Has there been someone in your life who seemed different in a good way? I have met many people whose lives reflect their abiding relationship with the Lord. Their demeanor, attitude, and countenance all point to their connection with Jesus. If you ask them why, you will hear testimonies of Jesus’ work in their lives or significant experiences that shaped their behavior and thinking. What we witness in them is the fruit of Christ’s righteousness being produced. I never met the Apostle Paul in person, but from everything I have studied, he was one of these people.

Romans 1:17 reminds us that righteousness comes through faith, and of course, it matters greatly in whom you place your faith! Hebrews 12:11 speaks of how learning from discipline leads to the “peaceful fruit of righteousness.” God’s love allows us to face trials or discipline so we can be filled with the fruit that only Jesus provides. The Holy Spirit works in our hearts to help us remain faithful, enabling righteousness to produce good for those around us. This is evident when peace that surpasses understanding or contentment during life’s storms is reflected in the life of a Christ follower. It can be challenging to focus on our Savior during tough times, but when we do, He transforms us. He also typically does this for the sake of others, not just our own.

Paul did not strive for perfection, nor did he expect the Philippians to be perfect. Instead, he encouraged them to love well, discern wisely, and walk with Jesus so their lives would produce something extraordinary. Paul rejoiced in hearing how they were living in the fruit of righteousness, even as he wrote while being imprisoned. His joy serves as a powerful reminder that our faith is not dictated by circumstances. Jesus works in and for us regardless of our situation.

Take a moment to reflect on your walk with Jesus lately. What has He been saying to you? How has that influenced your thoughts and feelings? What steps will you take in light of this?

Simple reflection and these straightforward questions can deepen your relationship with Jesus, allow Him to work in and through you, and enable you to experience the fruit of righteousness. I pray that His love is poured out upon you, empowering you to share it freely with those around you.

Pastor Jeremy Johnson

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