Wednesday, February 13, 2019
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
Where does this fruit come from? There are 2 kinds of fruit, a worldly fruit and a spiritual fruit. Actually both come from the same source – God. But we can see the evidence of the worldly fruit, apples and peaches, and pears growing and being harvested. Look at the Orchards surrounding our community, tended and cared for generation after generation. Love and hard work and the soul of the husbandman goes into the very essence of what makes these orchards live. These trees produce fruit that is tender, tasty, a pleasure to eat. There are old apple trees in field lines and hedge rows that at one time were marvelous, but now after years of neglect are wormy, small, sour. The fruits from these are not sought after, often ignored and neglected, and of little or no value to anyone.
Then there is the spiritual tree. Were the trees in the garden of Eden merely physical apple, pear, or peach trees? They may have been, but they were more than that. They were spiritual “trees”, they represented something more than just a plant that grew fruit to eat and sustain our bodies. They represented the spiritual food that God intended for us so that we might grow spiritually and know Him and be like Him. “And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after hi kind, whose seed is in itself …” (Ge 1:29) and “the fruit of righteousness is a tree of life ..” (Pr 11:30). The tree of life that God created gives rise to the fruit of righteousness – the fruit of the spirit. These fruits are the characteristics of righteousness, the fruit of the tree of Life God made in the garden which He said man could eat from. So where do we get these fruits of the Spirit? From God, when we yield ourselves and let the tree of righteousness grow within us.
“Either make the tree good, and his fruit good, or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.” Mt 12:33 Jesus lived and moved in the power of the Spirit – always. Today, we may not be able to say the same about ourselves, but we can choose to grow, to exercise, to believe, to act in the same manner as Jesus. And we exhibit the love of Jesus when we exhibit these fruits to our neighbors.
Gracious and Glorious God, my tree need pruning. I don’t have all good fruit. Some of my fruit is bad, some of my fruit is selfish and self centered. Make me more like You. I want to cultivate the tree of righteousness in my life to have good fruit that I and others can be sustained on. I need the bad branches of my life pruned and snipped away. I ask to be pruned, molded, and shaped into Your image so others can enjoy the fruit of Your spirit in me. Amen.