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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The Contagious Fruit of Joy

            Have you had your Joy Juice today?  Choose to begin this day with an outrageous and contagious JOYful spirit!

            Genuine joy comes from a relationship with Christ.  Galatians 5 teaches about the “fruit of the Spirit”.  Many times as we read that list, we are determined to cultivate each of those traits in our own lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self control.  But….we can’t do this in our own strength!

            Let’s not misunderstand what Paul was teaching about the “fruit of the Spirit”.  He wasn’t merely giving us a list of traits to pursue and cultivate, but he was offering wisdom about what happens as we give our lives totally to Christ and allow Him to mature us in our Christian walk.  Lydia Brownback writes that “as we crucify all that belongs to our sinful nature, we are characterized more by Christ than by the passion and desires that governed us before we knew him.  As this process takes place, the fruit of the Spirit is manifested in us.  The Holy Spirit doesn’t give us more love or more faithfulness or more joy.  He gives us more CHRIST, and as he does, joy and all the rest are produced within us as the fruit of that union.”

            So let’s get ourselves out of the way and give Christ the freedom to reign in our lives.  The more of us He has, the more joyful we will be…True joy—fruit of the Spirit joy—comes as we pray to know Christ, and to be made more and more like Him!  That’s what it means to be an “OUTRAGEOUS and CONTAGIOUS” Christian!

           May we allow God to have complete control so that we may overflow with the contagious fruit of JOY!


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