We’ve been studying the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). We can plant and water, but God brings the increase. The fruit of the Spirit is of the Spirit. If you focus on the outward without the development of the inward, you will fail. We must walk in the Spirit and allow Him to produce His fruit in us. How the church began is how the church will continue. God poured out His Spirit and they continued steadfastly.
God is trustworthy. He is faithful in His dealings with us. Just like the sunrise happens faithfully every morning, Lamentations 3:23 says His mercies are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness! 1 Corinthians 1:9 and 10:13 both say, “God is faithful.” 1 Thessalonians 5:14 says, “Faithful is He who calls you….” Not only is God faithful, but He rewards faithfulness. Matthew 25:23 says, “His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant….’” We should always give 100% effort. We are to love God with all our heart. We are to be faithful in our wealth and faithful in our worship. Be faithful to keep your word. Get rid of a get-by attitude. Don’t halfway do anything. God does not require that you BE the best but that you DO your best. You are not worth much if you are not faithful. “Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a bad tooth and a foot out of joint” (Prov. 25:19).
Our culture says unfaithfulness is normal. Faithful Christians shine as lights in the darkness. Be faithful in singleness, in friendships, in marriage – for better or worse. Remember, in marriage you signed up for worse! Culture says to look on the internet and find someone else. Christ says work it out. Be faithful. Parents, be faithful to your kids. Children be faithful to your parents. Be faithful to your employees and employers. Let the word “faithful” describe you in your relationships and workplace.
Where would we be today without the faithfulness of God? Hebrews 11:11 says, “And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise.” Without faith, it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6). We can have faith – belief in His Word, confidence in who He says He is, assurance that He’ll do what He says He’ll do – and we can be faithful to others, because He is faithful! “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True…” (Rev. 19:11).
Jesus said, “Blessed are the meek.” Meekness is not weakness. It is power under control. Meek is another word for gentle. Numbers 12 says that Moses was a meek man, yet he said to Pharaoh, “Let my people go.” Jesus Himself said, “I am gentle and humble in heart” (Matt. 11:29). Over and over again in Scripture we are told to be gentle. “Let your gentleness be evident to all…” (Phil. 4:5). Do you have a teachable spirit? Are you repentant? It is daily? Are you gentle and sensitive or demanding and harsh?
Self-control only happens when you are surrendered to the Spirit’s control. Otherwise, you are consumed with self-centeredness, self-importance and self-pity. The need for self-control is obvious. We live in a world that is out of control. Eating, drinking, spending, you name it. The answer is to deny ourselves. Galatians 5:24 says, “Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” People say, “I couldn’t help myself, I am just weak in the flesh.” The fact is they are strong in the flesh and weak in the Spirit. Say “no” to your flesh. The only way to crucify our fleshly, carnal desires is to stop feeding them. Die to selfish ambitions, desires, and opinions. People do what they want to do. What did Paul tell Timothy and Titus? Older men are to be sober minded and self-controlled and to teach younger men to be that. Older women are to teach the younger women to be self-controlled. This is not a talk for teenagers. There is never an age where we do not need self-control.
When you think faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, think Jesus. If you are exhausted trying to live the Christian life on your own, the answer is to walk in the Spirit and allow Him to produce His fruit in you!