Friday, May 11, 2018

The Fruit of the Spirit: Day 2: ...of the Spirit...

…of the Spirit is…

“Virtue lists” were a common feature of the classical world, defining what a good person should be like. St Paul’s list, which we will look at over the coming days, is not unusual in this. The thing that may have been different about this list, however, was the source of the virtues in it. He doesn’t say “the fruit of your labours should be love, joy, peace etc.” He says, “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace…” His words aren’t meant simply to make us try harder to be all the things on the list, a task that is often disappointing and discouraging. Instead they point us to God, and remind us that it is his work in us which produces these fruits. We can’t show love, joy and peace, unless we have first experienced God’s love, joy and peace, but once we have, there is nothing that can stop the fruit appearing.   Grapes grow on a grape vine because it is a grape vine not because it is exerting its will to make them appear.  All we are called to do is to stay rooted in him, grafted to the vine (John 15. 4) The rest is up to him.

·         Make a list of what you see as your strengths and your weaknesses. How do you feel about them? Where do you think your strengths and weaknesses come from?
·         Do you tend to be dissatisfied with yourself, over-critical and driven, or do you tend to be complacent, avoiding challenge and change in your life?
·         Where have you seen God at work in your life over the years, changing you for the better?
·         Pray: give thanks for the gifts of character God has given you, for the growth you have seen in yourself over the years, and ask for a clear vision of what he is working on now!

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