“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” -Galatians 5:22-23
If it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck, then it must be a duck! In other words; Evidence demands a verdict. In the Gospel of Love, John 13:35, Jesus told us; By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” And Paul tells us again, that evidence demands a verdict; You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all. And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. (2 Corinthians 3:2-3) By this my Father is glorified, that you hbear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. (John 15:8) So if we are to produce fruit, from our NEW SPIRIT…what does that Fruit look like, sound like and feel like? For this is Gods demand of us: Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)
Leader, True, biblical LOVE is a choice, not a feeling. It deliberately expresses itself in loving ways and always seeks the welfare of others. Biblical love is dependent on the giver’s character, not emotion. John 3:16 tells us that FOR GOD SO LOVED the world- He did something about it. What do you do daily because you LOVE GOD? JOY is a feeling of gladness based on our circumstances. Sadly, the world’s joy cannot last because it is based on fleeting, physical circumstances. But the joy of the Lord is established in our spiritual, eternal circumstances. PEACE: The world doesn’t offer much peace. Just look around. The world cannot give it because the world doesn’t know the One who is peace. But for those who have the Spirit of peace within us, the peace of Christ is possible, no matter our circumstances (John 14:27). We can reject the chaos of the world and embrace God’s peace. PATIENCE is a RARE commodity in today’s world, even in the church. Maybe part of the reason is our fast-paced, want-it-now culture. But Christians have everything we need to be patient because we have the Holy Spirit living in us longing to display His character to those around us. Patient people put up with circumstances and other people, even when severely tried.
Conduit, the characteristics of KINDNESS and GOODNESS are closely related. Together they present the picture of one who not only possesses moral goodness and integrity, but also generously expresses it in the way they act toward others. This “goodness in action” reflects God’s kindness and goodness toward us. FAITHFULNESS is to be reliable or trustworthy. For the Christian, this is faithfulness specifically to the Savior who redeemed us. Christian faithfulness, therefore, is continued and consistent submission and obedience to the same Spirit who provides the ability for us to be faithful. MEEK is Closely linked to humility; gentleness is grace of the soul. MEEK does NOT equal WEAK! But it is strength under control- analogous to a bridled STALLION. The first and the last thing a speaker talks about have more focus! SELF CONTROL, the last characteristic in Paul’s description of the fruit of the Spirit points us back to his list of the “works of the flesh” in Galatians 5:19-21. Those of us with the indwelling Holy Spirit has the strength to control our sinful desires, to say “no” to our flesh. Self-control gives us the power to say “yes” to the Spirit and foster a beautiful, bountiful harvest of spiritual fruit! Today, GIVE some FRUIT. But FRUIT, comes from the ROOT! Get ROOTed in the LORD and those around you will be FRUITed by HIS LOVE!