The Art of Bearing Fruit

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fruit of the spirit

The “fruit of the Spirit” is something I often feel lacking in; I especially desire to have more love, joy, and self-control.

The Bible says “God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Romans 5:5). So, where is the fruit?

Maybe you feel the same. There are some fruits you have more of, and some you’re lacking in. And if you could just get more of the ones you lack, then you could be a more effective witness for God, and be a blessing to all those around you. Right?

We want more fruit, because more fruit means that we are full of the Spirit, and it’s a tangible evidence of God working in our lives. Not to mention, it’s so good to be loving, and joyful, and at peace, rather than hateful and depressed!

I’ve been thinking a lot about this fruit thing, as I’ve been hard at work finishing this brand-new Fruit of the Spirit design. It was my mom who requested it, but y’all get the benefit too! And, as I usually do when I debut a new piece of scripture art, I want to take this opportunity to talk about what it means.

Fruit of the Spirit

So, how DO we become more FRUITful?

As I’ve pondered and prayed over it, a few truths became apparent.

The first is that, there are two essential ways to gain more love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. And the second is that, the order of these fruits is significant.

Two Essential Ways to Grow More Fruit of the Spirit

It seems like a no-brainer, but I think we forget that we can’t just conjure up more love or joy or peace by ourselves. It’s called the fruit of the Spirit for a reason!

According to the note on Galatians 5:22-23 in my NIV Life Application Bible:
“The fruit of the Spirit is the spontaneous work of the Holy Spirit in us. The Spirit produces these character traits that are found in the nature of Christ. They are the by-products of Christ’s control—we can’t obtain them by trying to get them without his help”.

Therefore, to gain more fruit of the Spirit…

  1. We need stay connected to Jesus, who is the True Vine (John 15:5-7). As branches, we can’t make more grapes unless we stay connected to the vine. And of course, that means keeping up our regular discipline of Bible study and prayer. You know how grapes are full of good-for-you antioxidants? Well, when we bear fruit we too are full of good things that are beneficial, both for ourselves and those around us.
  2. We also need to stay attuned to the Holy Spirit’s leading in our daily lives. In those situations when it might be hard to have love, or joy, or be gentle and kind, we need to be able to discern God’s spirit leading us to make right choices in each moment. You know, like when someone ‘stepped on your toes’ for the thousandth time, and you’d like to yell at them…until you hear that still, small voice encouraging you to react with love and self-control.

And like I said before, the order of fruit is also important. It’s no secret that LOVE is absolutely essential in God’s kingdom, right? When we read passages like 1 Corinthians 13, and Matthew 22:37-39, it’s obvious that LOVE is where it’s at.

love - 1 Corinthians 13

Think about it: all the other fruits that follow stem out of love. We have joy in knowing the God who loves and cares for us. Peace is with us because, as per Romans 8:28, we know he is working all things for our good. We exhibit patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, because they are all attributes of love.

As I’m writing this, it dawns on me that, in a way, love, joy, and peace are the things that God’s spirit produces inside of us. And, all the fruits that follow those first three, are things that we show outwardly as a result of having love, joy, and peace inside our hearts.

Does that make any sense? I do hope this is helping you to better understand the fruit of the Spirit.

Tell me, what is one thing you’re going to do, for today and every day going forward, to open yourself up to receiving more of God’s spirit?

As for me, I’m going to remember each morning as I pray, to ask the Holy Spirit to guide me and make me more sensitive to his promptings as I go about the day.

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