I am learning that if I want to stay close to God, to have a real relationship with Him, then I need to be reading and memorizing His Word. Last year I was working my way through a book called, 100 Bible Verses everyone should know by heart by Robert J. Morgan. I stopped about half way though...and I'm not really sure why. I guess the important thing is for me to start again, to breathe in God's Word, to breathe in the teaching and presence of the Holy Spirit.
So - some of my verses for this week are Galatians 5:22-23. These verses talk about the fruit of the 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."
I like Morgan's notes about these attitudes: (from 100 Bible Verses, p. 163)
Love - first on the list because it's the fountainhead of all the rest; conveyed (given) to others
Joy - an attitude that lights up our own lives
Peace - quality of calmness and inner strength keeping us steady during tough times
Patience - two kinds: perseverance is patience related to circumstances. Being even-tempered is having patience with other people.
Kindness - the practical side of love - love expressing itself in countless ways big and small
Goodness - being morally sound - the practical side of holiness
Faithfulness - trustworthy of character (because we trust Him who is worthy)
Gentleness - strong of spirit yet warm and friendly in our dealings with others
Self-control - This is the knot at the end of the string of fruit - it is the quality that keeps us from falling back into sin.
Robert Morgan points out that it's one fruit - and he compares it to a cluster of grapes. Jesus said, "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." (John 15:5) So, as we remain in Christ, this cluster of attitudes will grow in us!