Those of you who receive my (mostly) bi-weekly newsletter may remember my saying that I’d like to start a blog series soon. (Click here to sign up if you aren’t currently receiving the newsletter.) As I thought about a focus for this series, I decided to start with something basic to our Christian lives.
Most of us enjoy seeing progress when we’re working toward a goal. It can be as simple as watching the steps on a Fitbit add up. Or maybe it’s making a pile of clutter disappear from the closet floor. Regardless, it’s nice to feel like we’re making headway.
As we grow in our walk with God, we should see the Holy Spirit producing fruit in our lives. Allowing Him to change us into the image of Christ is one of our goals here on earth. And it’s encouraging when we can step back and realize that we handled a situation in a more God-honoring way than we did in the past. Maybe we didn’t lose our temper when a child disobeyed, or sensed peace in our heart instead of fear when a trial came.
We aren’t trying to compare ourselves to anyone else or feel pride about our performance. But hopefully we can look back and see how the Holy Spirit has worked in our lives. It’s a blessing to see progress from where we used to be to where we are today.
So for the next little while, I want to write posts that focus on the fruit of the Spirit. I’m sure I’ll slip in a post or two about other topics each month. However, I’m excited to dig deeply into these traits and see what we can learn about them.
I’ll begin October talking about love. We’ll look at God’s love for us, our love for others, and ways we can tell if love is being reproduced in our lives.
I find it interesting that the verse below comes right after the list of the fruit of the spirit. It’s a great reminder that I can’t produce this fruit on my own.
“And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” (Ephesians 5:24).
This tells me that my flesh doesn’t naturally produce the fruit of the spirit. My flesh naturally has lusts and desires that oppose what God wants to see demonstrated in my life. Yet when I live in the power of my salvation in Christ, I can “crucify” or put to death those carnal passions.
As always, I’m totally writing this series from a place of what I’m working on in my own life. I’m NOT someone who has this all figured out!
Thankfully God is gracious by continuing to grow and refine us. I’ve been saved for a long time, and I sometimes get discouraged because I don’t feel I’m as far along in my Christian growth as I’d like. But God is so faithful to always be working to change me into His image. There’s a lot of rough stuff that needs to be chiseled away here!
I hope you’ll join me in studying the fruits of the Holy Spirit in the coming weeks!