Posts Tagged ‘Fruit of the Spirit

11
Aug
15

Get A Life!

And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.  He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. — 1 John 5:11-12 (NIV)
The Holy Spirit testifies to it.  Jesus said it (John 10:10).  The Father longs to give it to us.  Life.  Real life.  Authentic life.  Abundant life.  Yet so many Christians I know (including myself) feel lifeless much of the time.  What does it mean to have life?  I think that it goes along with the fruit of the Spirit.  The fruit that the Spirit bears in our lives indicates the degree to which we are experiencing real life.
Are we becoming more loving and joyful?  More peaceful and patient?  More kind and good?  More faithful, gentle and self-controlled?  Is the Spirit manifesting itself in our lives in these ways?  I think that the abundance of life is found in the cornucopia of the Spirit’s fruit.  When we are angry, self-centered, bitter and joyless, we discover that life is drudgery.  We have no life when we are not walking in tune with God’s Spirit.  But when we submit to God’s leadership in our lives, we find that life (though it may have its share of challenges) is more pleasure than pain.  May God bless you with abundant life today and tomorrow and on through eternity.
How do you define “life”?  How is the Spirit manifesting itself in your life?  Is life more drudgery or is it more abundant?
PRAYER: Lord God, I want the abundant life that Jesus promised.  I don’t want to see my life as a drudgery.  I don’t want the same old, same old.  I want to live!  Fill me with Your Holy Spirit today as I seek to please You in my life.  Thank You for the gift of Your Spirit and Your Son, Jesus.  Amen.
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20
Jul
15

Doing Good To All People

Galatians 6:7-10 (NIV)
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction;whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
What we do here on earth matters for eternity.  We will all be judged for everything we’ve done here on earth.  ​While this may be a reason for fear for many, it does not have to be terrifying.  Paul tells the Galatians that if they live their lives to please the flesh they “will reap destruction,” but if they live their lives to please God they “will reap eternal life” from God’s Spirit (vs. 8, NIV).  So how do we do that?  We should “do good to all people” (vs 10, NIV).  This is done individually and corporately.  This is done for those outside the church and for “those who belong to the family of believers” (vs. 10, NIV).
As individuals, we evidence the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) as we deal with people outside the family of faith and with those who are a part of it.  The evidence of the Spirit’s control in our lives are when we become more loving, joyful, peacemaking, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle and self-controlled.  This fruit manifests itself as we deal with other people both inside and outside the church.
As churches, we are called to do good to all people as well.  God loves the world and we, as the church of Jesus Christ, must reflect His love and light to this dark world.  We need to pray for those who persecute us.  We need to do good to all people.  We point too many fingers and preach judgment and Hell-fire without balancing it with grace and love.  Do we need to make people aware of the judgment to come?  Absolutely.  Do we need to warn people about the reality of Hell?  Absolutely.  Do we need to love people into the Kingdom and balance grace with truth?  Absolutely.  That’s what Jesus did.  When we do good to all people, we do so because we love all people just as God loves all people.  So when Jesus comes back to take us all home, He will recognize us as His people because we look just like Him.
Prayer: Father God, fill me with Your love today that I might see opportunities to do good to all people.  Help me to love first, love often and love well.  Thank You for Your love and grace…
Amen
15
Jul
15

Living By The Spirit

Paul contrasts the “acts of the flesh” (verse 19-21) with the “fruit of the Spirit” (verses 22-23).  Those who live by the flesh follow their sinful nature.  Those who live by the Spirit demonstrate the character traits found in verses 22-23.  I used to think that the fruit of the Spirit was kind of like a staircase.  You got love first and then joy and then peace and so on.  I incorrectly believed that they were all individual fruits.  In the Greek language, the word fruit is singular.  In other words, when we live by the indwelling Spirit of God, He produces love, joy, peace, patience, etc. all at the same time.  The Spirit is always producing this fruit in our lives.  How do we know that we are living by the Spirit?  We are becoming more loving, joyful, peace loving, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle and self-controlled followers of Jesus.  When we are controlled by the sinful nature, we demonstrate the acts of the flesh.  Our flesh, according to Paul, has been crucified with Christ.  The sinful nature has been crucified with Christ.  Our flesh no longer has mastery over us.  We still struggle with sins and temptations, but our lives should not be characterized by the acts of the flesh.  Rather, we should be characterized by the fruit that the Holy Spirit produces within us.  This is how we know we are living by the Spirit of God.
Galatians 5:19-26 (NIV)

The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

04
Aug
10

Get A Life!

And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.  He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. — 1 John 5:11-12 (NIV)
The Holy Spirit testifies to it.  Jesus said it (John 10:10).  The Father longs to give it to us.  Life.  Real life.  Authentic life.  Abundant life.  Yet so many Christians I know (including myself) feel lifeless much of the time.  What does it mean to have life?  I think that it goes along with the fruit of the Spirit.  The fruit that the Spirit bears in our lives indicates the degree to which we are experiencing real life.
Are we becoming more loving and joyful?  More peaceful and patient?  More kind and good?  More faithful, gentle and self-controlled?  Is the Spirit manifesting itself in our lives in these ways?  I think that the abundance of life is found in the cornucopia of the Spirit’s fruit.  When we are angry, self-centered, bitter and joyless, we discover that life is drudgery.  We have no life when we are not walking in tune with God’s Spirit.  But when we submit to God’s leadership in our lives, we find that life (though it may have its share of challenges) is more pleasure than pain.  May God bless you with abundant life today and tomorrow and on through eternity.
How do you define “life”?  How is the Spirit manifesting itself in your life?  Is life more drudgery or is it more abundant?



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