Rafael Holding

Rafael Holding is a writer in Australia. 

Getting God’s Input

Is God personally concerned about you? Does He want to provide solutions to your problems, bless your endeavors, help you get the most out of life, and make you the best person you can possibly be? If so, is He able to tell you how? Yes, yes, and yes!

Self-Control—The Liberating Fruit

The secret to building self-control is to yield our lives to God and let His Holy Spirit guide our thoughts, our actions and our life. “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world,” Paul advises, “but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”1

Gentleness—The Winsome Fruit

A gentle spirit is one of the keys to success with people. It can make all the difference in how open others are to our opinions and ideas.

Jesus is pictured in the Bible as a lamb,1 a mother hen,2 and a gentle, concerned shepherd.3 He said of Himself, “I am gentle and lowly in heart.”4 He didn’t force anyone to believe in or follow Him; He showed compassion, and gently wooed people into His heavenly kingdom by His loving example.

Faithfulness—The One-Day-at-a-Time Fruit

Faithful people are dependable and true. They’re faithful to God, faithful to the work He has called them to, whatever that may be, and faithful to keep their word and fulfill their obligations to others. All of these things are part of their Christian duty.

Faithful people are that way because they are full of faith. Their faith is what gives them the strength to be responsible. They’re full of God’s Word, which is the source of faith,1 so it comes naturally for them to do what it says. Theirs is a living faith, and it shows.2 Faithful people keep going through thick and thin because they know Him in whom they believe, and are persuaded that He will work everything out for their good in the end.3

Goodness—The Exemplary Fruit

Christians are expected to be good people. In fact, many non-Christians expect more from Christians than they do from themselves or anyone else. Jesus Himself told His first followers, “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”1 That doesn’t mean we are to act in a self-righteous goody-two-shoes way. That isn’t the goodness Jesus gives. Rather it is genuine goodness of the heart shown in honesty, empathy, helpfulness, and a multitude of other ways.

Kindness—The Irresistible Fruit

Kindness is love in action, love translated into simple everyday terms. It’s being considerate of others. It’s living the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”1 It’s turning a blind eye to the flubs and foibles of others. It’s being as tenderhearted and forgiving toward others as God is with you.2

Kindness generates goodwill. Your kind words and kind deeds tell others that their happiness and well-being are important to you, and that makes them want to respond in like manner. Kindness is one of the hardest things to give away, because it’s nearly always returned. Kindness costs nothing, but can accomplish so much. A kind smile or a kind word can make all the difference in the world to someone who’s having a hard day. A little bit of love goes such a long way!

Longsuffering—The Conciliatory Fruit

"The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.Against such there is no law."1

“If my brother offends me, how many times shall I forgive him?” someone once asked Jesus, before offering a hopeful guess. “Seven times?”

“No, seventy times seven!” was Jesus’ reply.2 In other words, we should never stop forgiving.

Peace—The Steadfast Fruit

"The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law."1

Jesus promised us peace. “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”2 Just as Jesus calmed the stormy sea when His disciples thought their ship was sinking and they were about to drown,3 He can calm the storms of life and give you inner peace.

Love—The All-Encompassing Fruit

"The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law."1

How important is love? When Jesus was asked which commandment was the most important, He answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”2 In other words, if you can do those two things—love God and love your neighbor—everything else will fall into place. All of the other commandments were given to teach us to do the right and loving thing.

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