The Fruit of the Spirit
As Christians, the fruit of the Spirit should be evident in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control!
You Will Recognize Them By Their Fruits
Matthew 7:16-19 says,
“You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”
Though this passage is warning against false prophets, I believe it is a good portion of scripture to use to gauge our own behaviour as well.
Salvation Comes Through Jesus
As I have said countless times before, we can’t earn right standing with God. We cannot earn salvation. Salvation only comes when we put our faith in Jesus Christ, who paid the price for our sin by dying on the cross and rose victorious over sin and death on the third day. We must personally accept this gift and ask Him to be our Saviour and our Lord.
The Fruit Of The Spirit
And when the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within us, we can expect to see His gifts manifested and His fruit ripen and develop.
We won’t get into a discussion today about the gifts of God’s Spirit, but I would like to focus on the fruit that must be increasingly evident in our lives, the fruit that shows that we are, indeed, a healthy tree as it says in today’s passage.
Galatians 5:22-23 says,
Before I go on, I want to remind you that none of us will get it right 100 percent of the time. We stumble and fall every day because of our humanity and the humanity of those we rub shoulders with. Even so, the longer we are Christians, the more evident the Spirit’s fruit should become.
Is The Fruit Of The Spirit Evident In Our Lives?
Here are some questions we can ask ourselves and our children:
1. Do I love God more than I did last month? Last year? How can I tell? How can others tell?
2. I can’t be happy all the time, but do I experience joy deep within, knowing God is in control and that He can be trusted? Do I feel more joyful than I used to?
3. Even in the face of turmoil, do I experience His peace? What difference does His peace make in my life?
4. Am I becoming increasingly patient or increasingly impatient? Many factors contribute to our ability to be patient, but as with all spiritual fruit, it’s important to look at the big picture.
5. Do I treat others kindly, even when they are not being kind to me? In what ways can I do even better?
6. Do I know what goodness is? Am I studying God’s Word to discover what it means from His perspective? Am I asking Him to work in and through me?
7. Do I do what I say I’m going to do, especially when it comes to spiritual matters? Am I faithful?
8. Would others describe me as gentle? Even when I can’t avoid conflict, do I express myself respectfully and gently?
9. Do I exercise self-control? When my desires don’t line up with God’s will as expressed in the Bible, do I ask Him for the strength to do things His way instead of my own?
Recognizing Your Weaknesses And Asking For His Help
I would have to say that self-control is perhaps the most difficult area for me. There are many times I listen to the whiny little voice in my head that says, “I don’t wanna.” I am thankful that God has already forgiven me, but still I must pray more often, “Not my will but Yours be done.”
I encourage you to study each item on this list with your children. Talk about what they think love is, what they think peace is, what they think kindness is, etc. Talk about what each means from a biblical perspective. Then pray that this fruit will mature in each of your lives.
And when we fail to exhibit the fruit of God’s Spirit as we desire, let’s prayerfully make a plan to do better next time, asking Him for the help that only He can give.
If you haven’t accepted God’s gift of salvation, I encourage you to do so. And if you have, I encourage you to pray that the fruit of the Spirit will be increasingly evident in your life.
Stephanie is a freelance writer and a contributor to our Christian internet radio station, HopeStreamRadio.
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