Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.
Most people eat more than usual on Thanksgiving Day to celebrate the occasion. It is expected that people will satisfy their physical appetites. A lot of tables will be filled with traditional foods and beverages.
On that particular holiday and holy day, we should thank God for bringing us through another year. Not only should we thank God on Thanksgiving Day, but we should also thank Him every day. Our thankfulness should be a lifestyle.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with eating a lot on Thanksgiving Day, but we should keep a balance by feeding our spirits as well as feeding our bodies.
We can be spiritually satisfied if the fruit of the Spirit is also available for all.
Why There Is No "S" on Fruit of the Spirit
Paul lists the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23. Notice that before Paul lists the fruit of the Spirit, he had already listed the work of the flesh in Galatians 5:18-21. In other words, he contrasted the two lists. The first list contains the physical things. Those are sinful things done to satisfy the flesh. The list contains the fruit given to satisfy the spirit.
Also, notice that the list contains nine items, but there is no "s" on the word "fruit." That's because it is used as a singular noun with nine facets. Imagine a basket with different kinds of fruit in it. It is still one basket and the various fruits make up the entire unit.
Love is the first facet in the list of the fruit of the Spirit. Love comes first because it is the greatest because God is love. His nature is love. Therefore, everything else is based on love that starts the list.
Things about love as a fruit of the Spirit:
- We prove our devotion to God by loving Him.
- When we love, it proves our devotion to others.
- Love is a command made by God that we should love.
- Love is the greatest human act that man can make.
- Love is the greatest spiritual act God has already made.
- Love should be the focus of everything we do.
The second facet of the fruit of the Spirit is joy. Joy is contentment, satisfaction, safety, and security with God. Everything relating to God should give us joy if we are open to it.
Joy is the ability to rejoice and be content no matter what is happening around you. It is also the greatest weapon against the devil. So, don't let the devil steal your joy.
The followings are things about the fruit of joy:
- Joy is internal while happiness is external.
- Happiness depends on what’s going on around you, but joy depends on what's going on within you.
- Joy comes from having a personal, intimate relationship with God.
- For the Christian, joy is the greatest weapon against Satan.
Peace is the third facet on the list. Peace is wholeness, completeness, harmony, or tranquility in your life no matter what is happening around you. Chaos doesn't exist where there is peace.
Here are some things to remember about peace as a fruit of the Spirit:
- Peace is wholeness, completeness, harmony, or tranquility.
- Peace is the absence of internal conflict.
- Peace is being in harmony with God, yourself, and others.
- The peace of God surpasses the peace of this world.
Longsuffering is the fourth of the ninefold fruit of the Spirit. It is the same as patience. In fact, some versions of the Bible use patient instead of longsuffering. The word simply means to suffer long. It is the fruit that allows a person to forgive when he has been treated wrong.
Patience is the fruit to endure difficult circumstances with a hopeful attitude.
Here is a summary of things to remember about longsuffering or patience:
- Longsuffering means to suffer long.
- Longsuffering is to be patient in all circumstances.
- Longsuffering is enduring.
- Longsuffering is being patient with others and yourself.
- Longsuffering is the fruit of the Spirit that allows you to forgive others.
Gentleness and goodness are companion words. Gentleness is goodness in action. Some people do good. Unfortunately, some good acts are not combined with gentleness.
It is good to help people. However, it's not gentleness if we grumble while helping them. Grumbling simply cancels out the goodness. We should be gentle in all our dealings because gentleness matters.
Before reading about goodness, remember these things about gentleness:
- Gentleness is goodness in action.
- Gentleness should always be the companion of goodness.
- A good act is canceled out if you grumble about it.
- Use Jesus as an example of both goodness and gentleness. He was good, and He was gentle.
Goodness is that fruit of the Spirit that prompts us to do good for others. However, don't get goodness mixed up with gentleness. Goodness is what you do, but gentleness is the way you do it.
Remember these important things about goodness:
- No matter what is going on in our lives, we should believe God is always good.
- God brings about goodness in our lives. However, we sometimes miss it.
- We should bear the fruit of goodness.
- Be gentle while being good.
Not only is faith a fruit of the Spirit, but faith is also a gift of the Spirit as well as a piece of the armor of God. Therefore, having faith is extremely important. Hebrews 11:1 records that "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11:6 declares, "But without faith, it is impossible to please God."
Don't fail to remember these things about faith:
- Faith is belief in God.
- Faith is the substance of things not seen but of things hoped for.
- It is impossible to please God without faith.
- Faith is trusting God no matter what.
- Faith is leaning on God instead of on our own understanding, according to Proverbs 3:5-6.
Some people think of meekness as a form of meekness, but that's not true. Meekness is a tempered spirit yielded to God. A person who has the fruit of meekness does not have to assert himself because the Holy Spirit within him will act on his behalf.
God uses people meekness to accomplish His will, such as Abraham, Moses, Paul, and many other biblical characters.
Jesus said in one of the Beatitudes that Jesus gave in His Sermon on the Mount:
"Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth." (Matthew 5:5)
Remember these things about meekness:
- Meekness is a tempered spirit.
- Meekness is a spirit yielded to God.
- Meekness is the opposite of self-assertiveness.
- Meekness is not a weakness.
- One can have authority and still be meek.
- Jesus considered meekness to be a blessing.
Temperance is the only one of the nine facets that focus exclusively on the self. It can be defined as self-control. Some versions of the Bible use the expression "self-control" instead of "temperance," but they mean the same thing Temperance means to have control over something, such as passions, pleasures, appetites, and temper. The power of the Holy Spirit helps us with temperance.
Summary about temperance:
- Temperance is the only fruit of the Spirit that involves “self.”
- Only you are involved in self-control.
- Temperance means having control over every area of your life.
You have been briefed on each of the fruit of the Spirit. Here are some things about the nine facets of the fruit of the Spirit as a whole:
- The fruit was given by the Holy Spirit.
- All Christians should bear fruit.
- One cannot bear fruit without the Holy Spirit.
- Like a tree that produces fruit of its own kind, Christians produce fruit of their own kind based on what's inside of them.
- An unsaved person can do good things, but he can never bear fruit of the Spirit unless he has a relationship with God and has confessed Jesus as his Savior (Romans 10:9-10). It is only then that the Holy Spirit comes to live in him and give him fruit of the Spirit.