August 2, 2013
Galatians 5:22, 23
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
If I had a pill – no, I am not a drug dealer! – and if I could convince you that this pill would be guaranteed to produce in your life love, joy and peace, what would you give me for this pill? Now remember, this pill I have is absolutely guaranteed to produce love, joy and peace permanently in your life. And I have convinced you of this, so there is no doubt in your mind that this pill will do just that! What would you be willing to give me for this pill? Would you give me a hundred dollars? A thousand? A million?
Most people – if not all – would give just about anything to have their lives full of love, joy and peace. After all, what trials or troubles could bother you if those three characteristics were manifested in you life in fulness?
Well, there is something that will produce those three characteristics in your life – filling your life with them – and six more characteristics besides! The full list is found in Galatians 5:22 and 23 (NIV):
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness and self-control….
And these nine things are free! All you have to do is receive Jesus Christ as your Savior and follow Him as your Lord. – because when you ask Him to come into your heart and life, He does! He says in Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in….” He comes in by the Holy Spirit, Who is God and is just like Jesus (see John 14:16. The One called “…another Comforter (or Helper) in this verse means in the Greek, “…another of exactly the same kind.”) And when you have the Holy Spirit within you, you have the potential of “…the fruit of the Spirit….”
So He comes in without cost – the free gift to you of being saved from sin and being given eternal life. Jesus already paid with His life on the cross for this gift He now offers to mankind! But I guess there is a cost to procure the nine characteristics of “…the fruit of the Spirit….” If you reread my blog written for March 18, Be Filled With What?, you will discover by carefully comparing Ephesians 5:18 (and following) with Colossians 3:16 (and following) that the command “…be filled with the Spirit…” (Ephesians 5:18) is the same as “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly….” (Colossians 3:16) And to “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly…”, you must richly dwell in the Word! So the cost to “…be filled with the Spirit…” – to have your life filled with “…love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control…” – is to dwell in the Word of God, the Bible!
I have said this before – not to brag and show how great a Christian I am, but to set an example to others – years ago, I made the decision to read through the Bible once every six months. And I choose different versions to get a broader idea of what the Word says. I read every day several chapters in the Old Testament, one of the Psalms or Proverb chapters, and a couple of chapters in the New Testament. It takes me on average about thirty minutes a day, and I read completely through the Bible within the six-month time frame. Currently, I am reading through the Bible for the 93rd time! This – and my studies for sermons I preach, classes I teach, and the blogs I write – keep the Word fresh and full in my life. Since I am trying to “Let the Word of Christ dwell in [me]…richly…”, I find my life generally characterized by “…love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control…” No glory to me! It is Jesus Christ, through the Holy Spirit, that does this in and through me! My part is just to dwell in the Word richly!
This offer of What The Word Will Do is open to every Christian. Remember that pill? This is even better than a pill! And it is guaranteed to produce in you “…the fruit of the Spirit….”
Why do so many Christians ignore this offer? Perhaps because they don’t understand it. But I have explained it as best I can, and now you know. Are you willing to “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly…”? The results of What The Word Will Do are amazing!