Our scripture this morning is Galatians 5:22-26.

By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, competing against one another, envying one another.

Paul speaks of the fruit of the Spirit, behaviors that Christians should exhibit based on our connection to God. These fruits are the direct product of God’s presence with us. Jesus demonstrated every one of these while He was here and He expects us to treat each other in the same way.

Our human nature needs to be tempered and guided by the Spirit. It’s not simply a matter of being nice to people (although that’s a good start), but truly caring about them as Jesus did. Once we accept the promise He offers, our lives will be changed, sometimes immediately, sometimes slowly.

Paul closes this passage with advice to avoid “competing against one another, envying one another”. This includes in our spiritual life. Each of us has an individual and unique relationship with God. While we may have similar experiences, no one else can have the exact same experience. We see this in the different accounts of Christ’s time on earth. We must realize that God sends each of us what is needed to be His people and accomplish the work He has for us.

Gracious God, we are humbled by Your love and grateful for Your mercy. Help us to show Your love through the fruits of the spirit to everyone. Amen.

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