Nov. 2, 2016
A good leader is needed in any organization. A classroom needs a good teacher. A football team needs a good coach (and a good quarterback). What about the Church, the people of God? Who is our leader?
The Church sings a great hymn called, “Christ Be My Leader” in which we cry out for the Lord to lead us in this life. If you don’t know it, check it out here. It’s one of my favorites. Furthermore, in today’s section of Scripture, St. Paul reminds us that the Holy Spirit is also the leader of our life in faith.
He writes to people who knew the ways of sin, the sinful desires of the flesh (v. 16). He also reminds them that the ways of the flesh are opposite, contrary, in battle with the ways of the Spirit. I’m reminded I can’t serve two masters. Paul reminds me that the Spirit has called me to freedom…not to indulge the sinful nature, but to live a life led by the Spirit that produces fruit of the Spirit. Yes, a life lived by the Spirit will produce the fruit of the Spirit. What are ‘fruits’ of the Spirit, you ask? They should be evident in my life.
I find a nice list (although not exhaustive) of some examples: “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (vv. 22-23)
When I look at our world around me, it may be easy to spot the sinfulness in the culture. Certainly, there is plenty to recognize, not just in the culture, but also in my life. I am far from perfect. However, there are also great examples of God’s Spirit at work, through me and through His people where the fruits of the Spirit are in full bloom! For that I’m thankful and want to stay focused. Focusing on the bad is not healthy if it happens for too long. I want to be focused on what God is doing. The good fruit bearing good works in this life where people are being blessed. It’s easy to focus on the negative. Lord, help me see Your work in action.
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, continue to lead me (and whoever else prays this prayer) in a life led by Your Spirit. As Jesus is the vine and we are the branches, continue to work through us and bring forth good fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Amen.
(I took the above pic at the Chinese Gardens in Portland, OR. A beautiful place in the downtown area).