This week's devotional is from Pastor Ben Kerns.
Encounter: Read John 15:1-17
In my heart of heart's I desperately long to know and love Jesus. I have encountered Him in many ways throughout my life. And while this is true, I find that I am often distracted and consumed with so many other things. The worst part is that these other things leave me tired and wanting.
And when someone brings to my attention that I am not as loving or kind as I should by, my conviction leads to action. But what I have found is that my action is really a band aid. I think, "Oh no! I am not being very patient or kind right now, I will work on being more patient or kind."
The more I focus on trying to be more patient and kind I often find the inverse to happen. I get more and more frustrated at how not patient or kind I am. And this spiral often sets me back further than where I started.
This attempt at behavior management is not what God has designed us for.
We were designed by God to be intimately connected to Jesus. To put our trust in Him, to love Him, and to serve Him. When we are connected to Jesus, He grabs a hold of our heart, he molds and shapes us, he transforms us, and it is He that causes fruit to grow.
Galatians 5:22-23 says that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.
If you are longing for more of these attributes to define your life, then the way forward is not to try harder to be these things, but to put your time and effort into connection to Jesus.
Where in your life are you making space to connect to Jesus?
When you connect to Jesus what does He long to prune from you? What does He long for you to do for Him and His Kingdom?
BE A BLESSING:
All of the fruits of the spirit can only be worked out in relationship. Think of some of your closest relationships and imagine what they would look like if the fruits of the Spirit where more developed? How can you lean into this reality?
Developing an active devotional life is challenging. And like all challenging things, it is always better to do it together. Who can you invite to walk along side you as you strive to connect more and more to the vine of Jesus?