S: 2 Corinthians 13:11 Dear brothers and sisters, I close my letter with these last words: Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you.
O: When you read this, do you find yourself saying to Paul, "Yeah, right! Easier said than done!"?
It's true, these things are not easy. They do not happen overnight. Salvation is instantaneous, but the fruit of the Holy Spirit take time to grow.
A clue to this is "grow to maturity". This clearly doesn't happen overnight, but involves following Jesus, studying the Bible, praying, meeting together with other believers for fellowship and encouragement, consistently, over the the course of time.
A: Therefore, we need to daily "take up our cross" and follow Jesus. Even Jesus took time each morning to spend with God the Father. How much more we "normal" human beings need to do that!
I must admit I don't always succeed every day. There are days when I am so busy and harassed that I neglect this. There are even days when I'm just lazy. But we also serve the God of second chances. So when we fail, we can repent and get back up. True, we've lost yesterday's opportunity to grow, but we can resume the right course today.
P: Father, thank You that since You have begun a good work in us, you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. In Jesus' name, amen.
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)