Thursday, November 5th
Because you have these blessings, do all you can to add to your life these things: to your faith add goodness; to your goodness add knowledge; to your knowledge add self-control; to your self-control add patience; to your patience add devotion to God; to your devotion add kindness toward your brothers and sisters in Christ, and to this kindness add love. If all these things are in you and growing, you will never fail to be useful to God. You will produce the kind of fruit that should come from your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:5-8 (ERV)
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
Today, we move on to self-control in our list of the fruits of the Spirit from Galatians 5:22-23. Self control is steadiness. This is last fruit of the Spirit in our list. God desires that all of the fruits become prominent in our lives. We have emphasized throughout the series that the fruits are a work of the Holy Spirit and not simply qualities we try to develop in our lives. However, even though the fruits are the work of the Holy Spirit, they don't just automatically show up in our lives. So, yes, we will not have these fruits without the Holy Spirit's involvement, but the Holy Spirit does not produce them in our lives without our very personal involvement.
Today's passage is very much a parallel passage to our Galatians passage. The lists are not the same but are very similar. Both describe a fruitful life resulting from a work of God on our behalf. Both show the necessity of our personal involvement, co-operation, and diligence. That is very much where the fruit of self-control comes into play. I think you will find it to be a very helpful consideration over the next couple of days. The list in Galatians was not meant to be sequential. The fruits are all a part of the life God has called us to. It is fitting that the fruit of self-control comes last because it plays a key role in all the other fruits coming about in our lives.
The list in our 2 Peter passage was not meant to be sequential either, even though the repeated use of the word "add" makes it seem so. The use of the word "add" is more like this: Make sure you understand what ingredients are necessary for a fruitful life. After you have understood and embraced that "faith" is an absolute necessity for a fruitful life, then move on to goodness, etc., etc. All the fruits are in play all the time but again self-control plays a key role in all the others coming about. Let's focus on the great statement that follows our list in our 2 Peter passage: "If all these things are in you and growing, you will never fail to be useful to God. You will produce the kind of fruit that should come from your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." Notice the word "if." Self-control is the key to our steady involvement with the fruits of the Spirit and will result in the word "if" disappearing from the equation. We will look closely at this as we round out our week.
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, help me understand and embrace all the fruits you want to produce in my life. Help me grasp my role more fully and grant me a steady self-control and discipline for the journey of living a fruitful life. Lord, I am willing and ready for anything and everything you have in mind for me. Amen!
Posted on Thu, November 5, 2015
by Alan Porter