And in our new life, we grow from taking our first steps of faith, continually growing. This Sunday my pastor spoke on maturing in Christ, and he said something pretty interesting. He said that who we are inside is more important than what we do. At first this seems puzzling, but he explained that if who we are on the inside is a person following the Lord with the whole heart, then the actions will follow. When we love God with our whole heart, soul, and mind we don't want to engage in sin. When we are filled with His Holy Spirit, our lives will be full of that fruit:
So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. -Galatians 5:14
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. - Galatians 5:22-25
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness....this is the kind of person I want to be, and it is the Holy Spirit within me that draws these characteristics out more than I am able to show them in my own strength. On my own, I am a miserable sinner; but by God's grace and Spirit, I can say in all humbleness that I am a child of the One True King...with LOTS of room to grow. As long as we're here drawing breath we have issues to work on and a reason for being here. But it's an awesome journey, isn't it?
Wishing you all many blessings in our Father :)