Galatians 5:19-25 (Today’s New International Version)
19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
I think I avoid quoting verses 19-21 sometimes, but we also need to be reminded that there are things we do that are sinful. Maybe we can’t identify with some of the things on the list in those three verses, but I suspect we can find a few things there that may need forgiveness and work in our lives. That’s where the next four verses come in. When we live our lives as faithfully as possible and follow the teachings and example of Jesus, as well as accept his presence and guidance through the Spirit in our lives, we can find the fruits of the Spirit. They will become more noticeable and evident the longer we spend time with God, pray, talk, and trust in God’s grace and blessings in our lives. Today I talked about living with an attitude of gratitude and suggested that we all keep a “blessings journal” – maybe just writing a blessing a day on our calendars would help us to live in an attitude of gratitude. We can be grateful that, no matter how sinful our lives are, and how many times we separate ourselves from God, we have the door of repentance, forgiveness, and acceptance to walk through. As we grow in God’s grace and recognize and experience that grace in our lives, we grow in the fruits of the Spirit. May you live with an attitude of gratitude and may you grow in God’s grace today and every day. Blessings, Deb