This weekend, Lead Pastor Ben Snyder started off the weekend talk with this question, “What word would you use to describe our world right now?” As I thought about that question, several words came to mind—most of them not positive. So I am guessing the word you chose is probably not super positive either.
As we begin our new series, What the World Needs Now, a song from 1965 comes to mind.
In 1965, the words being used to describe the world were undoubtedly similar to the words we chose for our description of today’s world. In that year, our nation was at war in Vietnam. Many Americans were divided on sending our troops into the conflict. Our country was also experiencing a racial divide. Martin Luther King, Jr, was leading the American civil rights movement. On March 21-25, 1965, he and thousands of others took a historic march from Selma, Alabama, to the state capital of Montgomery. Along the way, they were met with resistance, which became violent. This day is now known as Bloody Sunday and was a turning point in our nation’s history.
In that climate of struggle and divide, Jackie DeShannon’s song “What the World Needs Now Is Love” was released and quickly became a hit. Millions recognized the truth of this song’s lyrics. Many more became advocates for love and peace over hate and divide. Similarly, today, we see a desire for the opposite of what we are getting.
The question is, how do we get there? How do we get to what the world needs? When I lack something, I try to provide it on my own—and then I try harder. For example, I tell myself: “I need to be more loving.” Or, “I need to be more kind.” But what I find is that it’s never enough. Instead, I am left frustrated.
This weekend, we looked at a verse in the Bible that tells us how to access the attributes that are so needed today.
22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
At the beginning of the verse, we are told what produces these attributes, “fruit,” that we desire. And this fruit is produced, not by ourselves, but by God.
Ben shared that “where you are LIVING FROM shapes what you are LIVING FOR.” When we live from God —connecting with him relationally, we will begin to see the Holy Spirit produce fruit in our lives. We will see ourselves become more loving and joyful. We will experience more peace. We will see that we have a greater capacity for patience, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
As we begin to live from these places, it changes what we are living for. Yes, we want to experience fruit in our lives, but we want others to experience it too. When we live from our relationship with God, we begin to think about how we can bring this fruit to the world that so desperately needs it. And most importantly, we begin to live for the opportunity to introduce God, the source of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, to our world.
What word would you use to describe our world right now?
Read Galatians 5:22-23. How do people in our world try to experience these attributes in their lives? How are the fruit listed in these verses actually produced?
How would your life and the world look if more people lived, experienced, and shared the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit?
Continue to connect with God daily. Read the Bible daily. Pray to start your day and continue throughout. Look through these prayer resources to help get you started or to give your prayer life a boost.
Commit to attending each service of this series, in person or online.
Dear God, you are what the world needs right now. Forgive me for the days that I make it all about me. Today, I want to not only experience the fruit produced by your spirit but also share it with the world so others can have a relationship with you, and so they can know the life you have for them. Guide my steps today, help me to live from the love you have for me, and open my eyes to the opportunities I have to share you with the world that so desperately needs you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This post was written by Ben Bockert. Ben is a proud husband and father of three beautiful daughters. He is honored to serve as the Director of the LivingItOut Bible Study.
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