intentionally fruitful {day twenty}

Many people are familiar Galatians 5:22-23, otherwise known as the “Fruits of the Spirit”.  Thus far, we’ve covered the first four; love, joy, peace, and patience.  Today I’d like to look at the rest of the fruits.

Before I go any further, I’d like you to read the passage of scripture that comes just before our intended destination.

Galatians 5: 19-21 says “When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these.  Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.”

I now ask, are there any among us that can claim to have never followed the desires of our sinful nature??  Of course not!!  In fact, if you’re like me, you can probably name at least a handful of those sinful natures that you’ve been guilty of, perhaps even recently.

But there is good news!!!

We once again turn our attention to Galatians 5:22-23.

“BUT the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  There is no law against these things.” (emphasis added)

Praise God!  Without the Holy Spirit in our lives we would be one hot mess!  But WITH the Holy Spirit, we are able to be kind, loving, joyful, gentle, and so on.  I don’t know about anyone else, but that’s definitely a better description of the person that I want to be.

Every day I find myself faced with choices regarding how I will treat my husband, children, friends, family, and strangers I meet while out in the world.  Will I choose to show kindness?  Will I be gentle in my words with others?  Will I exhibit self-control when faced with difficult situations?

The honest answer is, probably definitely not 100% of the time.  Because, after all, I am human.  And as a human I have to fight my “sinful nature” every day.

But one thing I have recently learned is that by meditating on the words of my Father in heaven, I draw closer to Him.  I find myself looking at situations through His eyes.  I find it easier to recall scripture when I’m dealing with a situation.  And I am able to go out into the world with a head-start so to speak.  Without Him, I am an angry, jealous, quarreling, self-absorbed version of the person that I want to be.

But here’s the other wonderful part…..I can choose not to be that person.  I can choose to focus my attentions on Him.  I can choose to show love and patience to others.  I can choose to be faithful and self-controlled in the face of adversity.

For anyone who isn’t making the connection, I’ll point out the key element here.  We must CHOOSE to be intentional with our minds.  Because it is in our nature to sin, we must make the choice to not sin (as much as this is possible).  And that is a choice that must be made with intention.

I choose to be intentional with whom I allow to take residence within my heart and mind.  I choose to be intentional with my time and energy today.  Are you fully committed to Him??

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