Monday, February 08, 2016

February 8, 2016: Fruitful Choices

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2016 - Day 39  

Devotional Song:  … GO TO THIS LINK …  Please take the time to take in a video of Phillips, Craig, and Dean singing, I Want To Be Just Like You… expressing the struggle, as a Christian, to be more like my Lord so that I can be more of an example of Christlikeness to others, … especially family.

Highlight Passage:   Galatians 5:22-23 [NLT] …  
22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! 
… Becoming fruitful is becoming like Christ.
Highlight Context – Galatians 5:13-26 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK  …  
… God, thru Paul, teaches Christians about the fruit of God’s Spirit

Reference Passage #1 - Proverbs: 12:16, 20:3, 29:11 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK 
… Ouch, I think Solomon was writing about me!

Reference Passage #2 - Luke 9: 23 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK 
 … Jesus commands His disciples to deny themselves and follow His lead.

Reference Passage #3 - Philippians 2:3-5 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK 
 … When confronted with the needs of other, … we, His disciples, are to be like Him.

My Journal for Today:  Today’s Our Daily Bread author, the Anne Cetas, uses a personal story to illustrate her teaching. Ceta writes: I couldn't take my actions back. A woman had parked her car and blocked my way of getting to the gas pump. She hopped out to drop off some recycling items, and I didn't feel like waiting, so I honked my horn at her. Irritated, I put my car in reverse and drove around another way. I immediately felt bad about being impatient and unwilling to wait 30 seconds (at the most) for her to move. I apologized to God. Yes, she should have parked in the designated area, but I could have spread kindness and patience instead of harshness. Unfortunately it was too late to apologize to her—she was gone. 

Most Christians know, as Paul taught in Galatians, Chapter 5 that all converted Christians are given ALL of the fruit of the Spirit so that we can be transformed by God’s Spirit into Christlikeness over our time on earch. In fact the list of those fruit in Galatians 5:22-23 are quite simply a list of characteristics which help to define the character of Christ for believers. And when we are converted Christians, we are given the free-will choice to make decisions and live in the fruit of the flesh (see the list in Gal. 5:19-21) or to act in the fruitfulness of the Spirit (see verses 22-23).

 The question becomes, when we’re confronted with life-challenging moments. like the one spun above by ODB author, Cetas, do we act in the flesh or in the Spirit? And I would bet that many here with me today, can recall times, as Christians, when we’d like to have made more Spirit-led, fruitful choices, perhaps to have been more patient or gentle or self-controlled in traffic (see attached foto). And yes, I’m here, holding up my hand in confession!

 Solomon wrote quite a few proverbs about how believers should respond when tried and tested [see the Proverbs linked above]. And Jesus, of course, wanted His disciples (yeah, that’s me, … probably you, too!) to follow His example and be like Him [see Luke 9:23], with Paul echoing that teaching as well [see Phil. 2:3-5].

 But enough conviction! What are we going to do today when we’re confronted, in our flesh, with choices … to honor or dishonor His image? Will we choose to act in the fruit of the flesh or in the Spirit? I’m praying for the latter for me. What about you?

My Prayer Today:  Heavenly Father, … When I’m tried and tested today, give me the grace to act with Spirit-led fruitfulness and to honor Your Name and shine Your Light, dear Lord. … Amen  

Blogger Note:  Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled Our Daily Bread, distributed online via email by RBC Ministries.  If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you can read/study the ODB blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

No comments: