Saturday, January 22, 2011

Fruit Of the Spirit... Faith, Gentleness and Self-Control!

9 Fruits of The Spirit Bible Scripture Study:
Lesson 4: Faith, Gentleness, and Self-Control

And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased;and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. ~ Proverbs 29:23 

We are finally entering our fourth and final lesson on the 9 Fruits of the Spirit!

fruit of the spirit bible study galatians 5 woman holding apple
We began in Lesson 1 by discussing the true purposes of these spiritual fruits - Why God gives them to us, and how He wants us to use them.

We then moved on to Lesson 2, where we began hunting through the scriptures in our Bible Scripture Study to discover what else God has to say about each of the 9 Fruits of the Spirit.

In this Bible lesson, we will continue our hunt through the scriptures by looking at the final 3 of the 9 Fruits of the Spirit: Faith, Gentleness, and Self-control.

Faith and Faithfulness

9 fruits of the Spirit woman prayingWhen we study this particular Fruit of the Holy Spirit, we find that it is translated differently in various translations.  Some translations show it as faith, while others describe it as faithfulness.  

The Strong's Hebrew and Greek Dictionary explains that the term used when the scripture was written would have meant "...moral conviction of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God..."  to the readers of the time.

I think this definition more closely lines up with the way we would define the word faith, so that is what we will examine here.

What is faith?

NOW FAITH is the assurance
(the confirmation, the title deed)
of the things [we] hope for,
being the proof of things [we] do not see
and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].

 -Hebrews 11:1 (AMP)

Wow!  I love using the Amplified for in-depth Bible scripture studies because it really brings the true meaning out of the text.  

Faith is the "title deed," or, essentially, the proof of ownership for the things that you are still hoping for.  The things that, with your senses, you can't even see yet.  In fact, you may be seeing the opposite!

But, it is your faith that is the confirmation that you already possess it in the spiritual realm.

Faith is probably one of the biggest challenges, because it is believing in something that you can not see, long after you thought it would have appeared.  That is why faith is not something you have to come up with on your own - It is a One of the 9 Fruits of the Spirit.

I have heard a lot of Christians say that they are not sure that they have enough faith for something.  Hey, I've even said it myself.

But, faith is not something that you just have to scrounge up from inside of yourself.  It is something that grows inside of you from spending time with God's Holy Spirit.

Never think that you do not have enough faith.  The Holy Spir
it is your source for as much as you need!


9 fruits of the holy spirit humility gentleness woman eye
I like the way that the Message Bible explains gentleness.  It says that, through the power of the Holy Spirit, we will no longer feel the need to "force our way in life" (Galatians 5:22 Message)

Our society is very Me centered. People feel that they have toTake Care of Number One,  or they will somehow miss out or be taken advantage of.

But, when you realize that God is taking care of you, and that He can do a much better job of it than you ever could, you loose the conviction that you must force your own way.  You let Him make your way, and you begin making the way for others.

Another more traditional way of describing gentleness is being meek and humble.

And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased;
and he that shall humble himself
shall be exalted.

- Proverbs 29:23 

Wouldn't you rather have God exalt you than you try to exalt yourself?  He "is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think!" (Ephesians 3:20).

Though Learning How to be Humble and Meek is not easy in our society, that is why God has given you the Holy Spirit to be your teacher. 

Self- Control

And because of His glory and excellence, 

He has given us great and precious promises. 

These are the promises that enable you to share His divine nature 

and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires. 
-2 Peter 1:4 (NLT)

9 fruits of the Spirit self-control woman looking in the mirror
As Christians, we all have two natures. No matter how holy we think we are, we are still human.

So, we have our sin nature, and, because of Jesus' sacrifice, we have God's divine nature that we are allowed to share in.

But, there is an issue.

The two natures don't get along!  "For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other." And, if you were working on your own, you would not be able to do the  things of the Spirit, even if you really wanted to (Galatians 5:17 NLT).

But the Holy Spirit has been sent to help you. God tells you to "live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature."   If you live by the Spirit, you will be able to maintain self-control.

What would you look like if you were able to gain self-control through walking in the Holy Spirit?

Would there be less of those moments when you weren't walking in love. Fewer instances when you said something that wasn't kind, and then regretted it. Or less times where you tried to exalt yourself instead of being humble and counting on God to exalt you.

Allowing God's Spirit to develop this spiritual fruit within you gives you the help you need to walk in all 9 Fruits of the Spirit. No wonder God put it last.

9 Fruits of the Spirit Bible Scripture Study 
Lesson 4

Reflection Questions:
  1. Have you ever thought that you did not have enough faith for something?  How does it feel to know that developing faith is something the Holy Spirit has been sent to help you with? 
  2. Have you ever fallen into the world's trap of feeling like you have to take care of number one?  How can you safeguard yourself from feeling this way, even when you are wronged by those around you?
  3. Are there any of the 9 Fruits of the Spirit that you thought would be difficult to develop?  What role do you think developing self-control can play in helping you to develop the others you had been lacking?
  4. What do you think are the best ways to develop the 9 Fruits of the Spirit in your own life?

Friday, January 21, 2011

This thought has pondered in my mind....

A quote I read online (anonymous)

I've learned that many women look like precious jewels but have great pain. I've learned not to judge them because looks are deceiving. I don't know their story or their pain and as my discernment speaks to me, I find myself saying a silent prayer for them. 

Oh so true ladies! So next time you jealous or envious because some other woman's life looks greener. Just think of this... everyone has pain, everyone struggles. Even God said, the sinners and the righteous will both have trials and tribulation. Their storm may be happening the same day you think everything is perfect in their life. Let us not judge the other for what she does and how she acts.. for there may be a story on the inside your eyes can not see!

Fruit Of the Spirit... Endurance, Kindness and Goodness

Lesson 3: Endurance, Kindness, and Goodness

The Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink,but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. ~Romans 14:15   

Patient Endurance

Depending on what translation you are using for your Bible scripture study, you will read several different words used to describe this one Fruit of the Holy Spirit.

In the King James version, it's translated as  longsuffering.  The Message Bible calls it a "willingness to stick with things."  And, the Amplified Bible says that this Fruit is manifested when the Holy Spirit gives you an even temper, and something called forbearance. says that forbearance is patient endurance!  This simply means that the Holy Spirit will give you the ability to endure trials and tribulations, as you patiently watch for your victory.


Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren,
whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort
or fall into various temptations.
Be assured and understand that 
the trial and proving of your faith bring out 
endurance and steadfastness and patience.
But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play
and do a thorough work,
so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed
[with no defects], lacking in nothing.
-James 1:2-4 (AMP)

Why can you patiently endure trials and tribulations?  Because you know that God's Word will always prevail in His timing.

Notice what God is telling you through this scripture.  He says that trials are only an opportunity for you to prove your faith in His promises.  Do you believe what you see in front of your eyes, or do you believe what the Word of God says about your situation?

Anyone can believe God's promises for healing when they aren't sick.  But what happens when they get a bad report from the doctor, and 6 months have passed with no improvement.  Where is their faith then?

A trial is your chance to prove to yourself, your God, and the world, that you really do believe!

It is amazing that God says we should let patience and endurance complete their work in us.  He tells us that they are what will really make us "fully developed" (James 1:4 AMP).  

Christian Kindness
We've been told to "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" since we were 3 years old.  So, sometimes we can take the idea of kindness for granted.

But, when we do a Bible scripture study on kindness, we find out the emphasis that our Heavenly Father really puts on just being nice.

God tells us that, since He has chosen us to be His children that He loves, we have a responsibility to clothe ourselves in tenderhearted mercy and kindness (Colossians 3:12 NLT).

I mention mercy together with kindness, because they are so interconnected.  You may consider yourself to be kind, but can your kindness pass the ultimate test?  Can you show the mercy of God to those around you, or do you still need to learn how to forgive those that trespass against you?

Proverbs, known as the book of wisdom, holds some wisdom for us regarding kindness.  We are told that there is actually a reward for being kind.   

If you do this, you will live many years,
and your life will be satisfying.
Never let loyalty and kindness leave you!
Tie them around your neck as a reminder.
Write them deep within your heart.
Then you will find favor with both God and people,
and you will earn a good reputation. 
-Proverbs 3:2-4 (NLT)

I've heard many Christians confessing the end of this scripture - "I have favor with God and man."  But, as I have said before, God works in covenant promises.   If you are not doing your part of the promise, you can not expect to walk in the provision.

Yes, we all want to live many years and have our lives be satisfying.  We want to have favor with God and with people.  But, have we hung kindness and loyalty around our necks as reminders to always walk in them?

That is where the Holy Spirit comes in.  It is there to help you to be kind to people who do not deserve your kindness anymore than you deserve the kindness of a Holy God.

As you grow in the area of kindness through God's Spirit, you will be surprised how many people you begin to draw to God.  Becoming a representative of His mercy and kindness here on the earth allows you to be a reflection of God's unconditional love.

Let the world see the love of God through your kindness.

For once you were darkness, 
but now you are light in the Lord; 
walk as children of Light...
For the fruit...of the Light
or the Spirit 

[consists] in every form of 
kindly goodness
uprightness of heart,
                                                       and trueness of life
                                                        -Ephesians 5:8-9 (AMP)

Of course, God's Word can explain the true heart of goodness better than I ever could.  And I truly believe that it does in that scripture.

This Fruit of "the Light or the Spirit," as God puts it in this scripture, is being kind, having a heart for righteousness, and living a life that is true and dedicated to the source of truth - The Lord.

What makes a person good?  Sometimes religion can get us to focus on lots of little rules and regulations. We get distracted by denominations, or even things that amount to no more than rituals.

But, God is looking at your heart.  And He is looking at your life. Is it full of goodness?

The Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink,
but of
 living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

-Romans 14:15 (NLT) 

Those should be the things that we focus our energies on.  Because those are the things that matter to God.

Fruits of the Holy Spirit Bible Scripture Study 
Lesson 3

Reflection Questions:
  1. Have you ever had to wait on a promise from God's Word to manifest itself in your life?  What did you learn from the experience?
  2. Does it shock you to know that God believes developing patient endurance will make you "fully developed" spiritually?  Why or why not?
  3. Do you feel that many Christians take kindness and mercy for granted?  Have you ever done this yourself?
  4. What do you think qualifies a person as being "good" in God's eyes? 

Study by Hem of His Garment

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Fruit Of the Spirit... Love, Joy and Peace!

9 Fruits of The Holy Spirit Bible Scripture Study

Lesson 2: Love, Joy and Peace

By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. ~ John 13:35

In Lesson 1 of your Fruits of the Holy Spirit Bible Study, we discussed the purposes for developing spiritual fruit.  We learned that these Fruits are outward signs of an inward change in your life. Although they do not appear over night, they are proof that you are God's work in progress.  

But, Galatians 5 is not the only place in the Word that we see references to these signs that God's holy hand is at work.    

We are going to engage in what I like to call a Bible Scripture Study - Scouring the scriptures for all that God has to say on a subject.  It's time to discover what else God's Word tells you about each of the 9 Fruits of the Holy Spirit.   


A Closer Look At Each of the Fruits of the Holy Spirit

But the Holy Spirit
produces this kind of fruit in our lives: 
Gentleness, and
 There is no law against these things!
 - Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT)

Christian Love  

Christian Love Fruits of the Holy Spirit rocks in heartBy this shall all men know
that ye are my disciples,
if ye have love one to another.

-John 13:35
The Greek word used in Galatians 5,and again here in John 13, is Agape
This is the kind of love that God loves us with - It is self-sacrificing. It is unconditional. 
And, let's face it, it is impossible for any human to achieve on their own.  It can only be developed as a Fruit of the Holy Spirit.
But, Jesus says that developing this kind of love in your heart is the only way the world will be able to identify you as His.  In Matthew, Jesus explains that Agapao (the verb form of Agape)  is the actual basis of Christianity.  
Jesus tells us that everything God calls us to boils down to this:
You must love the Lord your God
with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.

This is the first and greatest commandment.
A second is equally important:
Love your neighbor as yourself.  

The entire law and all the demands of the prophets
are based on these two commandments. 

-Matthew 22: 36-40 (NLT)
There is no wonder why Paul lists love first in his description of the Fruits of the Holy Spirit.

Christian Joy

Christian Joy Fruits of the Spirit happy man on beachThere are two kinds of joy.  The fleeting joy that the world gives. And the lasting joy that God's Spirit provides.

The joy that we find in this world is allusive.  It is like chasing a mirage.

People spend years thinking that when they finally get that promotion, or when they eventually get out of debt - They will be happy.

And, yet, when they finally reach the place where they thought they would find happiness, they only experience more longing.

Why?  They foolishly thought that they were the source of their own joy.

But, your Heavenly Father doesn't want His child sitting around "grieved and depressed."  That's why God's Word says that He's given you the very joy of the Lord to be your strength and stronghold (Nehemiah 8:10 -AMP).

So, while the world is searching for happiness, the Holy Spirit is sprouting seeds of joy and gladness inside of you.  And this Fruit of the Holy Spirit is God's gift, to be your strength in times of turmoil.

Christian Peace

Christian Peace Fruits of the Holy Spirit Father and child's handsThere are two kinds of peace that we have as Christians.  We have peace with God, and we have the peace of God.  Let me explain the difference.

You will learn in a future lesson about the Holy Spirit in the Old testament that, before Jesus, we were not allowed to be in the presence of God. But, through Jesus' sacrifice, our peace with God was purchased.

THEREFORE, SINCE we are justified
(acquitted, declared righteous, and given a right standing with God)
through faith,
let us [grasp the fact that we] have

[the peace of reconciliation to hold and to [enjoy] peace with God
through our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One)
Romans 5:1 (AMP)

In addition to Jesus' death buying you peace with God, it also serves as a cleansing sacrifice to allow you into the presence of the Lord.

With the Holy Spirit now living inside of you, you are able to experience the peace of God.  This is the kind of peace that the Fruit of the Holy Spirit manifests.

We are told in Philippians how to receive this peace for ourselves.

Don’t worry about anything;
instead, pray about everything.
Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. 
Then you will experience God’s peace,
which exceeds anything we can understand.

His peace will guard your hearts and minds
as you live in Christ Jesus.

-Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)

You are promised a peace that exceeds your understanding.  That means, it is a peace that does not make sense to us mentally.  In times when we should be pulling out our hair and biting our nails, we feel an overwhelming peace in our spirits.

I think that, more and more, bearing this Fruit of the Holy Spirit is something that Christians struggle with.  I find so many Believers who are struggling with fear, doubt, stress and anxiety. But, you don't have to live like that.  God's Holy Spirit can set you free from the bondage of your thoughts and give you a peace that passes all understanding.

Fruits of the Holy Spirit Bible Scripture Study 
Lesson 2

Reflection Questions:

  1. Why do you think that it is significant that Jesus uses the action verb Agapao to describe the kind of love that the Holy Spirit wants to develop inside of you?
  2. Why do you think God tells you that His joy is what acts as your strength during trying times? Can you think of a time when His joy kept you strong?
  3. Why do you think so many Christians today struggle with receiving and maintaining God's peace?  Do you feel that you have a problem maintaining your peace?
Study by "The Hem of His Garment"

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Exploring the Fruit of the Spirit

- Matthew 7:17-20 (AMP)
...Every healthy (sound) tree
bears good fruit [worthy of admiration],
but the sickly (decaying, worthless) tree
bears bad (worthless) fruit.
A good (healthy) tree cannot bear bad (worthless) fruit,
nor can a bad (diseased) tree
bear excellent fruit [worthy of admiration]...
you will fully know them by their fruits.

Galatians 5:22-23
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control.

Jesus told His disciples that you can tell if someone truly belongs to Him by the kind of spiritual fruit that they produce.  
Are you a fruit tree that produces healthy, sound fruit? Do you produce some good and some bad fruit? I am sure you want to produce ALL good fruit, right? 

Ready to make that change?

Now, the changes don't happen over night. They're gradual. 

You may not notice them over days and weeks.  Or even after several months.  But, you are God's work in progress - Not your own. 
Have you ever heard that song: "He's still workin' on me?" Well in the song the singer sings
"He's still workin' on me, to make me what I ought to be, it took Him just a week to make the moon and the stars, the sun and the earth and Jupiter and Mars. I love how patient He must be, cause He's still workin' on me."
I love to remember this when I feel I have room to grow in an area. I should not feel badly for this shortcoming, but to realize that I am a work in progress.

The Spirit Controlled Life, the Fruit of the Spirit are not things that we can scrounge up on our own.  But, the more time you spend truly seeking God, the more these signs will become evident in every area of your life.  

Everything that you do.  Every thing that you say.You begin to look more like Jesus.  Wouldn't that be awesome! Hang in there... you can do it!

Here are the 9 signs to check for:

  1. Love
  2. Joy
  3. Peace
  4. Patient Endurance 
  5. Kindness
  6. Goodness
  7. Faith and Faithfulness 
  8. Gentleness 
  9. Self-Discipline 
(Galatians 5:22-23)

These signs are called the 9 Fruits of the Spirit. They are evidence to the world that you have been paid for by the blood of Jesus, and you have the Mark (an attitude)to prove it!

You live for Him, and His Spirit lives inside of you.

What is the Purpose of the Fruits of the Spirit?

There are two huge things that the Fruits of the Spirit accomplish here on Earth.

  • They give you the power to fulfill your destiny in Christ.  
Without the Holy Spirit bearing spiritual fruit inside of you, you would be powerless.

You wouldn't have the endurance and faithfulness to complete the calling that God has given you.  You wouldn't even have the self-discipline to study your Bible or pray.

Without the Fruits of the Spirit, the gifts that God has hidden inside of you, would stay locked away forever.

  • They are what God uses to draw people to Himself through you. 
Do you know anyone who, no matter the situation, always radiates a godly peace - They are unshakable.  People in this world are drawn to that kind of peace.

With all of the chaos surrounding them every day, they search their entire lives for whatever peace and joy they can get their hands on.

They end up trying to fill the void with fleeting counterfeits like alcohol and illicit sex.  Things that merely numb their pain for a short while, but leave them longing once again, after the party is over.

When they look at you in a time of crisis, and see God's unshakable  peace and joystaring back at them through your eyes, they want to know what you know.

Then, you can introduce them to Who you know.

Remember, the Fruits of the Spirit are not something that you can scrounge up on your own, but gifts that God gives to you.  He uses them to set you free from human frailties like anger, fear and depression.

He wants to give you His peace for your stress and anxiety, His love for your unforgiveness, His joy for your depression, and on and on.

Fruit of the Spirit Bible Study:
Reflection Questions:

  1. Do you believe in your heart that you have been Marked by the Spirit of God?  Why or why not?
  2. Do you agree with the idea that people in the world can be drawn to God by His fruit in your life?  Why or why not?
  3. What Fruits of the Spirit do you already see manifesting in your life?
  4. Which of the 9 Fruits of the Holy Spirit do you still need God to manifest inside of you?  Stop now and pray for the Holy Spirit to begin this work today!

We will continue the study tomorrow... for today ponder on what it is to truly accept the help of the Holy Spirit in your life to change and to mold you. It is not you who will provide the fruit, but God Himself. You must be able to allow change! Pray about it and tomorrow, we will begin with Love, Joy and Peace!

Bible study from "Hem of His Garment"

Looking forward to it!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Goodness, Self control, Love and Perseverance

2 Peter 1:3-9
3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
 5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.

God has given to us everything we need to live a life that is good. He has promised to us that because He has given you this power, you can overcome the desires of this evil world. You have a natural God-given ability to live upright-- but you must also do your part! Do everything you can today to focus on doing good, having self control, persevering, having knowledge, Godliness, mutual affection, perseverance and love! Take this life you have been given and make the most of it, accomplish your goal to be pure in God's eyes! To keep these qualities is to have an effective and productive lifestyle. To not live in goodness, knowledge, self control, love, Godliness, mutual affection and perseverance you will stumble and it will be hard to see clearly the potential for all God has planned for you. 

Take these words- goodness, knowledge, self control, love, Godliness, mutual affection and perseverance put them to use today in all you do. Make today the day that others will say "Why is she so happy, What is she doing to have such peace?" It may seem difficult, but with God all things are possible!
Blessings to you in your day!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Out with the Old, In with the New!

Do you remember back in the good ol' day when we did anything we wanted and nothing ruled us, nothing stopped us and the world was ours? There was no one that we had to answer to and we definitely did not have any feelings of conviction. You had no fear of God and you were your own master. Well, I am sure at that time you did not view it in that way. You more than likely just were in the mindset that you just wanted to have fun in this life. And surely that was what it was all about!
 .... then you longed for more and God called you, found you and forgave you! That is what I call mercy.
So you have been saved. What now? Want to live right?

Colossians 3 1-10, 12-17   Rules for Holy Living
 1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your[a] life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
 5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.[b] 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 
 12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Isaiah 43:18 "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
Ezekiel 36:26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

If you are a new Christian or maybe you have been a Christian but have not lived your belief out faithfully, start over! God wants you to be whole, pure and without blemish. We most certainly are not perfect and God does not expect us to be-- were forgiven. God forgives us, so forgive yourself. We all have made mistakes in the past and wish we hadn't done certain things. Start over... begin afresh! Today is a new day and a new piece of paper to write on. If your last piece was messy with holes in it... here is your new paper. Start new! Even nature starts afresh in the spring, look at the flowers and trees in the winter. Spring comes and God begins a new work in them and they bloom like the beautiful creation God had planned for them. Be the flower with color, the tree with new blooms, the wonderfully drawn picture and you will see God's work of art in yourself!