...love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Thoughts for Today:In John 15, Jesus spoke of bearing fruit. And then in verse 5, He said something we must pay especially close attention to: "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." A lot of people forget this very simple concept. The fruit Jesus spoke of, and Paul references in our passage today, is not produced by the believer, but by the Spirit of the Lord, as we live in harmony and union with Him.
The Living Bible paraphrases Galatians 5:22-23a: "But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." Our part is simply to yield and trust; God's part is to produce the fruit.
Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 6:17: "But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit." I think his point is that our born again spirits always enjoy the fruit of the Spirit regardless of what we may be emotionally feeling from time to time. Unfortunately, we can think we're being hypocritical if we express joy when we really feel angry or depressed. But it is only the emotional aspect of our flesh that feels this way. Our spirits are always producing and desiring to reflect the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, etc.). The truth is our spirits never get angry, depressed, jealous or suffer from any of the other maladies Paul described. Therefore we have a choice: Will we allow our flesh-oriented emotions to dominate us, or will we permit the Holy Spirit to lift us (through our born again spirits), and release His joy and peace in our lives?
Questions to Ponder:Does your life and attitude reflect your flesh or born again spirit? In what ways? Will you yield to His Spirit? Will you allow Him to control your life?