A Rejoicing Life is a Joy-filled Life
Scripture for today: Galatians 5:22-23 (NASB)
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
The Apostle Paul, writes letters to many of the early churches to encourage them to stay strong in their faith. In writing to the church of Galatia he is particularly concerned with the way the Galatians seem to be holding on to the “law” instead of rejoicing in the freedom that was given to them through the work of Jesus Christ upon the cross.
The people are holding on to the old ways they were taught to be right with God instead of focusing on the directions Jesus has given them. It is so very important to Paul that they understand and are able to receive this beautiful gift of grace and life in the love of Christ Jesus. Otherwise they will fall into believing a false gospel, the lies that will destroy them.
Accepting the grace and mercy of Jesus opens our hearts to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The more we learn about who Jesus is and what he offers us the closer we can walk with him. As we begin to walk with him, we become aware of his teachings and as we obey his teachings, we are filled with his truth. We need this truth to live a life that is pleasing to him.
Paul calls the outcome of abiding in Christ’s Word “fruit”. Specifically naming love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control as the Fruit of the Spirit. Joy is one of the qualities of the Fruit of the Spirit and is explained as ‘knowing that we will live with Christ one day’. We are assured a place in his kingdom. We don’t have to wonder…we know. Imagine yourself basking in a state of joy that you have your place in heaven secured. It is overwhelming. What’s more…we have done nothing to earn it. It is only Jesus who made this possible.
How do we produce this good Fruit of the Spirit? Paul would say that if we are filling our minds, our thoughts with the teachings of Christ, abiding in Him then we are filling our souls with the power to produce these good things. But in the same respect if we choose to fill our minds with negative influences from places like television shows, or books, or negative conversations, road rage, gossip…etc…we will find it difficult to abide in God’s word and we won’t be able to produce good fruit. We become severed from our vine and our once nourished soul will shrivel up and wither away…
John 15:4 (ESV) says “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.”
So, there it is. Abide in me and I in you— The connecting point to Jesus is His word. Receiving Jesus ‘ grace provides us Joy! Today is your day to receive this gift of JOY. Don’t live another moment without. It.
Holding Fast to Hope,
Scripture references: John 15:4, Philippians 4:8, John 8:31-32, 1 Peter 1:8