Bearing spiritual fruit

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.”

The fruit of the Spirit should be manifested in every Christians’ life.  So, if you are a Christian, is it these things that describe you?  Or do you struggle in some of these areas?  Do they seem like a bar too high to reach.  So here’s a thought: if we consider that these blessings are all things that God has first and foremost given us, then perhaps we will be much more likely to demonstrate them.

For example, God has loved us who were once His enemies with the greatest love there is by shedding His own blood on the cross. How can we not love others as we consider this?  With this love, God has poured out on us His incredible gift of forgiveness. That fact should result in our forgiveness of others who have done far less wrong to us (Matthew 18:23-35).

Then there’s the fruit of joy.  The Bible tells us that there is great rejoicing in heaven over one sinner that repents.  If we have repented, that means there was just such joy demonstrated towards us.  How much joy should that elicit from our own heart as we reflect on that fact? Likewise, Jesus spoke the things He did to us so that His joy would be in us, and that our joy would be full (John 15:11). Think of this – His joy given to us. What an incredible gift!

Jesus also said “My peace I give to you” (John 14:27).  It’s such a wonderful gift to have been poured out on us.  It’s a peace that we will demonstrate if we will but think about and believe the wonderful truths and promises that He’s taught us in His glorious words.

And then think about the fruit of patience. The patience He shows toward us is incredible.  Don’t you agree?  The apostle Paul, who, before he was saved, terrorized and persecuted Christians, was overwhelmed by God’s patience toward him as he stated in 1 Tim 1:16 “But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.”  In other words, God’s perfect patience towards Paul is the same perfect patience He had toward us as He waited for us to repent.  Shouldn’t that elicit great patience in our hearts towards others?

The fruit of the Spirit is a gift from God to us.  May God help us to realize this and may our gratitude towards Him elicit spiritually fruitful lives in which we bless others with these same gifts.

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