“I am the vine; you are the branches.
If a man remains in me and I in him,
he will bear much fruit;
apart from me you can do nothing”
The fruit of the Spirit is the fruit produced by the Spirit, not by us. It is fruit that is developed within us and not imported from the outside – rather like a Christmas tree. It reveals who we are and not the appearance that we are trying to display.
The most important three segments of the fruit are the first three – love, joy and peace – that we have looked at this week. The others are self-explanatory.
The key question of course is, if they are the work of the Spirit and not my own work, how do I encourage and facilitate their growth and development? Jesus Himself gives us the answer in His description of the Vine. Our fruit will appear as we become and then remain rooted in Him. The life that is within Him will flows into us causing us to develop and grow. Fruit will then appear ‘naturally.’ The stronger and more open the connection between us the stronger and more vital the life-flow of the Spirit, and the more abundant the fruit.
Jesus went on to say that the way we ‘remain in Him’ is to receive, honour and live out His words and directives. Very clearly if we do not then it becomes a rejection and our connection and relationship are weakened. This should not surprise us because in all our relationships we find that if we reject people or keep them at a distance our relationship will not develop and prosper.
Vital to our relationship with the Lord are a deepening and intimate Prayer life, a regular and prayerful reading and study of Scripture and an Application of God’s word in our everyday lives and living. As we invite and allow Him to live in and through us then changes begin to take place within us.
It is a journey in which God is building not instant flowers but long-standing ‘oaks of righteousness.’ And very often those around us will see the fruit as it develops more quickly and readily than we will – which is as it should be. However, prayer for the fruit should become a regular part of our prayers because it is important to God’s work and ministry.
Lord please give me patience – NOW!!
Lord a fruit tree in blossom and then covered with fruit is a lovely sight and often a fragrant blessing. Bless me Lord that I may be so close to You that Your life will pour into me and result in an abundance of fruit for Your glory. Amen.