August 09, 2021

Fruit of the Spirit - Part 8

 While I'm taking my annual summer break from writing new devotions, I'm sharing this series on the fruit of the Spirit, which was originally published in 2016.

Devotion for the Week...

It's time for the sixth installment of our fruit of the Spirit devotion series! If you missed the previous devotions, click to read the introduction, about love, about joy, about peace, about patience, about kindness and about goodness

Once again, here is our verse for this series: "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" (Galatians 5:22,23).

When I think about faithfulness, I think of the faithfulness between a husband and wife who have taken a vow to remain together for better and for worse and to never turn away from each other. There will be good times and not-so-good times, but those who are faithful do not abandon each other or decide to seek out a relationship with someone else to replace their spouse.

God calls His relationship with us a 'covenant', which indicates a vow or promise. He has chosen this relationship with us and Jesus promised us "surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). Nothing will cause God to abandon us or to decide to choose someone to replace us. Paul wrote, "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38,39). Nothing in all of creation can cause God to renounce His relationship with us!

Of course, faithfulness doesn't only come into play in a marriage. Faithfulness is really a matter of commitment. Commitment to doing what we said we would do, or being where we said we would be even if, in the moment, we don't feel like doing those things or going to those places. Faithfulness means our word means something.

Unfortunately, faithfulness can be hard. Sometimes we just don't want to follow through on our commitments. We don't want to do the work we said we would do. Relationships (any relationship, not just marriage) can be hard and it can be tempting to seek out something new. Sometimes we just want to be selfish and ignore the promises we made.
Keep your  commitments again  and again and you become  faithful, as  God is faithful |
Thankfully, the Holy Spirit nudges us in those moments. I know I have felt it and you probably have, too. It's that feeling that we are not doing the right thing, that we need to follow through on what we said we would do, whatever that may be at the moment. If we will obey those nudges, those reminders that God's faithfulness should be evident in His people, then gradually faithfulness will become our norm. Give in to the temptation to blow off a commitment once and it becomes easier to do it the next time. But keep your commitments again and again and the voice of temptation will have less of a hold on you. You will become faithful, as God is faithful.

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