Saturday, May 24, 2014

Fruits of the Flesh and the Spirit

One of our favorite fruits called jambu air (rose apple),
an exotic tropical fruit.

We talk a lot on this blog about living healthy, about eating pastured food, about choosing the right kinds of fats, about using natural sweeteners, and about living a natural lifestyle. It nourishes our body when we eat healthy food. But are we feeding the healthy food that our spirit needs?

"But he answered, 'It is written, "'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.''" - Matthew 4:4

The Bible explicitly says what unhealthy food for the spirit are. They are flesh desires that are contrary to the spirit. 

"For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God."  - Galatians 5:17-21

And it gives us clear guidance of what we need to feed our 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

We need to feed our spirit with:

Love. We are called to love God and everyone regardless of status, race, and religion.

He answered, "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" - Luke 10:27

Joy. We are called to trust in Him and be joyful in hope.

"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him." - Psalm 28:7

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." - Romans 12:12

Peace. We need to make peace with other people. There can be tensions in the family, but blessed are those who are the peace-makers.

"But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere." - James 3:17

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God." - Matthew 5:9

Patience. We need to be patient while enduring our "crosses," because "suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope." (Romans 5:3-4)

"This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus. - Revelation 14:12"

Kindness. We need to be kind, to show kindness, and to teach kindness to our children by being a good example ourselves.

"She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue." - Proverbs 31:26

Goodness. The Word of God is good food for our soul. Dwelling in the Word and remembering Scripture are key to a contented life.

"Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever." - Psalm 23:6

Faithfulness. We are called to be faithful and be good stewards of all the resources God has blessed us with. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. (Luke 12:14)

"One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own?" - Luke 16:10

Gentleness. We are called to be gentle towards one another.

"Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness." - 1 Timothy 6:11b

"To speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people." - Titus 3:2

Self-Control. Being a mom, this is an area that is very hard. Toddler tantrums can make you lose control and you end up doing something that you will regret later on. Self-control is something that God is teaching me a lot lately.

"A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.." - Proverbs 25:28

It is pleasing to God when we take care of our body, but there are more to life than just our physical beings. We may be happy, but we have no joy. We may be full, but never satisfied. We may be rich, but no contentment. We may be surrounded by many people, but still feel lonely (link). Life can end just like that, without notice. But when we give our life to God, He will take care of us and satisfy our hunger and thirst. 

What fruits of the Spirit is easiest and hardest for you?

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