Living God's Way
But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. Galatians 5:22, MSG
My family and I have lived in the same house for eleven years. We moved here from a house around the corner, where we lived for seven years. As a result, my kids have friends that they have known since pre-school. I know my neighbors.
This is no small gift. I feel specifically called to live missionally in my suburban neighborhood, to live as Jesus would if He were in my place. I am always aware that my actions speak louder than words, and that Jesus has called me to truly love my neighbors by getting to know them.
This passage describes what “appears” in our lives when we are living God’s way—that is, living as Jesus would if He were in our place. They provide a perfect description of Jesus Himself—affectionate, exuberant, serene.
These characteristics don’t grow spontaneously. The Spirit plants and cultivates them in our hearts. My deep desire is to “develop…a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people.” All people, all my neighbors, are made in the image of a God who loves them. He’s asked that I be available so He can love them through me.
I can’t force myself to bear fruit any more than an apple tree can try really hard to bear apples. It’s simply what a tree does, what it was created to do.
FAITH STEP: Read through today’s Scripture. Do you see this type of fruit growing in your life? Rather than a to-do list, think of this as a description of what naturally grows when you live God’s way. What barriers to growth do you need to remove from your heart?
Contributed by Keri Wyatt Kent