“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” ~Galatians 5:22-23
Apples grow on apple trees and oranges grow on orange trees. Certainly you wouldn’t go to a grapevine searching for strawberries. Why? You recognize the trees by the fruit it produces. Jesus says in John 15:5 that He is the vine and we are his branches and If we abide in Him, we will bear fruit. The apostle, Paul goes on to identify that fruit in Galatians 5:22-23, but how do we recognize that fruit in our lives today? Let’s be clear, fruit in context is the byproduct of our constant communion with Jesus. So how does communion with Jesus produce such fruit?
Love is emphasized in Matthew 22:37-40, as the greatest commandment. According to Jesus, everything depends on love. Really? Yes! 1 John 4:8, tells us God is love! John 3:16 tells us God loved the world, you and I, that He gave His only begotten son. Yes, Communion with Jesus produces love. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 gives us a picture of love that can be identified in our everyday living. Are we patient with others? Do we celebrate and encourage the successes of others? Are we humble team players and considerate of others? Are we happy when people fall?
Jesus is our example. Throughout the gospels, Jesus displayed love through patience and kindness with people especially by enduring suffering of the crucifixion. Can you imagine knowing that you are the righteous son of God that you are sacrificing your life for people who have rejected you and may still reject you afterwards? This certainly was a display of humility. Arrogance and pride would have caused many of us to become resentful, but Jesus produced perfect love that overshadows sin.
Lord Jesus, You are the true vine and we are Your branches. Apart from You, we can do nothing. As I abide in Your Word, I ask that You prune me and purge me of all ungodly works of the flesh. Make the fruit of love flourish bountifully in my life. In Jesus name, Amen!
Scriptures for thought:
1 John 4:7-21, 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, John 15:1-17, Matthew 22:37-40