Week 1 | Love
Monday, June 26 | The Fruit of the Spirit
Read Galatians 5:22–26
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.
Paul has spent the bulk of his letter to the Galatians sharing the gospel and encouraging his listeners not to abandon the freedom found in Christ by becoming enslaved to either the law (a set of rules to abide by) or the flesh (the selfish desires that lead to destruction instead of life). Instead, he says, live by the Spirit. And he tells us how we know we’re living by the Spirit—we will see evidence of it in our lives. He calls that evidence “fruit.” The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. In other words, when we see these things in our lives (or, perhaps better put, when others see these in our lives), we know we are living by the Spirit. When there is an absence of this fruit, we have reverted to the law or the flesh.
- As we begin this new series on the fruit of the Spirit, take a few minutes to do some inventory. Looking back over the last week or two, how are you doing in the areas of love, joy, peace, forbearance (also referred to as “patience”), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control? On a scale of 1–5, with 1 meaning you are struggling significantly and 5 meaning you are demonstrating that fruit fully, where do you rate yourself for each of the fruit? Consider asking a family member or close friend how they would rate you.
- Where would you like to see transformation and growth in yourself over the next several weeks as we study the fruit of the Spirit? What is your prayer?
God, I come before You now as best as I know how to open my heart to Your transformative work. I long to live in complete freedom, displaying the fruit of Your Spirit in every part of my life. Show me the ways I am still enslaved to rules or to my own selfish desires. In the areas I need to grow, give me opportunities and humility so that I can more fully live out the freedom I have in Christ. Amen.
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