Verse 22a But the fruit of the Spirit is…
So now that we know the importance of the fruit of the vine, let’s look at the specific fruit that God is working at producing in our lives.
The list in our Scripture reading today gives us a visual of the fruit that God’s kingdom is known for. This list is something most church goers learn in Sunday School as children. We know the list and can recite the list, but do we know the list as it relates to our own hearts? We read it in passing during our daily quiet time readings but we don’t let it penetrate our hearts as something that should be the fruit that is smoothly flowing from our lives.
As branches abiding in the vine, bearing fruit is not an option. It is a must in our lives. God doesn’t allow fruitless branches to continue on the vine. He is serious about this and that is why the Holy Spirit was sent to live in and through the people God calls as His own. Just as the branch can’t produce fruit without the life source of the vine, we can’t produce spiritual fruit without abiding in Christ so His Spirit can abide in us. This abiding will produce fruit and those around us won’t be able to deny that God is working in our lives.
This is the fruit that should be defining our lives: love – that reflects the sacrificial love of Jesus, even to His enemies; joy – happiness not based on circumstances; peace – peace of mind and heart that only comes from knowing that God is in control; forbearance (patience) – not in a hurry to make a judgment; kindness – showing others what we hope they would show us; goodness – living in a pure way; faithfulness – being trustworthy by always being true to our word and always being loyal; gentleness – not harsh in dealing with others; and self-control – able to control self in word and actions.
The big thing to remember is that this fruit is produced on the branches of the vine but it isn’t the branches that are actually to receive the credit for the fruit. The fruit is because of the work of the Gardener (God), the Vine (Jesus) and the inner nutrient giving that comes from the Holy Spirit. But if the branch isn’t abiding in the Vine, the Holy Spirit isn’t going to be flooding our lives with the needed nutrients to bear fruit for the Gardener.
Making It Personal
How personally familiar are you with this list? Do you know which one (or more) of the fruit you struggle with in your life? How would surrendering more to the work of the Holy Spirit in your life improve the quality of fruit in your life?
Making It Personal Kids
Have you memorized this list of fruit and what they mean? What are some ways that this fruit is lived out in your life? Do you struggle in living out one or more of these fruit?
Father, we thank You that You have given us the Holy Spirit to produce this fruit in our lives. Please help us see where we are missing these fruit in our lives so we know where we need to abide more in You. In Jesus’ name, amen.