Real fruit or plastic fruit
Galatians 5: 22-26 (ESV)
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit let us also keep in step with the Spirit.
I enjoy eating fresh, ripe fruit. For me, nothing is better than biting into juicy, sweet peaches, pears or watermelons. Not only is natural wholesome fruit delicious, it is also very good for your body.
Think about how fruit is produced. It is a gradual, natural process that happens slowly through a passage of time. There are no individual parts of the tree striving to make edible fruit. It is simply the result of a process of the entire tree planted in rich soil. Water, sunlight and rich nutrients from the soil are the necessary elements for fruit to be produced. The tree is the conduit for the process. Pull a fruit tree out of the ground and stick it on your back deck and you will be very disappointed with the result.
Let us now apply that same process to the fruit of the Spirit. All the fruit listed in this passage are the work of God’s Spirit. This kind of fruit is the natural process of the Holy Spirit working through the life of a Christian. That person is the conduit for the process. A person separated from the Holy Spirit will not produce fruit, just like a tree that has been separated from soil.
There is a difference from real fruit and man-made fruit. Fruit is for eating and plastic fruit is for pretending. We too are capable of making our own plastic fruit. It occurs when, in our own strength, we try to love, try to have joy and peace, try to be kind and gentle and have self-control. This kind of fruit may look good and may appear genuine to others, but when put to the test and examined under close scrutiny, it may be recognized as fake. The real fruit produced by God will stand the test of pressure and close examination. It will be genuine.
This week, if you are a child of God and desire the fruit of the Spirit, focus on spending time with God and keeping “in step with the Spirit” so that you may produce genuine fruit. If you have never accepted Jesus, you too will be able to produce good fruit if you believe in Him.