This Sunday we will continue our study of the person and work of the Holy Spirit by looking at the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:16-26. The primary tangible evidence of the Spirit’s work in a person’s life is the fruit described here: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Take some time this week or over the weekend to read this passage through several times while asking the following questions:
1) What does Paul mean when he talks about the “flesh?” Is he describing our physical bodies or something else?
2) Of the works of the flesh listed here, which are most evident among religious folks? Do we tend to downplay sins like envy and divisions, treating them as more respectable than sins like sexual immorality and drunkenness?
3) If we are dependent upon the Spirit for this fruit to be manifested in our lives, how can we actively pursue these things? In other words, what does it look like to live by the Spirit and keep in step with the Spirit?
I also want to follow up on last week’s email. I appreciate the many encouraging responses I have received over the past week. I believe the Lord is at work in our church to prepare us for an exciting new phase of ministry. Let me ask you to continue:
1) giving thanks daily for God’s abundant blessings upon our church.
2) praying daily that the Lord would add 10 new families to LMCC.
In praying this we are, in a sense, asking God to give us a “holy discontentment.” This is not the kind of discontentment that leads to grumbling and complaining. Rather, it is the kind of discontentment that grows out of genuine thankfulness. When we experience deep gratitude for God’s amazing grace, we are not okay with not reaching the lost. We become discontent (in a good way) with stagnancy in our lives and in the church.
I’ll leave you with a quote from John Piper that captures the reasons why Christians should live with a “holy discontentment.” Piper says, “…in view of the glory of Christ, His purpose to be magnified in the world through believing people, the vast lostness of millions and millions of people near and far, the horrors of hell, the beauties and the power of the Gospel, the nature of love, the truth that it is more blessed to give than to receive…in view of all that, not rescuing perishing people is not an option for us.”