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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.

 

Are you Too Busy? Let God be Your Plate-Spinner

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School is here for most of you and there are a million things to do and juggle. And while I’m not in school or have kids there, I’m moving in 3 weeks! Yikes! If we’re not careful we will become frazzled complainers and poor example-setters for those around us.

A few years ago my kind Lord gave me a ridiculous word picture that I have never forgotten. It’s always been one of my favorites. Since I’m a doer and on the high energy side (to put it mildly), the Lord often brings this idea to the forefront of my mind—that of a plate-spinner.  

Have you ever watched one? It’s dizzying and stress-producing just to do so! (Check out this video if you need to get hyper!)

But in my crazy word picture, it’s even more hectic. Each spinning plate has their own bunch of plates that need to be spun! Ridiculous—I know. Maybe God just wants you and I to laugh when we’re stressed out!

Seriously though, the Lord is trying to tell you and me that it is impossible for us to keep all these details spinning properly, let alone maintain peace. That’s how absurd it is when you and I try to do life on our own, and expect things to work out. I certainly have broken a few (well many) dishes in my life when I was “in control.”

Managing the varied tasks and relationships of our lives can get quite complicated, for each category has subsets of its own. Take your family, work, ministry, school, projects, etc., then add all the pertinent subcategories. For example, using one of your kids list all the areas in his life, including problems. see the chart below:

Now don’t stop there—keep adding details to each subset. No wonder it’s so difficult to focus on any given area properly! Everything suffers:

  • Relationships wane.
  • Work efficiency plummets.
  • Our joy has left the circus.
  • And peace—what’s that?!

Unless, of course, God is the Plate-spinner. He is not one of those plates, mind you. He’s the One controlling each of those plates.

It is God directing our yielded lives that keeps us from having shattered ones.

It is through Him that we are empowered to keep all these areas going in the proper, best, and most long-lasting way.

With this type of approach, you will be able to give complete attention to one area at a time—without worrying. You can be fully present as you deal with your troubled child or work on a project deadline. Contrary to what most of us believe, our brains are not designed to multitask. Instead, you can choose to trust your Lord for guidance and wisdom as to how and when to address each area. And while you focus on that one plate, He will keep the other plates spinning and not allow any to fall and break (or even chip).

I encourage you to take each of your plates, individually and offer it to God. Be as specific as you can in naming your plates (and sub-plates). Prayerfully express your concerns about them to God. Then, by faith, let Him take control. Focus on Him instead of your plates. Follow through with whatever He says. He won’t drop the ball (plate)—He promises!

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. (Is 26:3)*

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…. (Heb 12:2)**

Remember friends, your life doesn’t have to be a circus!

 

*New King James Version (NKJV)®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

**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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