23 May 2018
The Holy Spirit promises to grow the Fruit of His Spirit in our lives. But what does that actually mean and how do they manifest themselves on our daily walk, at work, with our families? Lets look at the list in Galatians 5:22-23:
Love: This fruit encompasses them all. When we love because God first loved us (see 1 John 4:19), it shows that we understand grace and have accepted God’s love for us.
Joy: When we know our names are written in the Book of Life, because of His grace, we will be joyful in the way we act and conduct ourselves around other inmates.
Peace: When we have “made peace with God,” we will cease to be anxious. Our fruit will be a calm, untroubled spirit.
Patience: “Passive” love shows itself in a spirit of tolerance and endurance around any type of personality we meet.
Kindness: “Active” love is the most convincing evidence of God’s love for us. When we are kind, people will be attracted to the Word and to us.
Goodness: Generous and good people do the right thing, even when it hurts or pricks our pride.
Faithfulness: Integrity—doing what we say we are going to do—means we walk the talk.
Gentleness: This fruit makes the weak strong and the strong gentle.
Self-control: When we show this fruit to others, they will respect us and be convinced that we have changed.
When we bear this kind of fruit, we will live the abundant, fruitful life and lead others to it, as well!
07 Dec 2015
Sinful behavior is frequently the result of many thoughts and actions. Sin isn’t a one-shot deal! Life-destroying sin is the result of many little sins feeding on one another until Satan has messed us up.
Satan messed up some of our marriages with adultery. Maybe our spouses were overweight or no longer as romantic as they once were. Our lustful hearts whispered to us that we deserved better than the partner God blessed us with. With that thought, the devil laid a small seed of sin that ultimately resulted in our unfaithfulness.
We may be reading this meditation in the courthouse awaiting trial or a motel after our wives threw us out…again! We may be wondering how we landed here…again. It started with feeling we had no one who understood us. Self-pity set in, along with the desire to be noticed. We craved acceptance, and self-centeredness dominated our thinking. To draw attention to ourselves and impress others, we gambled our paycheck to impress a lady. Small, sinful thoughts grew into sinful actions. Brokenness was the result.
Sin works in very subtle, sneaky, and dangerous ways. To be aware of sin’s evil nature and horrendous consequences is just the first step in our war against it. It’s like preparing to go off to war in the military. We know it’s going to be dangerous. But knowing that fact alone is not enough. Knowing it is dangerous makes us want to prepare for the danger. We train and discipline ourselves for the battles we know are coming.
In our Christian life we must move from knowing how sin works to training for battle with it. We can start by memorizing Scripture passages, praying for the Holy Spirit’s help in our time of need, and surrounding ourselves with Christian friends.