The Fruit of the Spirit

This week's devotion comes from our Office Manager, and my "go-to person", Kay.  Kay and I work very closely together in preparation for each service and each event the church does.  So, she always has a bit of a head start in Sunday's conversation because she and I both have been talking about it all week long.  This week, that has inspired her to write this devotion.  Let's all follow her lead to do something with the inspiration God provides us!  Enjoy!

Reverend Dave

“… the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control …” Galatians 5:22-23  (New Revised Standard)

That portion of scripture is probably familiar.  It’s been in the forefront of my mind the past few days, because Reverend Dave is preaching about it on Sunday, and so we’ve been working closely with these verses this week.

I’ve always been taught that we can tell a Christian from the way they act, and these are the attributes that a Christian should demonstrate.  (Does anyone else remember the song, “They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love”?)

What struck me this week, though, is that these are called the Fruit of the Spirit.  They aren’t the Fruit of Kay, or the Fruit of You, or the Fruit of Those People Over There.  They are the Fruit of the Spirit, as in the Holy Spirit!

Here is that same portion of scripture from a different translation, The Message:
“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 affection 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.”

If I show love, or kindness, or patience (that’s a rough one for me!) it’s because those attributes are an outward sign of my relationship with God.  As I live out my role as a child of God, the Holy Spirit has more influence in my life, and therefore more of these characteristics show through.  The Spirit brings them, gives them to me, and helps me to put them to use.

Wow.  I had previously thought that I was responsible for digging around and finding enough love, compassion, and generosity to spread about.  Nope.  I am responsible for striving to become ever closer to God and to be God’s child.  If I am faithful in that, then these other things will be given through the Spirit.

Wishing you a very “fruitful” weekend!

- Kay Stadlmeir

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