Day 85: March 26, 2014

Today's Reading(s)

Galatians 5:22-26
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, we must also follow the Spirit. 26 We must not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.



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The Fruit of the Spirit is...Self-Control
by Brian Ball, Member of Brentwood Baptist, Brentwood Campus

Practicing spiritual disciplines can help us walk in the Spirit, which is the topic of this section of Scripture. By keeping our focus on God, His Kingdom, and His glory, our life overflows as we discussed yesterday. But what does this practically look like in our everyday lives? Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control – that’s what it looks like.

Scripture stresses the importance of producing fruit. Jesus tells us a healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a diseased tree cannot produce good fruit (Matthew 17:17-19). John the Baptist reminds us that any tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown on the fire (Matthew 3:9-10). A tree is known by its fruit (Matt 12:23). We have the famous passage in John that as we abide in Christ and He in us we will produce much fruit (John 15:1-10).

I know this is a common and well-known passage for those of us who have believed for any time at all, but I wonder if it has lost some of its power in our minds because it is so common. Let me encourage you to memorize this passage, this list, and make a conscious effort to follow Christ to the ends of His glory.

In doing so, you should see your life bearing fruit – bearing love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. And we can bear these regardless of circumstance: sick, healthy, rich, poor, young, old. As a matter of fact, our witness is often even more powerful where we bear fruit in the most trying of circumstances, because it gives the world pause.

May your life bear much fruit to the glory of God.

Praxis

  • Let this list be a litmus test and ask yourself if you see evidence of the work of the Holy Spirit in your life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.  
  • Ask the Holy Spirit to control you and that your life would demonstrate this fruit (singular). If you have the Spirit, this is not a multiple choice list, because all of these qualities give evidence of the Spirit’s work in our lives. 
  • The fruit of the Spirit is . . . self-control. Ask for the Spirit’s self-control to help you persevere in the spiritual practices that will help you hear from God and allow Him to make you more into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ.  

About JourneyOn Today

Today's devotional series accompanies the Spiritual Practices Foundations Curriculum which deals with 24 different spiritual disciplines. We will break for an Advent series in December and continue the second half of Spiritual Practices during the first quarter of 2015.