8th March 2011


“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)

This verse makes clear that all of the things listed are the fruit of the spirit, not as we sometimes think, ‘fruits’ plural.  Each of the qualities listed in Galatians 5.22-23 are complementary, and should be reflected in the way we live our lives and interact with other people. But it’s not wrong to occasionally think about each of the characteristics listed and reflect on how evident it is in our lives.

In thinking about joy, I can dimly remember a Sunday school teacher talking about it and teaching us a simple way to remember it. As an adult when thinking about it today it seems to me my teacher had hit upon a good way to produce all the fruit of the spirit. Joy was defined as follows:
J – esus first.
O – thers second.
Y – ourself last.

When we reflect on how we are doing in our Christian walk, it may help to ask the questions:  1. Am I putting Jesus first in my life? 2. Am I putting others second? 3. Am I putting myself last?  If we can answer yes to all three then we will not only have joy, but all the other characteristics of the fruit of the spirit evident in our lives as well.

Loving Father, help me to put you first in my life, and let the Holy Spirit flow through me as I share with others all the aspects of the wonderful fruit  that we learn about in Galatians 5.

Study by Keith Hartrick

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