Many people are confused about who the Holy Spirit is and what he does. That’s partly because they’ve been given confusing information.
I remember a school dance in grade 7. A teacher told us that we needed to “leave room for the Holy Spirit” between dance partners. So whoever the Holy Spirit was, he was apparently about three-quarters of a foot wide and didn’t want hormone-filled kids pressing up against each other!
All joking aside, let me sharing something important about the Holy Spirit.
In Galatians 5:22-23 Paul describes the “fruit of the Spirit” as “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”
First, “fruit” means evidence. In other words, if you are a follower of Jesus, these traits will bear fruit—i.e. serve as evidence—that the Holy Spirit is in you and working.
Second, Paul says “fruit” not “fruits.” This means that ALL of these traits will increase in your life. It’s not like some people have some and not others. You may be more naturally inclined to some more than others, and all the growth may not happen overnight, but it will occur.
Here’s why that’s good, encouraging news: These nine traits are a description of the future you!
Ever wonder how you’ll change in the next five, ten, twenty years? If you’re a follower of Jesus, the Bible tells you how you’ll change. Sure, you’ll most likely experience some valleys, setbacks, surprises and detours; but through it all you will produce the fruit of the Spirit.
Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce, the future you:
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
And THAT version of you, is more like Jesus.
By Matthew Ruttan
–Today’s “Up!” is based on my most recent podcast about the Holy Spirit: “Three-Legged Pace.” (And no, that’s not a typo.) You can listen in here. Enjoy!
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.
–I’m on vacation until August 26. New devotionals will appear this week. “Up!” highlights will occur the week after. And then the devotional will go on pause until August 26.