Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Galatians 5:16-23 - Fruit of the Spirit

1. What two forces are constantly fighting in your life?

2. Why does Paul say that if you follow the Holy Spirit, you are no longer subject to Moses' law? (Verse 5:18)

3. How do you behave when you follow your own (selfish, sinful) desires?

4. Why do you follow your own desires when you "know" that you should not?

5. What is the ultimate consequence of following your own desires? (Verse 5:2 1)

6. Rate yourself honestly on the fruits of the Spirit in your own life on a scale of 1 to 10. 10 means this is the way I act today, 1 means I have a long way to go on this item.

____ LOVE. Love is pre-eminent in my life. I see all people through the eyes of Christ. I have a deep compassi6n for the lost, the lonely, the weak and the poor. I am magnanimous towards those who "get in my hair." I keep no record of wrongs. I give selflessly, sometimes till it hurts. I go the extra mile. I would rather forgive 20 injuries than avenge one. God always comes first.
____ JOY. People know me for my joyful disposition even when there is a cause to grieve. There is a contagious radiance about me because "the joy of the Lord is my strength." I remain strong and positive when things go wrong because I trust in God. I am quick to see the brighter side of things. I know that for my shattered plans, God has better plans. My contentment springs from the knowledge that God is sovereign and Jesus is coming, again.
____ PEACE. The peace of God rules my heart and mind. I stay calm in disturbing situations because my eyes are fixed on Jesus. With few exceptions (and I'm working on these) I enjoy wholesome and beautiful relationships all round. Whenever relationships are strained or fractured I take the initiative in moving toward healing and restoration. I can see the dark spots in my own life and am quick to confess them. I am willing always to pay the price of being a peace-maker in a world of bruised relationships.
____ PATIENCE. I never make hasty judgements or speak hasty words. I am not quick at jumping to conclusions. I am patient with people when they fail or fall. I face opposition and discouragement with composure. I never give up. I keep cool while others are hot. I am not irritable or easily angered. My "tolerance level" is extremely high. I can put up with a lot. I accept people for who they are and not for how they perform. When I confront others, they feel I do so because I care!
____ KINDNESS. People feel "love's touch" when they're around me. I am blessed with a M-I-L-D disposition (though, occasionally, I do turn that "M" upside down). I let God deal with the bitterness, anger and malice in my heart. A deep respect and consideration for others, coupled with a forgiving spirit, makes relating to people such a pleasure! The kindness of Jesus is seen in me.
____ GOODNESS. The goodness of God touches my life and then overflows into the lives of others. I am a caring person, a friend and neighbor to many. A genuine benevolence characterizes my life. When I see a need, I respond to it in the compassion of Christ. I am sensitive to the evil and suffering around, and seek to be an instrument of God's liberating touch. Uplifting the quality of people's lives is a major concern to me.
____ FAITHFULNESS. I make promises and keep them. I am a man of my word. People can count on me. There is no gap in what I say and what I do. Fidelity is the hallmark of my marriage and other commitments. I do not flirt with the world or with anyone. I am true to the Lord, to my spouse, to people, and to causes that God entrusts to me. They are all sacred to me!
____ MEEKNESS. I am willing "to go under" any yoke that God wants me to to be SUBMISSIVE to God and to one another out of our mutual reverence for Christ. I freely and willingly accept all that God, in His providence, gives or withholds from me. I am willing to step "under the yoke" with Christ and my co-workers in kingdom service. I am willing to step aside when it is time to do so. I bring myself under the authority of Christ and His Church. I can "glory in my infirmities so that the power of God may be made manifest in me." I bear provocation without being inflamed by it. I give a soft answer when angry words are spoken. I respect my own rights and the rights of others, willing to give up mine if the Lord so guides me. I am a pro-actor not a reactor. I relate to others as one among sinners never arrogantly.
____ SELF-CONTROL. The key to my life is self-mastery. I am temperate in my thoughts, words, and actions. I live a disciplined life-in private and in public. I have complete mastery of my body, my mind, my emotions and will, my time, my possessions, my desires and appetites. I never lose control. I don't eat too much, drink too much, work too much, play too much, or sleep too much: no excesses whatever! Jesus is Lord over every area of my life!

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