You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
We began this week reflecting on this question:
And so, as those who have died with Jesus, and who are now risen with him into a whole new life… as the repentant, forgiven, beloved, gifted people of God who are witnesses to Jesus, how are we now to live?
And we’ve reflected on Jesus’ way of love from multiple angles.
All of it comes together in this phrase from Paul: “walk by the Spirit.” The Holy Spirit is given to us to enable us to follow Jesus into this way of love.
And as we walk by the Spirit, filled with the Spirit, the kind of fruit we bear are these: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
So imagine a world where you were able to experience this kind of life… imagine a world where you were able to bring love and joy and peace to everyone you encountered. Imagine a world filled with life in the Spirit.
That’s the kingdom of God. And we are the people of God.
So go proclaim the kingdom of God today through your life… through your words… from your heart in the power of the Spirit.
Before you go to sleep each night, spend a few minutes thinking over the day that’s now coming to an end. Invite Jesus to walk with you through the day, and bring to mind those things that would be helpful to sort out with him in the safety of his love for you.
What were the thoughts and feelings within you when you woke up? How did you spend the first hour of your day?
What was the highlight of your day?
What occupied your attention the most?
Where did you most sense God’s presence during your day? What was going on?
Did you sense God’s prompting to do something? Or say something? Did you sense him move you to engage with a particular situation you noticed? How did it go?
What were your primary emotions? Was there a fear or anxiety that was constantly present? Was there a hunger or a longing that was a constant itch?
Was there peace? Joy? Gratitude?
Who were the people you interacted with today? How do you think your interactions went? Was there a conversation you wish you could redo? Is there someone you need to make peace with tomorrow?
Is there someone whose forgiveness you need? Is there someone you need to forgive?
End your day in the Lord’s prayer.