TOTAL CHRISTIAN LIFE MINISTRY

The Fruit

by Cynthia Jennings on January 4, 2023

As I entered the grocery store one day, suddenly, this same area of fruit seemed to jump out at me. I was more aware of the different types of fruit than I had been before. While picking out fruit my mind went to the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).

I thought about how the fruit is cultivated and the intentional process of getting from the farmer to the grocery store. It made me look at myself in the mirror.

Have I been purposeful in cultivating the fruit of the Spirit in my life?

The nine external fruits of internal growth are outlined by Paul in Galatians 5:22-23: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”

I thought about areas where I could have exercised more gentleness and patience.

What about self-control? Does this seem to flare up when running on empty?

Does guilt hoover over you resulting in lack of joy or peace?

Love is present. But is kindness predicated on how well rested you are?

Do you beat yourself up for lack of faithfulness?

Is goodness based on how others treat you?

Is it easy for you to see God’s everyday work in others and not yourself? Do not fret!

Think back to all those times when someone saw the fruit in you and encouraged you by calling it out.

Let us become proactive and give each other desperately needed fuel by saying out loud what fruit is being demonstrated.

“In that moment you showed gentleness” or “how you managed that situation took so much self-control.”

Join me in calling out the good in each other.

When the Holy Spirit is stirring in us and cultivating our thought patterns, we cannot help but have “fruit blossoms” {love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control} appear and grow into more substantial fruit.

An orange tree does not decide to grow oranges; it is created to do so, and under the right conditions it will produce healthy and tasty fruit. An orange tree will not produce what it was not designed to produce. The Holy Spirit does not produce what it is not designed to produce, jealousy, bitterness, or selfishness. The Holy Spirit produces love, joy, and peace.

When we are looking for hope and God’s goodness, there is no plainer expression than these traits that result from God working in us. When we see these traits in others, it is a gift and a blessing to name them because sometimes we need to hear someone else remind us that we are producing fruit---especially during life’s challenging moments.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to see Your goodness in the people, places, and circumstances around me. Touch my heart to make me sensitive to the fruit of the Spirit and give me wisdom to cultivate them so that You will be glorified. Father, I also ask that You make me aware of the fruit in others and give me the courage to call them out as I see them so they will be blessed and encouraged to do the same. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

PEARLStoPONDER: We all can demonstrate fruit, but are you hindering your own cultivation?

 

1 John 4:16-- So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7-- Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Romans 5:1-- Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Nehemiah 8:10-- Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Romans 15:13-- May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Colossians 1:11-- being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy.

Ephesians 4:2-- with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,

2 peter 1:5-7-- For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.

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