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Posts Tagged ‘#fruitofthespirit’

I think that one of my favorite chapters in the Bible is John 15. It begins with the vine and branches, migrates into how the world hates the disciples and ends with the work of the Spirit. Though they may have three different titles, they are all about abiding.

Charles Swindoll says that to “abide” with God (the vinedresser) is being at home with him. I love this translation for it feels warm, connected … it feels like a choice.

Indeed, abiding is a choice.

Often the verse of focus is John 15:5 :

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you are at home with me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing …”

But verse 8, where Jesus says how it will be known if we are at home with him is equally important :

“This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”

An apple tree cannot produce oranges, A grape vine cannot produce tomatoes. And a branch that is intwined with others, but not attached (not at home with) the vine, produces nothing of the fruit of that vine.

Though we may produce fruit in our lives, it is only because we are attached to the vine … at home with God.

I was remembering recently at time when, as a teenager, I met someone, who was sure he knew me from somewhere. He asked where I worked, and I told him I worked at Tim Horton’s. His eyes lit up, as he then named the location where I worked. He said that he went there frequently and always knew I was a Christian because of how I treated the customers.

As I remembered that story I found myself wondering … is whose I am still evident to a stranger? Can strangers identify me by the fruit of how I live my life? can family and friends?

is it obvious that I am at home with Christ?

I can only hope that the fruit of my living is Him. This comes only as I allow Him to produce the fruit of my connection to Him.

There are many who claim that name of Christ, but the fruit of their lives does not indicate that they are at home with the Lord. Our fruit is in what we say and also in what we do. We know this, because we can easily see the contradictions in their lives.

The most evident fruit of the spirit of God is love … if what we see from ourselves or others who claim the name of Christ is not love … they are not at home with Christ.

“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35

“God didn’t want me to do more for Him.

He wanted me to be more with Him.”

― Bruce H. Wilkinson, Secrets of the Vine: Breaking Through to Abundance


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I do not remember who said it, but I once heard something that resurfaces in my thoughts, and it went (somewhat) like this:

We need to remember that there are people around us, ones we work with, neighbours, families on your kid’s soccer team, the cashier at your grocery store, who are the future inhabitants of hell.

Quite a statement, indeed, and one that many of us might view as a rather extreme, and possibly even a negative way to look at those around us. And yet …

Recently, in a post called He May Never Know …, I shared about how a young man introduced our son to the love of God, and how he had greatly encouraged him, with his unconditional acceptance and love.

The spirit of God resides in us, but it is not for our benefit alone. The Spirit is the seed, our trust and faith in that seed is the soil, and how we live is the fruit.

It is the fruit of how we choose to live our lives, how we choose to treat others, that either entices or repels others to the seed (Spirit) within us.

Dr. Charles Stanley said,

” … all of us need to be encouragers because we live in a world full of people who are discouraged.”

And how do we encourage the discouraged? By allowing the seed of the Spirit to grow and ripen in our lives, until it bursts from us in the sweetest of fruits … in the form of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control (that last one is a struggle for me, in so many areas).

Though Christ can, and does, work in spite of us, I would suggest that if his Spirit is living within us, he purposes that we work with him in the pursuit of rescuing lost souls.

Perhaps I am wrong in my assertion, but what if I am right?

 

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I love almost all fruits that I have ever tasted.

I love the sweetness

the juice they produce

and the way I feel after eating fruit.

Earlier today I was thinking about fruit too, but a different kind of fruit.

The fruit I was thinking about was the kind that is not edible, but it can be palatable. It is not something you can pick off a branch and hold in your hand, but when it is there it is all that you can see, and smell. It is not something that provides a taste of sweetness, but it’s absence can leave a sour taste in ones mouth. It is the fruit that comes from a living, nourished, well-watered life rooted in the Creator.

By no means am I indicating that I am a living example of that fruit, but it is a goal that I have for my life. I know how sweet my life is when I am connected to the branches of the Creator. I know of the amazing things that can be produced, that can happen, when I am producing the fruit I was intended to produce. I know how wonderful I feel, how purpose-led my days are when I am taking in the aroma, the energy of the God who lives.

When my life is rooted in the soil of the Creator

I am healthy

I am growing

I am sweet (desirable to be with) for those around me.

When I look at trees in an orchard, I cannot tell what trees they are. But, when I look at the fruit, hanging off their branches, it is easy to identify what types of trees they are. It is by their fruit that I know them.

In the same way, for many people, the only way they know who the Creator is, is by His creation. And His most spectacular creation is that of humankind. We are his creation, and how we live our daily lives is the fruit of His creation. It is through the fruit of our lives that others can see where we are rooted, what is feeding us, who makes us grow, and whether or not we are sweet (desirable to be with).

Some days (weeks, months … years) I am pretty sour, or poorly rooted, or malnourished, or withered. And it is never because of the Creator … but is always because I have not responded well to the pruning (struggles), or I spent too long focusing on receiving the  watering (selfishness), or the light (the externals), or I am overly concerned about growing farther away from my roots (independence). If only I would focus on where I am planted, and recognize that it is only through the purposes of my Creator that I can thrive where I am, and produce the sweetest of His fruits.

What is produced in my life, is only a reflection of what I am attached to, and of who is granting me life. And this is only possible as I relinquish control, and allow the nature of my Creator God to produce the fruit in my life. And that is good fruit … always in season.

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