Fruit of the Spirit: 48 Bible Studies for Individuals or Groups

Overview

These forty-eight Bible studies were written with one goal in mind -- to allow the Spirit of God to use the Word of God to produce fruit in your life. These studies will help you discover what the Bible says rather than simply telling you what it says. They encourage you to think and to explore rather than to merely fill in blanks.
Fruit of the Spirit will help you discern what the Bible says about the vital traits that the Holy Spirit produces in believers, and move you beyond ...
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Fruit of the Spirit: 48 Bible Studies for Individuals or Groups

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Overview

These forty-eight Bible studies were written with one goal in mind -- to allow the Spirit of God to use the Word of God to produce fruit in your life. These studies will help you discover what the Bible says rather than simply telling you what it says. They encourage you to think and to explore rather than to merely fill in blanks.
Fruit of the Spirit will help you discern what the Bible says about the vital traits that the Holy Spirit produces in believers, and move you beyond reflection to application. Designed for use as personal Bible study or group study, the interactive format will help you grow in your ability to reflect the character of Jesus and will aid not only in understanding the fruit, but also in applying them to daily life.
Ideal for small group leaders seeking in-depth Bible studies, Fruit of the Spirit also includes expanded leader's notes for each Bible study.
Fruit of the Spirit includes six studies on each of the following fruit:

Faithfulness
Gentleness
Self-control
Love
Joy
Peace
Patience
Kindness

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Phyllis is Area Director for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship in Chicago West. She is a speaker and the author or coauthor of a number of books for InterVarsity, including Ephesians, Wholeness for a Broken World, and the Resources for the Coping Christian Series. She and her husband, Andy, live in Downers Grove, Illinois.

Jack Kuhatschek is executive vice-president and publisher for Baker Publishing Group, Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is the author of numerous Bible study guides and the books Applying the Bible and The Superman Syndrome.

Jacalyn Eyre is coauthor (with her husband, Stephen) of the LifeGuide Matthew: Being Discipled by Jesus and is a contributor to the NIV Serendipity Bible for Study Groups. She and her husband live in Ohio.

Stephen Eyre is associate pastor of discipleship at Crestview Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is the author of Quiet Time Dynamics, Defeating the Dragons of the World, and Patience: The Benefits of Waiting.

Pete Scazzero is founder and Senior Pastor of New Life Fellowship Church in Queens, New York City, a large, multiracial, international church with over sixty-five countries represented. Pete and his wife, Geri, have four daughters, are co-founders of Emotionally Healthy Spirituality. SPANISH BIO: Peter Scazzero es ampliamente reconocido por su obra en una gran iglesia multicultural y multirracial, cuyo origen esta en mas de 55 naciones, en una de las areas etnicamente mas diversas de los Estados Unidos. En 1987, Pete y Geri Scazzero fundaron la New Life Fellowship, una primera congregacion de una asociacion de iglesias. Hoy dia, el movimiento incluye a cinco distintas congregaciones de la ciudad de Nueva York (cuatro de habla inglesa y una de habla hispana) y tres en otros paises (Republica Dominicana y Colombia). Se graduo del Seminario Teologico Gordon-Conwell y actualmente es estudiante del doctorado en Ministerio en el Seminario Teologico Bautista del Este, con una especializacion en matrimonio y familia.

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Read an Excerpt

Fruit of the Spirit

Fruit of the Spirit Bible Studies


By Phyllis J. Le Peau, Jack Kuhatschek, Jacalyn Eyre, Stephen Eyre, Peter Scazzero

ZONDERVAN

Copyright © 2001Phyllis J. LePeau
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-310-69845-6


Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Loving Jesus

LUKE 7:36–50


In the book Too Busy Not to Pray, Bill Hybels writes, "To people in the fast lane, determined to make it on their own, prayer is an embarrassing interruption.... Where does the still, small voice of God fit into our hectic lives? When do we allow him to lead and guide and correct and affirm? And if this seldom or never happens, how can we lead truly authentic Christian lives?"

God calls every believer first to himself and then to ministry. One of the greatest dangers facing us today is our tendency to be so involved in various activities that we lose that "sincere and pure devotion to Christ" spoken about by the apostle Paul (2 Corinthians 11:3). God wants us to be filled with passion and love for his Son, Jesus Christ.

This story of Jesus and the sinful woman illustrates the kind of simple devotion that God desires.


WARMING UP

1. Think of a person who has "fallen in love." How are his or her attitudes, priorities, and other relationships affected?


DIGGING IN

2. Read Luke 7:36–50. How would you describe the setting of this story (the place, the people present, the atmosphere, and so on)?

3. In what ways does the woman demonstrate lavish devotion to Jesus (vv. 36–38)?

4. Imagine yourself at Simon the Pharisee's dinner table. What might you feel during this woman's interruption?


Why do you think her actions offend Simon (v. 39)?

5. In what ways could we express extravagant devotion to Jesus today?


How might that upset some people around us?

6. What does it cost this woman to publicly show her love for Jesus?


What are the costs for you?

7. What point does Jesus make for Simon in the parable of the two debtors (vv. 40–43)?

8. Why does Jesus contrast Simon's hospitality with that of the woman (vv. 44–46)?


According to Jesus, what does it indicate when a person has little love for him (v. 47)?

9. What further blessings does the sinful woman receive from Jesus as a result of her faith (vv. 48–50)?

10. With whom do you relate more: Simon the Pharisee, who knows the Bible and is very active for God, or this woman, who loves God with reckless abandon? Explain.

11. Why is a passionate love for Jesus so vital if we are to have healthy, loving relationships with others?

12. What obstacles in your life are hindering you from a single-minded devotion to Jesus?


PRAY ABOUT IT

Take a few minutes now to focus your heart and mind on Jesus in prayer, expressing words of affection and adoration to him. Then ask God to help your love for him to be as lavish as his forgiveness.


TAKING THE NEXT STEP

Before people die, they often share the concerns greatest on their hearts. In John 17 we read Jesus' final words prior to his death. The end of this magnificent prayer climaxes in Jesus praying that the love the Father has for him might be in us. Meditate on and memorize John 17:26. Imagine the perfect, pure love of the Father toward his Son, Jesus, and then imagine yourself loving Jesus with that kind of love. In the coming days, pray for God to give you the love he has for Jesus. You can be sure God will answer that prayer! He is eager for us to integrate that kind of prayer into our devotional lives.

CHAPTER 2

Loving God's Family

JOHN 13:1–17


Richard Foster notes the difference between choosing to be a servant and choosing to serve. When we choose to serve, we are still very much in charge. We decide whom we will serve, when we'll do it, and to what extent. We exclaim, "I won't let him walk all over me!"

Servants, on the other hand, have surrendered their right to choose who and when they will serve. All of their life is seen from the perspective of a slave. They no longer possess the rights of free men and women. They are completely available and vulnerable!

In John 13 Jesus shows us what it means to be a loving servant.


WARMING UP

1. Is it more difficult for you to serve some people than others? Why?


DIGGING IN

2. Read John 13:1–17. How do verses 1–3 set the stage for what is to follow?

3. What three things does Jesus know (vv. 1, 3)?


In light of this, why are Jesus' actions so extraordinary?

4. How does knowing who you are, where you've come from, and where you're going enable you to better serve others?

5. Imagine yourself as one of the Twelve, reclining at the table with Jesus. What might you have seen, heard, and felt as Jesus rose to wash your feet?

6. Foot washing in Jewish eyes was something even Jewish slaves were not required to do. This was a task reserved for Gentile slaves, wives, and children. (Prior to Jesus, women and children did not hold a very esteemed place in Jewish society.) What, then, did Jesus' action demonstrate?

7. Read the dialogue between Jesus and Peter in verses 6–10. Why does Peter reject Jesus' ministry to him?

8. Peter is thinking of literal washings. What do you think Jesus means by his statements in verses 8 and 10?

9. Most Bible scholars see the bath as the washing of forgiveness at conversion and the foot washing as the cleansing of daily dirt (sin) we pick up along the way. How do these acts beautifully illustrate our relationship with Jesus Christ?

10. What point does Jesus powerfully drive home in verses 12–17?

11. Jesus says, "I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you" (v. 15). How do you think Jesus expected the disciples to follow his example?

12. What does it mean today for you to "wash someone's feet"? (Give practical examples.)

13. Why do you think Jesus says that to do this will bring blessing (or happiness; v. 17)?

14. Jesus knew that Judas was a traitor and his enemy. Yet he washed his feet too. Think of one or two people who might be difficult to serve. In what practical ways might you "wash their feet" by serving them?


PRAY ABOUT IT

Pray that God would cause the servant heart of Christ to be formed in you, that you wouldn't simply do acts of a servant, but that you would be a servant.


TAKING THE NEXT STEP

Think through specific opportunities to serve another person, such as the common courtesy of a thank-you note, a letter or email of appreciation, a phone call of affirmation, an invitation to your home, a listening ear, or a helping hand. Begin each day by praying, "Lord Jesus, today bring into my path someone whom I can serve."


(Continues...)


Excerpted from Fruit of the Spirit by Phyllis J. Le Peau. Copyright © 2001 by Phyllis J. LePeau. Excerpted by permission of ZONDERVAN.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Contents

How to Use This Study....................     9     

LOVE: BUILDING LASTING RELATIONSHIPS....................          

1 Loving Jesus (Luke 7:36–50)....................     17     

2 Loving God's Family (John 13:1–17)....................     23     

3 Loving Your Neighbor (Luke 10:25–37)....................     29     

4 Love That Forgives (Matthew 18:21–35)....................     35     

5 Loving with Your Words (James 3:1–12)....................     41     

6 Love That Lasts (1 Corinthians 13:1–13)....................     45     

JOY: HOW TO REJOICE IN ANY SITUATION....................          

7 Joy in Trials (James 1:2–12)....................     55     

8 Joy in Weakness (2 Corinthians 12:1–10)....................     61     

9 Joy in God's Word (Psalm 119:9–16, 105–112)....................     67     

10 Joy in the Gospel (Philippians 1:3–26)....................     71     

11 Joy in God's Discipline (Hebrews 12:1–13)....................     77     

12 Joy in Christ's Rest (Matthew 11:28–30)....................     83     

PEACE: OVERCOMING ANXIETY AND CONFLICT....................          

13 Coping with Anxiety (Philippians 4:4–9)....................     93     

14 Why We Shouldn't Worry (Matthew 6:25–34)....................     97     

15 Finding Peace in God's Presence (Psalm 46)....................     101     

16 Feeling Safe in God's Care (Psalm 91)....................     107     

17 Living at Peace with Others (Romans 12:17–21)....................     113     

18 Christ, Our Peace (Ephesians 2:11–22)....................     119     

PATIENCE: THE BENEFITS OF WAITING....................          

19 The Benefits of Patience (Proverbs 14:29; 15:18; 16:32; 19:11, 25:15)...........     129     

20 The Blessings of Perseverance (James 5:7–12)....................     133     

21 The Virtue of Slowness (James 1:19–27)....................     139     

22 Patience and Forgiveness (Matthew 18:15–35)....................     145     

23 Waiting for the Lord (Psalm 40:1–5)....................     151     

24 Waiting until the End (Romans 8:18–30)....................     155     

KINDNESS: REACHING OUT TO OTHERS....................          

25 God's Kindness to Us (Psalm 103)....................     165     

26 Showing Kindness to Others (Matthew 10:40–42; Mark 9:33–37).........     171     

27 Kindness Illustrated: Boaz and Ruth (Ruth 2)....................     177     

28 Fulfilling the Law of Christ (Galatians 6:1–10)....................     181     

29 Reaching Out to the Poor and Needy (Proverbs 14:21, 31; 19:17)..................     187     

30 Kindness Illustrated: David and Mephibosheth (2 Samuel 9)....................     191     

FAITHFULNESS: THE FOUNDATION OF TRUE FRIENDSHIP....................          


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