“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”
Jesus said, “By their fruit you will recognize them.” (Matthew 7:16) The fruit that people produce tells us much about them, their priorities, values and characters. If we wish to know more about God we can look to some of the fruit of His life.
Paul tells us that “what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made.” (Romans 1:19-20)
He also tells us that the fruit of the Holy Spirit – who is God – is the qualities listed above. This is the fruit that He wishes to reproduce in us, so that increasingly we reflect more and more of Him, as we were created to be and do.
- Love – “God is love” (1 John 4:16)
- Joy – Jesus said, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”(John 15:11)
- Peace – “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.” John 14:27)
- Patience – “But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience.”(1 Timothy 1:16)
- Kindness – “in order that in the coming ages He might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.”(Ephesians 2:7)
- Goodness – “How great is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you, which you bestow in the sight of men on those who take refuge in you.” (Psalm 31:19)
- Faithfulness – “For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies.” (Psalm 57:10)
- Gentleness – “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”(Matthew 11:29)
- Self-Control – “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross!”(Philippians 2:6-8)
Notice how they all flow from Love and feed into each other. It is as love begins to grow in our lives that it feeds the other areas as well. God wishes this fruit to be visible in our lives because this is what He is like. It is the fruit of God and not of man. As with a fruit tree it comes only from within. It is the fruit of the Spirit who lives within us and comes from Him as we submit to His ministry and guidance. The closer our walk with God the more abundant and lasting the fruit will be (John 15:5 & 16).
As we look at the world around us we can see clearly that the fruit of the Spirit is not generally evident – which is all the more reason for us to pray that God will bless us with it all. We might also pray particularly for those areas where He shows us that we are lacking in a particular way.
What is my fruit and where do I need more of God in my life?
Father, these are some of Your qualities that You wish to be reproduced in me. Please grow them in me through the blessing of the Holy Spirit, and help me to embrace them more and more. Amen.