Scripture – 1 John 3:24, Galatians 5:19-24
And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.
Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
God lives in us through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has been given to us as a gift from the Father.
Our flesh, without the Holy Spirit, wants to bend towards enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions and envy. Most Christians gloss over this list because of the other things in the list (orgies, idolatry, sorcery etc) but the things listed are what most people in the church have problems with.
The Holy Spirit acts as a seed that grows and produces fruit in our lives. The fruit that is produced is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Each of us needs to allow the Holy Spirit to grow such fruit.
We cannot judge others’ salvation. We can only witness the fruit or lack thereof in others’ lives. However, we have no right examining others’ lives when we do not openly and honestly examine our own hearts and lives.
What fruit of the Spirit is being produced in my life?
- Is there a love for God and for people that is obvious and authentic?
- Is there a deep sense of joy (different from happiness) – but a joy that only comes from God and is not dependent upon circumstances?
- Is there a peace about me as a person, or do I seem flustered and anxious?
- Do I know how to wait, to trust in God’s timing and in the timing of the spiritual authorities in my life?
- Am I kind? Is there a generosity and a focus on others’ well-being above my own?
- Is there a spirit of goodness about me? Do people just sense that there is only good and no evil over me as a person?
- Is there evidence of a fullness of faith, trusting God with my life (my finances, my health, my family) as well as an obvious devotion to him and to my wife and children?
- Am I gentle? Do I have a tendency to deal harshly with people or is there a gentleness and compassion in my tone, my attitude and my actions?
- Am I driven by my emotions? Am I able to exhibit self-control in different areas of my life – my thought life, my interactions with difficult people, or when being disciplined or coached by my spiritual leadership?
I want to grow. I need to grow. I want more of God and less of my flesh. I know I have far to go but it’s so good to ask myself the questions.
Father, I want nothing to do with the works of the flesh. I want to be a man of the Spirit in whose life an abundance of fruit is produced every day. I am yours to disciple. I am your son. Till the soil of my heart that I might bear more spiritual fruit. Help me to become more like my Savior Jesus. Lead me today Father. You have complete ownership and authority in every area of my life, my family and my ministry. Make me a good fruit tree in your kingdom today. In Jesus’ name, amen.