WEEK 13 • May 28-June 3
CULTIVATING THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT
JEREMIAH 17:7-8; 1 THESSAL0NIANS 4:17; PSALM 1:2;
1 CHRONICLES 16:11; JEREMIAH 29:13; MARK 12:30
“Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit." (Jeremiah 17:7-8)
Cultivate—To prepare or prepare and use for the raising of crops. Also : to loosen or break up the soil about(growing plants). To foster the growth of cultivate vegetables cultivate coffee.
Ripen—To grow or become ripe. To make ripe. To bring to completeness or perfection.
To age or cure (cheese); to develop characteristic flavor, odor, body, texture, and color.
Seek—Attempt to find (something).
Trust— Firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.
Daily Prayer, Reading the Word, and Meditating on the Word
“Heavenly Father I pray that this day I may live in your presence and please you more and more. Lord Jesus, I pray that this day I may take up my cross and follow you. Holy Spirit, I pray that this day you will fill me with yourself and cause your fruit to ripen in my life:love,joy,peace,patience,kindness,goodness,faithfulness,gentleness, and self-control. That was the prayer that John Stott prayed every day when he first woke up in the morning” (Christopher J. H. Wright, 2017). This prayer is an example of what we can pray daily. The critical thing to remember is that daily prayer and reading and meditating on God’s Word every day is necessary if we are to cultivate the fruit of the spirit. The word directs us in First Thessalonians 4:17, "Pray without ceasing.” Those who are godly meditate on God's word day and night (Psalm 1:2).
Emphasis 1-Seek God
The nine qualities of the fruit will grow according to our seeking the things of God. It is entirely possible that some qualities will grow quicker than others. The believer must engage in actively and specifically seeking growth in areas where there are deficiencies. We must go beyond our reasonable service. How can fruit ripen in the believers life- seek God. First Chronicles 16:11 says, “Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually." First Chronicles 22:19a states, “Now set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your God.” Jeremiah 29.13 states, “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” “The Spirit of God as a Guide, Comfort and Teacher has everything we need to be a powerful successful Christian. However the ’little foxes destroy the vine"’ (Ellis Butler) (Sol.2:15).
Emphasis 2—Trust in the Lord
Jeremiah 17:7-8 states, “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that sprea- deth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit." Trusting in God doesn't mean that you won’t have problems or suffer- ing. To trust in God means that you will always turn to Him no matter the condition, environment, or circumstances. To cultivate the nine qualities of the fruit of the spirit, believers must trust God through the seasons of growth, no matter what it feels or looks like. Proverbs 3:5 states, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding."
Emphasis 3- Love the Lord
The first virtue in the fruit of the spirit is Love. I end this last lesson with love, be- cause believers love for God should supersede everything. Mark 12:29-31 states, "And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.”
Love for God will lead believers to demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit in our lives should produce much fruit that yields great exploits. Remember “Selfishness spoils LOVE. Discontent spoils JOY. Anxious thoughts spoil PEACE. Impatience spoils LONG SUFFERING. Bitter words spoil GENTLENESS, lndolence spoils GOODNESS. Doubt spoils FAITH. Pride spoils MEEKNESS. Worldly pleasures spoils TEMPERANCE ” (Ellis Butler). “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace: Where there is hatred, let me sow love. Where there injury, pardon. Where there is discord, unity. Where there is doubt, faith. Where there is error, truth. Where there is despair, hope. Where there is sadness, joy. Where there is darkness, light” (http:// www2.gcc.edu/media/events/2013/031313Virtues3HandoutTemperance.pdf).
MISSIONS APPLICATION QUESTIONS
What happens when a Christian's life demonstrates eight of the nine qualities of the fruit of the Spirit?
What are some of the things you will do as a believer to cultivate the nine qualities of the fruit of the spirit?
MISSION PRAYER POINTS
Lord Jesus, we boldly approach the throne of grace asking that you remove from us those things that don't please you. Today, we confess that we will not be enslaved by anything and that we will live godly lives that are fruitful so that you get glory in all things, AMEN.
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