February 22, 2019
1 John 2:15-17 The Message (MSG)
Since the first of the year, our LIFE Lessons Bible Study group has been focused on the Fruit of the Spirit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Gal 5:22-23). Through his writings to the Galatians in the early church, the Apostle Paul helps us better understand our need to allow the Spirit to produce and ripen spiritual fruit within us. The fruit is unified and not separate; it is grown within Christ believing individuals as a whole. The evidence of fruit reveal the manifesting characteristics of Christ’s presence in our lives; he is One and he is the Firstfruit within us as the redeemed.
The Lord God is to be our First Love and allowing our lives to faithfully bear fruit pleases and exalts him. That is why the enemy tempts us to get us off the righteous path by distracting us with desires for the temporal things of this world. We are innately deficient in spiritual fruit; so, instead of connecting to the Vine to be filled with righteousness, we want and accumulate worldly stuff thinking it will satisfy. We must love the Lord and what he provides more than what the world offers, because the stuff the world offers will not last. Don’t let the enemy squeeze out your First Love. The world’s way is not worth the price. God’s provision is abundant, satisfying, and eternal.
1 John 2:15-17 Don’t love the world’s ways. Don’t love the world’s goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world—wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important—has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from him. The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out—but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for the desire to bear righteous fruit; I want you most of all. Help me to bear fruit in your strength and with the power of the holy Helper. In Jesus’ name. Amen.