Grow • Devotion 6

Fruit of the Spirit
Pastor Josh Yates

“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.” Galatians 5:22-25

“Where’s the beef?”

I probably just seriously dated myself, but do you remember that phrase? Wendy’s used to have an elderly lady in their commercials that was always asking that question about their hamburgers. The only hamburger place that had a decent amount of beef was Wendy’s!

Along the lines of the question in that commercial, early on in my ministry in the early 2000’s a similar question became a staple in the youth ministries I pastored, “Where’s the fruit?”

What is the fruit of your life? Do you want to know who or what you live for? Take a look at the fruit your life is producing. How do we know if we bear good fruit? We simply look at the Fruit of the Spirit found in our passage today.

There is so much in this list that Paul presents to the Galatians. Love is unconditional and the fruit upon which the rest of the gifts are founded. Peace is only found in Jesus and is a peace that passes understanding.

The next three gifts are about our relationships with other people. Patience is exactly what it means, having patience! I always joke with people that you do not want to pray for patience because God will help you learn it by giving you opportunities to practice it! Kindness is having integrity in how you treat others. It is putting others first as Jesus taught, “The last will be first and the first will be last” (Matthew 20:16). Goodness is the uprightness of heart and of life. It is seen in living for God and loving those around you.

The final three are character traits within yourself. We need faithfulness to God and to those we love. We must add remaining true and believing the best. Gentleness is another way of speaking of meekness. It is strength under control. This leads to the final fruit of self-control. This is being able to have control under pressure and temptation.

The thing about this list (at least for me) is that it is a list that I struggle to live up to. It is kind of like spiritual whack-a-mole! I think that I am doing well in loving others and then my peace is struggling. I remain faithful in a situation and then self-control gives out! This is a daunting list to live up to if it was all about you!

The list Paul gave us yesterday is a more natural list. This is the list that comes naturally to us. The flesh lives in us and is at war with the Spirit that lives in us.

The list that we read today is called the fruit of myself, right? NO! It is the Fruit of the Spirit! This is not a list to get you to try more or to strive more. It is not to make you feel like you do not measure up. The fruit of this list is born in your life as you live in the strength of the Spirit and not the flesh. The Spirit lives in you and gives you the ability to live this way.

Matthew 7:17-18 says, “So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit.” These are Jesus’ words. The fruit we bear is directly linked to who or what we are living for.

So, where is the fruit? Who or what are you living for? If the fruit of your life is lacking or represents some of the list from Galatians 5:19-21, run to Jesus. This is the beauty of the Gospel. Instead of our sin and struggle causing us to run away from God, the Gospel implores us to run to God and find His grace and mercy. Run to Jesus today and find forgiveness. Point your life toward Him and see the fruit of your life change in ways you never thought they would.

Run to Jesus and bear much fruit!

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