Even if you are not a lover of fruit, most people like at least some kind of fruit. For most of us fruit lovers and enjoyers, here is perhaps why – fruit tastes good, and fruit is good for us. Fruit is light, refreshing and naturally sweet too. For those who don’t like any kind of fruit, us fruit lovers wonder why?
So many things in the natural have a spiritual parallel. The same is true about the fruit of the Spirit – through which we experience or “taste” the goodness of God and remain in good spiritual health too.
While our dietary likes and dislikes may never be revealed, our spiritual appetites are always on display.
Oh how fruitful art thou fruit lover?
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! (Galatians 5:22-23 NLT)
Are you full of the Spirit?
Walking in the Spirit?
Living by the Spirit?
Are your plans and decisions led by the Spirit?
Are you loving unconditionally?
Okay, so anything I share, be assured it’s just what I’m being reminded of personally too! I’m right there with all you other fruit lovers.
~The fruit of the Spirit are not spiritual gifts, but they are the character of Christ which only grow and develop by the Spirit of God alive in every born-again believer.~
Apart from staying close to Jesus and the presence of His Holy Spirit, our fruitful love will have limits, and much of these other 8 characteristics (or fruit of the Spirit) will be lacking or infrequently seen. Oh, yes, we will still love especially those who love us and who are easy to love, and show our joyful expressions here and there, and maybe even be full of peace when we are asleep – haha – no, but seriously.
Jesus tells us He is the vine and we are the branches and, “...only those who remain in Me and I in them, will produce MUCH FRUIT...”
How can we…
… love unconditionally — even loving those who do not love us?
…overflow with joy like a fountain — irregardless of the pains and sorrows of this life that none of us get a detour from?
…walk in supernatural peace — in the midst of a world full of unrest, fear, chaos and confusion?
By becoming a fruit lover – a lover of the fruit of the Spirit of God that is.
As we remain diVINEly connected, our fruit loving hearts will overflow.
Really living in a consistent state of love, joy, and peace by God’s definition, cannot occur without remaining connected and submitted to the TRUE VINE, Jesus. God’s Spirit is the root of all spiritual fruit.
We need to be filled fresh and anew daily with God’s presence in order for our fruitfulness to grow, flow and continually overflow.
Challenge yourself and take the fruitful test:
Am I LOVING?
(Mark 12:30-31; 1 Peter 4:8)
Am I JOYFUL?
(1 Thessalonians 5:16; Phil. 4:4)
Am I PEACEFUL?
(John 14:27; Isaiah 26:3)
Am I PATIENT with others?
(Luke 8:15; Romans 12:12)
Am I KIND to others?
(Proverbs 31:26; Ephesians 4:32)
Am I GOOD to others?
(Isaiah 1:17; Colossians 1:10)
Am I a FAITHFUL follower of Christ?
(Psalm 101:6; Luke 16:10)
Am I GENTLE with others?
(Matthew 11:29; Titus 3:2)
Am I SELF-CONTROLLED?
(1 Thessalonians 5:8; Titus 1:8)
Only The Holy Spirit consistently produces this kind of REALLY GOOD fruit.
I am certainly no theologian (far from it!), but I think these fruit of the Spirit are listed in order for a reason. If we haven’t first experienced the love of God, it is impossible to be filled with true joy and peace, and to consistently live out the characteristics of these other fruit of the Spirit. Ephesians 5:18 reminds us to be continually filled with the Spirit. We don’t just ask God for forgiveness, receive His forgiveness and saving grace and the indwelling presence of His Spirit, and then never need to be filled again.
God is LOVE, and He is the source of all LOVE, JOY, and PEACE. God is patient with us all. Through Jesus, we have an example of God demonstrating His LOVE, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control as He walked the earth.
Since LOVE holds all things together, is the greatest gift and the greatest commandment per Jesus, it might help us all to focus more on the characteristic of LOVE and loving the One who is LOVE first and foremost.
It’s interesting that the global symbol for love is a heart. By God’s masterful design, this is where all true love starts. God has uniquely created us with hearts to love and be loved. He desires that our hearts are drawn to His love first and filled with His love overflowing to others.
It’s all about our hearts, the place where everything starts.
Above all else, guard your heart, for from it flow all the issues of life. Proverbs 4:23
At our daughter’s wedding last fall, it was the most lovely day, and I was honored and thankful to be able to stand in front of the entire congregation and read the Love passage from the book of 1 Corinthians, chapter 13. Here is the definition of love from verses 4-7:
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13
After reciting what “love” really means in the presence of so many loved ones, family and friends, I now have these words ringing in my ears saying, “Self, you stood up and read all those lovely words for all to hear, remember?” Like never before I pray, “Lord, help me to walk in Your love above all else.”
Of course, we all get amazing grace and these verses remind us ALL of the GRACE we ALL so desperately need as we fall short of God’s standard. No excuses though – God enables us by His Spirit to do all things through Christ and especially to love. We can all GROW IN LOVE and, by God’s Spirit and His grace, become more fruitful lovers of others.
~No good roots leads to no good fruit.~
~Love roots lead to lovely fruits!~
~MAY WE ALL BECOME TRUE FRUIT LOVERS IN THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST. MAY ALL OF US FRUITFUL LOVERS OF GOD BRING THE LIGHT AND REFRESHING PRESENCE OF GOD’S SPIRIT TO OTHERS AND BE SWEET AS WE DO!~
Lord, I fill so full of Your love, your joy, your peace right now, but I am about to get out of bed, so help me today, Lord. Amen.
Lord, I thank You that Your Spirit is alive within me and that the seeds of the fruit of Your Spirit are there too. Help me, Lord, to be filled to overflowing with Your Spirit, Your love, joy and peace, and especially your LOVE that covers us all, in a spirit of humility and boldness I pray. Amen.
My purpose for telling you these things is so that the joy that I experience will fill your hearts with overflowing gladness! (The Passion Translation)*
A few other verse references:
Ephesians 3:14-19; Romans 5:5; Mark 12:29-31; John 15:5; Philippians 4:13; 1 Peter 4:8; John 15:11*; Colossians 3:15