Monday, December 14, 2015

Lesson - The Fruit Of The Spirit

VERSES:  Galatians 5:22-23

MEMORY VERSE:  Galatians 5:22, 23.  "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:  Mark. Write "Mark" on small slips of paper and encourage the students to memorize the second book of the New Testament at home, so they will be able to recite two books of the New Testament at the next meeting time.

PRAYER:  Pray that we all will develop spiritual fruit of the Spirit as we grow in our life of serving the Lord. May we always let our lights shine, showing that we are godlike.

SPECIAL SONG:   This Little Light Of Mine (see March 2014 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #3 on this blog). Be Patient And Kind (see Be Patient And Kind - April 2014 - Lesson - Joseph Meets His Brothers Who Hated Him on this blog). Click on orange circles to hear the tune of each song. 

VISUAL AID:  White board or chalkboard, writing the "Fruit of the Spirit" at the top of the board and listing the characteristics below the title as the lesson is taught.

  • Note: Even though the fruit of the Spirit covers only two verses in the book of Galatians, there is a whole heap of learning in this short text. This is a subject that can be broken down into many lessons, studying one characteristic of the fruit of the Spirit each week for a series of weeks or for a Vacation Bible School. By studying a Bible story for each characteristic, the students are able to learn how a Bible character or Bible topic can exemplify that particular characteristic. Take a look below to see the characteristic and corresponding Bible story. In case the Bible teacher chooses to teach this lesson as one lesson instead of breaking the fruit of the Spirit down to many lessons, there is one Activity at the bottom of this lesson.
  • INTRODUCTION: There are two ways to live in this world and the Bible tells us that the best way is to live God's Way which is a good, wholesome, cheerful, and Christ-like way. There is a great difference in the way the world lives where people live under their own rules-which may not have rules at all-and the way that God wants His children to live.
    • Living God's Way is always the best way, but some may wonder how do we know how He wants us to live. How can we find out what pleases our heavenly Father? The Bible tells us everything we need to know! (Second Timothy 3:16, 17). All we need to do is to read. We should always do the best we can in school and learn to read well, so we can read the Bible for ourselves and will not need to rely on others to tell us what pleases God.
    • Christians need to know how to behave themselves in this world. We have learned in past lessons that Christians live differently than the world (See Lesson - A Different Life - October 2015 on this blog). Christians live by God's rules, not their own. Let's open our Bibles to book of Galatians, chapter 5, and verses 22 and 23 to see how God wants His children to live. (Read Galatians 5:22 and 23. List the fruit of the Spirit on the board as they are read explaining and defining each quality.)
  • LOVE:  A Christian's life is a life of love and everything they do, say, or think should be filled with love! Christians have a tremendous love for God (First John 4: 8, 16), a love for Christ (John 14:15), a love for the church (Romans 12:10), a love for spiritual things (Matthew 6:33), a love for their family (Ephesians 5:22, 25, 6:1,2), a love for their friends (Proverbs 18:24), and even a love for their enemies (Matthew 5:44). 
    • Christians are known by their love. They show their love to Christ by keeping His commandments. (John 14:15). Why do Christians love God? Because He first loved us (First John 4:19). Christians live a different life than the world because they are motivated by love. (See October 2015 - Lesson - A Different Life on this blog)
  • JOY: A Christian's life should be filled with joy! With so many blessings that the Lord has blessed them with, they should be happy and content. Can we name some of our blessings? (Family, living in peace, protection, enough food, shelter, clothing.) While there are physical blessings such as the ones we just mentioned, Christians also have spiritual blessings. Can we name a few spiritual blessings? (Salvation, prayer, no condemnation, reconciliation.)  
    • We remember the lesson about the prodigal son and, after leaving his family and wasting all of his money, he finally returns home to his father, who has continued to watch for his son, hoping for his return. While his son is still far down the road, his father sees his son and he runs to meet him before he ever even gets to the house! What joy his father feels as his wayward son returns home! This same feeling of joy is what the Christian feels as he or she daily continues serving the Lord and knowing that our Father in heaven is pleased. (See March 2015 - Lesson - The Parable Of The Prodigal Son on this blog).
  • PEACE:  A Christian's life should be filled with peace.  Christians are not anxious of what is to come (Matthew 6:31, 32), knowing that their heavenly Father will take care of their needs. Christians are content with what they have here on this earth (Philippians 4:11), never being envious of their neighbor and what they own. Christians are a peaceful people, unlike the world (2 Timothy 2:22). 
    • There is a great difference in living a stormy, disruptive life and living a life of peace, calm and tranquility. We can see the literal difference of 'peace' and 'no peace' by studying Jesus calming the storm. (See January 2015 - Lesson - Peace, Be Still on this blog.)
  • LONGSUFFERING:  A Christian's life is one that is patient or suffers with others a long time as Christ is longsuffering or shows patience to us (1 Timothy 1:16). Christians are patient to those whom they love and those whom are in the world. They walk through life with patience (Ephesians 4:2). They look to Jesus as their example. When someone asks them for their coat, they also give them their cloak, when they are asked to go one mile, they go two miles (Matthew 5:40-42). Christians do not look to this world for their examples, or even to their friends, family, preachers, or elders in the church. They only look to Jesus as their example, not to man (1 Peter 2:21).
    • Job is a perfect example of patience or longsufferning. What Job suffered! Yet, Job was patient and never blamed God for his suffering. He never asked, "Why me?" Job's patience is showed throughout his suffering. Christians should follow Job's example in patience. (See October 2014 - Lesson - The Patience Of Job on this blog)
  • GENTLENESS:  A Christian is a gentle person, one who listens, who thinks before they speak, and is not easily angered (James 1:19). Christians are to be gentle to all people, those whom they like and those whom they might not care for as much. ALL people means ALL people (2 Timothy 2:24). Christians are kind, calm, tenderhearted, and gentle (Ephesians 4:32).
    • When we think of a gentle person, we may think of Jesus. In fact, when we think of any of these characteristics of the fruit of the Spirit, we may think of Jesus because He truly was our perfect example in all things. Looking at Jesus' gentleness when the small children came to Him, we know that He loved them and cared for them. We, too, need to show our gentle nature to young and old alike just as Jesus did (See March 2015 - Lesson - Jesus Loves The Little Children on this blog).
  • GOODNESS:  A Christian has a good, sincere heart, one who looks for the good in others and finds it, and one who shows their goodness through the way they treat others. Christians show their love of others through doing good works. Helping others should come naturally, choosing to help rather than hinder others. Christians cling to the good and hate the evil (Romans 12:9). 
    • In Acts 9, we find that there was a woman named Dorcas who was full of good works. She sewed coats and different types of clothing and gave them to the poor people. What kind of good deeds do we do? How do we help people?  Christians should always be thinking, "How can I help someone?" and finding out how (See May 2015 - Lesson - Dorcas, The Benevolent Seamstress on this blog).
  • FAITH:  Christians should be full of faith! Hebrews 11:1 tells us that faith is the substance of things hope for, the evidence of things unseen. Like many strong Bible characters in Hebrews chapter 11, such as Abel, Enoch, Noah, and Abraham, Christians know that without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). Christians MUST believe in God and believe that He rewards those who diligently seek Him. 
    • Abraham had so much faith in God that he was willing to offer up his son, Isaac, at God's request because he believed that God could raise Isaac up from the dead (Hebrews 11:29). A Christian's faith should never waver (James 1:6). Christians should believe in God and obey Him with their whole heart. (See March 2014 - Lesson - Abraham Offers Isaac on this blog).
  • MEEKNESS:  Sometimes people think that the two words, "meek" and "weak" mean the same thing, but they do not. To be meek, one is submissive, obedient, and humble; yet can still be strong. Meekness is one of the beatitudes:  "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth" (Matthew 5:5). Christians are commanded to walk worthy...with all meekness (Ephesians 4:2). Christians can be meek and strong.
    • Moses was an example of meekness. In fact, at the time Moses lived on the earth, there was not one who was meeker than Moses (Numbers 12:3). Moses' brother and sister, Aaron and Miriam, were disciplined because they spoke against Moses, the servant of God. (See May 2014 - Lesson - Miriam And Aaron Forgot God's Ears on this blog).
  • TEMPERANCE: A good definition of temperance is having control of yourself. Just think if a Christian possessed all the fruit of the Spirit but could not control himself, all would be for nothing. Christians need to control the words that they choose to say, control what they do, where they go, their anger, and all things in their lives. 
    • After Daniel and his three friends were brought to Babylon to serve in the king's palace, Daniel and his friends exercised self-control over what food they ate, so that they would not defile themselves. (See October 2014 - Lesson - Daniel In The Palace on this blog).
"Older Student" Tips:
  • Living God's way is an easier life than living the world's way. We can spare ourselves and our families much grief and sadness if we will only listen to what the Bible says instead of doing what we choose in life. The book of Proverbs is a book filled with warnings and words of caution. It would be a good idea to read a few verses of this book each night, so we could digest its words. God loves us and has sent us words of advice. We only need to read the Bible and listen!
  • Nine little words--love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. There is no law against any of these words. Discuss what "against such there is no law" means.
ACTIVITY:   The Fruit Of The Spirit
Materials:  9" x 12" dark brown construction paper, 6 1/2" x 10" tan construction paper, 9" x 12" purple construction paper, 9" x 12" light purple construction paper, scrap green paper, scrap brown paper, small round dish, scissors, glue, tape, marker.

  1. Hand out dark brown construction paper.
  2. Fold up 1/2" on all four sides of dark brown paper.
  3. Cut on two folds on both 'long' sides ONLY. Do not cut the folds on the short sides, too. 
  4. Fold corners up and tape each side. This should look like a box when finished. This is the frame.
  5. Set frame aside.
  6. Hand out purple and light purple paper.
  7. With small round dish on purple paper, trace four circles on the paper.
  8. With small round dish on light purple paper, trace five circles on the paper.
  9. Cut all the circles out. These are the fruit of the Spirit.
  10. Hand out tan paper.
  11. Arrange circles on tan paper.
  12. Write "Love" on one circle.
  13. Write "Joy" on one circle.
  14. Write "Peace" on one circle.
  15. Write "Longsuffering" on one circle.
  16. Write "Gentleness" on one circle.
  17. Write "Goodness" on one circle.
  18. Write "Faith" on one circle.
  19. Write "Meekness" on one circle.
  20. Write "Temperance" on one circle.
  21. Glue.
  22. Hand out small rectangle of scrap of brown paper.
  23. Glue to the the widest side of the fruit. This is the stem.
  24. Hand out scraps of green paper.
  25. Cut out two leaves.
  26. Fold each leaf down the middle.
  27. Fold gently from the outside of the leaf to the middle of the leaf. These are the veins of the leaf.
  28. Glue leaves by the stem. If the leaves are not glued down completely, there will be a 3-dimensional look to the picture that is created.
  29. At the top of the tan paper, write "The Fruit of the Spirit" and write "Galatians 5:22, 23" at the bottom of the paper.
  30. Glue the tan paper to the inside of the dark brown frame.
  31. Before leaving class, recite the Fruit of the Spirit together with the students reading their own pictures.