What it Takes – Today’s Youth Devotion

What it Takes

Bible Reading: Galatians 5:16-22

When the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control Galatians 5:22-23

HERE’S A QUICK little test for you. See if you can match up the trees listed in the column on the left with the fruit those trees bear listed in the column on the right:

apple tree pecans
oak tree pears
banana tree hickory nuts
pear tree acorns
peach tree cherries
hickory tree apples
walnut tree walnuts
cherry tree peaches
pecan tree bananas

Pretty dumb test, huh? Everybody knows that apples come from apple trees and walnuts come from walnut trees. No matter how hard it tries, a cherry tree could never produce apples; a pecan tree couldn’t squeeze out a single banana. Why not? Because neither tree has what it takes to produce that kind of fruit.

Making right choices works the same way. None of us can make right choices all the time. Some days it seems as if we can’t make right choices at all! Because we’re sinners we don’t have what it takes to produce that kind of fruit-not by ourselves, at least. We might as well try to squeeze pears out of our ears!

So, does that mean we should just give up? No, but it does mean that the only way we can consistently make right choices is through the Spirit of Christ living in us. His Spirit lives in everyone who has trusted Christ for salvation. It’s only by relying on him every day-through prayer and Bible reading-that we can consistently make right choices. In fact, you might say that making right choices is the fruit that the Holy Spirit produces in our lives when we trust God day by day.

REFLECT: What kind of choices have you been making recently? Have they been sort of prickly, like a pineapple? nutty, like an acorn? sweet, like a cherry? sour, like a crabapple? something else? What kind of choices do you want to make from now on?

ACT: Try making a simple song or poem out of Galatians 5:22 and 23.

PRAY: Here is an example of a prayer you may want to say the first thing every morning: “God, I praise you for this day that you have made. I give your Holy Spirit complete control of everything I do today. Help me to make right choices all day long. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”