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"Watch out for false prophets . . . . By their fruit you will recognize them."


Welcome and thank you for checking out the fruit of the spirit page. I feel that the fruit of the spirit is so important that I needed a separate page to talk about it
When you become a Christians you have the Holy Spirit in you. Now the Holy Spirit has nine attributes which Jesus calls fruit. If you look at a tree and the tree has apples growing on it you don't ask one of your friends, "What kind of tree is that anyway." you know it is an apple tree. The reason that you know it's an apple tree is because it has apples growing on it. In the same way then you should be able to know is someone has the Holy Spirit in them by if they posses the nine fruit of the spirit. There really should be no person who you wonder, "Is he really a Christian." Now you may be thinking, "Woh, that's really challenging, you mean I should never have to tell someone I'm a christian. They should be able to tell by the way I live my life." And I'm telling you that's right. The words at the top of the home page were spoken by Jesus in the book of Mathew Chapter 7 verses 15 and 16. Jesus also had something to say about believers who bear no fruit in the 15th chapter of John verses 1-8, "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be given you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples


The nine facets of the fruit:
These are the nine fruit of the Spirit as written in Galatians 5:22,23, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law."
Notice that it says "fruit" not "fruits." No one can say I don't have patience but I still have the other 8 fruits because the Holy Spirit doesn't consist of 9 fruits. It consist of one fruit that has 9 parts to it. Therefore if you don't have patience you are like an apple without the skin.
Now lets take a look at each facet of the fruit.

Love
:
1 Corinthians 13:4-7- Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, 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

The greatest love story of them all:
There are many stories of love recorded in the Bible but one in particular stands out to me. If you want to read the entire story then I recommend you read Mark 14:43-15:41, however I will focus on the cliff note version as written by Paul in Romans 5:6-8
"You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
While we were still sinners Christ died for us. Thats pretty powerful. Jesus didn't just die for his disciples, or for the large crowds that followed him, he died for everybody. For you, for me, for the people that mocked him while he was hanging from the cross, for Judas who had betrayed him, for cereal killers and child abusers...for everybody. Now thats love!
* Now you might be thinking wow! God loves me that much and I really want to love him, but how do I show him that I love him. Well the answer to that question can be found in 1 John 5:3 "This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome," Pretty simple huh. If you love God you will joyfully do what he wants you to do.

Benefits of love
:
Colosians 3:12-14- 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 whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

1 Peter 4:8
- Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

2 Peter 1:5-8- For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness love For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 3:17-19
- .... And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Application and closing:
The last thing about love I want to touch on is found in one of my favorite verses. You see the Pharisees where always trying to stump Jesus with really tough questions. So one day they got an expert of the law to come to Jesus and ask Him what the greatest law was. This way when Jesus told them what the greatest law was the could say, "Well what about this other law and this one and this one" Well Jesus as always rose to the occasion and blew them away. Lets pick up the story in Mathew 22:34-40:

Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 'Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?'

Jesus replied: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the prophets hang on these two commandments.

All of God's law hangs on two commands that have to do with love! Thats goes to show us how important love really is.


Joy:
Nehemiah 8:10- "...Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength."

Two great stories on joy:
These two stories both involve the same man, Paul. Paul is one guy who had joy in his life. Fist I want to share with you why Paul had so much joy in his life. That is found in 2 Corinthians 4:17,18- "For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." You see Paul had joy in his life because he knew no matter what hardships he endured he would be rewarded for them in heaven.
Now I want to start off with the first story. Do you want to know what Paul's light and momentary troubles were. The entire version is contained in the book of Acts (which I recommend that you read) but the cliff note version is found in 2 Corinthians 11:24,25 where it says, "Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea," and the list goes on and on until verse 30. Lets take a look at some of these things. First off the 39 lashes. It was believed in that time that 40 lashes would kill you so if the Jews really wanted to get you they would give you one less than would kill you. Jesus endured this once. Paul did 5 times!!! The other one I want to touch on is once he was stoned. This story is recorded in Acts 14:19,20. He was stoned until they thought he was dead. Then they dragged him out of the city. Later on he regained consciousness and walked away. Can you imagine being stoned until you looked so bad you were mistaken for dead. Can you also imaging calling these things "Light and momentary troubles!!!" Thats amazing. Paul had joy even in the midst of suffering.
The second story I want to share with you is found in the book of Philippians. This is a letter that Paul writes to the church in Philipi (or however you spell it) while he is in prison for preaching about God. The funny thing is Paul doesn't say "God why did you put me in prison when all I was doing was trying to spread the gospel. Instead he writes a letter to the church in Philipi in which he uses the word "joy" or "rejoice" 14 times!!! Here is what Paul has to say about his imprisonment

Now I want you to know brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly. (Philippians 1:12-14).

Paul is a man who doesn't ask why am I in this situation but instead ask what can I do in this situation to serve you. This is a man full of joy.

Joy from walking with God:
Philippians 1:4,5- In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now

2 John 4- It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us.

3 John 4- I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.

Joy in suffering
:
James 1:2-4- consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish it's work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. Mathew 5:11,12- "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."

John 16:20-24
- I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. In that day you will no longer ask me anything, I tell you the truth my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive and your joy will be complete.

Application and closing
:
Concentrate extra on being joyful in the midst of suffering. Even the world has joy when everything is going well. In closing I leave you with the words of Paul:
Philippians 4:4- Rejoice in the Lord always...

Let people see God through you by witnessing the joy he has brought to your life.


Peace:
Philippians 4:7- "And the Peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

The peace that God gives us:
Peace is a very important attribute. If Christians don't have peace then others why would a nonbeliever want to become a Christian. I firmly believe that one of the things that Christians that the world most strongly desires is a peace with life. That is why in 16 out of the 27 book of the New Testament the author starts of by wishing Peace to the people of God. A great story of peace is recorded in the book of Isaiah. This was recorded shortly before God brought his people out of exile form Babylon. Here is what God has to say to his people. Isaiah 43:1-7

But now, this is what the Lord says-
he who created you,
O Jacob,
he who formed you,
O Israel:
Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead.
Since you are precious and honored in my sight and because I love you, I will give men in exchange for you,
and people in exchange for your life.
Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
I will bring your children from the east
and gather you from the west.
I will say to the north 'Give them up!'
and to the south, 'Do not hold them back.'
Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth-
everyone who is called by my name,
whom I formed and made.

Isn't that awesome. That is a promise from God. God will bring us through trials and make us stronger. That is why the peace of God is so awesome. It is not like the peace of the world, which leaves us as soon as we go through trials. It is a peace that is at it's strongest when we are going through trials. A peace that "transcends all understanding."

Our Peace comes from following God:
Psalm 119:165- Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.

Ephesians 2:14- For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility

How do we get Peace:
1 Peter 3:11- He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it.

Psalm 34:14- Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.

Promises about peace:
Luke 2:14- Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.

1 Peter 5:14- Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.

Psalm 85:8,10- I will listen to what God the Lord will say; he promises peace to his people, his saints-but let them not return to folly.... righteousness and peace kiss each other.

Isaiah 48:22- "There is no peace," says the Lord, "for the wicked."

Application and closing:
My application for you is to seek after peace and pray that God will give you peace no matter the circumstances. God has promised to give peace to all Christians who ask for it and pursue it. In closing I would like to leave you with this verse:

Psalm 4:8
- I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

May the Grace and Peace of God be with you always, Amen.

Patience:
2 Peter 3:15- Bear in mind that our Lord's patience means salvation...

Jesus's patience:
Mathew 27:39-44- Those who passed by hurled insults at him shaking their heads and saying, "You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God! In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. "He saved others," they said, "but he can't save himself! He's King of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, 'I am the Son of God' " IN the same way the robbers who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

If I were Jesus and someone said, "Come down from the cross if you are the Son of God" I'd have been down in a flash. I'd have been yelling, "You see I can come down from the cross. Now you must believe that I am God." I mean all the Pharisees who did nothing but try to prove that Jesus wasn't God said, "Let him come down now from the cross and we will believe in him." Why didn't Jesus come down from the cross when he had the whole world as his audience. The answer to this question is simple: Because Jesus was patient. Many unbelievers would have believed, but it wouldn't have mattered. If Jesus was impatient and came down from the cross all those who believed would have gone to hell. God decided that the only way we could go to heaven was if Jesus died on the cross. So if Jesus would have come down we would all be going to hell. Thank goodness he was patient.

Patience in suffering:
* Hey Jesus was patient through his suffering and we should be patient through ours...here are some verses to help you with that...If you have a NIV Bible it uses the word "Perseverance" in King James Bible it is "Patience". The words are interchangeable.
James 1:2-4
- Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Romans 5:3,4- Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.

Be patient with everyone:

God's patience in not coming back yet means salvation for many. Imaging if God came back the day before you got saved. That's a scary thought. If a perfect God who hates sin is patient enough to delay his return to earth so that people can be saved, shouldn't we also be patient with nonbelievers.

1 Thessalonians 5:14- And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone.

Application and Closing:

Try to be patient with everyone...whenever this seems difficult remember the story of Jesus patience. Think of the person you have the least amount of patience with and try and be the most patient with them. If you can do this then you will have no problem being patient with everyone else. In closing I will leave you with the very beginning Corinthians 13:4- Love is patient.

Show everyone how much you love them...be patient.

Kindness
:
Proverbs 12:25- An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.

Jesus kindness to the ungodly
There are many stories about kindness in the Bible. The one I have to decided to use is found in John 8:1-11 (sorry there is no cliff note version...you have to read the whole thing)

Then each went to his own home. But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?" They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, "Woman where are they? Has no one condemned you?"

"No one sir," she said.

"Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin."

Can you believe Jesus kindness. A woman who no one on earth would have said a kind word to. The woman was caught in the act of adultery. That means she probably had no clothes on and she was in front of a large group of people. Notice the first kind thing Jesus does. He bends down and draws in the dirt. Now this may not sound like much but it is. Imagine your standing there stark naked in front of a crowd of people ready to stone you to death. Then you see Jesus start to draw in the dirt. All of a sudden no one is looking at you anymore. They are all looking at Jesus wondering what the heck he is doing. That is the first act of kindness Jesus shows toward this woman. An act of unspoken kindness. He took the attention away from her naked body and on himself instead. Then is the second kind thing Jesus does. There is a whole group of people all feeling pretty good about themselves. Their thinking, "I might do some bad things but I am not as bad as her." But Jesus changes all that. He basically says, "If you are perfect than you can throw a stone at her." Now everyone suddenly doesn't feel like they are better than her. Their cocky attitude is gone. Instead they feel shameful just like she does. Instead of Jesus making an example out of her he told everyone that they were no better than her. That is the second kind thing he did for her. If Jesus, who is perfect, can show this much kindness toward a sinner than we should show kindness toward everyone because we too are imperfect.

Importance of Kindness:
2 Peter 1:5-8- For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance;and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you posses these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The last part really hits me hard. Lets break it into 2 parts. The first part is "if you posses these qualities in increasing order." Therefore one you should have the most is love, but the second most important attribute out of all of these is Brotherly Kindness. The second point is why it is so important. By doing this it will "keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. What Peter is saying is "No matter how much you know about God if you don't show others kindness your knowledge of God doesn't mean Jack Toad."

Also look at the definition of love as found in 1 Corinthians 13:4- "Love is patient, love is Kind ..."

Christian leaders must have kindness:
Christian leaders have to be kind. Don't believe me, look at the requirements for Christian leaders in 2 Timothy chapter 2. I will highlight verse 24.

2 Timothy 2:24- And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.

Being kind to enemies:
Proverbs 25:21,22
- If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you.

Application and Closing:
This is a fun application today. Be kind to everyone, even people who aggravate you. If God could be kind to sinners that we certainly can to. I leave you with this in closing.
Romans 11:22- Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness...

Be kind to all and God will bless you

Goodness:
Mathew 19:17- ...There is only One who is good ...

A Story of God's goodness:
Psalm 107 is all about the goodness of God but for the sake of space I will use the first 9 verses.
Psalm 107:1-9-
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say this-those he redeemed from the hand of the foe, those he gathered from the lands, from east and west, from north and south.

Some wandered in desert wastelands, finding no way to a city where they could settle. They were hungry and thirsty, and their lives ebbed away. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.

I think this passage is pretty self explanatory. God is good. People have needed help and they have asked God to help them and he does. If a perfect God shows goodness to imperfect people then shouldn't we, who are God's children, show goodness for others?

Do good to everyone...even your enemies:
Luke 6:27, 33, 35- "But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you...And if you do good to those who are good to you what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' do that. 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 sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked."

Application and closing:
Remember that person you are supposed to be showing kindness to. Yeah that's right the person who aggravated you the most. Be good to him. God will reward you for this. In closing I leave you with this verse:
Psalm 86:5- You are forgiving and good O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you.

Faithfulness:
Mathew 17:20- "...I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from her to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you"

My favorite story of Faith
Mathew 8:5-10,13
- When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. "Lord," he said, "my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering."
Jesus said to him, "I will go and heal him."
The centurion replied, "Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and that one, 'Come,' and he comes. I say to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it."
When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, "I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith..." Then Jesus said to the centurion, "Go! It will be done just as you believed it would." And his servant was healed at that very hour.

Imagine the situation this guy was in. Jesus was, as usual, being followed by a large crowd who had seen him perform miracles before. All of a sudden this guy comes up and asks Jesus to heal his servant who is in the house down the street. Now the people in the crowd were probably thinking, "Hey this centurion guy is all mixed up. Jesus has to touch the guy to heal him." It says that Jesus was "Astonished" by his request, so quite obviously no one had ever asked him to heal someone he could not see. Notice the reason the centurion's servant is healed. Jesus says, "I have not seen anyone in Israel with such great faith." He didn't heal this man's servant because he was a, "good person, he healed his servant because of his faith. It's not an easy thing to run up to a guy in front of hundreds of people and say, "Hey this friend of mine is in really bad shape, I know you can't see him but I want you to heal him." This man had great faith and because of his faith he was rewarded.

What is faith:
Hebrews 11:1- Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

Why is faith important:
Hebrews 11:6- And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Faith in Prayer:
James 1:5-8- If any of you lacks wisdom he should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.

How are faith is developed:
1 Peter 1:5-7- ...you , who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith...may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

Application and Closing:
The power of faith is constantly underestimated. My applications for you today be extra conscience is to have faith in God in all circumstances. In closing I would like to leave you with my favorite passage in the Bible. This passage shows the true power of faith.

Hebrews 11:32-40- And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be release, so that they might gain a better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated- the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground. These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.

Don't underestimate God, have faith


Gentleness:
Philippians 4:5- Let your gentleness be evident to all...

Jesus's Gentleness:
Throughout the Bible Jesus was given many names: King of Kings, Lord of Lords, the Christ...but the name that most captures the gentleness Jesus has is "The Good Shepherd."

1 Peter 2:25
- For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of you souls.

Every man who ever walked the face of the planet is like a sheep gone astray. We all have turned our backs on God. But God is the good Shepherd. When a sheep wanders of the shepherd goes off looking for him. When he finds the sheep he does not ridicule him for running away. Instead he is overjoyed that he has found the sheep. He picks him up and carries him back to the flock. He is gentle with us. Therefore, we also should be gentle with others.

Gentleness when witnessing:
1 Peter 3:15- ...Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect

Application and Closing:
Try and be especially gentle in presenting the gospel to non-believers. Remember that if God was not gentle with non-Christians we would all go to hell because we to at one time in our lives were not saved. In closing I will leave you with this:

Mathew 11:28-30- Jesus says, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Be gentle to all just as Christ is gentle with you.

Self-Control
1 Peter 5:8- Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

Jesus Self-Control
Mathew 27:39-44- Those who passed by hurled insults at him shaking their heads and saying, "You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God! In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. "He saved others," they said, "but he can't save himself! He's the King of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, 'I am the Son of God' " IN the same way the robbers who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

Recognize this story. That's right you read the same story for patience. Do you remember what I said at the beginning of the Fruit of the Spirit page about how these are the "fruit" of the Spirit not the "fruits." That means they all go hand in hand. Well patience and self-control especially go hand in hand. Self-Control has to do with sin. If you are self-controled then you will not sin. Well in this story Jesus is patient because he had self-control. If Jesus would have come down from the cross he would have sinned. God new that he had to die on the cross and so did Jesus. Jesus new that if he came down from the cross he would be sinning so he used self-control. Ecclesiasties 3:1,7 says "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven...a time to be silent and a time to speak." Jesus new it was time to be silent, and he had self-control.

Why should we have self-control:
1 Peter 4:7- The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controled so that you can pray.

Application and Closing:
How many times have you been about to pray to God and then you sinned and you were ashamed to talk to God? I can think of more than one instance when this has happened to me.

Today's application is this. Find the sin you most struggle with in your life. Ask God to forgive you of this sin and to help you have self-control so you will not do this anymore. God promises to help those who ask for his help. Be humble, ask for it.
1 Peter 1:13- Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.

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