even when they are not giving me all they can. Keep in mind this isn’t a cue to remain in unequally yoked relationships haha! – @michellenomsa
There is no fear in love; perfect love drives out all fear. So then, love has not been made perfect in anyone who is afraid, because fear has to do with punishment. – 1-john 4:18
It’s funny that for the last year, I’ve been trying to teach my girlfriend about conquering fear. This scripture backs up all my thoughts. To live life free, without fear, you need to first let love in. – Adeyemi
What I obtained from reading 1 Corinthians 13 is this…Things we do, for instance, giving money to the poor, preaching etc are done in vain if we don’t have Love. LOVE is an extremely necessary attribute that we must have, it is “indispensable”.
1 Corinthians 13:2 says “if I have faith that can move mountains but do not have love I am nothing” this verse tells me that even FAITH is powerless without Love, it is the greatest of all fruits.
God’s love for us alone is the reason why he sent Jesus who was completely pure to die for us. To conclude, we need to have love in us, because God himself is love! Without his love we are absolutely nothing and “nothing on this earth neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord”. (Romans 8:39 NIV) the love he has for us is inseparable. – Jessica
From Matthew 22:46-40 – The Revelation I caught from this is that love is a fruit that is the most important. To Have Love for GOD and others really does display the Christ in us.
In our Relationships with others we must begin to seek an opportunity to do something for others rather than looking for all you can gain for yourself.
This scripture taught me that, to love your neighbour, means to be willing to inconvenience yourself, to sacrifice and to be more than happy to help. Because essentially that is exactly what Christ did for us on that cross. – Abbi
Wow so far Galatians hit me a lot just reading it. GOD is speaking to me through these scriptures !! Wow this is what I needed. Thank you Lord – Jojo
Whilst reading the scriptures a God laid in my heart john 16:27 “for the Father himself loves you because you love me and believed that I came from God” this scripture just shows how important love is because by loving Jesus himself and believing in our hearts that He is God’s child, God himself will love us so it’s vital to have love in our hearts and love the people around us because if we can’t love those we see we will not be able to love Jesus which we can’t see unless we are being hypocrites. He sees our heart so even if we deceive the people we can’t deceive Him. Just to remind us that john 14:6 says ” I am the way the truth and the life no one gets to the father except by me” this was Jesus talking it reminds us that if we do not love Jesus the son of God then God will not love us and as it’s impossible to get to God without his son we can’t get favoured by God. And remember we can’t love Jesus if we do not love our neighbours, friends and even enemies we can see on earth. – Dami
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