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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Thursday, February 25, 2016
Today’s scripture reading:
The fruit of the Spirit is the spontaneous work of the Holy Spirit in us. The Spirit produces these character traits that are found in the nature of Christ. They are the by-products of Christ’s control—we can’t obtain them by trying to get them without his help. If we want the fruit of the Spirit to grow in us, we must join our life to his. We must know him, love him, remember him, and imitate him. As a result, we will fulfill the intended purpose of the law—to love God and our neighbors. Which of these qualities do you want the Spirit to produce in you?
In order to accept Christ as Savior, we need to turn from our sins and willingly nail our sinful nature to the cross. As Christians we still have the capacity to sin, but we have been set free from sin’s power over us and no longer have to give in to it. We must daily commit our sinful tendencies to God’s control, daily crucify them, and moment by moment draw on the Spirit’s power to overcome them.
God is interested in every part of our life, not just the spiritual part. As we live by the Holy Spirit’s power, we need to submit every aspect of our life to God: emotional, physical, social, intellectual, vocational. Paul says that because we’re saved, we should live like it! The Holy Spirit is the source of your new life, so keep in step with his leading. Don’t let anything or anyone else determine your values and standards in any area of your life.
Everyone needs a certain amount of approval from others. But those who go out of their way to secure honors or to win popularity with a lot of people become conceited and show they are not following the Holy Spirit’s leading. Those who look to God for approval won’t need to envy others. Because we are God’s sons and daughters, we have his Holy Spirit as the loving guarantee of his approval. (NLT)
Galatians 5:22-26 – But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law.
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. If we are living now by the Holy Spirit, let us follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or irritate one another, or be jealous of one another.
Examine yourselves to see whether you are living in the faith. Test yourselves. – 2 Corinthians 13:5 (NRSV)
Maria M. Urdaz (Puerto Rico) titled her story “SEEDS ARE FOR SOWING;” here is a portion of Maria’s story:
“. . . One day as I gathered the fruit, I noticed a vine that had only a single fruit. But it was absolutely beautiful – glossy, big, and healthy-looking. . . . What a disappointment to find that when I cut it open, the fruit was hollow! It had a beautiful outer appearance but no flesh for eating or seeds for sowing.
“After a bit of introspection, I thought of the need for Christians to be genuine and active, not to worry about appearances. . . . Let us gather sufficient seeds of the gospel to plant where they are needed as Christ has called us to do.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – When I sow the seeds of the gospel with love, God gathers the harvest.
Prayer: Creator God, may we live and be guided by the Spirit to sow the seeds of the gospel. Help us examine ourselves so that we can be constantly reminded of the life you would have us live. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.
To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
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