Daily Encouragement - June 10

POP QUIZ: 


How many fruit are there of the Spirit?


If you said nine, you’re wrong…sorry.


 There is only ONE fruit of the Spirit. Fruit is singular. The nine components are simply parts of the overall fruit.


For example, look at a watermelon. A watermelon is a watermelon, yet it consists of different parts; there’s a rind, there is flesh, multiple seed, a stem, etc. A singular watermelon yet varying parts.


Fruit of the Spirit is a biblical term used by the Apostle Paul to sum up nine visible attributes of what a Christian life’s should look like; nine characteristics of a full life in Christ. Listen to it as Paul wrote it…


Galatians 5:1, 13-25Common English Bible

Christ has set us free for freedom. Therefore, stand firm and don’t submit to the bondage of slavery again.


You were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only don’t let this freedom be an opportunity to indulge your selfish impulses, but serve each other through love. All the Law has been fulfilled in a single statement: Love your neighbor as yourself.


I say be guided by the Spirit and you won’t carry out your selfish desires. A person’s selfish desires are set against the Spirit, and the Spirit is set against one’s selfish desires. They are opposed to each other, so you shouldn’t do whatever you want to do. 

But if you are being led by the Spirit, you aren’t under the Law.The actions that are produced by selfish motives are obvious, since they include:

 sexual immorality, moral corruption, doing whatever feels good, idolatry, drug use and casting spells, hate, fighting, obsession, losing your temper, competitive opposition, conflict, selfishness, group rivalry, jealousy, drunkenness, partying, and other things like that. 

I warn you as I have already warned you, that those who do these kinds of things won’t inherit God’s kingdom.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against things like this


Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the self with its passions and its desires.

If we live by the Spirit, let’s follow the Spirit.


Paul understood the Church was then, and is today, at a crossroads; there are always choices that have to be made. The law of Torah is good-he never diminished that to his audience. But Paul taught that Jesus’ transforming presence through the Spirit is the real key to growth for communities in God’s kingdom.


We can follow the ways of the flesh and live solely by the Law of Torah or we can walk in grace and allow the Spirit to produce those “nine-fold fruit” that characterize us as we walk in step with the Holy Spirit. The Fruit of the Spirit are the outward and public attributes of who we are, whose we are, and what we’re about as proclaimers of God’s promises.


Paul believed, and I believe this too, that as long as we’re living in the past we’ll never be free. Often, we get so wrapped up in the trappings of yesterday that we find it difficult to live fully today. Those trappings are of the flesh, and when we’re trapped by those things of the world, we fail to become the people we can be and the church we’re called to be.


Friends, we were created for freedom and Paul reminded the Galatians and reminds us that we have been set free not from something…but FOR something…to live, to serve, and to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Through the Spirit of the Lord, may it be so. 


Prayer:

Spirit of the living God,

Fall afresh on me.

Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me.

Spirit of the living God,

Fall afresh on me.

Amen.


Pastor Michael

Centenary United Methodist Church

309 New Street, New Bern, NC, 28560 

P.O. Box 1388, New Bern, NC 28563

Phone: 252.637.4181

Fax: 252.637.5602

Email: centenaryumc@centenarychurch.com

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