Saturday September 1 – Introduction
The September devotions focus on the Holy Spirit. The Fruit of the Spirit is covered first, followed by references to the Holy Spirit in the Heidelberg Catechism. We conclude with a devotional of assurance to Christians on the Holy Spirit’s presence. Reformed Christians often are accused of ignoring the Holy Spirit in the life and teaching of the church. However, when we realize that the believer could never make a confession of Jesus as Lord without the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:3), and when we realize that it is the calling of every Christian to bear the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), ignoring the Holy Spirit is impossible. If anyone is ignoring the Holy Spirit, it may be those who think they could make the profession of Christ without the Spirit of God, or it may be those who think that they should sin all the more so grace can abound. Those who ignore the Spirit ignore the Spirit’s word as those who have ears but do not hear. If Reformed teaching is accused of ignoring the Spirit, the accusation is a false one. The ignoring of the Spirit does occur; however, when our praise, our profession, our prayers and our practice does not display the impact that the Spirit of Christ has on a person’s life. By the grace of the Spirit, may this month’s devotional direct our lives to the need and praise of the Holy Spirit, whom any true Christian will not ignore. FRUITFUL LIVING IN THE SPIRIT If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. – Galatians 5:26 Scripture reading: Galatians 5:16-26 The call to be fruitful is nothing new from God. From the outset the Lord has called us, as human beings, not to be destructive, but to be productive in all facets of our lives. Before the fall, the Lord called humanity to “be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it” (Gen. 1:28). The works of the flesh go against this cultural mandate from the Lord. It need not be this way for us when, by grace and through faith, we know we are saved from such a destructive way of life by Christ. When we are saved by Christ, the fruit of the Spirit begins to bear in all the relationships to which we are called. We discover that how we live in Christ matters. If the gospel of Jesus Christ and His precious blood mean anything to us, we will live like those who believe that how we behave in this world does matter. We will not allow our Christian freedom to be an opportunity for the flesh, but an opportunity to be fruitful in God’s vineyard. Suggestions for prayer Pray to the Lord that for each new day He gives, you might use that day to be productive in His kingdom by the power of His Holy Spirit and in service to Christ your Saviour. This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. John Vermeer is the pastor of Doon United Reformed Church in Doon, Iowa....