Something I notice at my Millburn, New Jersey High School 50th Class Reunion is that my classmates are still intently interested in exploring life. Few are sitting around waiting for the ‘grim reaper’. One loves to take college courses at a state university, auditing them to learn something new. Another is fascinated by the history of Judaism and Christianity as it impacts American history. Someone else sculpts commissioned iron-work while teaching skiing at the New Hampshire resort he lives at. I could go on and on.
Keep growing as we get older. Don’t sit around waiting for your number to be called. Keep growing. But in what way? Certainly, if we are committed believers, we’ll want to get closer to Him until we’re with Him forever…and then that’s just the beginning!
In Galatians 5, Paul contrasts the ‘works of the flesh’ with the ‘fruit of the Spirit’. As I was reading these verses, I took note of the great contrast between ‘flesh’ and ‘Spirit’. For most of my life, even today, ‘flesh’ is more than present. Not always a bad thing. But the Apostle Paul is not referring to the body created by the Lord, helped along by our earthly parents! He means the actions that flow from our sinful nature. My bent toward the ungodly.
Back to that contrast. What I noticed is that the ‘flesh’ is not some victim, but an aggressive part of our nature. What we can and must control. Sometimes, our proclivity toward sin leads to domination by that sin. Serious stuff, to say the least. Agreed?
The other side is the ‘fruit of the Spirit’. No way can we take credit for that which comes from the Holy Spirit. To claim such would be thievery. Fruit comes from good trees and plants. Healthy ones. Nurtured and well-fertilized. Protected from predators and the elements.
In our walk with the Lord, we don’t create that fruit. That comes from Him, when we’ve done our part. This involves godly disciplines. Like praying, reading and studying our Bibles, giving to Christian causes we trust and believe in, and lots more, which prepares the soil to produce good fruit. Godly living results in and triggers what Paul calls ‘the fruit of the Spirit’ (Galatians 5: 22-23).
Personally, I’m praying to harvest the Spirit’s fruit in my life. More each day. Preparing the ‘soil’. Taking no personal credit. It comes from Him…yet through me and you.
The pie of choice for your holiday tables this season? Nothing like a good fruit pie…from the Lord!
Prayer: Lord, we desperately need the fruit of your Holy Spirit in our daily lives. In Jesus’ name. Amen.