I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
John 15:5 (NIV)
When we want to discover what another is truly like,…we look at their commitments, their actions…and we listen to their words! We’re looking at the FRUIT of their life. What kind of fruit are we bearing?
Our fruit is many times a byproduct of things that have happened in our life. Have we had a perfect, unspotted life? Most would say a resounding “NO!”
We’ve all faced challenges…been treated unfairly…not had life turn out as we wanted. It’s simply the Human experience.
It’s also the result of how we were raised. If we grew up in a home that emphasized hard work to attain goals…we will be hard workers. If truth and honesty have been instilled in us, we will act in truth and be honest with others. If others have shown compassion for our plight, we will also hopefully show mercy to others. However, upbringing is not always a sure sign of fruit in our lives.
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8 (NIV)
Are we following God’s requirement for our life? Do we treat others as we’ve like to be treated? If God is always placed in the center of our lives, we will instinctively look to Him for guidance as we make our decisions.
This is always the hardest of God’s commandments for me to follow! I want to do things myself! If I’m not hurting anyone or doing something illegal what’s the big deal?
Are we bearing any fruit by our actions? It’s for God’s glory that we do so. If we dwell only on what will be good and beneficial for us, we’ve sort of missed the point. We’re supposed to be living our lives for God…not men. So I guess doing things only for myself IS a big deal to God.
Of course we want our families to be happy and well-cared for…but so does God. We have to ask Him to show us how He wants us to spend our days. Especially in difficult times, our trust needs to be in God first! We need to EXPECT Him to answer our prayers. It may come in ways we don’t expect, but it WILL come.
Those who put their trust in God…
They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.
Jeremiah 17:8 (NIV)
Our fruit will show up in what kind of character our children display, how we treat others, the impression we leave with our clients and associates and most importantly,…how we honor our heavenly Father. Honoring God will be manifest in how we respond to whatever life is handing us.
Are we kind and gracious only when life is going our way? How do we respond when life isn’t going as we planned? Our real character seems to show up not in good times…but in how we handle interruptions, setbacks and difficulty. This is when the fruit of God the Holy Spirit is most evidenced in our lives.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Galations 5:22 (NIV)
Talent, success, intelligence, attractiveness and lots of influence are the fruits our world seems to prefer. They are indeed fruits! Is that how we want to be remembered though? What about kindness, compassion, generosity, humility and service? If we add ‘self-control’ we have the fruits of the Holy Spirit.
Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to guide us towards what God desires for our lives. The Holy Spirit gives us the power to DESIRE new things in our life. Our job is simply to cooperate with Him in our thinking to accomplish His plans.
Then we will be showing God’s fruit of choice.
Help us to mold our character and accomplishments to be a reflection of You. We want our fruit to reveal that we are your children.
Give us the desire to produce fruit that pleases both You…and others.
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