Posted May 07, 2012
What a beautifully challenging list!
Beautiful because each of the words used to describe the fruit of the Spirit points us back to God and his attributes. He perfectly embodies each of these words. Loving, joyful, peaceful, kind, good, faithful, gentle, self-controlled. How beautiful the world would be if we learned to live like God is! Challenging because as much as each of us may try, we do so imperfectly. We are only loving in part, not in whole. We find seasons of improvement, but at the end of the day, we're helpless to truly change ourselves.
What is our hope, then? Our only hope is to return to the first part of the verse: the fruit of the Spirit. It is only by the Spirit of God that we can change! How do we get the Spirit? Only those who are born of the Spirit, or "born again" (read John 3:1-21)! How are we born again? Through believing (putting active faith & trust) in God's Son and his sacrifice for us. We must remember that it is only as we abide in God that we become more like him (John 15). It is only His power in us, changing our hatred to love, our hopelessness to joy, our war to peace, our bickering to kindness, our evil to good, our fickleness to faithfulness, our harshness to gentleness, our godlessness to self-control. Indeed, there is no law against such things.
Imagine each of your life's environments with more of the fruit of the Spirit. Your home. Your job. Your school. Your marriage. Your single life. Your areas of influence. Perhaps pick an environment and pray for God to bear fruit in your life in those places. For those looking to explore these verses in more depth, check out this blog:
This week's song was written by Joel Limpic & produced by Dustin Ragland. We're attaching a PDF of the chord sheet for those who want to play it. Jonathan Lindsey (graphic designer in OKC) also created a couple backgrounds with the verses on them available for those with iPhones, iPods, or iPads.
If we abide in Him, we will bear much fruit.