I was so excited when I learned our current series would be on the fruit of the Spirit. I want to overflow with his fruit. Unfortunately, on my own, I am selfish and self-centered. It is easy to forget that the Holy Spirit fills us with his fruit. We can’t produce his fruit on our own. We try and try to be better, striving to improve ourselves, only to fail miserably. We can only produce fruit by knowing God and letting his Holy Spirit change us. We learn to know God through prayer, Scripture reading and memorization, and interacting with other Christians.
22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self control. There is no law against these things!
During this series, we have focused on a different fruit of the Spirit each week. Last weekend, guest speaker Ashlee Eiland, teaching pastor of Mars Hill in Grand Rapids, Michigan, introduced kindness. She shared that kindness isn’t niceness. Niceness can be accomplished within the limitations of our own strengths and resources. Kindness is born of the Spirit of God and is a power beyond our own. Kindness is generous, lavish, selfless, compassionate, and merciful. Jesus is the ultimate definition of kindness.
As I was writing this, I thought, “Who is the kindest person I know?” Several people came to mind, but then I thought of my dear friend Carol from my CedarCreek Group. Carol spent several years caring for her mom who was ill. It consumed most of Carol’s time, but she always found an opportunity to reach out to the ladies in our group. She is gentle, compassionate, warm, and loving. She listens intently and really loves and cares for others. She is a prayer warrior and has a gift of sharing the perfect scripture at the right moment. I have been stunned by the mercy she shows to people. She is a godly woman who bears much fruit, all because she has a close and intimate relationship with Jesus.
I don’t know about you, but I want to bear more fruit. We will look at the fruit of kindness over the next few days, something our world is in desperate need of. I challenge you this week to think about how kind God is to you. Praise him and thank him for being generous, lavish, selfless, compassionate, and merciful. Ask him to help you to be kind to others.
How is kindness different from niceness? How has God been kind to you? Why should you thank God for his kindness?
Memorize the fruit of the Spirit, and ask God to fill you with them daily. Journal about how God has been kind to you. Read the LivingItOut Bible Study (LIO) every day.
Jesus, I am so overwhelmed by all you have done for me, and all you will do for me. I trust you. I am so grateful for your love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self control. Change me, Lord. Fill me with the fruit of the Spirit. Help me to love others as you have loved me. Help me to bear much fruit. Amen.
This post was written by Marsha Raymond. Marsha has been happily married to her husband, Jeff, for 30 years. They have two grown sassy and fearless daughters. She loves spending time with God, her family and friends, reading, riding bicycles, yoga and walking.
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