Day 30: Gathering Fruit of the Spirit
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. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Galatians 5.22-25
The purpose of our Christian life is to give away God’s love. Before we can do that, we must truly understand how we are loved.
To share joy, we need to feel the joy of the Lord and experience how God delights in us. To gather the fruit of peace and patience, we must first experience the patience of God working in our favor. We are kind, because the kindness of God draws us closer, and in that closeness, we are confident of God’s favor. We become faithful as we experience God’s faithfulness to us and practice faithfulness in all our deeds and relationships. Self-control comes from a daily relationship with God in the person of Jesus Christ, where we are yoked to Jesus and we learn from him, moment to moment.
A fruitful life of sharing these good things with the world is a whole, healing and holy life.
In order to become such a person, we must spend time with God who is whole, healing and holy. That time is spent in prayer, silence and communion with God. When we do this, we develop a humble heart and we become a vessel of God’s goodness, especially to the unloved, undervalued, the poor and the excluded.
Trust and surrender produce these fruits with grace, and over time.
God requires that we participate… attuning our mind and body to the graces of God that we experience in prayer, solitude and service.
Sit quietly in God’s presence. Slowly read Galatians 5.22-25. In your journal list the fruits of the Spirit. Are there aspects of your life where these fruits are evident? There are! What are they? Where do you see them? How did these fruits develop? Write down your insights.
Conclude by reading the passage slowly again.
If you are taking the 10-40 challenge that Dennis Anderson gave us on the first week of the GROW series, try this reading plan that will take us through the Book of Galatians in 3 days. Dennis urged us to do 10 minutes of Bible reading each day, for 40 days. Galatians is a good book to read this week, while we are reflecting on gathering fruits.
Did you miss the intro? Start here.
[This six-week devotional is based on a daily life retreat by Pegge Bernecker and her book, Your Spiritual Garden: tending to the presence of God. St. Anthony Messenger Press, 2006.]