Wow, nine weeks, nine fruit.
I can honestly say it's been transformative. Not in that, "I'm a totally different person, and my life has radically changed" sense, but rather, my actions have actually been different.
I certainly haven't acted perfectly in every situation, but I did find myself saying, "I'm supposed to be patient, so I'm just going to relax and not stress out about this." "I'm supposed to be gentle, so I'm going to respond softly to this person."
Of course, the biggest danger when a spiritual growth plan comes to an end is failing to start a new one, to lose momentum and the ground gained.
So what's next?
Well, January 12-21 we're doing a corporate fast (details forthcoming) that will be a great way to set the tone for the year.
And of course, February 1 we'll start the Elements sermon series based on the fruit of the Spirit; begin our Bible reading plan centered on the fruit; and kick off the Elements small groups.
In terms of Scripture, I'm going to read through Luke and Acts this January. I figured it made sense following Christmas to read one of the Gospels, and Acts' focus on the work of the Holy Spirit will be good preparation for further reflection on the fruit of the Spirit.
If you haven't figured out where to go next in the Bible, I'd encourage you to join me in reading through Luke and Acts this January. In Luke, I'll be looking for where I see the fruit of the Spirit evident in Jesus' life, and in Acts I'll be watching for how the Holy Spirit works.
I'll also take the opportunity to encourage you to consider leading an Elements small group. If you've never led a group at NCC before, you can read more here, and for those of you who have, here are the registration instructions.
Thanks for joining us on this nine-week adventure with the Holy Spirit. I'm excited to see what He does with a church full of people seeking to live out the fruit of the Spirit, to model the character of Jesus. We're praying and believing that God will use this to continue His transformation of our neighborhoods, workplaces, and cities.