DEVOTED: Galatians 5:22–26

READ

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. (Galatians 5:22–26)

REFLECT

When we are filled with the Spirit, we receive gifts of the Spirit. These gifts are diverse and given with true power for the building of the church and the advancement of the kingdom. Are you operating in the supernatural gifting of the Holy Spirit? Have you discovered the unique convergence of your gifts and passions, awakened to new strength and effect through the Spirit?

When we are rooted in the Father, connected to Christ and filled with the Holy Spirit, Paul tells us that we will bear the fruit of the Spirit. The branches display the character of the tree. Paul clearly says that we will not all receive every gift of the Spirit, but we should all expect and display every fruit of the Spirit. This is the true sign that his life pulses within us, and is making its way out of us and into the world. Have you ever seen a field in winter? Or orchard or garden? To the eye it looks dead, but we know it is merely asleep. Then, in due season, it is stirring to see sprouts of green in those plots of dirt. And small buds on the branches. And gardens coming awake again. The same happens in us. We begin to show the signs of fruit as the Holy Spirit awakens us to become who he has aspired for us to be.

And it is not by chance that the first fruit listed is love. In fact, love is the seed of every fruit that follows. It is the root command and the core of God’s character, cultivated in us. Every other fruit is an aspect of love, expressed through tangible actions and attitudes toward God and others. Martin Luther defined sin as the heart turned inward on itself. John Wesley later defined holiness as the heart turned outward to God and others. This is the journey that begins with holy dissatisfaction and culminates in holy devotion to others around us. It is by no means the source of our salvation, but it is by all means the logical outcome for every disciple walking with obedience in the way of Jesus. Sola Sanctus Caritas.

PRAY

Holy Spirit, cultivate your gifts and your fruit in our everyday lives. May the world see you by what they see in us. Keep us rooted so that you may produce in us a harvest for the kingdom. In Jesus’ name, amen.

CONFERENCE

What fruit of the Spirit is most clearly seen in your life? Which needs to be nurtured? Share with your band. Then, call out the fruit you see in each other.