Devotional for Thursday December 7th

Good Morning Everyone,

 

Our theme for this month: “Living with no excuses”

 

Our Bible verse for today: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23 (HCSB)

 

Our thought for today: ‘Set a goal and make a plan for spiritual growth.”

 

Without question the most important thing any of us can do to improve the overall quality of our lives is to grow spiritually. Nothing a person achieves or acquires will have as much of a positive impact on their life as will spiritual growth.

 

In Galatians 5:22-23 the Apostle Paul described the virtues the Holy Spirit develops in the life of a committed follower of Christ. The more mature a Christian becomes, the more these virtues become a part of his or her character.

 

This is important because when it comes to being a happy and content person there is nothing in life that can take the place of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Those are things everyone wants and is striving for, but money, accomplishments, relationships, and other worldly things simply cannot really or fully satisfy that need. All of it comes up short. That’s why it’s not uncommon to see successful and rich people whose lives are a train wreck. But then you see a poor and simple man or woman who doesn’t seem to have much in terms of worldly possessions, but who does have a mature Christian faith and is therefore a happy and content person. That’s the fruit of the Spirit in their life.

 

The best thing you can do in 2018 to help improve the overall quality of your life is to grow spiritually. But here’s the thing – only the Holy Spirit can give spiritual growth. It’s not something you can do for yourself. However there are things you can do to place yourself in a position before God so the Holy Spirit can do His work in your life. I’m talking about things like prayer, daily Bible study, full participation in the life of a good church family, acts of service, etc. The more of those things you do, the more the Holy Spirit can work in your life.

 

One of the best books ever written that explains these basic disciplines in simple and practical ways is Richard Foster’s “Celebration of Discipline”. If one of your goals for 2018 is to give the Holy Spirit the opportunity to bring about more spiritual growth in you, then “Celebration of Discipline” is a book you should read. It’s not full of lots of theological jargon and it isn’t a long and complicated book. It’s an easy read with short chapters. Richard explains the disciplines in easy to understand ways, and he provides practical suggestions for implementing them.

 

Christians often make excuses for why they don’t pray more, read their Bible, or participate in church more. They know they should do those things but they make excuses for why they don’t. As a result, their spiritual growth is limited.

 

Reject excuses. Spiritual growth is the most important goal you can have for yourself. I encourage you to read Richard Foster’s book and implement some of the practices he recommends. The Holy Spirit will do the rest.

 

God Bless,

Pastor Jim

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