Friday, August 17, 2018

Devotionals for the Heart: Fruit


The Fruit of the Spirit
A devotional by Susan Lindstrom

I’ve been working on a series of books for children about that amazing gift from the Holy Spirit, the Fruit of the Spirit. The main character is a spunky little girl named Emmie Jane. She’s learning about living life with a loving Jesus through real-life situations. Her Sunday school class is studying the Fruit of the Spirit and each week they practice applying it to real life. Which she finds out, is not as easy as she thought it should be.

When she asks her daddy if he and mommy need help too, he tells her, “It doesn’t matter how old you are. It’s not always easy to act how God wants, but the Holy Spirit helps us, and that’s the best thing. We don’t have to do it on our own!”

Paul teaches us in the book of Galatians about the freedom we have with Christ and to embrace that freedom by living in the Spirit. He explains in Galatians 5:22-25 (NLT), “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.”

I found out the Greek word used here for is karpós. It’s in the singular so loosely translated, the single fruit of the Spirit is one unit, they all go together because that’s who the Holy Spirit is.

I can’t remember the last time I heard this from the pulpit! I’d love to hear it often and be encouraged to live out my life this way. So, I thought I would share a kid-friendly understanding of what I’ve learned while studying for this series.

The Fruit of the Spirit is a free gift with nine attributes we as Christians should strive to, with the Holy Spirit, work into our personalities. 

Here's a breakdown of this amazing fruit:

Joy

Knowing that true happiness comes from knowing and following Christ, not material things

Love
Unselfish devotion to God and others

Peace

That is inner peace, free from worrying about anything. Jesus gives us a peace that surpasses our understanding.

Patience

Treating others with thoughtfulness and tolerance.

Kindness

The golden rule! Treat others as you would like to be treated.

Self-control


We know we can overcome the temptations of this world because God is always with us.

Gentleness

Acting calmly and avoiding actions that lead others to anger or resentment

Faithfulness

Living out our commitment to the teachings of Jesus and the scriptures.

Goodness

Trying to honor God by avoiding sin and always trying to do what is right.

Wow, can we ever get this right in a lifetime? 

Ms. Jubilee, Emmie Jane’s Sunday school teacher, tells the class that God gives us free will and how the Holy Spirit helps us, but we can also choose how we act. We can choose to love others, regardless of how they treat us.

In fact, Jesus tells us in John 13:34-35 (NLT), “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” 

Such an important and powerful message from our Savior. Whether it’s in our own homes or out in the world, what a way to witness His love to everyone on this earth. A six-year-old girl named Nikki spoke words about love that touched my heart. She said, “If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate.”

I know I’m going to be more conscious about using the Spiritual Fruit that lives inside me.

I hope you’ll join me.

~*~
Author Bio:
Susan Lindstrom is NOT an award-winning writer yet unless you count that ‘best story’ award in third grade but stay tuned to see what God has planned!

Writing has always been a passion but raising a family, running her sewing and design business, involvement in Women’s Ministry and teaching Sunday School kept her plenty busy.

Now a retired empty-nester, she trusts in God’s amazing timing and has jumped in to embrace this new adventure of writing.

Her first book, Emmie Jane and the Yellow Fuzz, is for children and is now available for purchase on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble. It's the first in a series of real-life adventures focusing on the Fruit of the Spirit.

Susan grew up on both the East and West coasts and now calls the beautiful state of Wisconsin home. She is a wife, mom, and grandma to 10 children.

She enjoys a wide variety of music, loves live performance and believes that laughter is the best medicine.

When she is not indoors writing, reading or pretending to clean the house, she’s outdoors enjoying the beauty of God’s Creation.

Susan is a proud member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW).

~*~
Connect with Susan:
Website - www.susanlindstrombooks.com
Facebook - www.facebook.com/susanlindstrombooks/

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