Bible Readings and Devotion for October 2, 2020
Here are the references for the readings. Please look these up in your print Bible, your smartphone app Bible, or your online Bible:
Devotion for October 2, 2020
By Pastor David Tinker
Much of the sin which causes trouble in this world is interpersonal divisiveness. People, in their sin, often mistreat and harm on another. Our sinful attitudes and actions more often serve to divide and harm rather than reconcile and unite. Sometimes our interpersonal climate works against those most close to us in our lives, such as family, friends, and fellow Christians.
In 2 Corinthians 12:20, Paul writes of the sin which harms our interpersonal connections. He writes, “For I fear that when I come, I may find you not as I wish, and that you may find me not as you wish; I fear that there may perhaps be quarreling, jealousy, anger, selfishness, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder.”
St. Paul deals with this issue more fully in chapter 5 of Galatians. It is in the section about the Fruit of the Spirit. Verses 19-21b show us the sinful fruit of our lives, “Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, 21 envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these.” These can be divided into sections about four main topics: love and sexuality, spiritual, interpersonal, and over consumption.
The Fruit of the Spirit counter these sinful actions in the same order:
Love and Sexuality: love
Spiritual: joy, peace
Interpersonal: peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness
Over Consumption: self-control
The central point in both passages is to receive the goodness of the Lord which leads us out of sin and into the new way of Jesus. Foundational to this is the Holy Spirit in our lives. The Holy Spirit is who draws us into a faith relationship with God in Jesus. The Holy Spirit is who continues to enliven, empower, and inspire us to produce the fruit which builds up our lives. This, in turn, builds up our community of faith connections. It is a gift from God which helps us to make the world a better place for all whom we encounter.
Almighty God, your Holy Spirit equips the church with a rich variety of gifts. Grant that we may use them to bear witness to Christ in lives that are built on faith and love. Make us ready to live the gospel and eager to do your will, so that we may share with all your church in the joys of eternal life; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen