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Day 346 – Fruits of the Spirit

Thoughts and Reflections

Today we read about Paul who appeals to Caesar since he is a Roman citizen. He is brought before King Agrippa and speaks about the gospel. In Galatians, Paul reacts to the teachings that say that Christians need to follow the teaching and customs of Judaism. He goes on to say that life under the Law, which no one kept, was slavery and Christ is freedom. He says that immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, envy, drunkenness, and carousing will keep us to the slavery of sin.

“The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” these are the result of living with God and freedom.

We reap what we sow. If we want the fruit of a life in spirit, we need to invest in love, patience, kindness, and good qualities. We need to ask the Holy Spirit for help in planting these fruits so we can take advantage of freedom.

About This Project

For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!

Daily Readings

Acts 25

1 Three days after his arrival in the province, Festus went up to Jerusalem from Caesarea.

2 The chief priests and leaders of the Jews informed him of the case against Paul,

3 urgently asking him to support them against him, and to have him transferred to Jerusalem. They were preparing an ambush to murderhim on the way.

4 But Festus replied that Paul was in custody in Caesarea, and that he would be going back there shortly himself.

5 He said, ‘Let your authorities come down with me, and if there is anything wrong about the man, they can bring a charge against him.’

6 After staying with them for eight or ten days at the most, he went down to Caesarea and the next day he took his seat on the tribunal and had Paul brought in.

7 As soon as Paul appeared, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem surrounded him, making many serious accusations which they were unable to substantiate.

8 Paul’s defence was this, ‘I have committed no offence whatever against either Jewish law, or the Temple, or Caesar.’

9 Festus was anxious to gain favour with the Jews, so he said to Paul, ‘Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem and be tried on these charges before me there?’

10 But Paul replied, ‘I am standing before the tribunal of Caesar and this is where I should be tried. I have done the Jews no wrong, as you very well know.

11 If I am guilty of committing any capital crime, I do not ask to be spared the death penalty. But if there is no substance in the accusations these persons bring against me, no one has a right to surrender me to them. I appeal to Caesar.’

12 Then Festus conferred with his advisers and replied, ‘You have appealed to Caesar; to Caesar you shall go.’

13 Some days later King Agrippa and Bernice arrived in Caesarea and paid their respects to Festus.

14 Their visit lasted several days, and Festus put Paul’s case before the king, saying, ‘There is a man here whom Felix left behind in custody,

15 and while I was in Jerusalem the chief priests and elders of the Jews laid information against him, demanding his condemnation.

16 But I told them that Romans are not in the habit of surrendering any man, until the accused confronts his accusers and is given an opportunity to defend himself against the charge.

17 So they came here with me, and I wasted no time but took my seat on the tribunal the very next day and had the man brought in.

18 When confronted with him, his accusers did not charge him with any of the crimes I had expected;

19 but they had some argument or other with him about their own religion and about a dead man called Jesus whom Paul alleged to be alive.

20 Not feeling qualified to deal with questions of this sort, I asked him if he would be willing to go to Jerusalem to be tried there on this issue.

21 But Paul put in an appeal for his case to be reserved for the judgement of the emperor, so I ordered him to be remanded until I could send him to Caesar.’

22 Agrippa said to Festus, ‘I should like to hear the man myself.’ He answered, ‘Tomorrow you shall hear him.’

23 So the next day Agrippa and Bernice arrived in great state and entered the audience chamber attended by the tribunes and the city notables; and Festus ordered Paul to be brought in.

24 Then Festus said, ‘King Agrippa, and all here present with us, you see before you the man about whom the whole Jewish community has petitioned me, both in Jerusalem and here, loudly protesting that he ought not to be allowed to remain alive.

25 For my own part I am satisfied that he has committed no capital crime, but when he himself appealed to the emperor I decided to send him.

26 But I have nothing definite that I can write to his Imperial Majesty about him; that is why I have produced him before you all, and before you in particular, King Agrippa, so that after the examination I may have something to write.

27 It seems to me pointless to send a prisoner without indicating the charges against him.’

Galatians 4

1 What I am saying is this: an heir, during the time while he is still under age, is no different from a slave, even though he is the owner of all the property;

2 he is under the control of guardians and administrators until the time fixed by his father.

3 So too with us, as long as we were still under age, we were enslaved to the elemental principles of this world;

4 but when the completion of the time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born a subject of the Law,

5 to redeem the subjects of the Law, so that we could receive adoption as sons.

6 As you are sons, God has sent into our hearts the Spirit of his Son crying, ‘Abba, Father’;

7 and so you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir, by God’s own act.

8 But formerly when you did not know God, you were kept in slavery to things which are not really gods at all,

9 whereas now that you have come to recognise God — or rather, be recognised by God — how can you now turn back again to those powerless and bankrupt elements whose slaves you now want to be all over again?

10 You are keeping special days, and months, and seasons and years-

11 I am beginning to be afraid that I may, after all, have wasted my efforts on you.

12 I urge you, brothers,-be like me, as I have become like you. You have never been unfair to me;

13 indeed you remember that it was an illness that first gave me the opportunity to preach the gospel to you,

14 but though my illness was a trial to you, you did not show any distaste or revulsion; instead, you welcomed me as a messenger of God, as if I were Christ Jesus himself.

15 What has happened to the utter contentment you had then? For I can testify to you that you would have plucked your eyes out, were that possible, and given them to me.

16 Then have I turned into your enemy simply by being truthful with you?

17 Their devotion to you has no praiseworthy motive; they simply want to cut you off from me, so that you may centre your devotion on them.

18 Devotion to a praiseworthy cause is praiseworthy at any time, not only when I am there with you.

19 My children, I am going through the pain of giving birth to you all over again, until Christ is formed in you;

20 and how I wish I could be there with you at this moment and find the right way of talking to you: I am quite at a loss with you.

21 Tell me then, you are so eager to be subject to the Law, have you listened to what the Law says?

22 Scripture says that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave girl and one by the freewoman.

23 The son of the slave girl came to be born in the way of human nature; but the son of the freewoman came to be born through a promise.

24 There is an allegory here: these women stand for the two covenants. The one given on Mount Sinai — that is Hagar, whose childrenare born into slavery;

25 now Sinai is a mountain in Arabia and represents Jerusalem in its present state, for she is in slavery together with her children.

26 But the Jerusalem above is free, and that is the one that is our mother;

27 as scripture says: Shout for joy, you barren woman who has borne no children! Break into shouts of joy, you who were never in labour. For the sons of the forsaken one are more in number than the sons of the wedded wife.

28 Now you, brothers, are like Isaac, children of the promise;

29 just as at that time, the child born in the way of human nature persecuted the child born through the Spirit, so now.

30 But what is it that scripture says? Drive away that slave girl and her son; the slave girl’s son is not to share the inheritance with the son of the freewoman.

31 So, brothers, we are the children not of the slave girl but of the freewoman.

Galatians 5

1 Christ set us free, so that we should remain free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be fastened again to the yoke of slavery.

2 I, Paul, give you my word that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no benefit to you at all.

3 I give my assurance once again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law;

4 once you seek to be reckoned as upright through the Law, then you have separated yourself from Christ, you have fallen away from grace.

5 We are led by the Spirit to wait in the confident hope of saving justice through faith,

6 since in Christ Jesus it is not being circumcised or being uncircumcised that can effect anything — only faith working through love.

7 You began your race well; who came to obstruct you and stop you obeying the truth?

8 It was certainly not any prompting from him who called you!

9 A pinch of yeast ferments the whole batch.

10 But I feel sure that, united in the Lord, you will not be led astray, and that anyone who makes trouble with you will be condemned, no matter who he is.

11 And I, brothers — if I were still preaching circumcision, why should I still be persecuted? For then the obstacle which is the cross would have no point any more.

12 I could wish that those who are unsettling you would go further and mutilate themselves.

13 After all, brothers, you were called to be free; do not use your freedom as an opening for self-indulgence, but be servants to one another in love,

14 since the whole of the Law is summarised in the one commandment: You must love your neighbour as yourself.

15 If you go snapping at one another and tearing one another to pieces, take care: you will be eaten up by one another.

16 Instead, I tell you, be guided by the Spirit, and you will no longer yield to self-indulgence.

17 The desires of self-indulgence are always in opposition to the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are in opposition to self-indulgence: they are opposites, one against the other; that is how you are prevented from doing the things that you want to.

18 But when you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.

19 When self-indulgence is at work the results are obvious: sexual vice, impurity, and sensuality,

20 the worship of false gods and sorcery; antagonisms and rivalry, jealousy, bad temper and quarrels, disagreements,

21 factions and malice, drunkenness, orgies and all such things. And about these, I tell you now as I have told you in the past, that people who behave in these ways will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 On the other hand the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness,

23 gentleness and self-control; no law can touch such things as these.

24 All who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified self with all its passions and its desires.

25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let our behaviour be guided by the Spirit

26 and let us not be conceited or provocative and envious of one another.

Galatians 6

1 Brothers, even if one of you is caught doing something wrong, those of you who are spiritual should set that person right in a spirit of gentleness; and watch yourselves that you are not put to the test in the same way.

2 Carry each other’s burdens; that is how to keep the law of Christ.

3 Someone who thinks himself important, when he is not, only deceives himself;

4 but everyone is to examine his own achievements, and then he will confine his boasting to his own achievements, not comparing them with anybody else’s.

5 Each one has his own load to carry.

6 When someone is under instruction in doctrine, he should give his teacher a share in all his possessions.

7 Don’t delude yourself: God is not to be fooled; whatever someone sows, that is what he will reap.

8 If his sowing is in the field of self-indulgence, then his harvest from it will be corruption; if his sowing is in the Spirit, then his harvest from the Spirit will be eternal life.

9 And let us never slacken in doing good; for if we do not give up, we shall have our harvest in due time.

10 So then, as long as we have the opportunity let all our actions be for the good of everybody, and especially of those who belong to the household of the faith.

11 Notice what large letters I have used in writing to you with my own hand.

12 It is those who want to cut a figure by human standards who force circumcision on you, simply so that they will not be persecuted for the cross of Christ.

13 Even though they are circumcised they still do not keep the Law themselves; they want you to be circumcised only so that they can boast of your outward appearance.

14 But as for me, it is out of the question that I should boast at all, except of the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

15 It is not being circumcised or uncircumcised that matters; but what matters is a new creation.

16 Peace and mercy to all who follow this as their rule and to the Israel of God.

17 After this, let no one trouble me; I carry branded on my body the marks of Jesus.

18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, my brothers. Amen.

Proverbs 29:15-17

15 The stick and the reprimand bestow wisdom, a young man left to himself brings shame on his mother.

16 When the wicked are on the increase, sin multiplies, but the upright will witness their downfall.

17 Correct your child, and he will give you peace of mind; he will delight your soul.


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