Friday 13th April 2018 - Daily Reading:
Galatians 5:13-26 - Fruit of the Spirit by Richard Cowling

In a recent sermon, I was taking a look at the well known passage in John 15, where Jesus talks of himself being the True Vine, and we are the branches. In that passage, it says this "This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples." (John 15:8) What I was saying in that sermon was that when we allow God to prune us (as it says in John 15), allowing God to get rid of the unproductive things in our lives, then we are able to bear more fruit, showing ourselves to be His disciples. And this, as it says in John 15:8 is to the Father's glory! Basically, when we are people that walk by the Spirit, then we show ourselves to be true disciples!

Yesterday, we took a look at how Paul spoke of a battle going on between the flesh and the Spirit in every believer. And although this is an inward battle, the results are outwardly evident! In the same sermon, I asked the question, if you see a lemon tree in a field, how do you know it's a lemon tree? It wasn't a trick question, the answer was simply because it produces lemons! There is visible evidence available to show what it is!

And so Paul in his letter gives two lists! One is a list of things that are works of the flesh. He writes "The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like." And then, at the end of Galatians 5, Paul gives us a 2nd list. He writes "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control."

In our lives there should be a visible outworking! What is it that we are demonstrating in our lives. If we are living our lives by walking in the Spirit, then we will demonstrate love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. We will demonstrate these things because as we walk by the Spirit, we will be being made to be more and more like Jesus, and this was the character of Jesus. But maybe we still have things from the first list that we demonstrate in our lives? In that case, let's go to God, and allow Him to prune us, to cut it off, so that we can bear more fruit, and give God the glory!

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