[CF Devotionals] 2009-09-26 - Spirit’s Work

Part 2

Galatians 5:16,“But I say, walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.”

This is the second intended look at the first two fruits of the Spirit. We looked at love last time and considered how love is shown, in our relations with others, by the admonition of Scripture to love our neighbor as ourselves. As followers of Christ, we are to yield fruit. It is good for us to ask ourselves from time to time, “Are we?” The consideration of John 15:8, “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples,” is penetrating. This is because it turns upside down our common way of thinking. We are all prone to think that our efforts to serve Christ are about us, or maybe about the person we are reaching out to – but it isn’t about us. It is about God’s glory. We seek to bear fruit, so that God is glorified in us, through us, and by us. It isn’t even about the neighbor who we are reaching out to and serving, loving, showing kindness unto. It is about God. We do it for His glory. We bear fruit because we desire to make the Lord great in the hearts of others.

So believer, (and let us make it clear that, while those who do not trust in Christ for all their hope do many good things, they cannot do them unto the glory of God.), do you have joy? This is one of the fruits mentioned in Galatians 5, and the Christian should find that their faith in Christ brings joy. It is easy to lose joy in our daily walk with the Lord, but it is never good to do so. The Christian life is one of joy. However, sometimes it can feel like we carry around a backpack full of rocks, even when we go to bed, and this tells us that something is wrong. Forgiveness of sin, and from sin – and the Gospel brings us both – are not burdensome. Do you have joy in the Lord? Do you have it now!?

Let us consider our prayer life a moment. It should bring us joy. We are in communion with our Lord. Our secret prayers usher us into His blessed presence, and we are able to thank Him for some of His many blessings, while seeking even more gracious mercies from the fountain of all mercy. It should be a joy for the believer to forego the hour in front of the TV, in order to have the opportunity to go to a quiet place and fellowship with the Living God. No one can take this away from the follower of Christ. If you confiscate my Bible, I still have all the passages I have learned by heart, but no matter what you do, no matter where I am, no one can stop me from praying. Notice I am not taking about joy in earthly things. I don’t think that this is the kind of joy Scripture has in mind, although I do think that earthly things, when sanctified, can be a great joy. But what I think Scripture emphasizes is the joy that is ours in the Spirit. It is the joy we have when we know we are in fellowship with the Lord. If we do not find that we rejoice in forgiveness, peace with God, and fellowship with Him, we cannot understand the Atonement of Christ for sin.

May the Lord give us more of this joy. It is seen in a constant delight in God our Savior. So many of us find our joy in the passing things of the Earth, and that is why our joy comes and goes, but to know that our joy is made complete (1 John 1:4), in the things of Christ, is to have a joy that will never be lost or stolen.

Soli Deo Gloria,
T-

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