Galatians 5:16-25 (NRSV)
Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the law. Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit.
Oh how I wish I could always, at all times, and in all circumstances exhibit the fruit of the spirit.
I wish I always did the loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, generous, faithful, gentle, self-controlled thing both inside and outside of the church.
I wish God's work in me was perfected and that I allowed Spirit to be in full control of my body, mind, and soul. But, alas, there is a war between my flesh and my spirit and sometimes, I must confess, that my flesh wins.
I am "fleshy" when I am jealous of a friend. I am "fleshy" when I quarrel with a neighbor. I am "fleshy" when I allow my anger to get the best of me.
To be "fleshy" is to sin or to do that which is contrary to the Law of Love. Thank God for Jesus who crucified the flesh to the cross, conquering sin, death, and the grave! Thank God for Jesus who died and rose again attaining our forgiveness of sin and eternal life.
I could not be more grateful for the call to live by the Spirit and be guided by the Spirit! Although I confess that I have a ways to go, I know that as I walk with Jesus--and mature in my faith--I will become more fruity day by day!
Now, aint'a that good news?!
God, please forgive me for being so fleshy. Please help me to be more fruity by the power of the Holy Spirit. I want to live and be guided by you. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
If you have questions about how to become a friend and follower of Jesus, please see the devotion entitled, “Come to Jesus” @ http://bit.ly/JVhaLta