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What is Spiritual Fruit—that Will Last?

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Jesus said…

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit–fruit that will last.” (Jn 15:16)

I’ve been trying to wrap my mind around exactly what Jesus meant by bearing fruit, fruit that will last. I love my Savior and want to produce lots of fruit for His glory out of my gratitude.

This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. (Jn 15:8)

We have the list of the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians [But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Gal 5:22-23)], and we discovered last week that this fruit is primarily for others, not ourselves!

We also know that some of the things that will last throughout eternity are God, His Word, and the souls of men. Therefore, lasting fruit has to include the salvation of a soul and its spiritual growth.

So how do we put the Galatians’ list and these facts together? I think this is how it works….

The fruit of the Spirit is essentially exhibiting the character qualities of Christ. Jesus was loving, joyous, at peace, patient, and so on to perfection. If I am becoming more like Christ then I am developing the fruit of the Spirit in me. This is spiritual growth.

As you and I become more like Jesus, our lives will be glorifying to God and attractive to the lost (if they are open to the truth). Our flourishing lives will then influence others to want the same for themselves. Those who say yes to God’s drawing and accept Jesus as their Savior are grafted unto Christ, the Vine. Then as they develop and mature, they in turn will produce their own fruit of the Spirit.

Just like we cannot produce this fruit ourselves (Jn 15:4-5), neither can we make others produce fruit. We don’t save others or make them spiritually grow—that’s God’s divine job.

But we can live in a way that draws others to Christ.

As we learn how to abide in Christ, the Vine and allow Him to do His perfect work in us, others will see the change; others will see His beauty within us.

Although we cannot make ourselves like Christ, we can cooperate with God. We can allow the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit to make us more loving, patient, kind…. And we do that by submitting to His will and purpose; by keeping an open heart (or stems) allowing the flow of the Holy Spirit’s grace and empowerment to transform us into Christ-likeness—to do what only He can do. That’s why it is called the fruit of the Spirit.

Now the impact we each have on others will vary. The amount, method, timing, and recipients of our influence are also determined by God. This is an area in which I so often struggle. I’m a doer and I want to see the fruit of my labor! But as Charles Stanley often says,

“Obey God and leave all the consequences (=results) up to Him.”

Jesus said that if I remain in Him and His words remain in me that I would bear much fruit. I need to believe that and trust God for it.

If you and I will just do our part and remain in and grow from the Vine, He will produce good and lasting results for His glory through us—which is most definitely lasting fruit!

“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.” (Jn 15:5)

So until next time, my friends, ask Jesus to teach you how to remain in Him so that you can bear much fruit—fruit that will last forever!

And for additional help find out from the Master Gardener Himself in my latest award-winning book!

Click Here to learn more

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Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide.

 

What is the Fruit of the Spirit? Getting the RIGHT Perspective

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But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Gal 5:22-23)

I want the fruit of the Spirit, don’t you? I want to have all the love, joy, and peace that I can. But come to find out—I had it backwards!

A tree produces fruit primarily to benefit others, not for itself. Oh my! My focus unknowingly was on myself. This fruit is not for me, the bearer, but for God and others.

“This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” (Jn 15:8)

This mind-altering truth—that the fruit of the Spirit is more for others than ourselves is more apparent in the last 6 aspects of the list. However, even there we must be careful.

Do I want to be patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled so that I can feel good about myself and that others will think highly of me? Or do I want the fruit of the Spirit truly for God’s glory and the benefit of others?

Tough and very convicting questions!

It always boils down to motives; to what’s in our hearts. I certainly got pricked with these questions. But knowing the real truth will set you and me free. How else can we change any wrong thinking? We need the Holy Spirit to point out our misunderstandings. I want a rich bountiful harvest, don’t you?

So here’s where we need to check our thinking and change if necessary:

1. Have the Right Goal

  • Joy should not be the goal. That’s putting our desire for joy before God (i.e. an idol). But seeking God first will lead to that joy (Ps 16:11).
  • Having peace in our lives shouldn’t be the goal, but to be at peace with God. Then the peace of God will follow as a result of being right with our holy Creator (Rom 5:1, Phil 4:7, 9).
  • Love should be the goal, but not to receive love, rather to give love to God and others (the 2 greatest commandments).

2. Have the Right Source

We don’t produce this fruit—He does. Its origin is divine.

Spiritual fruit develops by abiding in Christ.

“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….” (Jn 15:5)

“I am like a tree that is always green;
    all your fruit comes from me.”
(Hos 14:8)*

Fruit is the evidence of what’s on the inside. Therefore, bearing spiritual fruit is to show others the evidence of God working in us.

In actuality, the fruit of the Spirit is a list of Christ’s character qualities. 

Once we have the correct perspective, we will experience what we want in the way of love, joy, and peace. It’s a byproduct of believing, obeying, and living in Christ, the Vine.

So my friends, I may have stretched your mind, but I have full confidence that the Holy Spirit will help you understand these spiritual mind-blowers. Let God teach you and transform your way of thinking so you can produce bountiful fruit for God’s glory that will last.

To help you even further get a copy of my latest award-winning book.

You can learn more by clicking here.

“After reading this delightful, spiritually rich allegory, I can honestly say I better understand what abiding in the Vine means.”

~Andy Terryn, IPM National Missionaries in Uruguay

~~~~~

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last.” (Jn 15:16) 

abundant fruit

 

Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide.

*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

 

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