Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Fruit Of The Spirit

What is the fruit of the Spirit? Most people answer, "Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfullness, gentleness, and self control." (Gal 5:22) But what does that mean? Let's take a deeper look into this scripture.

The Lord often uses symbolism to teach truths to His people. Here He compares His people to trees that produce fruit. We will use an apple tree as an example for this message. An apple tree does not produce fruit when it is first planted. It has to take root and grow. It has to mature before it can be useful. It takes 3 - 5 years before a tree can produce apples. The first fruits from the tree are sometimes small and sparse. The key for the
tree to grow is location. Where is it planted? It needs to be rooted in good soil. It needs to be watered and fed. When these conditions are right, the tree will grow and mature. Likewise, location is everything for a christian. He needs to be planted in a solid, bible believing church that allows the Holy Spirit to lead the congregation. (Good soil) He needs to develop a strong prayer life. Daily communion with the creator (water) and bible study (Food) will lead to spiritual growth. This growth will lead to spiritual maturity, which will bring forth fruit.

When was the last time that you saw an apple tree eating an apple? lol. It does not produce the fruit for itself, but it is for those that walk by. Likewise, the fruit that we, as mature christians, develop is not for us. It is not to be kept as a trophy on the shelf so that we can say "Look at my fruit! I am SO mature!!!" NOOO!!!! It is to feed others around us to help them to grow to maturity in their lives!

It is important to remember that not all trees mature at the same pace and not all trees produce the same amount of fruit once maturity is reached. Some trees will grow but never produce fruit, while others are not planted in good soil and will die before they reach maturity. Unlike apple trees, you can plant yourself in a place that you choose. You can feed and water your spirit. If you do these things then the Holy Spirit will cause fruit to come forth in your life.

Jesus was going from Bethany to Jerusalem one morning. He was hungry and saw a fig tree. When He arrived at the tree, it had leaves but no fruit. Jesus cursed the tree and it withered and died. The Creator needed fruit from the created, but the tree was unfaithful and unfruitful! Will you bear fruit when the Lord needs to use you? Will you be seen as faithful and fruitful? The choice is yours!

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