This post is part of the series His Encouragement
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A cheery and warm welcome, dearest friends, to His Encouragement: Biblical Inspiration for Your Thursday. Every Thursday, a few blogging friends and I will each bring you a Bible verse and a little hope-filled discussion. We pray that these Thursday posts help you end your week strong in God’s love and purpose for you. We also welcome you to join the conversation by commenting with your thoughts. God bless!
Today’s Thursday Encouragement
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” — Galatians 5:22-23, ESV
Today’s encouragement comes from two verses that you probably are familiar with. Our fallen human nature means that living a Christ-like life is foreign to us and not something we can do on our own.
In fact, earlier in Galatians 5, the apostle Paul talks about the “works of the flesh” and even lists many. He says: “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these.” And then he adds: “I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19-21)
But immediately after pointing out our sins and our inclination towards these “works of the flesh”, he gives us hope by sharing the fruit of the Spirit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…” (vs 22-23) Notice that the word fruit is singular, not plural. I heard it said once that you cannot pick and choose which characteristics you want. You cannot say: “Well, I have love and faithfulness, but I don’t need self-control or patience.”
No, the fruit of the Spirit is a packaged deal. Through the daily surrendering of ourselves to the Lord, His Spirit will transform our characters into being more like Christ. As we grow to be more like Christ, our lives will bear His “fruit”. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control — the fruit of the Spirit — will become more evident in our lives and be a witness to those around us.
So if you find yourself struggling, take heart! As Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23, ESV) Leave the works of the flesh behind and ask, in earnest prayer, for the Holy Spirit to make you more like Christ.
Now it is your turn! What verse or passage is blessing you today?
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Continue reading this series:
His Encouragement: John 16:33