Elder, David “Doc” Kenser, gives a daily reflection and devotion.
In our Wednesday night study of the Holy Spirit, utilizing the Francis Chan book, The Fogotten God, we discussed what distinguished a spirit-filled person from one who wears not. Based on a reading of Galatians 5:22-23, “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,” we concluded that “love” was the “fruit” an the rest were manifestations of the fruit.
What makes the Spirit-filled individual stand out is the love of the Godhead working out in the individual. The Spirit-filled individual, out of love, will be joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle and self-controlled. And, to the degree a person is Spirit-led, that is the degree in which these manifestations are present.
As proof of our deduction, consider earlier verses in that same chapter: “For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself”….So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh” (vv. 14-16). Notice that the Law of God is fulfilled by love, which is equated with walking by the Spirit.
When we love people, we will choose to do good not harm. Commands to not steal from, lie to or kill are not necessary when we love someone. And, to love those we don’t even like and may even hate us comes from the Spirit of Jesus who directs, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven” (Mt 5:43-45a).
The fruit of the Spirit, that which sets us apart from the world at large, is that we truly love just as Christ loves: “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (Jn 13:35). Jus’ Say’n.