I want to start off this month's blog by introducing the Fruit of the Spirit paperclips. They are available in a set or individually.

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. There is no law against these things!

Galatians 5:22-23

As Christians we should be marked by this fruit. Note that it is not plural but singular. If you are a Christian you should be striving to produce the whole list. This might seem like a lot but you are not alone. When you trust in Jesus as your Saviour the Holy Spirit comes to live in you. By listening to the Holy Spirit you will produce this fruit. Another thing to remember is that you're not trying to be this list to earn your place in Heaven. If that was the case we wouldn't have a hope of reaching Heaven. It is only by turning away from your sin, asking for forgiveness and believing Jesus died to take your punishment that you have a relationship with God and a home in Heaven. The purpose of producing this fruit is to point others to God and show them what He is like.

I want to take a moment to focus on joy. What would you say brings you joy? A verse that has come up a couple of times recently and is a real encouragement during this time of the Coronavirus is Psalm 94:19.

This is the thing about the joy of the Lord - you can still have it even when there is anxiety, when there is doubt, when there is trouble. God is always there for you to rest in His comfort, in His consolation. Joy is a small but powerful word. It runs deep, it's a contentment you feel when everything goes wrong because you know that God is your Father. The sovereign, great I AM is your dad. This joy comes from knowing Jesus.

Producing joy as part of the fruit of the Spirit means sharing it with others, telling them the reason for your joy. This can be tough but the Bible even tells us that we can use our joy as a source of strength.

Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

Nehemiah 8:10

The joy of the Lord lets you face anything, be confident in Him.

Maybe you don't know what this joy feels like, maybe you only know happiness that is fleeting, that doesn't last. That's because you are looking for joy in the wrong place; this world. If you seek joy that is everlasting turn from your sin and look to Jesus. This joy is for you because He loves you.



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