Posted by: Maggie | October 16, 2007

The Message–Fruit of the Spirit

Thinking on our sermon series today more deeply.  Yesterdays devotion and thoughts throughout the message Sunday brought together a lot of what God seems to be doing in my life and heart on these things somehow.   

Galations 5:22-24 NIV 

 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.

Galations 5:22-24 The Message 

But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like

  • affection for others,
  • exuberance about life,
  • serenity. We develop a
  • willingness to stick with things,
  •  a sense of compassion in the heart, and
  • a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves
  • involved in loyal commitments,
  • not needing to force our way in life, able to
  • marshal and direct our energies wisely.

Legalism is helpless in bringing this about; it only gets in the way. Among those who belong to Christ, everything connected with getting our own way and mindlessly responding to what everyone else calls necessities is killed off for good—crucified.

I wondered about the way The Message said, “a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people.” in light of other more literal translations.  Perhaps “respect for life” would translate more accurately?  I did enjoy the other thoughts.

This confronts the message many churches are sending out today that if we live lives that are “too holy”, or make choices related to holiness, the world will despise us.  You know, perhaps the world would have a reason to take notice?  It’s all in the manner.  The fruit of the Spirit should attract people, not turn them off.  Our choices should leave more room for the Holy Spirit to work. 

“mindlessly responding to what everyone else calls necessities is killed off for good”.  Do we mindlessly respond?  Yes!  If one person has something new they like and are using…everyone MUST have it!  Everyone WANTS one!  We are not guided by where the Holy Spirit is leading us to invest our time…we are led by word of mouth…what seems popular, useful, fun.  What would happen if we truly followed the leading and provision of the Spirit for our own lives?  We’d lead creative, imaginate, Holy Spirit propelled lives!  It would be awesome what we’d see!  I’m ready to see it!

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