This sermon is a part of our series on the Fruit of Spirit! Each week, we’ll explore a different fruit and how its wisdom can be applied to our lives.
Over the next 9 weeks, as we consider each of the fruits of the Spirit, we are inviting you to join us in embodying these fruits in specific ways:
- Each week, identify at least one different person every day that you can contact somehow: it might be by snail mail or email, text or phone call, Zoom or Skype, social media, or by delivering them something.
- Encourage them. Let them know you had them on your mind and in your prayers. Also, ask if they have a specific prayer concern that you could pray about on their behalf.
- If you struggle to come up with a word of encouragement on your own, you can use our daily prompts in the Field Guide, in our weekly newsletters, and on social media to start a conversation. (You can subscribe below.)
- Write their names in a journal that can become your prayer list. Make notes about your conversation and any concerns they express. Be faithful in praying for them. Such journaling can become habit-forming and a means of your own personal spiritual formation.
- If you can’t think of 7 different people each week, ask God in your prayers to bring to mind specific people who might need encouragement.
- If you do this for 9 weeks, do the math. 9×7=63. That’s 63 beautiful people in the next two months with whom you will have been privileged to connect.
- If 8,500 people do this, 8,500 x 63 = 535,500. If our online worshipers join us, the number will rise to nearly one million people.
- It’s not really about the number, it’s about the relationships. It’s about being fruitful! The fruit of the Spirit of Christ has exponential possibilities.
Visit bumc.net/fruitchallenge to learn more.
By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things.
The Gift of Love
If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.