Chapter 10. Fruit of The Spirit Series

10.1. Love

Perspective

( Gen. 1:26 ; John 1:12-13 ; Rom. 8:14,19,28-29 ; Gal. 5:22-23 ) We are born of God. As children we are to be led by God’s Spirit, to be obedient in order to develop the character of God. Fulfilling the will of God, we begin to exhibit the personality, attitude and behavior of Jesus Himself Who is the source of our being. It is by our fruits we are identified with Jesus. The fruit of the spirit requires diligent cultivation through obedience to His word by which we become overcomers. Thus, love is fulfilling of the law: For it was divine love which gave us the commandments, and it is by love that we must keep them.

Hope

( Matt. 5:44-48 ; Matt. 10:29-31 ; Matt. 22:37-39 ; 1 John 4:18 ) Fruit of the spirit begins with love. To love as the Father loves, each child of God must diligently cultivate and develop an individual love relationship with his heavenly Father. Increasing our love for the Father, to this extent, fear decreases. Loving God delivers us from the power of darkness characterized by sickness, oppression, etc. Loving God is vital to our health and well-being. God promised to take care of all our needs, so that we could be free to love God and others. Fear is the opposite of love for it centers itself on self.

( Heb. 13:5,61 ; 1 Cor. 13:8 ; 1 John 4:8 ; Rom. 8:31 ) Fruit of love toward the Father enables a person to conquer all things. God is love, and God can never fail. The more we develop love for the Father, the less we will fail in our individual lives.

( Rom. 8:28,37 ; John 14:21 ) Root of most problems stem from our failure to love God by not obeying His commandments. The more we obey, the more we will conquer trials, and more things will work for our good. God is for me personally. The more I get to know Him, the clearer the comprehension is that the knowledge of loving God is the key to victorious living.

Change

( Mark 11:22-24 ; John 5:17-19 ; Eph. 5:1,3 ; Heb. 11:5-6 ) To have faith in God means to know God, and to know God is to cultivate the practice of realizing the Presence of God within: by developing sight of God, and by calling upon His name immediately whenever we have a need. Call upon the Lord to give you the words to say, the manner it is to be said, and any actions that are to be taken. Realize you can do nothing of yourself.

( 1 John 4:4,8 ; Matt. 14:1-14 ; Heb. 4:15 ) Our first obligation in any situation is to love. When tempted not to love, this distances or clouds our contact with the Father. Do as Jesus did, when tempted upon hearing the news of John the Baptist: he pulled away by Himself to pray, to spend time with the Father, to get His perspective. Then He went and did the loving and responsible thing.

( Jude 20-21 ; Acts 2:4 ; 1 Cor. 14:2 ) Visualize and develop the sight of the Father, pray in the spirit which stirs up the love of God within. Use, cultivate, and exercise love regardless of the others’ response.

( 1 John 4:8,12 ; John 1:1 ; Matt. 18:15 ; John 15:13 ) Developing the Presence of God, praying in the spirit requires that we practice a love action. God is the word. Love then is putting the word of God into practice which is cultivating the fruit of love in our lives. Love to the Father is cultivating the fruit of love by spending time in the word, praying in the spirit, and performing acts of love.

Work Out Your Salvation (Phil. 2:12-13)

Memory Verse(s):

1 John 4:12

Devotion:

BSAF 1 Cor. 13:4-8 .

Put-Off/Put-On:

Read Section A.3, “Love Is An Action” , note failures and begin a plan to work out the failures via Section A.4, “Victory Over Sin Worksheet” .

10.2. Joy

Perspective

( 1 Pet. 4:12-13 ; Heb. 12:2-4 ; Heb. 12:2 ) God wants us to rejoice even in times of trial. We are not to be unstable, but stable regardless. Jesus was tempted as we are today and He went through sickness, oppression, depression and persecution, but His character and disposition never changed. The source of His strength was the joy that He saw beyond the cross. Joy gave Jesus the strength to overcome and not serve the enemy. We are to look unto Jesus Who overcame by the fruit of joy.

Hope

( Neh. 8:10 ; James 1:2-4 ; Ps. 23:1 ; 2 Pet. 1:3 ; Isa. 12:3 ; Prov. 15:23 ) The source of endurance is joy. As we endure we will be complete, entire and wanting nothing. This is due to my faith being completely focused on God Who is all things and provides for all things: safety, soundness, deliverance, preservation and health. Joy is our access to the benefits of our salvation. God inhabits our praises and in His presence is the presence of joy. Joy is not based on feelings or circumstances, it is bestowed by God and resides in our spirit ( Ps. 105:43 ).

( Rom. 10:17 ; John 1:12 ; John 15:10-11 ; 1 John 1:14 ; Ps. 19:8 ; Jer. 15:16 ; Phil. 1:25 ) We cultivate the fruit of joy in our lives by developing our faith, that is, joy, faith and the word are all closely related. We can regain our lost joy by increasing the amount of quality time we spend in the word developing our faith. When times of tribulation come, we would view them through the eyes of faith. Happiness is dependent upon circumstances, but joy is independent of all circumstances and situations. Joy is not the absence of pain but the Presence of the Holy Spirit.

( 1 Pet. 1:8 ) Before we can experience joy, we must first believe and see, not seeing first then believing. We must saturate the seed of joy in our spirit with the word of God. As faith takes root joy will rise to the surface.

Change

( Phil. 2:17 ; 1 Thess. 2:19-20 ; Job 42:10 ; Ps. 126:6 ; Prov. 12:20 ; John 3:27-31 ) Believers can cultivate the fruit of joy by giving of themselves to others. Selfishness chokes out joy. During times of trials, we should reach out and minister to others. This will turn self-pity into joy. It is only as we lose our lives that we will possess joy. Dying to self interest and gains decreases affection for temporal advantages and puts emphasis on eternal values.

( Ps. 16:11 ; John 16:20-22 ; Ps. 48:1,2 ) We can cultivate the fruit of joy by seeking God’s Presence. Joy of the whole earth is Mount Zion, a symbol of God’s presence. The more diligent we seek His presence, the greater is the joy.

( Isa. 59:2 ; James 4:8 ; 1 John 1:9 ; Jer. 29:10-14 ; Ps. 34:8 ; Gal. 6:7 ) The first way to seek God’s presence is simply by an act of the will, washing our hands, confessing our sins, asking forgiveness, repenting, and appropriating the blood of Jesus. Our whole attention must be on God. not just to ease our conscience or to feel good but because it pleases God and gives glory to Him. All of this begins at home with the spouse, children, family members, parents, etc. Then relate to your neighbor manifesting God’s spirit in your spirit.

Work Out Your Salvation (Phil. 2:12-13)

Memory Verse(s):

Ps. 16:10

Devotion:

BSAF on verses listed above.

Put-Off/Put-On:

Life’s experiences are but opportunities for us to work through them solely on the basis of God’s word. We have the victory in Jesus and with Him we are to look beyond the circumstances and see the joy awaiting. We are more than conquerors in Him who loves us. Meditate on one verse a day for the week. Read this sheet daily. Hear what the verses say, understand and see what you heard, then act upon what you heard and understood.

10.3. Peace

Perspective

( Matt. 24:3-8 ) The first function of the fruit of peace is to prevent the hearts of God’s people from being troubled. It is the responsibility of each individual not to be troubled by life’s externals. We must take the initiative and individually cultivate the fruit of peace in our own hearts.

Hope

( 1 Kings 9:11-12 ; 1 Pet. 5:7 ) God speaks in a still, small voice. It is up to us to take the time and effort to sit quietly and hear His voice. He will be faithful to flood our troubled minds with peace so that we can hear the words He has especially for us.

( Col. 3:15 ; Gal. 6:9 ; John 10:10 ) It is up to the believer to ‘let’ peace rule in his heart because peace must be developed by an act of the will through practice. As we become sensitive to the leading of God’s peace, we will become better able to perceive the leading of His Spirit.

( Prov. 4:23 ; Isa. 9:6 ; Eph. 2:13-14,17 ; Heb. 12:14 ; Eph. 4:22-24 ) God desires that we develop into peacemakers. This involves not reacting to life’s externals, protecting or defending self and one’s ‘rights’. The law of revenge and retaliation is abolished under the dispensation of grace. We are to respond to evil only with acts of love. As we cultivate the fruit of peace, will we have the strength to bestow love, blessings, kindness and prayer upon those who resist us with evil.

Change

( 1 Tim. 2:1-2 ; Ps. 122:5-7 ; Matt. 5:43-45 ) We are to pray for those who disagree with us as well as those who share our views, those who oppose and demean us, as well as those who esteem us. We are to place priority to pray for our political and spiritual leaders.

( John 15:4-5 ; John 16:33 ; Matt. 10:39 ; Isa. 26:3 ) As we abide in Jesus, we cultivate the fruit of peace by remaining continually in His Presence regardless of one’s feelings or circumstances. Ultimately, we will find peace only in Him. Insecurity results when we live for our own self-interest rather than for God’s purposes for our lives.

( Rom. 12:1 ; Ps. 119:165 ; John 14:23-24 ; Prov. 3:1-2 ) Loving the word of God, believers cultivate peace in their lives. Believers who lack peace in their hearts should examine themselves to see if they are doing what they know to do of God’s word.

( 1 Kings 22:17 ; Lev. 26:6 ; 2 Kings 22:20 ; 1 Sam. 25:6 ; Ps. 37:37 ; Phil. 4:7 ; Ps. 55:18 ) The child of God who lives by God’s commandments will have peace in his house, in the land, in the grave, in prosperity, in his soul, in his heart, in abundance, in his children and throughout eternity.

Work Out Your Salvation (Phil. 2:12-13)

Memory Verse(s):

John 14:21,27

Devotion:

BSAF on 2 Cor. 13:11 ; Ps. 4:8 ; James 3:18 ; Heb. 12:14 ; James 2:16 ; Acts 10:36 .

Put-Off/Put-On:

Process Section A.8, “Freedom From Anxiety” , and set up a plan to cultivate the fruit of peace and become a peacemaker. For difficult situations, you may consider praying the following:

Praying For Enemies

1.         Pray that the eyes of all who surround these persons be opened to see the situation as it really is.

2.         Pray that their associates will be given ways to speak truth and light into the situation.

3.         Pray that any demonic power within these persons or within these situations manifest itself – that it may be clearly discerned and seen by all the people.

4.         Ask that what can be salvaged (in this situation and in the lives of your enemies) be saved, humbled, blessed by the Spirit of God:

Pray for the health, the wholeness, of your enemies. Pray for the salvaging of all that is good, beautiful, and true within them.

10.4. Longsuffering

Perspective

( 2 Tim. 4:7-8 ; Gal. 6:9 ; Matt. 24:3 ) God has called us to run our race with patient endurance. We are to continue to persevere in the face of sufferings and opposition. We are to look beyond the situation and see the prize which awaits us at the finish line. Allow nothing to deter you from reaching the goal and reward which lay before you.

Hope

( Luke 21:12-19 ) Afflictions and persecutions will cause some to drop out of the race but those who have developed the fruit of longsuffering will remain firm without yielding to adverse circumstances. God did not promise us a trouble-free existence instead He warned us about future affliction and persecution ( Matt. 7:13-14 ).

( Eph. 4:11-13 ; Rom. 15:5-6 ; Col. 3:12,13 ; James 5:7-9 ) Longsuffering is an act of the will, each believer is responsible for cultivating it in their lives. Peace and harmony do not depend upon the absence of fault but on the Presence of Christ. Strife and divisions among believers are not caused by faults, but are the result of a lack of patience or long-suffering among fellow servants.

( Jer. 12:5 ; Rom. 5:2-5 ) God is raising up people who will be spiritually equipped to ‘run with the footmen’, ‘contend with horses’, and stand through the ‘swelling of the Jordan’. Also we are to keep strife out of churches, out of relationships, resolving disputes by God’s grace, and to allow His Grace to be acted upon.

Change

( Heb. 6:12-15 ; Heb. 10:36 ; 1 Cor. 13:3 ; Eph. 6:10-14 ) Cultivating fruit of longsuffering will enable the believer to obtain the promises in the word of God. Failure to receive promises may be due to failing to exercise patience and endurance. It is only when we believe and stand will we see the manifestation of the answer to prayer. Standing brings forth fruit.

( Mark 11:24 ; Heb. 6:12 ; Luke 8:4-5 ) God requires us to stand to see if we are just talking or expressing faith. Abraham stood 25 years, Caleb, 45, Noah, 100. Ability of these men to hold fast to God’s promises was in direct proportion to the degree of development of the fruit of longsuffering. Keeping the word of God regardless until maturity is brought forth by patience.

( Rom. 6:16-18 ; Eph. 4:22-32 ) The key to keeping the word is to obey it from the heart. When believers obey the word from their hearts, they become servants of righteousness. One indication of obeying from the heart is responding compassionately to an unpleasant person in opposition to your feelings which yearns to retaliate.

( Rom. 5:3-5 ; James 1:2-4 ; Isa. 40:29-31 ; 1 Pet. 1:13 ; Rom. 8:24-25 ) We cultivate the fruit of longsuffering by experiencing tribulations which produces patience. Experiences produce hope, and the knowledge thereof induces love in the midst of trials.

( Rom. 8:25 ) During difficult times our top priority should be to find out what the word of God declares to be true about our situation. Hoping for what we don’t see, with patience, we will wait for it. Hope, patience and receiving the promises all blend together.

Work Out Your Salvation (Phil. 2:12-13)

Memory Verse(s):

Heb. 6:11-12

Devotion:

BSAF on 1 Pet. 3:9 ; 1 Pet. 2:24 ; Ps. 31:15 ; Ps. 68:19 .

Put-Off/Put-On:

Process Section A.8, “Freedom From Anxiety” . See also Section 7.13, “True Patience” .

10.5. Kindness/Goodness

Perspective

( Matt. 5:13-16 ; 1 Thess. 2:7-9 ) Kindness is a disposition, an attitude; whereas, goodness is defined as kindly activity, an outward expression of kindness. Kindness, like salt, brings savor or seasoning to the earth. Light is a type of the fruit of goodness. When a believer’s salt or kindness is savory towards another, then his light will automatically shine through the manifestation of his good works.

Hope

( Phil. 2:14-15 ; Titus 3:3-5 ) If believers murmur, dispute and complain, their lights will not shine. As we develop the fruit of kindness, we prepare the soil for bearing fruit, preparing hearts of unbelievers for receiving the implantation of the seed of reconciliation. Kindness is a forerunner of regeneration. The fruit of kindness in the life of a believer is the fullness of Jesus being manifested to the world.

( 1 Pet. 3:1-4 ; James 2:9 ; 1 Tim. 5:8 ; Titus 2:4-5 ) Kindness is no respecter of persons, regardless how unsavory the situation or person. Not only are we to be kind to strangers but it begins within our families. The fruit of kindness enables husbands to be kind to their wives regardless how they respond, likewise, wives to husbands.

( Eph. 4:29 ; Col. 4:6 ; Prov. 15:1 ; Prov. 18:21 ; Prov. 26:20 ) All divisions, all strife, all bitterness, all contention can be avoided if we keep our tongues seasoned with the fruit of kindness.

Change

( Prov. 20:27 ; Rev. 2:4-5 ; Prov. 18:19 ; Matt. 24:9-10 ; John 16:1 ; Ps. 119:165 ; Mark 4:16-17 ) It is the duty of every believer to avoid being offended-taking offense as well as giving it. The first way to overcome taking offense is through the word of God. It is a spiritual principle that believers who study the word diligently are less likely to get their feelings hurt. Being rooted in the word saves the soul, relying on Christ within. It is He Who with you will work through afflictions and persecutions, raising you above the fleshly reactions, enabling you to respond in His Spirit to any and all offenses of life.

( 1 Cor. 13:4-7 ; James 1:21 ; Jude 20,21 ; Matt. 5:44 ) Praying in the spirit keeps the believer in the love of God, a love that bears and endures all things. Love will be perfected in the lives of believers who minister to those who have the greatest power to offend them. Replacing hurt feelings with the love of God frustrates the plan of the enemy and implements the plan of God.

( Rom. 12:19-21 ; John 13:34-35 ; 2 Tim. 1:7 ; Prov. 28:1 ; Acts 4:13 ; James 4:2 ; Acts 4:29-30 ) Believers can’t have a sound mind when fearful, neither will he be merciful as God intends for him to be. God intends us to be blessed with both righteousness and boldness. Spending time in the presence of the Lord will make us bold as lions, able then to express kindness. Boldness comes by simply asking God and praying for it ( Eph. 6:18-20 ). Thus, if we would be like Jesus today, we must begin by being kind.

Work Out Your Salvation (Phil. 2:12-13)

Memory Verse(s):

Rom. 12:19-21

Devotion:

BSAF on selected verses above.

Put-Off/Put-On:

Note areas where you are inclined to be offended or give offense, being unkind or irritable. Work out Section A.6, “Problem Solving Worksheet” and Section A.4, “Victory Over Sin Worksheet” . Look for habitual negative responses. The exercise of the fruit of patience, kindness, goodness identifies one as belonging to the Lord Jesus Christ: For these values of forbearance, kindness and benevolence are the personality traits of Our Lord and Savior.

10.6. Faithfulness

Perspective

( Matt. 25:21 ; Dan. 6:4 ; Ps. 101:6 ) It was faithfulness that caused Daniel to stand out from all the others. If there is one characteristic or virtue that causes a person to stand out from the crowd and to receive God’s undivided attention, it is faithfulness.

Hope

( Gen. 2:4-8,15 ; Matt. 24:45-47 ; Matt. 25:28-29 ; Heb. 12:12-13,16 ) The first function of the fruit of faithfulness is to equip believers to exercise stewardship over God’s goods. God made man not only for fellowship but also for the purpose of being the recipient of and made ruler over His creation. God is still looking for faithful men to assume this rulership simply by obeying His commandments.

( Matt. 21:43 ; Rom. 11:29 ) We are to exercise God-given gifts. If we don’t use them or stir them up, we will lose them. . We should learn to earnestly desire all the gifts. As we do we would find ourselves abounding in the ‘true riches’ and possessions.

( Nu. 12:1, 2, 5-8 ; John 5:30 ; John 8:3-11 ; Heb. 3:1-2 ; Heb. 11:16 ) Cultivating the fruit of faithfulness enables a believer to experience fellowship with the Father. Jesus was able to hear the Father’s voice due to His faithfulness. As we become faithful, we will also be able to hear the clarity of the Father’s voice, that is, to obey his commandments and to fulfill His will. Only as we develop a faithful and obedient heart will the Father be able to trust us.

Change

( Matt. 25:21 ; Rom. 1:17 ; James 4:3 ; Gen. 18:16-19 ) We will be rewarded for our deeds which pleases the Father. God is more interested in faithfulness than He is in accomplishments. It is not what we think we should do, but what the father says to do , and then to do it, this pleases the Father. To stand firm in the word, this glorifies the Father.

( James 1:2-4 ; Luke 16:10 ; Eccl. 5:4-6 ; Eph. 5 ) Practice faithfulness in the home first. Unless it begins in the family, it won’t work well outside. Start with what you already possess, and as you prove faithful, God will increase your responsibilities. Fulfill vows made in the past, practice love in the family, train up godly children.

( Col. 3:22-24 ; Luke 16:10 ; 1 Tim. 3:3 ; 1 Tim. 6:10 ) We are to be faithful in our work, with our finances, tithing. Our attitude and motives are to glorify God , not ourselves.

( John 8:29 ; Col. 1:27 ; 2 Cor. 6:16 ; Phil. 2:13 ; John 14:23 ; Acts 17:28 ) The most important way to develop the fruit of faithfulness is by being aware of the Father’s indwelling Presence. The revelation of Christ within brings forth success in the things of God. As we cultivate this knowledge in our hearts, then our hearts will abound in love and appreciation for the faithfulness of our God to His word.

Work Out Your Salvation (Phil. 2:12-13)

Memory Verse(s):

Acts 17:28

Devotion:

BSAF on selected verses from above.

Put-Off/Put-On:

Meditate on the following verses, practicing the Presence of God in your heart. Read the verse, hear it, speak it, see and understand it: allow the Holy Spirit to implant the truth within, then act upon it by seeing all things from God’s perspective. Allow the Holy Spirit to give you this insight: Col. 1:27 ; 2 Cor. 6:16 ; Phil. 2:13 ; 1 John 4:15 ; 1 John 4:4 ; 1 Cor. 1:30 ; Gal. 2:20 .

Practice a sense of being aware that God is initiating every thought and action through your human spirit ( 1 Cor. 2:9-16 ).

10.7. Meekness/Gentleness

Perspective

( 1 Pet. 2:18-20 ) A person who is meek is self-controlled, slow to give or take offense, humble in spirit, lowly in mind and teachable. These attributes make up the fruit of meekness in the life of a believer. A truly meek person is one who does not react negatively even when he is being falsely accused, slandered, afflicted or persecuted.

Hope

( Matt. 5:44 ; 2 Tim. 2:24-26 ) Spirit of meekness gives one the strength not to retaliate when falsely accused, refraining from defending self, but allows God to intervene and vindicate him. Instead of responding with rebuttal when he encounters unjust criticism, affliction, persecution or ingratitude, he will possess the self-control to respond with intercession.

( Phil. 2:3-4 ; Exodus 32:30-32 ) Function of meekness enables believers to be humble in spirit and lowly in mind, in opposition to self-assertiveness and self-interest. He is not occupied with self at all, develops the attitude that the welfare of others is more important than his own.

( Gal. 6:1 ; James 1:21 ; Mark 7:9, 13 ; 2 Tim. 3:16-17 ) We are to restore others in a spirit of meekness. To restore means a continuous present, suggesting the necessity for patience and forbearance in the process. This requires meditation in the word for the word saves the ‘soul’, giving the ability to endure unto the end, not to give up. For it is the word of God which washes, cleanses us and renews the mind.

Change

( Eph. 5:25-26 ; John 16:13-15 ; Matt. 16:17 ) The spirit of truth will guide the believer into all truth, becoming teachable, he will receive revelation knowledge. With each new truth we receive and become conformed to, we will begin to become more complete in the whole counsel of God.

( Matt. 5:5 ; Matt. 25:21-23 ; Ps. 35:13 ) Meekness is a fruit, not a gift. It must be cultivated in order to grow. It is to the meek the Lord will hand over the rulership and the dominion of this earth. Fasting is one way to cultivate meekness.

( Heb. 5:8 ; Deut. 8:2-3 ; Acts 7:22-30 ; 2 Cor. 4:7-10 ) Believers can also cultivate this fruit by benefiting from wilderness experiences of life as Moses did – spending 40 years in the desert. God allows believers to go through trials and tribulations in order to learn humility and obedience. As with Paul we learn humility through affliction and persecution.

( 2 Cor. 1:3-4 ) We are to look to God for comfort in the midst of trials. When we allow God to comfort us, we are enabled to share this comfort with others who are going through similar trials. We learn to be meek toward others while our own trial continues.

( Phil. 2:5-8 ; John 8:27-29 ; Luke 9:23-24 ) Developing the fruit of meekness can be done through denial of self. Meekness is the opposite of self-interest. Jesus submitted to His Father unconditionally. He always did those things which pleased the Father. Yielding to the Father is not something one ‘does’. It is not an action of the body but an attitude of the heart. Yielding is the absence of resistance.

Work Out Your Salvation (Phil. 2:12-13)

Memory Verse(s):

Col. 3:1-3

Devotion:

BSAF on selected verses from above.

Put-Off/Put-On:

Note areas where you are easily offended or give offense. Work out Section A.4, “Victory Over Sin Worksheet” . See also Section A.5, “Dying To Self” and Section 7.13, “True Patience” . Use these worksheets as guidelines to reconstruct and establish a godly lifestyle.

10.8. Self-Control

Perspective

( Eph. 1:19 ; Gal. 5:24 ; 1 Cor. 9:24-27 ) The same strength and power that raised Jesus from the dead and exalted Him in heaven is available to us believers today. We can develop and cultivate this spirit in our individual lives. The fruit of self-control will enable us to crucify the flesh. This seed requires cultivation in order for it to produce overcoming power by the Spirit, to crucify the affections and lust of the flesh that war against the soul.

Hope

( Exodus 20:4,5 ; Eph. 5:5 ; Matt. 4:10 ; Luke 21:34-35 ; Matt. 6:24 ) The most common way in which believers serve ‘idols’ is through their thoughts, emotions, and feelings, and the actions taken as a result of ungodly thoughts. Whatever you spend the most time on will likely enslave you, keep you in bondage, that is, pursuit of things other than God. As we change our focus and emphasis onto God and His purposes and not on my own needs, the Presence of God, and His strength proportionally, will increase in our lives.

( 1 John 2:15-17 ; Gal. 5:13 ; 2 Cor. 6:14-17 ; Titus 2:11-12 ) We are to separate our lives from all things that may enslave or control us in the world, the flesh and the devil. Friendship with the world is spiritual fornication. God desires us to be a holy people, and it is God’s grace that teaches us that we should lead sober, righteous and godly lives. It is a question of choice. If we choose God’s way, we will be recipients of His grace.

( Gal. 5:19-21 ; Eph. 5:22-24 ; Eph. 6:1 ; Rom. 13:1-3 ; 1 Cor. 10:10 ; Phil. 2:13-16 ) The fruit of self-control enables believers to submit to God, to ordained authorities in their lives, to husbands and/or wives, to governmental authorities, and to resist the temptation to murmur , complain and grumble.

Change

( Gal. 5:15 ; James 3:6 ) Tongue is one member of the body that is capable of defiling the whole body. It is the worst enemy of the church because it destroys within.

( James 3:3-4 ; Prov. 21:23 ; Prov. 6:2 ; Rom. 10:10 ; Prov. 15:23 ; Prov. 4:23 ) We develop the fruit of temperance by learning to control the mouth. When we speak God’s words, we deliver ourselves from every curse of the law. The amount of joy in a believer’s heart may be measured by the confession of his mouth.

( Gal. 5:16-17 ; Rom. 7:14-25 ; Eph. 3:16 ; 2 Pet. 1:5-6 ) Whatever we feed on, flesh or spirit, determines our destiny. But as we yield to the Spirit of God within, we will develop the strength to exercise control over the flesh and bring it into submission to the reborn spirit.

( 1 Cor. 14:4 ; Ps. 8:2 ; Rom. 5:12 ; Heb. 4:16 ; James 4:6-8 ) We can be strengthened with might by the Spirit in the inner man by speaking in tongues, by praising God, by receiving God’s grace and by an act of faith and will. Thus, draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Grace is defined as “God’s ability to do His will” in you – God in the soul of man. We need only to learn to experience the fullness of that grace in which we already abide. Thus, take courage and develop the fruit of self-control.

Work Out Your Salvation (Phil. 2:12-13)

Memory Verse(s):

Heb. 4:16

Devotion:

BSAF on selected verses from above or of your choosing.

Put-Off/Put-On:

Process Section A.6, “Problem Solving Worksheet” and Section A.5, “Dying To Self” . Note areas where you are under control of people or circumstances, and inclined to lose control. Establish a plan of action via Section A.4, “Victory Over Sin Worksheet” and Section A.9, “Contingency Plan” in order to place yourself under the influence of the Holy Spirit. Make plans to change your thoughts, speech and actions consistent with the word of God. Be aware: what you see and comprehend, you will communicate; what you communicate, you will be conformed to ( Jude ).

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