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Summary: We are all called to continually "Cultivate" the Fruit of the Spirit. Here we focus on Patience & Faithfulness.

Cultivate the Fruit of the Spirit

Patience/Faithfulness

A Quick Recap:

cul·ti·vate vt

4. to improve or develop something, usually by study or education

5. to develop an acquaintance or intimacy with somebody, often for personal advantage

Galatians 5:22-25

22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

25If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

Love – Agape – GOD IS LOVE

We must love God’s Son, for then we know what love is, and how to show that same love.

Joy – is not happiness, but stems from God’s love for you!

Jesus Others Yourself

Peace is resting in God’s sovereignty.

this peace is confident assurance in any circumstance.

Excerpt Taken from “TheOnion.com”:

Failure Now an Option

WASHINGTON—In a stunning reversal of more than 200 years of conventional wisdom, failure—traditionally believed to be an unacceptable outcome for a wide range of tasks and goals—is now increasingly seen as a viable alternative to success, sources confirmed Tuesday.

"Americans have always been told that they should succeed at all costs," Emory University sociologist Dr. Lauren Hodge said. "But based on new evidence, this can no longer be called true—if, in fact, it ever was. As failure continues to dominate the American landscape, this mantra must be overruled."

"We have no choice but to revoke failure’s non-optional status, effective immediately," Hodge continued. "Now all citizens will be able to step back, stare down the hardship and difficulty they will face in the pursuit of success, and say, ’Forget that—this isn’t worth it.’"

Overturning one of America’s most cherished and oft-repeated aphorisms is expected to have far-reaching implications for the future of human ambition. Some predict that a majority of the U.S. populace will now opt out of its previous obligation to give it 110 percent, and, in the coming weeks and months, give as little as 45 percent. For underachieving Americans, that number is expected to drop to as low as 5 percent by March.

A recent Interior Department report found that, although failure was not officially an option until this Tuesday, there have in fact been hundreds of billions of cases of it over the past two centuries, culminating in Fort Collins, CO high school junior Tim Kemp’s failing grade on a physics exam last month.

Many scholars now believe that such failures have historically been obscured by optimistic slogans and so-called positive thinking, neither of which, according to the report, has had a verifiable effect: Americans’ overall failure rate went up nearly 2,350 percent over the past decade, with 1,435,643 instances of failure reported last Sunday alone.

"In retrospect, failure becoming an option was inevitable," historian Michael Lambeau said. "The only difference is that now Americans can choose, without fear of being ostracized by society, to quit long before getting ahead."

This article was obviously meant to be satire, but I think you can see a bit of truth here.

How many times have we found ourselves beaten down?

How many times have we felt like giving up?

How many times in life have we felt anxious about something in our life, because we can’t wait?

The truth is, we all been there. But what we sometimes forget to recognize is that it’s within these dark times and low moments that God is calling us to develop the Fruit of Patience and strengthen the fruit of Faithfulness.

What I’d like to do today is similar to what we did last week, and that is examine each one of these closer, and then put them together in practical application.

- Prayer

1. Patience

pa·tient adj

1. able to endure waiting or delay without becoming annoyed or upset or to persevere calmly when faced with difficulties

2. able to tolerate being hurt, provoked, or annoyed without complaint or loss of temper

Encarta® World English Dictionary © 1999 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Developed for Microsoft by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.

I’d say these are pretty fair definitions to patience.

Galatians 5:22 King James Version:

patience = longsuffering

I think that’s interesting, because often we can look at patience as punishment, don’t we? Think back to when you were a child and you were told to “Be Patient!” That was usually met with frustration and tears, because it meant not getting what we wanted.

But that is not God’s intention for patience. Yes, often patience is called on to grow and strengthen things that need work within us, but it is not meant to be something that breaks us.

"Patience is a calm endurance based on the certain knowledge that God is in control."

– Melvin Newland

A. Know God’s Patience, and you will know Patience

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