As God’s grace-loved masterpieces, one of the key things we’re called to do is live out a character that reflects his. We’re invited to live a life of obedience that embodies God-honoring virtues. (Check out these passages for a quick sampling of Scripture’s invitation to cultivate Christlike character: Romans 12:9-18; Colossians 3:12-17; 2 Peter 1:5-7.) Peter urges us to “make every effort” (v. 5) in our growth. We have a critical part to play in choosing to grow, in refining our character, in fostering habits that shape and mold our thoughts and attitudes.
. . . it’s not all on us. It’s not all about our own strength or efforts. We find power for this new way of living through the Spirit of God within us! As we grow in intimacy with God and reliance upon his power and leading in our lives, we are changed. Our lives produce fruit: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).
As I wrote in the devotional study Cultivate Your Character, “Don’t let over-familiarity with the ‘fruit of the Spirit’ cause you to take them less seriously than you should. These traits aren’t cutesy, nice little ideas—they are powerful, vibrant, and radical statements describing a whole new way of being! This fruit grows in our life through the power of the Holy Spirit within us, and through our choice to ‘walk by the Spirit’ (Galatians 5: 16), to be ‘led by the Spirit’ (v. 18), to ‘live by the Spirit’ (v. 25), and to ‘keep in step with the Spirit’ (v. 25).”
God is at work, bearing fruit in your life. What is God leading you to do in response to this imperatives from Scripture? How is the Spirit inviting you to take steps of action, obedience, and change?
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