Abiding in Him... Devotional Day 6
Good morning! If you have continued to join us each morning for our devotional, we thank you. Today we’re going to start with our devotional and then end with more about our retreat last month.
Let’s talk about the Fruit of the Spirit and how that relates to Abiding…
Abiding in Him - Day 6
The Fruit of the Spirit.
Galatians 5: 22-23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
Each of these is a characteristic of the Holy Spirit’s active presence in our life.
1. First of all, notice that the fruit of the Spirit is just that, of the Spirit. It is not your fruit, but the fruit of the Spirit of God. This is because God is love (1 John 4:8) and He lives in the believer (John 14:23) and gave us His helper, the Holy Spirit. (John 14:26) This means that it is the work of God the Holy Spirit in you to bear this fruit. Of course, you cooperate with God in bearing this fruit, but it is only because of what Jesus did that we can ever be good, or gentle, or kind, or patient, or loving, or anything. (John 15:5) We must be rooted in Him if we are to bear fruit for God.
"You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.”John 15:16
2. Growing in the Vine. Jesus is saying in the verse above, I want there to be fruit in your life, I want you to abide and remain in Me. If you look at a vineyard full of beautiful ripe grapes, you can see that the branches that bear fruit are definitely connected to the vine, growing and healthy. It’s an indication of a healthy relationship between the branches and the vine.
But what does the vinedresser need to do to make sure the fruit will continue to come back year after year? He has to prune it. No fruit comes without part of the branches dying. Just like those branches, no fruit comes in our lives without dying to ourselves. In order to live and abide by the Spirit, we are to follow God’s instructions, to obey. Luke 9:23-24 says: “Then He said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.” While we are abiding in Christ, we are growing and just like those branches bearing fruit, we will see this growth in our lives as well. This abiding is truly were we get to experience the fullness of God, and it is so beautiful!
3. Fruit being seen by others. “You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.” John 14:17. How do people know that you are a Christian? They can't see your heart. They can't see your faith—but they can see the results of it. Jesus said, "By their fruits you will know them" (Matthew 7:20). As we abide and He dwells in us, there will be evidence of this in our lives. We will bear fruit by walking in communion with Jesus, by staying close to Him. And spiritual fruit is a result of that relationship.
Sharing our faith with others is not just the proclamation of the Gospel; it is also the example of the Gospel lived out.
Ask yourself today:
How would you define the work of the Holy Spirit in your life today?
Do you see what the power of the Holy Spirit working in you can do?
Read Acts 1:8, Romans 15:13, Ephesians 1:13 & Acts 2:38
Take time to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to breath new life/fruit into your life.
Journal or draw the fruit of the Spirit connected to the Vine.
We hope this devotional series on Abiding has been blessing you. We’ve had a lot of emails for a copy of it and we pray that the Lord speaks to you through it. If you have any questions or would love to share any prayer requests or what He is sharing with you through this devotional, we’d love to hear from you! Again, we are always here to listen and you can leave a comment on our blog or message us directly via the CONTACT button at the top of our website.
Wednesday of the retreat was a full day of classes from the talented Ruch Chou Simons. What a JOY is was to get to know Ruth and have her with us for the week! It was a special time with her and her family (YES, all 6 mancubs came to Italy with us) and we are so thankful she said yes to joining our retreat. Ruth is truly the person who you see online, at her speaking engagements and with her family. She is REAL and HONEST and OPEN about her life and how God is working in it. We asked Ruth to share what the Lord has shown her about ABIDING and it was wonderful to hear it from her perspective as well during the week. I think you can go onto her IG story and look through her Europe Highlights at the top to see some of it. (@ruthchousimons)
Ruth taught two classes on Wednesday… first we continued practicing watercolor with her tips and techniques and then we combined that with modern calligraphy to create a beautiful piece of art inspired by her booklet and art she did for this class. Here’s a couple photos of some of the women playing around with these techniques.
We really enjoyed seeing everyones take on the classes and what they learned from Ruth. We’ll try to share more photos next week of the art that came out of that week.
Wednesday night we all went to dinner together at a place in Bellagio with a beautiful terrace on my favorite street. (the one you see at the top of this post)
The owner & chef of the restaurant owns several restaurants in town… on this street… and was so sweet to make us all feel comfortable, well cared for and VERY full at the end of the night! :) Everyone loved all the attention the chefs gave us during the week. They were always coming out to talk to us and share with us about their food and history of the place.
I know I say this a LOT… but we just feel so blessed by the people there. We've been coming to Bellagio for 10 years and everyone always asks me how many times I’ve been to Bellagio. I think this trip was number 21! Yes, that is a LOT of times in 10 years and we know how amazing that is. But it’s truly a testimony to the Lord showing us that we are meant to be there. Looking back on the HOW & WHY of it all is BECAUSE GOD. It’s a long story of how God brought us there every year and I share it at the retreats in Bellagio. But please know that it’s not taken lightly in our family and we continue to pray BIG prayers over the people and the place.
Here are two local women from Lake Como that are friends now because of these retreats. I cry EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I see photos like these. It reminds me of the PURPOSE of God. Again, another long story of how they met at one of our classes and have been dear friends ever since.
Sharing the love of Jesus with the women who fly half way around the world to come to our retreats IS what we are called to do… but it’s also a ministry to the people THERE. That’s why it’s SO important to us to bring you there AND to have you met the PEOPLE there. If you’ve followed us this week as I’ve shared about the retreat I hope you see the connections that are made with the people who come as well as with the local people who we love and share with you, and how that influences the time we have together during the retreat. Because sharing our friends with you, giving everyone time together to draw closer to the Lord through the Word, through the art and through the beauty of God’s world… and pointing EVERYONE towards the love of Jesus is what it is ALL about.
Here’s another example of God at work! These three ladies did not know each other before this retreat. Two of them live in the same state not very far from each other! They became almost instantly the “three amigos” and it was such a blessing to witness. This was what happened, and continues to happen, during our retreats. We always pray the Lord puts it on the hearts of those He is calling to be at our retreats to COME. We know it’s a not easy to come. It’s far away, it’s a lot of money and we have busy lives. We totally understand that. We also know that God is working through these retreats to connect you to HIM and to others. And the FRUIT of that is so very beautiful. Because the Lord ALWAYS shows up and meets us there. These three women… they love the Lord, they are busy women, they have hard things they are going through (as we ALL are)… and it wasn’t easy for them to step away from life. But they KNEW they were supposed to go. I’m not kidding… if I could tell you the WHY, you’d understand the sovereignty of God. He KNOWS the plans He has for you ladies. And if you are praying about joining us then CONTINUE in that! The Lord WILL make it known if you are meant to be there. I promise.
Thank you again for your time. I know life has a lot to pull us in different directions and the fact that you would take 5-10 minutes to come here does not go unnoticed.
Have a BLESSED day,