But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires – Galatians 5:22-24
This past weekend I traveled to Little Rock Arkansas for business. As I’ve shared recently my company provides timing services for running events. The unfortunate part of my job is that it takes me away from church more often than I care to be away.
In my vast experience of traveling the country I’ve learned a thing or two about air travel. It’s rarely reliable. If this is news to you and you are planning to fly somewhere, let me repeat myself and add to it. It’s rarely reliable and rarely timely.
Now let me quantify this statement. Considering how many flights, how many employees, how weather affects air travel and a thousand other variables, I think the airlines do an amazing job. Their safety record is exceptional and I can get to almost anywhere in the country in less than eight hours from where I live, including connections. I have no beef with United Airlines (my airline of choice).
Today I want to talk about people.
One only needs to take a trip through Chicago O’Hare or spend 20 hours at a race expo and realize very few people exhibit the fruits of the Spirit. I don’t say this as a blanket statement over everyone I see, but I see enough people to understand how true and reliable the Bible really is. Jesus said “Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” – Matthew 7:14
So how do we know who has found it?
Paul tells us that those who find it exhibit certain qualities. They have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Nothing brings out the worst in people like large crowds and not having their needs met. You hear the complaints and the ingratitude almost non-stop, especially when things don’t go right.
Will “Born Again Believers” exhibit these qualities perfectly all the time? Of course not, but by and large this is a snap shot of who they are. It doesn’t mean I can check the box and say “yep, that one is going to hell for sure”; because we have no idea of what God will do in someone’s life, but Jesus told us few find it. So I have to believe that few find it.
Are you one of the many or one of the few?
If your life exhibits, lack of love, and I don’t mean self-love, lack of joy, lack of peace and lack of all the rest of these fruits consistently, consider your position before God. Do you complain about a lot of things in life? Are you a malcontent? Do you know how to do it better? Are you God’s gift to the world? Do you enjoy being miserable and making others miserable? I see a lot of this. I see a lot of this almost all the time. I see a lot of this all the time by people that profess Christ as their Savior
Have you crucified the flesh? What do you turn to when you feel frustration?
Some turn to medication… Idol
Some turn to anger… Idol
Some turn to drugs or alcohol… Idol
When my flesh screams out and is in rebellion to God’s Word, I must crucify the flesh to show I’m a child of the King. I have work to do.
I must take thoughts captive…
I must work out my salvation…
I MUST because He DID… If I can’t I’m not right with Him, not to perfection but in ever increasing obedience to Him.