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Fruit of the Spirit: Conclusion

The Choice is Yours

by Susan Irene Fox

Since we live by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit in every part of our lives. Galatians 5:25

Thanks and Thoughts

First, I want to thank again the poets who helped to unify and enhance these themes. They are all listed at the end of this post with links to their blogs. Please join me in thanking them by visiting their sites.

Second, I want to close this series by thanking all of you who commented on posts, followed my blog and uplifted me in ways you cannot imagine. I hope you’ll stick around for the next series.

Third, want to offer this thought: that following the Spirit is a daily choice we make – hour by hour sometimes – to think, speak and act in ways consciously different than most people.

Choose Love –Love God and love how He loves; unconditionally, with compassion, grace and mercy. Look up to God so you look down on no one. No person or group of people justifies your hatred.

Choose Joy – Refuse to be controlled by your circumstances. Say, “no,” to the temptations of cynicism, sarcasm and bitterness. Allow God to lead you deep into new thinking.

Choose Peace – Let Christ’s love and forgiveness reach down inside your heart. Let the freedom he brought break the chains of captivity that keep you from forgiving others. Let him transform your heart.

Choose Patience – Breathe. When you’re in your car, standing in line; at work, at the doctor’s office; waiting for news, a job, a break, a plan, some quiet time or answered prayer. God has been so patient with you; each time you stumble, He helps you up with His gracious hand. Offer that to someone else, to your circumstances, to yourself. Wait upon the Lord.

Choose Kindness – Speak life. Speak encouragement. Speak compassion. Speak from a humble place. Disengage from gossip. Avoid complaining. Offer an unexpected act of kindness.

Choose Generosity – Work hard at seeing someone else’s point of view. Refuse to judge. Put someone else first. Go the extra mile for someone who has asked a favor, then don’t talk about it.

Choose Faithfulness – Do what you say you will do. Don’t worry about tomorrow. Pray. Be thankful for your blessings.

Choose Gentleness – Give God the honor for your gifts and accomplishments. Apologize if you have hurt or offended someone. Look for ways to authentically uplift others.

Choose Self-Control – Indulge in the Bread of Life which will fill your heart. Get drunk on the joy of God which will fill your senses. Be influenced by the Holy Spirit and the words of Jesus, which will set you on the narrow path.

Finally, I want to give thanks to the Holy Spirit, without whose words and courage I could not have written a single letter of this series. I want to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, on this Good Friday in glorious anticipation of Easter Sunday, for calling me to him and bringing me to the Father in such an extraordinary manner.

I want to thank God for His everlasting love, and His always present grace and mercy, for the peace beyond comprehension, and for the opportunity I now have to see Him face to face.

The Poets

Love: John Blase The Beautiful Due

Joy: Diana Rasmussen Prayers and Promises 

Peace: Ken Mudenda I Am Poetry 

Patience: Belinda Borriadaile Idiot Writing 

Kindness: Oliana Kim Traces of the Soul

Generosity: Heidi Vars Wings of the Dawn

Faithfulness: Daniel Ng Daniel Frugalberg

Gentleness: Anne-Marie Hurley scottishmomus

Self-Control: Mike Bullock Versical Rhymes

Finally, I want to offer a quote and prayer.

The quote is from a book I just finished reading by David Lomas, called The Truest Thing About You.*

God won’t stop with partial transformation. But to what end is God working? What are we being transformed into? God’s will is to work in us a character of love and joy and peace and patience and kindness and goodness and faithfulness and gentleness and self-control. God is working that in us – and here’s the crazy part, the part I have trouble believing most days: God will complete that work in me.

The prayer is one the apostle Paul prayed for the church in Ephesus that seems to be particularly appropriate here and now.

I fall to my knees and pray to God, the Creator of all things in heaven and on earth. I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resource He empower you with inner strength through His Spirit so that Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grown down into God’s love and keep you strong. May you have the power to understand how wide, how long, how high and how deep His love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to fully understand. Then you will be made complete with the fullness of life that comes from God. (Ephesians 3:14-19)

*David Lomas, copyright 2014, The Truest Thing About You, p. 199, David C. Cook, Colorado Springs, CO