Monday, September 22, 2008

Galatians 5:22-23 Fruit of the Spirit

I am SO excited to start our new bible study at church tomorrow. We are again doing a Beth Moore study (her Daniel from last Spring was INCREDIBLE). This one is called "Living Beyond Yourself - Exploring the Fruit of the Spirit". 35 Women every Tuesday for the next 11 weeks. I believe it is going to be an incredible 11 weeks to come.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)

I decided to see what The Message had to say - here is Galatians 5:19-26 (emphasis mine, although it looks like I should have just put emphasis on the entire thing... it really struck me - REALLY STRUCK ME)
It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex, a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness, trinket gods, magic-show religion, paranoid loneliness, cutthroat competition, all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper, an impotence to love or be loved, divided homes and divided lives, small-minded and lopsided pursuits, the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival, uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions, ugly parodies of community. I could go on.

This isn't the first time I have warned you, you know. If you use your freedom this way, you will not inherit God's kingdom.

But what happens when we live God's way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard - things like affections for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.

Legalism is helpless in bringing this about; it only gets in the way. Among those who belong to Christ, everything connected with getting our own way and mindlessly responding to what everyone else calls necessities is killed off for good - crucified.

Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives. That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.


Anonymous said...

Julie, that looks POWERFUL. Wow. That's about all I can say. Just...WOW


Julie said...

Helen -
It's killing me to not jump ahead in this study and get to the parts I want to get to, but like all Beth Moore studies, she makes you put in all the background work ahead of time...which is great, but I want what I want NOW!
I'll let you know how this study goes!