Galatians 5:22-24 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, 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 sinful nature with its passions and desires.
Question: Are we focusing more intently upon our Lord as we see the rampant lawlessness, anger and venom that are being exhibited throughout our society? We must not develop a “hold the fort” mentality in the midst of this – (“Lock the doors and hang on until Jesus comes!”) As the darkness grows, the light of Christ Jesus within us must shine brighter. We are His – and are here for such a time as this!
Given Jesus’ warnings about the condition of the world – particularly as we approach the end times, we shouldn’t be surprised to see such behaviors becoming more and more abundant. Here is the root of the problem as identified in Galatians 5:19-21a (The Message). These are the actions of the sinful nature:
It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on.
That is what we as followers of Jesus have been freed from. We have a new nature and the power of the Holy Spirit to live lives that produce righteousness. Here are the “fruit of the Spirit” that must characterize our lives as described in The Message version of today’s verses:
5:22-23a 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.
No matter what happens, we have the opportunity and privilege to have our life characterized by the fruit of His Spirit. We also have the responsibility to live such lives. Lord Jesus – help us to recognize that this isn’t optional for those following you!