Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Welcome to Tuesdays Together In the Word. We are a group of women reading through the Bible using the plan on DeeDee's I Have No Greater Joy blog. We are sharing a nugget or three about what we've read over the past week. Please jump in and participate. Even if you don't use the plan and would like to share about what you're reading in the Word, join us!
This week we read:
The Fruit of the Spirit
"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. " ~ Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)

I wanted to give some greek definitions of the fruit of the Spirit. Am I bearing these in my life? How is my garden growing? (Note: if you want to read more about these fruits, click on each fruit and it will take you to a post I've done on them in the past.)

Love - agapē - 1) affection, good will, love, benevolence, brotherly love, 2) love feasts

Joy - chara - 1) joy, gladness, a) the joy received from you, b) the cause or occasion of joy, 1) of persons who are one's joy

Peace - eirēnē - 1) a state of national tranquillity, a) exemption from the rage and havoc of war, 2) peace between individuals, i.e. harmony, concord, 3) security, safety, prosperity, felicity, (because peace and harmony make and keep things safe and prosperous), 4) of the Messiah's peace, a) the way that leads to peace (salvation), 5) of Christianity, the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is, 6) the blessed state of devout and upright men after death

Patience - makrothymia - 1) patience, endurance, constancy, steadfastness, perseverance, 2) patience, forbearance, longsuffering, slowness in avenging wrongs

Kindness - chrēstotēs - 1) moral goodness, integrity, 2) benignity, kindness

Goodness - agathōsynē - 1) uprightness of heart and life, goodness, kindness

Faithfulness - pistis - 1) conviction of the truth of anything, belief; in the NT of a conviction or belief respecting man's relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervour born of faith and joined with it, a) relating to God, 1) the conviction that God exists and is the creator and ruler of all things, the provider and bestower of eternal salvation through Christ, b) relating to Christ, 1) a strong and welcome conviction or belief that Jesus is the Messiah, through whom we obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom of God, c) the religious beliefs of Christians, d) belief with the predominate idea of trust (or confidence) whether in God or in Christ, springing from faith in the same, 2) fidelity, faithfulness, a) the character of one who can be relied on,

Gentleness - praotēs - 1) gentleness, mildness, meekness

Self-control - egkrateia - 1) self-control (the virtue of one who masters his desires and passions, esp. his sensual appetites)

The Litmus Test

The actions of our faith aren't measured by mimicking someone else's faith or goodness. Although others certainly have certain character traits we should aspire to have, we should each live out our own faith and not try to be someone's mirror image. Our own actions are to come from our own heart, born out of a desire to do God's will for His glory. Just as no two fingerprints are alike, no two faiths are alike. Actions mean nothing if they aren't sincere and from our own hearts.
"Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load." ~ Galatians 6:4-5 (NIV)
Asking the Tough Questions
"Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God." ~ Psalm 43:5 (NIV)
Don't you love how the Psalmist would ask the tough questions and follow up with the right answer? When our souls are downcast and disturbed, the answer is hoping and praising God. Who doesn't feel better after a reminder of hope and a round of praise?!



Lady of Value said...

I admit that I play the 'comparison game' and I know that I shouldn't. I see my failures and everyone else's triumph, but what I forget is that I don't know that person's heart, I am only looking at outside appearances. Thanks for the reminder..

Denise said...

Nice post sweetie.

Anonymous said...

Fine post, Laurie Ann. I just love word studies. What brought me home was the phrase..."no two faiths are alike." How easily I have looked at someone and thought I will never be like her or I just cannot do this. My faith is mine. You are right. My heart must be aligned with God's will for me. I must be willing to be His. If I am in His hands, I believe and trust Him. Thank you for the pondering material. ~ linda

Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace said...

Great verses, Laurie Ann. I love how the Lord speaks to each of us in different ways...love reading what "jumped out" at all of you as you read this week! Thanks for sharing...