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Friday, December 29, 2017

Good Fruit Comes From the Desire to Hear, and the Readiness to Obey God's Word

In review of Galatians 5:22-23 it says, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”

Bottom Line:
Good fruit is the result of following the leading of the Holy Spirit.

What this means to me:
There is good fruit that comes from following the lead of the Holy Spirit. This fruit makes a difference.

Today's passages come from the last part of Galatians 5, where Paul speaks of living by the Spirit's power. He starts by telling us to let the Holy Spirit guide our lives. Then we won't be doing what our sinful nature craves. The Holy Spirit produces good fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. So since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit's leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.

As I do this I should be careful not to confuse my subjective feelings with the Spirit's leading. I’m reminded this morning that being led by the Holy Spirit involves the desire to hear, the readiness to obey God's Word, and the sensitivity to discern between my feelings and his promptings. Live each day controlled and guided by the Holy Spirit. Then the words of Christ will be in my mind, the love of Christ will be behind my actions, and the power of the Christ will help me control my selfish desires.

If I try to rely on my own wisdom I will make wrong choices. If I try to follow the Spirit by my own human effort, I will fail. My only way to freedom from my evil desires is through the empowering of the Holy Spirit. In order to deal with evil desires, I must deal with them decisively, crucify them.

The fruit of the Spirit is the spontaneous work of the Holy Spirit in us. The Spirit produces these character traits that are found in the nature of Christ. They are the by-products of Christ's control, we can't obtain them by trying to get them without his help. If I want the fruit of the Spirit to grow in me, I must join my life to his. I must know him, love him, remember him, and imitate him. As a result, I will fulfill the intended purpose of the law, to love God and my neighbors.

As this year comes to an end, I’m encouraged to meditate on the positive aspects of my life. Focus on a loving Savior who died to grant me eternal life walking streets of pure gold and on His Spirit, who empowers me to display the character of Christ. Keep opening the Word of God and let it come alive in my life. Let it take root in my soul. Lastly cherish each day for the priceless gift that it is.