I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. – John 15:5
At my house, the last of the Christmas cookies, candy, and other treats are finally gone. They are a rare treat for us, and we enjoy them while they last – but we’re also glad when the temptation to eat them is gone.
This little gingerbread house, which my boys and I made, took just a few days from construction to crumbs.
The only sweet things in my house right now are all sorts of fruits – dried, fresh and frozen. We are rarely without a stash of wild blueberries in the freezer or jars of golden raisins and dried cranberries in the pantry, and we appreciate them even more when all the artificial stuff is gone.
I find it ever intriguing that God uses the most ordinary things to bring about some spiritual insight in my life. At the same time my appreciation for fruit was being revived, several verses about fruit popped up during my Bible study and devotional time.
My memory verse for this week is Galatians 5:22-23.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. – Galatians 5:22, 23
And, I’ve been studying Psalm 1.
And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season. – Psalm 1:3a
From my studies, here are a few paraphrased thoughts about fruit from commentator David Guzik in the Blue Letter Bible app:
Fruit can’t be grown by any work a plant does, but by the nourishment it receives through soil, sunlight, and water.
Fruit is appealing, sweet and attractive.
Fruit nourishes ourselves and others.
Fruit takes a full season to grow and ripen.
Fruit is fragile and perishable – but fruit also contains the seeds for reproducing itself.
No wonder the Lord chose to express the results of walking in the Spirit as “fruit!”
This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. – Galatians 5:16
We will never bear fruit unless we regularly draw our spiritual sustenance from Christ. During this season of my life, I am working on the “regularly” aspect of my spiritual sustenance. I don’t want to let a day pass without spending time in conversation with God: my end of the conversation is through prayer, while His is primarily through His Word.
When the Holy Spirit brings about His fruit in our lives, we become sweeter. We reveal a better testimony to the lost, and we glorify God. We are truer reflections of Christ to our friends and family.
When we bear spiritual fruit, we find that we have the depth of character to make it through times that test us.
We must be patient to bear fruit in certain areas of our lives. I find it difficult to be always joyful, for example, but – praise the Lord – I can reflect upon my life and see that my “fruit of joy” has grown and ripened through the years.
If we don’t continually walk in the Spirit, our fruit may lose its sweetness, wither, and die. When I slip away from the habit of Bible study and prayer – usually accidentally, through the busyness of life – I find myself being irritable instead of joyful, and intolerant instead of patient.
The Holy Spirit is necessary for the sweetest, most nutritious fruit.
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life. – Proverbs 11:30a
Have you ever thought about why God chose the word fruit when referring to the works of the Spirit in us? What fruit is the Holy Spirit growing in your life? I welcome your comments.