ODJ: Transforming a Heart

August 4, 2018 

READ: Galatians 5:1-25 

The Holy Spirit produces . . . love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (vv.22-23).

I overheard someone speaking harshly to another. Though their comments weren’t directed at me, I considered intervening. To guard against the temptation to speak to the offender in an equally unedifying manner, I began repeating in my head: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, self-control . . . ” In this provoking situation, the Spirit’s power helped me to remain calm and keep a tight rein on my tongue.

As we journey through life, we’re consistently confronted with challenges, difficult personalities and conflicting opinions. Such complexities could easily prompt us to react from our old nature (v.16)—with “hostility, quarrelling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension” (v.20). For our natural, sinful nature wants to do “just the opposite of what the Spirit wants” (Galatians 5:17).

When we fail to grasp that Jesus secured our redemption and that the Holy Spirit applies that redemption to our lives, we’re prone to merely gratify our selfish desires rather than “walk by the Spirit” (v.16 niv). But as we resist doing what our old nature craves and instead let the Holy Spirit guide us into our new life in Him, we will recognise this biblical truth unfolding in our lives: God through the Spirit replacing our “stony, stubborn heart” with a “tender, responsive heart” (Ezekiel 36:26). For, as Paul described it, “those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there” (Galatians 5:24).

If “we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives” (v.25). As we do, we’ll yield good fruit—the fruit of the Spirit—and through our lives point to Christ.

—Roxanne Robbins

365-day plan: Luke 11:33-54

Whose leading does Galatians 5:25-26 say we’re to follow, and what three traits are we to avoid taking on? 
In Ezekiel 36:27, the Lord explains why He puts His Spirit in His followers. How does this affect your life? 
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