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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.

 

A Sure Fire Way to Get Out of the Doldrums

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I wrote this blog originally about 5 years ago, but these truths are timeless and worth revisiting. So here we go:

~~~~~

I’ve been feeling down a lot lately—not constantly, but too frequently for my tastes. One of the reasons has been chronic back pain. Being in pain has always been difficult for me. Can anyone relate? Plus yesterday I went to a funeral which always stirs up missing Ed, my dear husband now 4 years gone. On top of that we’ve had gloomy wet weather. Certainly I’m not the only one experiencing the blues today.

It’s ok to be sad once and awhile, but the Lord doesn’t want us to stay depressed all the time. Through the years my wonderful Lord has shown me how to encourage myself in Him.

There are many things He has taught me, but one way that always works in getting me out of the doldrums is:

To praise and worship Him!

This morning the Lord led me to reread my gratitude journal penned in 2010—my first year as a widow. Within its pages was a love letter to God. I have discovered that whenever I reread this letter, I am always lifted up. So it was no surprise that once again my faithful God came through!

The reason this works is because of truths in these verses:

“Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High, and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me…. He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God.” (Ps 50:14-15, 23, emphasis added)

Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. (Heb 13:15-16)

Praising and thanking God during difficult times is a sacrifice. It’s a laying down of our feelings on the altar as a way to express our love and worship to Him. It is His just due. After all, didn’t He sacrifice everything in order that we may be reconciled back into a right relationship with Him?!

Interestingly, by praising and thanking God during hardship, a way is made for God to reveal His deliverance out of the doldrums! (See Ps 50:23) Praising God pleases Him. And when God is pleased He likes to tell us—at least that has been my experience. 

So this morning, I was overwhelmed with the sense of His presence and pleasure in my choice to thank Him despite my physical pain and melancholy.

And in His presence there are pleasures forevermore (Ps 16:11).

But you know what? Even if God didn’t lift my spirits, I would still try to praise Him—no matter how I may feel at any given moment. It is what He deserves. How could I not thank Him for redeeming my pitiful soul from hell?!

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies [which includes feelings] as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. (Rom 12:1)

~~~~~

So until next time, my friends, choose to praise God whenever you are down and watch your spirits rise.

The way up is found by lifting His name up.

 

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

Getting the RIGHT Perspective of the Fruit of the Spirit

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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 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)

It is more obvious that the last 6 aspects of this fruit list are for others. 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 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 could we change our thinking? We need the Holy Spirit to point out our misunderstandings. I want a rich bountiful harvest, don’t you?

Here’s where we need to change our thinking:

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.

…You will fill me with joy in your presence…. (Ps 16:11)

  • The goal should not be to have peace in our lives, 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—not to receive love, but rather 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 and having faith 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)

“It is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these…. (John 14:10-12)

Fruit is the evidence of what’s inside. Therefore, bearing spiritual fruit is to show others the evidence of God working in us, proving that He exists and cares. God wants to be known and uses willing vessels like you and me to display His glory. 

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 Jesus.

I probably have stretched your mind. Good! 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 that will last.

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

 

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

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