Devotion, January 2024


But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking, and envying each other. Galatians 5:22–26 NIV
Twelve months have passed since I first began to write these devotions. My intent throughout the year was not to focus so much on our personal spiritual fruits but more so on the one who is the giver of these fruits. I could have spoken about pomegranates, peaches, grapes, and such, using them as metaphors whilst expounding on how rich and beautiful spiritual fruits are. But still, as beautiful as they are, I could not go past the significance that they are nought in comparison to the one who is the tree of life, the true vine from whom these fruits arise. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5 NIV
Jesus said: “apart from me … you can do nothing”. How very easy it is to stumble into the trap of paying more attention to the fruits themselves and, in doing so, risk becoming a little pleased with our fruitful ways. This isn’t that tough for us when we consider the condition of our hearts as Jesus describes in Matthew 15. Praise God that the same Spirit who gifts us with fruit also leads us back to Jesus once again in repentance and forgiveness.
Now we arrive at the last of the fruits in Galatians 5, “self-control”. This self-control comes through hearing in Galatians 2:20, the truth that: I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Washed clean through the blood of the Lamb, given the gift of the Holy Spirit in our Baptism, we have been called to be children of the living God! And what a calling this is!Self-control, therefore, is a faithful awareness of this calling. Knowing who we are in Christ, daily coming to our Lord in repentance, spending time in God’s Word, participation in the Holy Sacraments, and living a lifestyle of confession and forgiveness. This takes practice, discipline, and a denying of self.
How comforting to know that it is by the Holy Spirit’s doing, that all good fruit bestowed in us will be plump, ripe and abound in every good work to the glory of God the true vine.
Dear Heavenly Father, the good news of your Gospel creates fruit in our hearts when we consider the sinful condition of our hearts, this is truly a miracle, thank you Father. Uphold the work and the fellowship of Lutheran women throughout this coming new year. Give us faith that is founded securely on your Word, never deviating from the truth of Scripture. Remind us how precious this truth is and that, without you, we can do nothing that is pleasing in your sight. Keep us from the desire to follow our own hearts that would lead us away from your will. Protect us from all evil and fill us with your peace. In the name of Jesus our Lord we pray. Amen.

About the Author

Dee Simons

I was born in the Wimmera district of Victoria (Minyip) and raised in the Western District of Victoria. My husband, Bruce, and I have been blessed with three children. We have recently been gifted with our first grandchild. Our home is situated in the scenic township of Dunkeld and we are members at Trinity Lutheran Church, Warrayure. During the week you will find me behind the front desk at Good Shepherd Lutheran College in Hamilton. I have worked at the college over the past 17 years. I wish to acknowledge my family – often the first to hear a new devotion, and all those people who encouraged and inspired me to keep writing, giving me opportunity to share these words. Finally, I thank and give all glory to God, who I know, without any doubt or hesitation, is the one who holds my pen. Often after I finish a devotion and read back over the words, I am flabbergasted that I actually wrote them. I know that there is a higher power directing my thoughts to paper. The Holy Spirit is at work here and I am always emotionally touched when I think that this God would even contemplate to use me to do his work. That is the true miracle. My prayer is that God will bless you through these devotions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *