February 19, 2018

Deeply Rooted - Week 4:

Galatians 5:16-25

But if good works are not the cause of salvation, they are nonetheless the mark and effect of it. If the forgiven man does not become forgiving, the loved man loving, then he is deceiving himself. “You shall know them by their fruits,” Jesus, says, … “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” Listening to Your Life, Frederick Buechner

In the fifth chapter of Galatians, Paul sharply contrasts the free, fruitful life found in the Spirit with the enslaved, fruitless life of the flesh. In 5:16, Paul lists the outward markers of the inward freedom of the spirit-life—the Fruit of the Spirit. Among them, Paul lists patience. If you and I are controlled by the Spirit, we will exhibit patience. However, trying to produce it on your own leaves you frustrated and, well, even more impatient. So what’s the answer?

J.B. Phillips translates 5:25: “If our lives are centered in the Spirit, let us be guided by the Spirit.” The way patience comes into your life is to center your life in and on the Spirit of God. The more I make God the center of my life, my marriage, the way I parent, the way I spend my money, the way I treat others—the more my life will bear the fruit only the Spirit can produce. Among these evidences of his work will be patience—patience with others, with myself, with God and his work in my life.