by Linda Sue Pochodzay Edwards
"Bethany, there's a letter for you," Greg yelled as he entered the house, letting the screen door slam behind him.
Bethany jumped up and down, clapping her hands joyfully. She had been waiting a l-o-n-g time for the letter from her grandmother to arrive. She carefully opened the envelope and peaked inside before removing the letter. Granny often enclosed small gifts and Bethany wanted to be sure she didn't lose anything.
Bethany was never disappointed with Granny's letters, even if there wasn't a gift inside. She dearly loved her grandmother and looked forward to reading the funny stories Granny wrote about her farm animals. After reading the entire letter, Bethany folded it, placed it back in the envelope, then put it in her special box for safe keeping, along with her other treasures.
Paul was a great missionary and Bible teacher. He was despised by most leaders in the Jewish temples because he preached that Jesus Christ was the Son of God and could forgive sins. Paul also taught that everyone could love God and keep his commandments, which angered the leaders even more, because they thought that only Jewish people could worship the true God. Everywhere Paul went, the Jewish leaders caused trouble for him. He ended up in prison on more than one occasion for preaching about Jesus.
Even though he was in a cold, dark dungeon, sometimes hungry, and sometimes even chained to his prison guards, Paul didn't waste his time sulking, griping, or complaining. He continued to preach to everyone who would listen, that Jesus Christ was the Son of God and could forgive their sins. Even some of the meanest guards who had cruelly beaten him chose to become Christians because of Paul's preaching and the godly life he lived.
Day after day passed by, and Paul began thinking about the many friends he had made in so many different cities and countries throughout Europe and Asia. His friends in Galatia had been especially kind to him when he was sick and he missed them very much. Not only had they shown kindness to Paul; they had also joyfully accepted his teachings about Jesus. Since it was impossible for him to visit his friends and there wasn't much to do in prison, he decided to write them a letter.
His letter started out pretty much the same as any other letter, with a greeting to his friends and wishing them well, but it certainly did not end up to be a normal, everyday letter!
Paul was a preacher of the gospel of Christ and even in his letters, he couldn't help preaching and teaching about Jesus. Paul had so much to say to his friends; he kept writing and writing. The letter grew longer and longer. When he was finally finished, the letter was so long; it had turned into a book with six chapters!
When Paul was satisfied that the letter contained everything he wanted to say to his friends, he sealed it carefully and found a messenger willing to travel to Galatia to deliver it.
His friends were excited to receive the letter and called together everyone they knew. They carefully read it over and over and tried their best to follow Paul's teachings about how to be like Jesus. They took very good care of the letter for it was very precious to them.
In the fifth chapter of the letter, Paul wanted his friends to learn that people who are Christians — which means followers of Jesus Christ — have different characteristics than people who don't care about Jesus and don't want to live a godly life. Paul called these characteristics fruit and explained that it is easy to tell which people love Jesus and which people don't because of the fruit they exhibit in their daily lives.
He listed some of the fruit of an ungodly person, such as, lying, hatred, envy, drunkenness, murder, and many other evil characteristics. Then he listed the fruit of a person who follows the teachings of Jesus:
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."
The letter that Paul wrote to his dear friends in Galatia, almost 2000 years ago, was copied over and over and translated into many languages, including ours. You can even read this letter yourself! It is in the second part of your Bible, which is called the New Testament, and the letter is known as the Book of Galatians.
What a privilege it is to have this treasure that has been passed down to us over the centuries! It is just as important for us to learn about the fruit of the Spirit and how to be like Jesus as it was for Paul's friends when they read the letter for the very first time.
Why was Paul in prison? How did Paul spend his time in prison? Where were Paul's friends? What does it mean to be a Christian? What is the fruit of the Spirit? In what book of the Bible can the fruit of the Spirit be found?
The fruit of the Spirit are Christ-like characteristics
that every Christian should have.
A VERSE TO LEARN
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
longsuffering, gentleness, goodness,
faith, meekness, temperance:
against such there is no law" (Galatians 5:22-23).
Dear God, thank You for sending Jesus to be
our greatest example of how to live, and for
Paul who wrote many books of the Bible that
teach us how to be more like Jesus.
In Jesus' Name, amen.
CAN YOU FIND THIS STORY IN THE BIBLE?
STORIES IN THIS SERIES:
The Fruit of the Spirit
Gentleness (This story is not ready. However, in the meantime, you could adapt the story of The Good Samaritan.)
Goodness (Not ready. In the meantime, you could adapt the story about Dorcas.)
Faith (Not ready. In the meantime, you could adapt the story about Abraham's Servant.)
Meekness (Not ready. In the meantime, you could adapt the story about Jesus washing the Disciples' feet or the Pharisee and the Publican—unwritten as of yet.)
Temperance (Not ready. In the meantime, you could adapt the story about David in the cave with King Saul, where he could have killed Saul but didn't or the story of Jesus at the temple with the money changers—unwritten as of yet.)
God Wants Us to Bear Good Fruit
Fruit of the Spirit Tree
Fruit of the Spirit
Fruit of the Spirit Reproducible Coloring Book
Bible Story Coloring Pages V2 (Reproducible)
New Testament Bible Heroes Coloring Book
New Testament Bible Story Cards Coloring Book
My Bible Coloring Book (Shirley Dobson)
Children's Coloring Books
Smart Coloring Books
Fruit of the Spirit (Arch Books)
The Fruit of the Spirit
Life Is an Adventure with Ernie
365 Read-Aloud Bedtime Bible Stories (Barbour Publishing)
365 Activities For Kids:
A Bible Story And Activity For Each Day Of The Year
Baby's First Bible
Bible in Pictures For Toddlers
Early Reader's Bible
Five Minute Devotions for Children (ages 4-8)
God's Love for You Bible Storybook
Pilgrim's Progress Comic
Spanish Children's Books
The Children's Illustrated Bible
The Picture Bible (also in Spanish)
The Preschooler's Bible
The Toddler's Bible
Story Cards To Keep and Share
The Fruit of the Spirit (pdf) (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)
Fruit of the Spirit Game
Fruit of the Spirit 9-pc Wooden Puzzle
Fruit of the Spirit Online Game
Online Word Search
Fruit of the Spirit Online Jigsaw Puzzle
Online Word Search
Online Coded Bible Puzzle
Coded Bible Puzzle
Online Fruit Basket to Arrange
Online Animated Jigsaw Puzzle
Online Animated Slide Puzzle
Amazing Bible Mazes
Bible Puzzles: Word Search
Big Book Of Bible Story Activity Pages V1 (Gospel Light Big Books)
Children's Activity Bible
Children's Activity Books
Christian and educational toys
Encyclopedia Of Bible Games For Children's Ministry
Jumbo Bible Activity Book 4
Memory Verse Games for Kids (Take Me Through the Bible Series)
The Humongous Book of Games for Children's Ministry
The Super-Sized Book of Bible Puzzles
Fruit of the Spirit (sheet music/MIDI)
I Want To Be Like Jesus (sheet music/MIDI)
The Fruit of The Spirit Song/MIDI/CHORDS
Fruit of the Spirit by Maranatha Kids
Fruit of the Spirit Cadence
100 Ways To Know God Loves Me & 100 Songs
100 Bible Stories 100 Bible Songs
Action Bible Songs (Cedarmont Kids)
Bible Songs on CD
100 Singalong Songs For Kids (Cedarmont)
25 Favorite Sunday School Songs (Veggie Tales)
Bible Songs with Cedarmont Kids
Auto B Good Fruits of the Spirit DVD
Bible Story DVDs for Children
Bestselling Christian DVDs for Children
God's Story from Creation to Eternity (listen & watch online)
Read And Share: Ultimate Bible Storybook w/ 2 DVDs
The Bible MiniSeries DVD Set
The Jesus Storybook Bible : Every Story Whispers His Name
Fruit Basket (pdf) (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)
Fruit of the Spirit Crafts
Bible Crafts On A Shoestring Budget Series
Big Book of Bible Crafts (Ages 3-12)
Children's Crafts & Hobbies
Create and Take Bible Crafts Series
Encyclopedia Of Bible Crafts For Preschoolers
Praise God With...Craft Series
Really Big Book Of Cool Crafts For Kids w/CD-Ages 4-12 (Reproducible)
RESOURCES FOR PARENTS AND TEACHERS
Important Notes About This Lesson and Answers to THINK Questions
All-in-One Bible Fun: Fruit of the Spirit - 13 Lessons for Busy Teachers-Preschool
All-in-One Bible Fun: Fruit of the Spirit - 13 Lessons for Busy Teachers-Elementary
Experience the Fruits of the Spirit
Fruit of the Spirit Banner for Bulletin Board
Fruit of the Spirit Bulletin Board Set
Fruit of the Spirit Characters
Fruits of the Spirit and How We Can Show Them to Others
Fruit of the Spirit Fruit Bowl
Fruit of the Spirit
Fruit of the Spirit activity book
The Fruit of the Spirit Lesson Plan
Fruit of the Spirit Anagrams
Fruit of the Spirit Name Tags
Fruit of the Spirit
Fruit of the Spirit (Grades 1-3)
Fruit of the Spirit (Grades 4-6)
Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Fruit of the Spirit Pizza
Fruit of the Spirit Game
God's Kids Grow Children's Ministry Kit
Please Pass The Fruit (Game)
Fruit of the Spirit Necklace (Memory Tool)
Fruit of the Spirit: a Children's Bible Study of Galatians 5:22
Kids Travel Guide Fruit Of The Spirit
Fruit Of The Spirit Bookmark
Fruit Of The Spirit Bulletin
Fruit Of The Spirit Laminated Chart
Fruit Of The Spirit Bracelet
Fruitz Of The Spirit Game (2-10 Players, Ages 7+)
Poster Set-Fruit Of The Spirit & Armor Of God
Bible Memory Games (Creative Bible Activities for Children)
Bible Story Coloring Pages (Reproducible)
801 Questions Kids Ask About God (Focus on the Family)
African American Resources
Almost Every Answer for Practically Any Teacher (Bruce Wilkinson)
Bible Crafts and Activities for Any Story
Big Book of Bible Games (Gospel Light)
Bulletin Board helps
Chicken Soup for the Teacher's Soul
Children's Church Resources
Church Nanny Sos: Teaching Discipline Essentials for Preschool Ministry Volunteers
FREE materials to Bible schools, Bible colleges, seminaries, churches, missionaries & individuals worldwide
Edible Object Talks That Teach About Jesus (Edible Object Talks)
52 Games That Teach The Bible
Flannel Graph Story Sets to Purchase
Free educational videos
God's Servants Teach Me (Instant Bible Lessons)
God's Wisdom for Little Boys: Character-Building Fun from Proverbs
Help! I'm a Sunday School Teacher (Focus on the Family)
How To Lead a Child To Christ
King James Version Award Bibles
Leading Little Ones to God: A Child's Book of Bible Teachings
Lord Teach Me To Pray For Kids (Kay Arthur)
Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours
Memory Verse Ideas
Memory Verse Resources
Pray & Play Bible for Young Children
Resources for Teachers
Seven Laws of the Learner (Bruce Wilkinson)
Sunday School Attendance Boosters: 165 Fresh Ideas
Sunday school resources
Talking to God (Instant Bible Lessons)
Teachers' Reproducible Classroom Pages
Teaching Children Memory Verses Ages 4-5
Teaching Children To Pray Ages 4-5
Teaching to Change Lives (by Howard Hendrickss)
The Big Book of Bible Skits
The Jesus Storybook Bible Curriculum Kit
Things To Make Craft Activities
Vacation Bible School
What Every Sunday School Teacher Should Know
(by Elmer Towns)
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