SPIRITUAL GROWTH – What’s Your Vision for 2020?
It is a new year, a new decade — 2020 — the year of clear vision. I bet you have a vision for your business. You might even have a vision for your personal life. What about your spirituality? Do you have a vision for your spiritual growth?
“Oh no, not another vision. Not one more thing to work on – I just don’t have the time.”
Wait, you don’t have to work on this vision. I have excellent news for you. It is already written out for you.
God gives us a vision of the things He would like to see us be/do in Galatians. And we don’t have to do it by ourselves. It is the work of God in us.
SPIRITUAL GROWTH – THE FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Galatians 5:22-23
As a Christian, you are a temple for the Holy Spirit. That means the Holy Spirit is inside you guiding you and helping you grow.
Most of us are acutely aware of where we fail when it comes to the fruits of the spirit. I know my gentleness is nearly spoiled, sometimes. But this is not a reason to be discouraged.
It is not a failing of the Holy Spirit to work these things out in me. It is a failing in me not to choose gentleness when the spirit reminds me to be gentle.
Rejoice in knowing what you need to improve. Jesus set up a system to help us with that — when we are weak, He is strong. This is grace.
Take a moment and read over these simple clarifications of the fruit of the spirit and see what the Lord says to you about it.
When you understand each of the parts of the fruit then you can easily identify when the spirit is working and rejoice.
- Love – We get a definition of love in 1 Corinthians 13. Summed up it leads us to Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. The Bible also says that perfect love casts out fear (I John 4). In addition, Paul encourages us to encourage one another to outbursts of love (Hebrews 10:24).
- Joy – Understanding, meditation, and thanksgiving will bring you into the joy of the Lord. It comes from knowing God. The poor will eat and be satisfied. All who seek the Lord will praise him. Their hearts will rejoice with everlasting joy (Psalm 22:26).
- Peace – Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).
- Patience – Romans 15:5 – May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus
- Kindness – Ephesians 1:7 – He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.
- Goodness – Acts 14:17 – “but he never left them without evidence of himself and his goodness. For instance, he sends you rain and good crops and gives you food and joyful hearts.”
- Faithfulness – 3 John 1:3 – Some of the traveling teachers recently returned and made me very happy by telling me about your faithfulness and that you are living according to the truth. 2 Thessalonians 1:4 – We proudly tell God’s other churches about your endurance and faithfulness in all the persecutions and hardships you are suffering.
- Gentleness – Philippians 4:5 – Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.
- Self-Control – Proverbs 25:28 – A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls.
You can let this verse be your spiritual vision for 2020 or you can pick one of these fruits of the spirit to concentrate on. Either way, listen to that still small voice inside you that prompts you to choose patience and kindness instead of fussing.
A tree produces fruit. It does not strive to produce fruit. It doesn’t grunt, scratch and strain to make an orange appear on the branches. A tree that bears fruit stands in good soil and is fed well.
If you want to be a tree that produces the fruit of the Spirit of God this new year, feed yourself good food – the Word of God. Make sure you are well watered by interacting with a like-minded community. Finally, be aware when the Holy Spirit is growing these fruits in you by choosing what is good.
Courtenay Collins, MSW – Spiritual Coordinator