Updated: Apr 7, 2020
As Caryl and I welcome in the new year, we're beginning each day by reading aloud the following two paragraphs:
"In a world where hatred, violence, strife, impatience, intolerance, and unbridled indulgence are out of control, we're dedicated to living out the Fruit of the Spirit from Galatians 5:22-23: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
"We can't control what others do, but we can shine the light of God's love and let the Fruit of the Spirit define us. As we go through our day, we're inviting others to do the same. In Jesus' name, amen."
As we're discussing on our first two podcasts of the new year, being intentional about living out the Fruit of the Spirit, through the power of the Spirit, is the crucial first step to being obedient to God's commands to spread the seeds of the Gospel everywhere we go.
When we're living out the Fruit of the Spirit, that quite naturally provides us the SEEDS we're planting in the lives of others. If I eat pears, it's only natural I'll have pear seeds. If I eat watermelon, I'll have watermelon seeds.
My patience (even when I feel like blowing up) opens up the door to talking about how God is working in a mighty way in my life. My kindness to unkind people opens the door to talking about how God is transforming me from being emotionally REACTIVE to spiritually proactive.
The last Fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:23 is self-control. When we choose not to use foul language, not to gossip, not to behave unethically, that speaks volumes to those around us.
When we make time to read our Bible and pray every morning, that starts the day on the right note... another benefit of self-control.
Partaking in the fruit causes the seeds to appear. When we give God credit for the acceleration in our prayer and Bible reading, and the decrease in our impulsive behavior, we're planting seeds in the lives of those with whom we intersect... starting right in our own families.
And if unbelievers find that kind of behavior rather "fruity," that's fantastic.