** But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. ** Galatians 5:22,23
The fruit of the Spirit is a very common passage and is referenced in many messages and devotions. Yet, something so simple and straightforward is not completely understood.
For me, the fruit of the Spirit is like an apple tree. An apple tree produces apples. It never produces oranges. Apple tree = apples.
So should be the Spirit of Christ. His Spirit should produce Christ-likeness. The Spirit=Christ.
So, why aren’t we more Christ-like? Why don’t we produce better fruit?
Maybe because we are giving our Spirit tree bad fertilizer. Maybe we are feeding it with poison instead of healthy food.
Maybe our tree is too worried about fitting in with the orange trees. Maybe life looks more fun in the orange orchard.
Maybe our tree doesn’t like standing alone in the sun. Or isn’t comfortable being different.
Whatever the reason, let’s talk about a few things we can do to yield more Spirit fruit.
Fruit comes from seeds. Seeds that duplicate themselves.
If we call ourselves Christians and the Spirit lives within us, we already have the right seed. We should be producing the right fruit.
Trees also need water. Living water. Clean water… we need to water our tree with the Bible. Every day.
If any of you have tried to grow plants, they need water. Most of them need it every day. Especially if the plant is young and has small, fragile roots. Water is essential for them to be able to grow stronger, deeper roots. If we are not reading, we are not growing and our roots are dying. Result is –damaged roots, no life, no fruit.
Trees also need sun. Light. Warmth.
I have always had a lot of plants in my home. I like the way they warm up our home and I love tending to them and watching them grow.
One time our family went off on vacation and I had read that you can put your plants in the tub with some water and leave them for a few days. So I did. Apparently, the article was talking about an American bathroom with windows. When we arrived home again and I went to check on my plants, they were all dead. They had drowned. There are no windows in our apartment bathroom. They had no light. The sun wasn’t there to help them use up the water. So they died because there was too much water and not enough sun.
Sun=action. Application. Use. I realize that the usual synonym for sun is Jesus. But Jesus is not a figurine or a picture on the wall. He is a living being. He lived and walked out His faith. He was VERY familiar with the Old Testament and put it into practice every day.
We already have the seed. We already have the Spirit. We need to live like we are a Spirit tree. We need to get busy being a Spirit tree and feed some people with our fruit.
An apple tree does its job. It produces more apples which have more seeds, which produce more trees that produce more apples. We need to share with others what we know and then help them to grow into fruitful trees.
A child grows by watching and doing. He doesn’t sit and watch Mom and Dad or his siblings eat and play and work, and then clap his hands and tell them to go do it! Keep doing your thing! He gets up and follows them. He gets involved in the process. He crawls, then stumbles on teetering legs, he walks, then runs. Activity is an integral part of the growth process.
Faith also is an action word. We should soak up all the water we can, and then go out and produce some fruit. We should talk to someone about Jesus. About who He is. About what He has done for us. Tell someone what we are learning about Him today. It doesn’t have to be a long drawn out conversation. Just quick and to the point.
Also, don’t wait until you have learned all there is to know about Him. Don’t wait until you can share the gospel perfectly. If my husband and I waited until we could share the gospel perfectly, we would never open our mouths. It’s not about perfect, it’s about fruit.
Sow a seed. Give it some water. Pour out the sunshine. Then watch your tree grow and grow. It won’t be long before you see little trees growing all around you.