December 5, 2015 by Tricia Draper
Fruits of the Spirit – Love & Joy
Fruits of the Spirit – Love
We are going to explore the Fruits of the Spirit in our next few sessions. We can find these in:
• Galatians 5:21-23 New International Version (NIV)
• 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Joyce Meyer says she thinks the fruits have to be in the order they are because you cannot have the next without the one ahead of it. We think that is true. We will look further into that, but let’s start with the first: Love.
We searched into Love a few episodes ago. We will recap quickly.
• John 3:16New International Version (NIV)
• 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Almost everyone, believer or not, knows this verse. But we believe the real love came from the beginning.
• Genesis 1:1New International Version (NIV)
• 1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
When Jesus died on the cross that day, He showed us the ultimate act of love. He laid down his life willfully, even out of joy the Bible says, to show us a pattern for us to live by.
God shows us what real love is in Romans 5:8
• Romans 5:8
• But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
So, if God loves us so much, how can we show our love to Him? In John 14:15 Jesus tells us:
• “If you love me, you will obey what I command.”
You will experience peace, joy, and true happiness when you invite Him in your heart.
Fruits of the Spirit –Joy
The next fruit after love is joy! This is my favorite fruit! As we mentioned before, we believe you can’t have true joy without the love of God. Joy is mentioned aver 240 times in the Bible, not to mention the other times it is alluded to. Psalms is loaded with verses about joy. For example the scriptures often relate to singing as in:
• Psalm 5:11
• But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.
• Psalm 28:7
• The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.
• *Psalm 65:8
• The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy.
• Psalm 71:23
• My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you— I whom you have delivered.
It also mentions joy when we trust in God, and in His presence.
• Psalm 86:4
• Bring joy to your servant, Lord, for I put my trust in you.
• Psalm 16:11
• You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
When we are in God’s presence, we should be shouting for joy! He loves us so much, and He only wants to give us joy. The dictionary definition of joy lists such things as:
• the emotion of great delight or happiness causedby something
• exceptionally good or satisfying;
We know that GOD is someone special and has done exceptional things for the whole world!!!
Another definition is
• a source or cause of keen pleasure or delight;something or someone
• greatly valued or appreciated:
Obviously, God is someone greatly valued and appreciated.
We believe that joy is a state of being, not just a feeling. You may feel happy at external things, but to really have complete joy, you must have God in your life. He is the source of true joy.
In John 15:11 Jesus himself tells us:
• John 15:11
• I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
He was telling his disciples about His love for them. He says in verse 9, “As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Now remain in My love.”
He was telling them about His love, so their JOY could be complete. Love first, then JOY!! We know He loves us, so now we can be filled with joy.
Jesus was trying to explain about joy and sorrow to His disciples in:
• John 16:22
• So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.
He was trying to comfort them, knowing they would initially be sad when He died, but eventually they would have joy, and no one would take it from them. That’s true with most things. People so many times blame the devil for taking something from them, and he certainly does, but only if we let him. We usually give it to him by not standing on the Word and using our authority. No one can take your joy, but satan will gladly receive it from you when you let him. If we give up our joy, we let satan win.
Jesus went on to say in a few verses after that:
• John 16:24
• Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.
He was trying to convey that we can ask for anything in His name, and we will receive it. We have covered this subject many times before, but it boils down to this. When you are in God’s will, and you are asking with pure motives, whatever you ask will be done. It may not be done in YOUR timing, but HIS timing is always perfect! And, sometimes the things we ask for are not beneficial to us, so what may seem like an unanswered prayer, may be a gift!
He longs to give us the desires of our hearts, because when we are in His will, we know true Joy!
Another act of true Joy is something God has given us; the Holy Spirit. When you ask the Holy Spirit to come into your life and lead and guide you, true joy is made complete. In Acts 13 we see:
• Acts 13:52
• And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
And again in Romans 14 and 15:
• Romans 14:17
• For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,
• Romans 15:13
• May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Paul and James both mention joy in trials. We are going to have trials of many kinds the Bible says, but they gave the hope that we need to hear in those times.
• Romans 12:12
• Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
• James 1:2-3
• 2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
Paul urges the Philippians in:
• Philippians 2:2
• then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.
Paul tells the Philippians: we must be like-minded. This is something that is throughout the Bible. When we are one, there is no stopping us. We need to unite and share our joy with others, believers and non-believers.
Joy is a way of being that comes with strong feelings. You may feel joy, but to have it is to have God. Joy is complete in God. Joy comes with the Holy Spirit. We have joy when we are in God’s presence. It gives God great joy to see His children loving others the way He loves us. Love may be the first fruit, but Joy successfully follows it up!
We will leave you with one of my favorite verses. Feel Paul’s exhortation of joy in:
• Philippians 4:4
• 4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control are the Fruits of the Spirit that are generously given to us by God’s Holy Spirit. Love is the first, and joy follows closely. In order to have joy, you must have the Love of God. We will learn more about each fruit in the next few sessions!
We love you guys and next time we will look at the third fruit, Peace.
Prayer for salvation.
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