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 KINDNESS & GOODNESS
Scriptures to read today:
- Ephesians 4:32,
- Colossians 3:12-13,
- Luke 6:35,
- Matthew 25:31-46,
- Proverbs 16:7,
- Psalm 23:6
- Word for today (Callous Spirit Devotional – what kindness/goodness 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 callous spirit
‘…You do not know what manner of spirit you are of.’ – Luke 9:55
The disciples had a problem with their attitude, and Jesus ‘called them on it’ six different times in two chapters. Let’s look at each and see what we can learn: A callous spirit. Instead of believing Christ to feed the crowd with five loaves and two fishes, they said to Jesus, ‘Send the multitude away’ (Luke 9:12 NKJV). One of the dangers of succeeding in ministry is that you can end up loving crowds but not really caring for individuals. Or wanting contributors, but not wanting to spend time meeting people’s individual needs.
Years ago a man decided to visit the churches of two well-known television ministers he liked. After hearing the first, he asked if he could say hello to him. But the minister’s ‘handlers’ said no, suggesting he phoned to arrange an appointment. Disappointed, he went to hear the other minister, and was invited to lunch with him following the service. Feeling valued, he handed the minister a cheque for four million dollars. (This is a true story.)
You must always be approachable, available, and affirming. You must keep the personal touch. True, you can’t personally minister to all who are sick and counsel all who are hurting. As a pastor, having quality time to prepare sermons and Bible studies must be a top priority. But Jesus was ‘…touched with the feeling of our infirmities…’ (Hebrews 4:15 KJV) because He mixed and mingled with us. Only as you stay in touch with people’s needs, can God use you to meet those needs in real time. The saying goes, ‘People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.’ So, do you care?
To be kind is to forgive
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32)
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (Colossians 3:12, 13 NIV)
To be kind is to forgive. To forgive is to be kind. It’s really that simple.
It’s like Paul knew that people will get on our nerves, annoy us, irritate us – but he affirms that we should ‘bear with each other’. Why? Because God bears with us! We annoy God, irritate him, get on His nerves, yet He always bears with our foolishness and waits for us to return to our senses.
I love that Paul said ‘clothe yourselves with…kindness etc.’! When you wake up in the morning and you put on your physical clothes, remember to put on your spiritual clothes as well. So that people can see you wearing the best designer brand known to man…clothes of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Living a good life can bring people in your life to God.
So many people are watching us as Christians! If I stop and think about it…what I say and post on social media can lead to or push someone away from Christ. Just by my own personal actions. If I am not operating in goodness…then what am I moving in?
“Forgiveness is not an emotion. It is a decision. It is not about acting as if nothing happened. Its about accepting what has happened and choosing to pardon the offender… a hard choice that takes a conscious effort.” – When Broken Chords Sing, Abimbola Dare
Love your enemies…nah I’ll pass
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 NIV)
The spirit is willing but the flesh wants to kick that enemy of yours where it hurts right?! You need to let The Spirit over power the flesh; this will come with discipline aka self-control.
‘Love your enemies, do good to them’…we’ve all read this and thought, God you’re slyly pushing it there mate loool. I can love them but wasting my time doing good to those that don’t deserve it…nah, I’ll pass.
The joke is on us, because we were once enemies of God, yet He loved us, still loves us and is good to us. So, as Children of God, who share His Spiritual DNA/genes of kindness, let us emulate the love and goodness He showed us, to others.
The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made. Psalms 145:9
We serve a Good God, so lets be Good disciples. Be the branches he wants us to be – John 15
Good ‘Revenge’ is Sweet
I absolutely love this scripture. Good Revenge Is Sweet loool
On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head. Romans 12:20
Your enemies will feel so silly when you show love to them. They will want to hide under a rock when you do good to them – because they won’t expect it. This is why I love God man! He uses the foolish things of the world to shame the wise. He will go against every expectation and still make His point. That’s my God!
Cultivate goodness in The House of The Lord
Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (Psalm 23:6 NIV)
Dwelling in the house of the Lord will cultivate the fruit of goodness in you! It is through fellowship, reading the word and learning from your leaders that the fruit of goodness will grow and follow you all the days of your life!
Not the goodness of the world
The world tells us that it is fine to do something if it makes you feel good. I mean it must be good right, it feels good, and nobody is getting hurt. For example; Pre-marital sex, drunken behaviour, gossip and other worldly activities that is ‘sociably OK’. Goodness comes from a place in our hearts and not from the activities of the world. It comes from a focus on God and not a focus on what the world tells us is good. Goodness is a fruit of the spirit, because it takes effort to cultivate.
Lets address ‘banter’. In speech, Matthew 12:34. #HeartCheck #SeedCheck
Let scripture address ‘banter’ and goodness in Speech
Matthew 12:34-37 (Message)
“You have minds like a snake pit! How do you suppose what you say is worth anything when you are so foul-minded? It’s your heart, not the dictionary, that gives meaning to your words. A good person produces good deeds and words season after season. An evil person is a blight on the orchard. Let me tell you something: Every one of these careless words is going to come back to haunt you. There will be a time of Reckoning. Words are powerful; take them seriously. Words can be your salvation. Words can also be your damnation.”
As if you were serving the Lord
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. “Then the King will say to those on his right,
‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply,
‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ “He will reply,
‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ – Matthew 25:31-46
These scriptures are self-explanatory! Whatever good you do – do it as though it is unto God…why? Because it is!
Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people – Ephesians 6:7
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving – Colossians 3:23-24
“Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do so with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.”, Og Mandino – Sarah Aramide
From today’s #FOSChallenge I learnt that God expects us to forgive people even when they hurt us so bad. There are no exceptions as to what kind of wrongs should be forgiven and those that shouldn’t, because God also forgave us of all our sins. We should tolerate one another, bear with each other. Also we are to love the unloved, helping people out in whatever capacity that we are able to. Providing food, clothes, shelter etc. – Tolu Nancy Ogunleye
In an age where the world is trying to prove itself to be ‘good’ by it’s deeds, we must seek to show God’s goodness in the way we conduct ourselves differently particularly when it comes to our speech. I love Colossians 3 because it speaks about the issue of speech. It’s easy to choose to buy something or do something based on whether they deserve it or not. But what happens when the Holy Spirit tells us to speak words of encouragement or to congratulate someone- even though envy or jealousy maybe burning within us. Vs 8 tells us to put away slander and obscene talk (English standard version) – this is when old habits have to die and we have to think before we speak. Too often brothers and sisters become offended and hurt because someone within the body of Christ has said the wrong thing at the wrong time. Proverbs 18:21 death and life are in the power of the tongue. And those who love it will eat it’s fruits (ESV).
Ephesians 4:29, James 3:2-10, Psalm 141:3
Let’s also be kind to one another by not encouraging negative and pessimistic conversations. Even if we don’t feel 100% we must let the word of Christ dwell in us richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom…singing psalms and spiritual songs with thankfulness (Col3:16) Kindness is not joining someone in their pity party but understanding and listening to them and providing Godly counsel. We are COUNTER CULTURE – Isha Webber
Compassion….as third year nursing student I hear this word a lot, definition= deep awareness of the suffering of another coupled with the wish to relieve it. Not only an awareness but it needs to be DEEP and that alone is not enough but you need to be willing to do something about the pain to help person.
Forgiveness….The Lord has forgiven me for so many sins so who am I not to forgive others, and yeah it may be hard to forgive someone who has hurt you but imagine God not forgiving you? Puts it in perspective! God still loves me despite my mistakes so I should love others like God loves me.
Matt 25:31-46 How are you reaching out to others? Feeding, clothing, looking after, visiting? This doesn’t necessarily mean people ‘in need’ (although that is great!) just like how are you serving friends and family- are you cooking meals for friends, parents? Helping with chores? Visiting friends when they are poorly? Sorting through clothes and taking stuff to charity shops? Just few examples! How could you change and do more??? – Simone
As much as I would love to say I show at least one act of kindness to someone else everyday, that would be a lie. Being kind and being good comes with being selfless. Now that is not easy.
Selflessness is putting others first by your acts as well as your failure to act; showing love by the things you do as well as the things you don’t do. So for example we can show love by helping someone out financially through difficult times, but we can also show love by not doing things that will hurt others.
Goes without saying that the ultimate act of kindness was demonstrated by Jesus when he gave his life for us and forgave all our sins. That’s a level of selflessness we can only try and achieve.
No one is saying die for the human race, no one is saying give your first child in sacrifice, thank God that is why Jesus died so we wouldn’t have to do all those things any longer. No matter how little we have we can still give. It doesn’t have to be our pounds that we sacrifice, doesn’t have to be food. We can even sacrifice our own piece of mind by sharing other peoples’ concerns, sacrifice sleep by helping someone on your course understand a tricky topic that u find easy etc it’s the little things.
Finally we should remember that giving what we own is great, but true giving is when you give yourself in serving others and ultimately in serving Christ. Glory! – @tayo_oo
Kindness: a interesting topic. The important thing to ask is that: is the kindness out of your own heart, or is it just for personal gain? Love everyone, because God is love. Always have some times for your friends, pray for them; that God will strengthen and touch the hearts of those who don’t know him. And remember, God sees our hearts. Is your kindness genuine, or is it just void. – Tiwa
Colossians 3:12-13. This scripture served as a reminder that we are all different in our humanity. Instead of being angry and annoyed at aspects of others’ behaviour that we are not particularly fond of, we should try to be more understanding. In the same way that Christ embraced us in our sin and paid the price to rid us of it, so we should also embrace the flaws our peers have, and help them to change if the characteristic is not God-like. I also love the way it tells us to ‘put on’ compassionate and kind hearts. This suggests it’s not something that comes naturally and we therefore have to make effort to ensure that we clothe ourselves with these qualities. Let us not walk around naked guys; we must put on kind and compassionate hearts. Naked ones, as ‘honest’ and I-tell-it-as-it-is as they may be, always end up spewing out their feelings and hurting others in the process. We must care about how we make others feel. As Maya Angelou said ‘people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel’.
Luke 6:35. I love the ‘love your enemies part of this verse. It serves as a reminder that regardless of how people will treat you, you have no other obligation towards them but to love them. To forgive them in the same way that Christ loves you. Our society encourages us to treat people how they treat us but the Word of God is very clear that this is not how it is meant to be. We must be meek and forsake our pride, and feelings of entitlement. Meekness is not weakness! – Michelle
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