Good Morning Everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Being a virtuous person”
Our Bible verse for today: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Change will come from the inside out.”
Probably the most well-known list of Biblical virtues is found in Galatians 5:22-23. There Paul lists what he calls “the fruit of the Spirit.” These are virtues – character traits, which the Holy Spirit progressively develops in the life of a disciple of Christ.
Just before this, in verses 19-21, Paul listed what he called “the works of the flesh”: “sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar.”
In verse 16 he prefaced all of this by writing, “walk by the Spirit and you will certainly not carry out the desire of the flesh.” In other words, as you place yourself in a position before God whereby the Holy Spirit can work in your heart, He will slowly and progressively remove the desires of the flesh from your heart and replace it with the fruit of the Spirit. The more frequently and the more completely you surrender yourself to the work of the Spirit in your life, the more and the faster that transformation will occur.
It’s the job of the Holy Spirit to bring about that transformation in your life. It is your job to frequently and consistently place yourself in a position whereby He can do His work in you. We do that by means of the basic spiritual disciplines of the Christian life which include prayer, Bible study, worship, fellowship, acts of service, good stewardship, etc. The more time we commit to the spiritual disciplines in our life, the more opportunity we’re giving the Spirit to do His work of transformation.
It’s a good thing to exercise personal discipline and through sheer willpower to force yourself to avoid drunkenness and carousing, sexual immorality and all of the other things Paul lists in that passage. But willpower is weak and temporary. What’s needed is spiritual discipline. Spiritual discipline helps to bring about a change of heart so that we no longer have any desire for those things. Give Him the opportunity and the time, and the Spirit will replace those desires with love and joy, peace and patience, kindness and goodness, faithfulness and gentleness, and self-control. This is the true moral excellence of a genuinely virtuous person and that change comes from the inside out. It takes place in your heart and shows itself in good conduct.
I encourage you to spend some extra time today praying for God to grant you more of the fruit of the Spirit in your life. Ask Him to change you from the inside out.