The Fruit of the Spirit Study Week 11

Welcome to Week 11 where we’ve been studying the second Fruit of the Spirit, JOY. This month we have explored how JOY comes through trials in our lives. Last week, we witnessed the JOY in heaven when just one sinner repents. This week we’ll study the church’s engagement and marriage to the Lamb of God. It’s a time of JOY as we, the bride, prepare to meet our Bridegroom.

The Parable of the Vestal Virgins

“Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.” (Matthew 25:1) Click to read the rest of Matthew 25:1-13.

“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels” (Isaiah 61:10 NKJV).

Front Porch Bible Study Series by Karen Jurgens

Jesus explained His Father’s kingdom by telling a parable about ten virgins who went out to meet the bridegroom. Five foolish ones took no oil for their lamps, but five wise ones took oil in their vessels. As the bridegroom tarried, they all fell asleep. Then at midnight, a cry announced his coming. All the virgins arose and trimmed their lamps, but the foolish five had no oil. The wise ones didn’t have enough to share, so the foolish ones went to buy some. While they were gone, the bridegroom arrived, and those who were ready went into the wedding with him. When the foolish virgins returned, the door was shut and the bridegroom refused to let them in, saying that he never knew them.

Front Porch Bible Study Series by Karen Jurgens

Is there any day more JOYous than a wedding day, especially if you’re the bride? Our culture has glorified weddings in recent years with television shows about everything from buying the dress to ceremonies and receptions. Weddings are currently big business—and no expense is spared.

But wedding traditions haven’t always been like today’s. In order to understand this parable, we must first familiarize ourselves with the customs of those times.

Hundreds of years ago, the bridegroom would travel to the home of his bride. Although the bride never knew exactly what time he would arrive, she still had to be dressed and ready to go. Sometimes a bridegroom was late, and the bride waited anxiously for days. But after his arrival, he would JOYfully carry her off to his home. Then they would celebrate with a wedding ceremony and a marriage feast with friends and family, sometimes lasting for days.

Who are these virgins in the parable? They represent the sleeping church, who is engaged to Jesus and waiting for His return. We don’t know the day nor the hour of His coming. But when He arrives, those who are saved and full of the oil of the Holy Spirit will be taken to heaven as His bride. Those who aren’t saved will be left behind, knocking at a closed door.

The most JOYful realization is that this event may happen soon. With our shining lamps full of oil, our eyes look up because we know our bridegroom is coming. When Jesus arrives in the clouds with His angels, we who are alive on that day will be caught up to meet Him in the air, along with the resurrected Saints. He will take us to heaven to be His bride and to feast at the marriage supper of the Lamb. You can read about this JOYful event, the rapture of the church, here.

Just as today’s bride takes time to groom and adorn herself for that special day, so we must also make ourselves ready to meet our bridegroom. Jesus is coming for a church without spot or wrinkle. Let’s wash away our sins in His blood and anoint ourselves with the pure water of His Word. Let’s clothe ourselves in garments of praise and righteous acts as we wait for that shofar blast to sound from the clouds.

‘Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.’  And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, ‘Write: “Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb’” (Revelation 19:7-9 NKJV).

For more study on the subject of the Bride of Christ and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, click HERE to listen to a sermon by Charles Spurgeon.

Nothing is more JOYous than a wedding celebration! Would you share some JOYful memories abou your special day?

Front Porch Bible Study Series by Karen Jurgens

Prayer: Dear Father, thank you for inviting us to be Your bride at the marriage supper of the Lamb. May we fill our lamps with the oil of Your Holy Spirit and be ready to go home with You at Your appearing. We pray that You send worldwide revival now. In Jesus’s Name, Amen.

Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much ~ James 5:16.

Front Porch Bible Study Series by Karen Jurgens


The Fruit of the Spirit Study Week 10

Welcome to Week 10 where we’ve been studying the second Fruit of the Spirit, JOY. Last week we explored how JOY comes through trials in our lives. It’s a paradox for something so wonderful to come out of difficulty or suffering. Where does JOY originate? Deep in our salvation, placed there the moment we say YES to Jesus. This week we’ll see what happens in heaven when just one sinner repents.

Front Porch Bible Study Series by Karen Jurgens

Click HERE to read Luke 15: 1-24.

Memory Verse: Luke 15:10: “‘Likewise I say to you, there is JOY in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.’”

Front Porch Bible Study Series by Karen Jurgens

When tax collectors and sinners gathered around Jesus, the Pharisees and scribes criticized Jesus for allowing such men to be near Him.
That sparked Jesus to relate three parables directed at these hypocritical Pharisees.


The first one deals with a shepherd who leaves his flock of ninety-nine to seek for one that is lost. “‘And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing’” (v.5). But his JOY multiplies after returning home. He invites friends and neighbors to a party to celebrate with him over finding his one lost sheep.

The second parable tells about a woman who loses one of her ten silver coins. She lights a lamp, sweeps her house, and searches diligently until she finds it. “‘And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, “Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!’” (v.9)

The third relates the story of the prodigal son. After he squanders all his money, he finds himself working in a pigsty where even the pig’s food looks appealing to his empty stomach. After he comes to himself, he makes the long journey home to appeal to his father to make him as one of his slaves.
Much to his surprise, his father runs out to meet him and welcomes him with a joyful kiss. “‘But the father said to the servant, “Bring out the best robe and put it on him and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.” And they began to be merry’” (v. 22-24).

Front Porch Bible Study Series by Karen Jurgens

Have you ever lost something of great value? I have. The situation causes my heart to canter and my mind to swirl in panic. I retrace my steps and get on hands and knees, feeling behind furniture and shining a flashlight into dark corners. Finally, my lost treasure is discovered–usually in the last place I look. My relief turns to JOY, and my family and friends rejoice with me.

What do these parables have in common? Probably something that has happened to each of us–something precious is lost and later is found. And the finders’ joy overflows to a celebration.

But the meaning is far deeper.

“‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me'” (Revelation 3:20 NKJV).

The lost sheep, coin, and prodigal son represent those who are lost in their sins but who find JOYful salvation at the cross of Christ. Jesus uses these parables to show the Pharisees and scribes how God feels about one lost sinner. Each person is so special that God personally seeks out each one. Then He calls His angels in heaven together to rejoice with Him over every person who repents.

As an altar minister at my church, I have prayed with several people over the years for salvation. Through our tears, I remind them that the angels are celebrating JOYfully in heaven as well as writing their name in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

There is no sweeter time of celebration on heaven or on earth than when a lost soul repents and meets Jesus as personal Lord and Savior.

“The king shall have JOY in Your strength, O Lord; and in Your salvation how greatly shall he rejoice!” (Psalm 21:1 NKJV)

Can you share your story of JOY with us, either about your own salvation or the salvation of a friend or loved one?

Front Porch Bible Study Series by Karen Jurgens

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for making the salvation experience one that is full of JOY. May we feast on the JOY of our salvation and also rejoice with those whose salvation we witness. We ask You to send forth Your Spirit to draw in the Lost and use us as Your witnesses during these last days. In Your Son’s Name we pray, Amen.

Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much ~ James 5:16.

Front Porch Bible Study Series by Karen Jurgens

The Fruit of the Spirit Study Week 9

Welcome to “Front Porch Bible Study Series. We are beginning our study of the second Fruit of the Spirit–JOY. This month we will discover the place where JOY lives deep in our spirits, waiting to be mined out, like precious diamonds. Let’s go mining today for this priceless gift from God!


The Fruit of the Spirit Bible Study Series Week 9: How to find joy in trials.

Click here to read today’s Scripture reading.

Memory Verse: “Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation” (Habakkuk 3:18 NKJV).

Let’s begin with a word study. According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of happiness is “A state of well-being and contentment; a pleasurable or satisfying experience.”
Happiness lives in our souls and is based on fickle feelings, emotions, and changing circumstances. This temporary fix is the best the world can offer.

JOY, on the other hand, doesn’t come from the world. God lovingly plants it in our spirits the moment we become His through salvation.
Just as our salvation is permanent, so is our JOY.

In today’s reading, the prophet Habakkuk cries out to God over witnessing the dreaded arrival of the Chaldeans, godless destroyers who have come to conquer and plunder Israel. He pleads with God over how long God will look on evil and not do anything to stop it (Habakkuk 1:2-4; 12-17 NKJV).

God’s response is that He is in control of evil and not to fret. In time, they (the Chaldeans) will pay the price. (1:11). The Lord declares to Habakkuk that
the day of retribution will certainly come, as it’s an appointed time for which to patiently wait. In the meantime, the righteous should live by their faith. (Habakkuk 2: 2-4 NKJV).

Have you ever had your life torn apart unexpectedly? I have. Whether it’s losing a marriage, a child or loved one, a job, career, or finances, we can go into a tailspin, paralleling Israel’s suffering.

We cry out for God’s justice, mercy, and His hand to reverse our situation. We plead with our God, who is too holy to look on evil, and ask Him how He can allow these things to happen.

What should our response to God be?
The answer is the secret to finding JOY during our trials .

Let’s meditate on Habakkuk’s ending prayer:

“Though the fig tree may not blossom,

Nor fruit be on the vines;

Though the labor of the olive may fail,

And the fields yield no food;

Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,

And there be no herd in the stalls—

Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,

I will joy in the God of my salvation.

The Lord God is my strength;

He will make my feet like deer’s feet,

And He will make me walk on my high hills” (Habakkuk 3:17-19 NKJV).

No matter our circumstances, JOY is planted deep in our spirits. Like Habakkuk, we can mine JOY out of our salvation and rejoice in the Lord–in spite of the trials we experience. God will make us sure-footed and guide us safely along narrow, mountainous paths. Isn’t God so good!

Can you rejoice in your trials?

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, Let us remember that our lives aren’t spiraling out of control when we face trials, but You are at the helm. May we trust You and not despair. Teach us to choose to rejoice in our trials and to draw joy from our wells of salvation. In Jesus’s Name, Amen.

Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much ~ James 5:16.

The Fruit of the Spirit Study Week 8

“Front Porch” Bible Study Series on The Fruit of the Spirit

Read: Genesis 22: 1-18 NKJV

Memory Verse: “He said, ‘Do not stretch out your hand against the lad and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son from Me’” (Genesis 22:12 NKJV).

God tested Abraham by commanding him to take his only son, Isaac, to Moriah to offer him as a burnt offering to God. After a two days’ journey, he told the young men traveling with them, “’Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you’” (v.5).  As they went up the mountain, Isaac asked his father, “’Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?’ Abraham said, ‘God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son’” (v.7-8).


The story of Abraham and Isaac parallels the future story of Jesus’s obedient sacrifice on the cross. God stopped Abraham from plunging the knife into his son’s body, and Abraham’s reward for His obedient faith was great. Read the climax of the story here.

Sacrifice is defined by Merriam-Webster asan act of offering to a deity something precious especially, the killing of a victim on an altar.”

But in the case of Jesus, He was not a victim. He willingly laid down His life for our sins. That was the very reason He came to earth, to restore our salvation stolen by Satan in the Garden of Eden. Read about it here.

When Jesus walked the earth, He told His disciples: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another (John 13:34-35 NKJV).

Jesus added, “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:12-13 NKJV).

Jesus complied with God’s request to become the supreme sacrifice for the sins of mankind. He willingly left his abode in heaven with the Father and the Holy Spirit and came into the world through the Virgin Mary. We praise and worship Jesus for His sacrifice on the cross where we are saved through His blood, and our names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Choosing the assurance of eternity in God’s kingdom is an awesome gift.


Out of our overflowing love for our Savior, let’s generously demonstrate our love to one another through sacrifice. What better way for us to prove that we are His disciples!

Have you ever sacrificed for someone else? Or has someone sacrificed for you? Please encourage us with your story.

Let’s conclude this month’s study with a look at the definition of LOVE as defined by Paul in 1 Corinthians 13: “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;  does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;  does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails” ( v.4-8). To read the full chapter, click here.

I prayerfully leave you with Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 13:13: “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

Lord, thank you for loving us enough to come to earth and lay down your life so we can be saved. May we love one another and sacrifice for our fellow man, and so prove to be Your disciples. In Your Name, we pray. Amen.

Let’s pray one for another. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much ~ James 5:16.

Heartwings Front Porch Bible Studies

The Fruit of the Spirit Study Week 7

Front Porch Bible Study Series / The Fruit of the Spirit

This month we are focusing on LOVE, the first fruit of the Spirit. In Weeks 5 and 6, we studied how we show God’s love to others through intercessory prayer and Christian service. This week we’ll look at how God’s love grows inside our spirits and produces fruit for God’s kingdom. Join me as we study how to abide in the vine.

Week 7: LOVE

Click to Read: John 15: 1-8 NKJV.

Click to Read: Memory Verse: “‘By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples'” (John 15:8 NKJV).


Jesus explains what living the true Christian life is like by comparing it to a vinedresser (God) who cares for the branches (those saved by grace), which are attached to the true vine (Jesus).

God prunes every branch by either cutting away those that don’t produce any fruit or by pruning a fruitful branch to make it more productive.
Either way, we’re all going to feel some pain on occasion when God comes to inspect us!

Jesus then defines the consequences of rejecting Christ: “‘If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned’” (John 15:6 NKJV).

On the other hand, Jesus promises to those who accept Him: “‘If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples'” (John 15:7-8 NKJV).

Are you a gardener? If so, you’ll best understand the principle of pruning and cutting. We trim off dead branches to make way for new growth, in addition to watering, fertilizing, and sunning our plants for maximum growth and yield.

Jesus, as our gardener, looks at the fruit of our spirits. We are designed as flowering branches, expected to grow abundant fruit by yielding ourselves to His loving care–as well as His pruning shears.

Daily we ask for forgiveness through Christ’s blood shed at the cross and ready our spirits to receive His nourishment. As the Holy Spirit flows through our lives, like water inside branches, we are filled to overflowing, without sin or iniquity blocking the flow.

Jesus also cultivates us by cutting away any dead works, pruning us to the nub so that more sap can get through. Since we are connected to Jesus through faith after we’re born-again, our vines are fed by the sap of the Holy Spirit, automatically causing us to bear much fruit.

What kinds of things does God prune away in our lives? Perhaps ones like bad habits, wrong thinking, or negative attitudes and words. Sometimes it may involve losing friendships or changing activities that are leading us down wrong paths. And yes, this cutting away can be very painful.

Although pruning represents a loss in our lives, it’s necessary so we can produce abundant fruit. As spiritual branches, we have a choice: either be withered, cut off, and burned up in God’s fire OR abide in the vine and bear much fruit.

He also promises to give us our heart’s desire if we plant His Word in our spirits. Isn’t that a sweet promise to do and claim?

Our goal is to bring God glory by bearing much fruit for His Kingdom. How has the Lord been using His pruning shears in your life?

Prayer: Dear Lord, we humbly ask You to cultivate us to be more fruitful. May we willingly yield our spirits to your pruning shears. Give us much fruit so we can bring you much glory. In Jesus’s Name, Amen.

Let’s pray one for another. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much ~ James 5:16.

Heartwings Front Porch Bible Studies

The Fruit of the Spirit Study Week 6

Front Porch Bible Study Series Week 6 by Karen Jurgens

Front Porch Bible Study Series / The Fruit of the Spirit

Future videos will appear at the beginning of each month when a new fruit of the Spirit is introduced. The month of February is about the study of LOVE and how we show God’s love to one another. Our pot of seeds we planted last week is now full of little green sprouts! May God’s love take root in your heart and bloom more everyday.

Week 6: LOVE

Front Porch Bible Study Week 6 by Karen Jurgens

Click to read: John 13: 3-17 NKJV

“‘If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet’” (John 13:14 NKJV).

Jesus taught His disciples many lessons during His three years of earthly ministry. Even on the night of His coming arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus demonstrated servanthood—not just telling, but showing them by example.

“Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded” (John 13:3-5 NKJV).

When He came to Peter, Peter balked in his usual exaggerated way, refusing to allow Jesus to perform a lowly servant’s job. Jesus explained that although the disciples didn’t understand His actions now, they would later. He continued, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me” (13:8).  Peter swung to the other extreme, pleading, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and head!” (13:9). Jesus reassured Peter that a person who has bathed only needs to wash his feet to be totally clean.

Let’s discuss the important lesson Jesus taught His disciples and the part humility played. According to Jesus, who is greater—the master or the servant?

Immediately following the Last Supper, there arose a quarrel among the disciples over who was the greatest among them. Jesus addressed their dispute by using His role as a model for them to imitate.

“And He said to them, ‘The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called ‘benefactors.’  But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves.  For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves'” (Luke 22:25-27 NKJV).

In today’s world, many religious “on-stage” leaders are puffed up and prideful What Scriptures might Jesus quote to them?

“When pride comes, then comes shame; But with the humble is wisdom” (Proverbs 11:2 NKJV) OR “Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18 NKJV).

Roles of leadership are roles of humble servanthood in disguise

As we step forward to serve others, may our passion spring from a pure and humble heart. It’s the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit we are promoting, and it’s Jesus to whom we point–not ever to ourselves. May the Lord Jesus always receive the glory and honor, for He alone is worthy of our worship and praise.

How do you show God’s love through service?

Lord, may we learn to be humble and serve one another. We strive for the promise of John 13:17: “‘If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.’” In Jesus’s Name we pray, Amen.

Let’s pray one for another. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much ~ James 5:16.

Heartwings Front Porch Bible Studies

The Fruit of the Spirit Study Week 5

Heart"wings" Front Porch Bible Study Series by Karen Jurgens

Week 5: Love

Welcome to our study of the first fruit of the Spirit–LOVE. Let’s allow the Lord to plant seeds of love for others in the fertile soil of our hearts this month. Let’s begin by digging up verses of truth in the Word…

Read: Luke 8:40-42; 49-56

Topic: Intercessory Prayer

Memory Verse: “But when Jesus heard it, He answered him, saying, ‘Do not be afraid; only believe, and she will be made well’” (Luke 8:50 NKJV).

Examine:  God plants seeds of love in our hearts for others who are sick or suffering. He calls us to pray for others and intercede on their behalf.
But how powerful is intercessory prayer?

During Week 2, we studied about Jairus, who had persuaded Jesus to come to his home to heal his dying twelve-year-old daughter. As they pressed through the throngs of people, Jesus suddenly stopped and addressed a woman with an issue of blood who had been healed by touching the hem of His tallit or prayer shawl.

After they had resumed their walk, one of Jairus’s servants came running with a report that Jairus’s daughter had just died and not to trouble the Teacher any longer. “Do not be afraid, only believe and she will be made well,” Jesus answered (verse 50), and “Do not weep; she is not dead, but sleeping” (verse 52).

Although the mourners ridiculed Jesus for His words, the Lord took His three closest disciples and the girl’s parents into the room where she lay.  “But He put them all outside, took her by the hand and called, saying, ‘Little girl, arise.’ Then her spirit returned, and she arose immediately. And He commanded that she be given something to eat” (Luke 8:54-55).

Discuss:  Does someone you know have a situation or illness that appears hopeless?
Intercessory prayer tills the soil where God plants miracles Others may express disbelief, but we should model Jesus who ignored the naysayers. His miracles always bring glory to the Father and prove His identity as the Son of God.

Notice how faith works concerning both pleas for healing in Luke 8. The woman with the issue of blood reached out to touch Jesus’s tassels on the edge of His tallit. Hers was an example of direct prayer on her own behalf–not of intercession. Many people were pressing against Jesus in the crowd, and He hadn’t been aware of her presence until after He had felt power go out of Him. She had seized and received her healing through her great faith.
“And He said to her, ‘Daughter, be of good cheer; your faith has made you well. Go in peace'” (Luke 8:48 NKJV).

But the little girl couldn’t reach out–Jesus came to her bedside and touched her on behalf of her father’s intercession.
Isn’t it wonderful to realize that we, as intercessors, have the power to bring Jesus to the bedside of those for whom we pray?

Does a situation look impossible? That’s no reason to be discouraged or to give up.
Our job is to keep praying and interceding on behalf of others. Jesus may be ready to perform miraculous healings in answer to our prayers, according to His perfect will. What a glorious day of rejoicing when we witness His healing touch!

How has your life been changed through intercessory prayer?

Prayer:  Dear Lord, thank you for showing us Your perfect love through answering intercessory prayer. Erase our doubts by helping us grow in our faith so that we believe in Your miracles. May we not only reach out and touch the hem of Your garment for our healing, but may we faithfully intercede on behalf of others. In Jesus’s Name, Amen.

Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much ~ James 5:16.

Heartwings Front Porch Bible Studies