I thought I would add something to Betsy's comments of the Fruit of the Spirit-Joy. As I was reading her comments on how important joy is, a thought struck me. In the list of the fruit of the spirits, love comes first. We know that love is the greatest commandment that God gave us, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart...and second love your neighbor as yourself (paraphrased)." However, in the fruits list joy is second. The fruits of the spirit could have been written in any order. Whose to say patience couldn't have been written second. However, I think God may have been placing importance in his order.
We know love is first (and first in the list of fruits). But joy comes in next. If we truely love something, don't we normally have joy about it. With more joy, aren't we more at peace with what is around us. With peaceful attitudes we tend to be more patient. Being patient can be exhibited as kindness. Those that are kind are seen as good. More faith is entrusted to those that are good (goodness). Any one with the above tends to be gentle, which lead most importantly to their ability for self-control! Now, I know some of us have more strength in some of these fruits than others, but they all play a major role in our lives as images of Christ.
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