June 24

Galatians 5:18-25

“By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things.” vs. 22

Paul’s picture of kingdom living is timeless and seems too good to be true. How is it possible to live in community and experience such extraordinary fruits in ourselves and in others? He makes it sound so easy–all we need to do is become love-slaves of Christ, and the Spirit will produce a cornucopia of blessings. This isn’t a series of nine new laws for us to obey–this is just what happens when the Spirit of Christ merges with our spirits. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control will abound–and it happens all the time. We see it again and again as we walk with Jesus in our communities of faith. Why doesn’t it happen in everyone all the time? Paul says it’s because we misuse our freedom by giving license to the instincts of self-indulgence. When that happens sexual desires run amok; there is impurity and immorality; relationships are marked by jealousy, envy, anger, quarrels, and strife; drunkenness and carousing take over our weekends; and even loving becomes self-serving. It’s not a pretty picture, and sadly, such behaviors have become normalized in our society. We see it every day on our social media! The good news is that life doesn’t have to be this way. As people turn again to Christ, the Spirit takes over, and life is transformed.

Thought for the Day: What does it take for people to turn to Christ?

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