Tag Archives: Fruit of the Spirit

What is Spiritual fruit?

Bearing spiritual fruit is evidence of a life-giving connection to Christ.

What is this fruit Jesus is talking about? How do we produce or bear it? Galatians 5:22 (NLT) tells us:

“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control…”

The works or practices that come out of us without Jesus is putrid & rotten. It is our sinful nature. It is of the flesh. Galatians 5:19-21 AMP describes the characteristics this way:

 “Now the practices of the sinful nature are clearly evident: they are sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality (total irresponsibility, lack of self-control), idolatry, sorcery, hostility, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions [that promote heresies], envy, drunkenness, riotous behavior, and other things like these. I warn you beforehand, just as I did previously, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Notice in Galatians 5:22, it says fruit of the Spirit, not fruits. I think the fruit develops together, like a cluster of juicy, sweet grapes. They are attributes of Jesus growing within us. They are in direct contrast to the workings of our flesh, the practices of the sinful nature that still lives within our earthly bodies.

When a grapevine is ready for harvest, what are the signs that we look for??? …ripe grapes. Juicy, sweet, full of flavor

What about from a Christian truly abiding in Christ? What do we look for? We should see the temper, disposition, and lifestyle mimicking Jesus. We must love and honor God, love one another, and do good; this is bearing fruit.

When we are squeezed by day-to-day events, people, and situations…what comes out?? Sweet spiritual fruit or sour grapes reflecting our sinful flesh??

As I mentioned earlier, God wants Quality fruit, Lasting fruit, Kingdom fruit. It is only produced, like anything we plant…the seed only grows, matures, and bears fruit by meeting certain conditions.

What is needed to develop & bear fruit: what does a plant need?

  • Good soil or good rootstock. God has already taken care of this part. We are attached to the Perfect and True vine …Jesus. We can bear fruit wherever we live & regardless of what is happening or not happening in our lives… as long as we remain in Him.
    • Don’t break the branch. Stay connected by being wholly and fully committed to Jesus the true vine.
    • Water— John 7:37-38 “On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”
    • Nourishment—John 6:48 I am the bread of life”.
    • Light—John 8:12 “Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
    • Air—The Holy Spirit flows through us and around us to aerate our lives with truth, guidance and direction. By allowing the Holy Spirit to be the breath of circulating air within us and around us. To give Him the freedom to change us, to produce Christ-like qualities within us that develop and show to the watching world, the fruit of the Spirit…and to keep it from dying or rotting on the branch.
  • Pruning & supervision is Required.
  • By allowing the Father, the vinedresser to lift us up or prune us as He sees fit, to understand and accept that He is in control. By knowing God that sees the whole picture and He knows & does what is best for each of His children. Weeding is required to remove unwanted foreign plants that could choke out the branch.
    • God may take someone, something, or some situation out of lives that is hindering our productivity and development of mature fruit.
    • God may allow storms and trials come into our lives to shape us. Where we get our nourishment will determine how we grow and what “fruit” we bear.
    • God has the right to adjust our position or place in life.
    • God may move us from a place of comfort and self-assurance to a place of uncertainty, so we develop a greater trust in Him.
    • God may move us away from people or things that we have developed an unhealthy reliance on.
    • God may move us next to other people to help us or help them share the load and journey.

As we sincerely abide in Jesus…as we stay connected…He offers us privileges that we would not naturally have any claim to. We have privileges that we can “Own” as part of our inheritance because of His sacrifice and His restoration of our relationship with God.

One of those privileges and a fruit that develops in us that I want to mention today so we can lay claim to is… His Peace. Jesus tells us Himself that He gives us His peace.

“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27 NKJV

He knew we would be disheartened, persecuted, and fearful. Again, He encourages His disciples right before He goes to the cross and the promise flows to us…  that we may have peace in Him.

We will bear or produce much fruit. Grapes grow in a cluster. They may ripen at different times and speeds even though they are in the same cluster. Our fruit is developing through the Holy Spirit but it is up to us on the speed it develops and what is included in our cluster.

For example—Perhaps you have one or two characteristics that are ripe and ready to use. Maybe you have patience but your fruit is not mature in the area of kindness, love, and lack of self-control. When encountering a difficult situation or difficult person, you react from the flesh, speaking with hurtful words and unkind actions. Those are areas that the flesh still rules, areas you haven’t given over for the Holy Spirit to work with you on.

Patience is another fruit I would like to briefly mention. When we are patient, it puts us in control of ourselves. Being patient gives us time to choose how to respond to a given event or circumstance, rather than let rampant emotions take over. Often times impatience makes us react in damaging ways as we look for shortcuts and quick fixes.

The enemy of God’s children, Satan uses impatience & other practices of then flesh to derail us from achieving God’s purpose in our lives. We do not have to let him win. He does NOT have the power. WE DO! We have more POWER than he even dreams of WITHIN us! He is a defeated foe. That is why he hates us.

As we learn from Jesus and the Scriptures, and as we allow the Holy Spirit to develop Spiritual fruit, His fruit in us—we have the fruit available and we learn when to act and how to react.

What comes out when you are squeezed?

Bear Fruit

Jesus tells us in John 15:1-2, “I am the vine and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away, and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”

In verse 2, I had to take a pause. I have read that verse many times. “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit”, Jesus is saying, “the Father takes away.”

Wait! Wait a minute. If we are in Jesus, how can that happen?! My take on it is… some of those branches may “appear” to be connected to Jesus, the Vine… but are not—those branches are “dead” and will never produce fruit. Perhaps they are those who sit in a comfy pew and sing all the right “religious” songs and say all the right “churchy” things, but their hearts are far from God. (Matthew 15:8-9 and Isaiah 29:13) God, the vinedresser removes those branches, so that the “living” branches, those truly “abiding” in Jesus can accomplish their purpose.

Cucumber on the vine

Have you ever looked at a vine? Let’s look at one of my cucumbers on the vine…(Isn’t this baby cucumber so cute!) When the branches stay connected and get all their nutrients from the vine—they bear fruit, they bud, blossom into a flower, and through a maturing process—become a full sized cucumber—identical fruit to what that vine produces. They must stay connected. They cannot just show up on Sunday, grab a few sips of the Holy Spirit and expect to bear the fruit of the Spirit. It is an “all in” relationship. NOT a religion or merely an affiliation with a church.

In both the cucumber vine, and in our relationship with Jesus, we cannot just be “around” or “attached” to the concept of Jesus. That is not enough. I think it is possible for a person to claim the name of Jesus and miss Who He Is. The Great I Am!

I think it is possible for a person to go to church and associate with believers, even think they are doing all the right things, yet not have the life-giving benefits of being fully attached and fully abiding in the TRUE vine.

Many years ago, I had an ivy. I was watering it one day and as I moved it to soak the soil, one of the branches broke. Not all the way through, but almost. It was such a beautiful branch, healthy and green. I did not want to lose it. Thinking I was so smart, (bear with me) I got out my Scotch tape and taped it back together. You can probably guess what happened. For a few days, all seemed well. It was going to make it!

Nope, sad story. At the end of a week being only partially attached to the main vine, it shriveled up and died.

We can be like that. We can join a church, sit in a pew every Sunday, tithe, sing all the praise songs, shout out an amen when the message is good, and yet—be so far from Jesus. We can be attached to the church, or attached to the idea of God but not connected to the Source of life. Eventually, God the vinedresser, the One with ultimate knowledge and authority—will remove those false branches and discard them.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be discarded. How can we bear fruit?

Jesus says in John 15:6 (NKJV) “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him bears much fruit, for without Me you can do nothing.”

We must “abide” in Him and He will abide in us. His life source flowing through us. Producing the fruit of the Spirit as we totally depend on the Vine for all things, all direction, all wisdom, all power to accomplish His will in our life.

Jesus was crystal clear in saying, We can do NOTHING without HIM. And in case we think “we” chose Him. He goes further in John 15:16 (NKJV). “You did not chose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you.”

He has all the POWER, He gives us DIRECTION, He has CHOSEN us. He has APPOINTED us. The FRUIT comes from Him. Fruit that comes from Him REMAINS. It does not die on the vine but is His LIGHT to others. His LIFE BLOOD flowing through us produces FRUIT that RESEMBLES HIM! How cool is that!

We need to fully obey and abide in Him. Hold tight to the VINE. He does the rest! THANK YOU, JESUS!

You are CHOSEN, & APPOINTED to BEAR HIS FRUIT! You are EQUIPPED, now GO!

See you in the garden!

To Wait Patiently

“I waited patiently for the LORD, and He inclined to me and heard my cry. He also brought me out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth—Praise to our God; many will see it and fear, and will trust in the LORD.” Psalm 40:1-3 (NKJV)

These verses make me wonder how patient am I? Have I waited patiently for the LORD? The verb wait is used in the past tense in this verse…waited patiently. Already done. Have I waited? How important is it to “have waited patiently?”

Let us explore what it means to be patient and to wait patiently.

Patience—the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble or suffering without getting angry or upset.

Wow! That is a challenge for many people on a regular basis, and for probably everyone… at least once in a while.

Patience is mentioned over 70 times in the Bible. The Bible encyclopedia describes it as, “A forbearance or endurance. It is a quality of self-restraint or of not giving way to anger, even in the face of provocation, it is attributed to both God and man and is closely related to mercy.”

Patience is the 4th Fruit of the Spirit and is also referred to as longsuffering.

“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control…” Galatians 5:22 (NLT)

As a believer in Jesus Christ as my Savior and as a follower of Him, through the Power of the Holy Spirit living within me, I can bear the trials of life. You can too.

How? It is the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit when He is alive and well within us. By allowing the Holy Spirit the freedom to produce this quality within us…by knowing that God is in control . This helps us see hope in every situation. By knowing God that sees the whole picture and He knows & does what is best for each of His children.

I like this caption that I read recently, “Patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting.”

Are you waiting for things to happen in your life? Have you been praying, and it seems that Heaven is silent? Are you waited patiently? What has been the attitude of your heart? Are you keeping a good attitude while you wait?

I must admit, at times…I have not.

When we are patient, it puts us in control of ourselves. Being patient gives us time to choose how to respond to a given event or circumstance, rather than let rampant emotions take over. Often times impatience makes us react in damaging ways as we look for shortcuts and quick fixes. The enemy of God’s children, Satan uses impatience to derail us from achieving God’s purpose in our lives.

It is beneficial to be disciplined to wait, to learn this behavior and make it part of who we are. We can be mindful of the things that make us impatient. When I feel myself getting impatient, I take a deep breath. I ponder how losing control will not help the situation and I picture how being patient will pay off.

There are many benefits of having patience. Some are that we enjoy better mental health. There is less stress on our body’s as we learn to wait. It makes us a better parent, friend and neighbor. It helps us achieve our goals and not harm others as we reach them.

Patience does not mean we are weak or passive. It is a strength and one that our Creator God tells us to practice. We remain active and continue doing what God has called us to do, while we wait.

I do not always wait patiently. I sometimes want to prod God along and make Him answer my desires in my way and in my time. This thought process has caused me nothing but sorrow. It makes me angry with God as my anxious and worrisome thoughts think He is not doing the job I think He should be doing.

As I learn from Jesus and the Scriptures, as I wait, and watch—I learn how to act and when to react. I become more compassionate. Through time in His Word and learning to patiently wait and worship Him through each trial, I have immense blessings. He inclines His head to me and hears my cry. He will hear yours too. Simple advice but so profound!