If you’re following the schedule, you should read these chapters today: Exodus 31, John 10, Proverbs 7, Galatians 6. Click on any of those references to see all the passages in one long page on BibleGateway. If you can't do all the readings today, read Galatians 6.
Here in Galatians 6, Paul begins to describe what “walking in the Spirit” (5:16) looks like. One who walks in the Spirit will do what they can to gently restore a sinning brother (vv. 1-2). He or she will live in humility (vv. 3-4) and will support his or her teacher financially (v. 6). Verses 7-10 explain why we should do these things. Paul cites the law of the farm, reminding us that if we sow corn, we’ll reap corn. If we sow soy beans, we’ll reap soy beans. Similarly, in our spiritual life, we have the Spirit of God. He leads us away from a sinful life and develops in us the fruit of the Spirit (5:16-26). But these results are not automatic. As believers we have the power and leadership of the spirit to become holy but those things are activated in our lives by obedience to Christ and his word. When we disobey God’s word, we are sowing sinful seeds in our life and, if they are not uprooted, they will produce what sin produces—pain, death, destruction (v. 8a). When we obey God’s word we are sowing spiritual seeds in our life and those seeds will produce what the Spirit produces—eternal life (v. 8). But growth takes patience. Sowing sinful seeds give us the immediate satisfaction that sin offers, the dopamine hit of pleasure that the sin nature craves. But we usually fail to realize that a destructive plant is being nurtured as well. One act of sin can be destructive, but usually is simply pleasurable. When we repeat this disobedience, we are sowing a crop of evil that will eventually emerge from the ground, grow to maturity, and destroy us. That is the unseen growth that sin brings in our life that we usually ignore because we love the initial burst of pleasure that sin provides.
Likewise, growth in the Spirit takes time. One day’s Bible reading, one season of deep worship and intercessory prayer, one day of serving the Lord in our church, one week’s tithe—none of these things produces an immediate tree of holiness. But, when repeated because we love God and are following the desires of the Spirit and obeying God’s word, overtime these yield holiness in our lives. As you read the scriptures thoughtfully each day in this 66 in 16 program, you are sowing the seeds of God’s word in your life. Keep going, keep reading, keep thinking about these truths and how they apply to your life. Growth takes time and fruit doesn’t show up immediately, but the promise of God’s word is that the Spirit works in us and through as we follow him in obedience.
Maybe as you’ve thought about this, the Spirit has convicted you of some sinful practice you’ve been cultivating in your life. Repent and remove it now before it starts bearing fruit in your life. Maybe He has convicted you that you’re neglecting some area of the Christian life—your church attendance is sporadic, you’re not serving somewhere in his work, or whatever. The time has come to start sowing seeds of righteousness in that area. Do it! Remember: “…at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (v. 9b).
Now for your thoughts: What stood out in your Bible reading for today? What questions do you have about what you read? What are your thoughts about what I wrote above? Post them in the comments below or on our Facebook page. And, feel free to answer and interact with the questions and comments of others. Have a great day; we'll talk scripture again tomorrow.