Scripture text for Tuesday, April 27th, 2010: Galatians 5:16-6:10
Remember those Fruit of the Loom guys….middle aged men dressed like fruit wearing Fruit of the Loom underwear? I guess I can’t imagine a worse job than a guy having to dress up like a banana but what is even worse, wearing underwear over the costume. While those guys were trying to get you to put on Fruit of the Loom’s, Today’s passage is encouraging us to display the fruit of the Spirit.
Specifically, Gal. 5:22-23 says “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” What I find most interesting about today’s passage is what is listed before the fruit, the acts of the sinful nature. The passage beginning in Gal 5:19 states “that these acts of the sinful nature are obvious….” and then lists “sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery, idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfishness ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.”
Isn’t it interesting that the passage states that these are obvious to us. A new born baby doesn’t need anyone to teach him or her how to become selfish, we are born into sin (Psalm 51: 5). Although reflecting on my own sinful nature and seeing this long list of descriptions of the human sinful nature is discouraging. However, I am reminded of a strategy that is often used in self-help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous and similar drug addicts rehab programs. A common strategy implemented in these programs suggests replacing a poor habit with a good habit. The theory is that you must replace the habit with something; the new void that once was filled by the habitual behavior must be replaced by something otherwise our human nature returns us back to the sinful habit.
Notice Gal. 5:19 first lists our sinful nature come first in the passage. We first learn what our human nature is capable of when we live in the flesh, but there is hope in Christ and when we abide in Him, then and only then, can we put on the fruit of the Spirit.
Lord, help us to abide in the Spirit and bare fruit of the Spirit.
Devotion prepared by Todd Kelley