READ: Galatians 5:16-25
16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
REFLECT: Trees are meant to bear fruit. In fact, the act of bearing fruit reveals what kind of a tree the tree is (Matthew 7:16). In this passage, the Apostle Paul tells us how we bear good fruit (by staying in step with the Spirit) and what that fruit is. Review the list he gave.
Spend a few moments and think back through your previous day. What type of fruit did you bear? Were there times when you resisted the Spirit’s work and bore “acts of the flesh” such as jealousy and anger?” Who was hurt by your unwillingness to stay in step with the Spirit? Spend some time in confession and repentance.
My guess is there were also times when you saw the Fruit of the Spirit in your life because you were in step with God’s Spirit. Maybe there was one characteristic you saw rise above the others. Take some time and think through what was going on in your heart when that fruit was borne. Also think about how that fruit benefited the people around you. After all, trees don’t eat fruit. Rather, they produce fruit for the benefit of others. Who was the beneficiary of your staying in step with the Spirit today?
RESPOND: Take a deep breath and soak in the truth that Jesus is there with you. Close by asking Him to help you stay in step with his Spirit today. Ask him to give you eyes to see the people you interact with today who might need to be reminded of his presence. Pray that you might bear good fruit in the lives of the people you love – that they might reap the benefits of your staying in step with Jesus’ Spirit today.
By Ryan Paulson