“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control…” Often the church focuses on the “gifts of the Spirit” and the abilities to get tasks accomplished with giftedness and excellence over the “fruit of the Spirit” and the character and heart of God’s people. Are the gifts effective outside of the fruit? Why are we tempted in the church to favor gifts? How might this be connected to the original temptation of Adam/Eve? Let the image of Christ himself be formed in me. Amen.
“We were gentle…like a nurse tenderly caring for her own children…like a father with his own children.” Christian leaders can learn much from these verses. I have observed many Christian leaders who talk about and put their visions/dreams ahead of relationships. For Paul, ministry is a context of family. Leaders are parents who are gentle, tender, caring, urging and encouraging. The goal is that all may actual live a life worthy of God who saves us and calls us. Are these parenting fruits part of my ministry with people? Lord, have mercy and make me to lead like you.
“As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved…Bear with one another” A list of synonyms for “bear with” includes “put up with,” “make allowance for,” “withstand,” “accept,” “tolerate” and “endure.” None of these is easy in the context of our relationships with people. How are these new clothes working out in my life? What makes it possible to “bear with” when my way and needs are not being appreciated or met? Lord Jesus, be it with family, disciples, sinners, Pharisees, or soldiers on the way to the cross, you demonstrate “bearing with.” Grow me to bear with all people every day.
“As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with…patience.” I have heard Christian friends talk of patience probably more than any other virtue. Sometimes they are praying for it, sometimes telling people not to pray for it since God might give you really hard things to bear. What if Paul’s imagery is right, that patience is a virtue that we put on like clothes? It might not feel right. I might look a strange wearing that new outfit, but what if I simply start practicing patience in all situations? Lord Jesus, through intentional practice; make me more patient daily.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” The fruit of the Spirit produces Godly heart, character, and behaviors. Fruit is singular; it all comes in one package.
We pick love, joy, and peace and decide self-control isn’t for me. How is
self-control necessary for all these other characteristics to be displayed in
our lives? Does self-control characterize my life? Lord Jesus, forgive me for times when I desire to lead with my choice of godly characteristics. Develop the full fruit of the Spirit in me and my ministry. Amen.
“Who may dwell on Your Holy hill?” Blamelessness, truthfulness, kindness to neighbors, standing by one’s oath, putting people before money; these are all characteristics, like the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5), that transcend rules and regulations. These “fruits” are the evidence of those who truly desire to meet with God in worship. Do I really want to dwell with God or just get my needs met by God? Let our hearts show forth the fruit of a life with you O God that we might find a firm foundation for life.
|“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control…” Often the church focuses on the “gifts of the Spirit” and the abilities to get tasks accomplished with giftedness and excellence over the “fruit of the Spirit” and the character and heart of God’s people. Are the gifts effective outside of the fruit? Why does leadership in the church seem to favor gifts? Let the image of Christ himself be formed in me. Amen.|