I need something else to concentrate on, other than Kaedra, and I had been planning on doing this since last week so I am just going to jump in now.
What fruit are you focusing on this fruit this week?
I chose Joy for my first Fruit of the Spirit Friday because that is the word that best defines me in the body of Christ. It is the fruit I cultivate the most dearly and it is where my strength comes from. (The Joy of the Lord is my strength Neh 8:10)
How does the Bible define this fruit?
wow I didn't realize this one would be so hard. There are so many references to joy in the bible. In a strict definition sense, the Greek word "chara" is defined as joy, gladness, delight and to rejoice.
How does God reveal this fruit to us?
I believe that God reveals this fruit to us through the joy of some of the biblical figures, most notably and importantly Jesus.
"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:2
These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. John 14:11
But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves. John 17:13
Jesus speaks of HIS joy. That is how God has revealed joy to us, through His son. And not only revealed to us, but given to us.
What is the evidence of this fruit in one’s life?
The joy of the Lord is my strength Neh 8:10
He prays to God and finds favor with him, he sees God's face and
shouts for joy; he is restored by God to his righteous state. (Job 33:26 and many others)
I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing praise to your name, O
Most High. (Psalm 9:2 and too many others to mention!)
Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away. Isaiah 35:10, 51:11 (also John 16:20, 22, Psalm 30:5)
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12 (also Romans 15:13
Being filled with the Spirit
1 Thess 1:6, Eph 5:18, Romans 14:17
Share an example of the presence of this fruit in someone’s life.
Unfortunately I see the absence of Joy in many people's lives. So many people are dragged down by their circumstances, living from problem to problem, not realizing that JOY is within their reach. To me joy is not a giddy, loud, riotous personality, but a calm, shining light that permeates your character and encapsulates many of the other fruits of the spirit. When you have joy the problems don't cease to exist, but they cease to rule your life and thoughts. Instead you can concentrate on God and on his goodness and love. When someone does have joy, I am drawn to them like a magnet and I feel an immediate kinship with them.
How does fruit or lack of it in our life affect others? (spouse, children, friends) Wow. In my life this is huge. When I am not rejoicing in the Lord, the whole family reacts. I can truly feel the joy seep out of everyone else. When I exhibit the joy of the Lord the reaction is equally as stunning. Our house brims over with joy and praising and praying and shouting and singing and all is well. I can definitely say that my family looks to me for the joy.
What can you do to express more of this fruit in your character?
I need to keep my eyes on Jesus. I am not just trying to use a cliche, I mean I truly need to focus on Him and ignore all else. I need to make my words and actions line up with THE TRUTH and follow Him. I need to not look at the circumstances, no matter what they might be, but look to His Word and His Truth and remember that my joy in Him is my strength. Sometimes it seems as if it would be easier to crumble and cry and feel sorry for myself. Sometimes I revert back to my old ways and want others to feel sorry for me. However, when I do that, my family falls apart and I don't feel any better anyway. If I don't let Satan steal my joy, I can keep my family pointed toward Jesus and I can rejoice in my sorrows disappearing. When I keep my joy, I have the strength that I need to get through anything.
To see other people's Fruit of the Spirit memes, check out the Heart of Wisdom Blog.