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.
Patience in Suffering
Be patient, therefore, beloved, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious crop from the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. Beloved, do not grumble against one another, so that you may not be judged. See, the Judge is standing at the doors! As an example of suffering and patience, beloved, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Indeed we call blessed those who showed endurance. You have heard of the endurance of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.