June 25, 2016

Fruit of the Spirit

Galatians 5:16-26

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

—  Galatians 5:22-23

Which do you prefer—mealy, tasteless apples, or crisp, tangy apples? Almost certainly, you prefer good fruit, right?

Jesus compares good fruit with godly living (Luke 6:43-45), and in our passage today, Paul uses fruit to teach us something about the work of the Spirit.

Just as a sick or dying tree will bear bad fruit, so people who are dead in sin are prone to sexual immorality, impurity, hatred, discord, and jealousy, among other things. The person whose heart has been made alive to Jesus Christ, however, naturally produces good fruit: “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”

Which fruit looks more appealing to you? Good fruit, right?

Unfortunately, no one can produce good spiritual fruit on their own. That effort is doomed to failure. Only with the working of the Holy Spirit in our hearts can we know Jesus and begin to produce the life-enriching fruit of the Spirit. Working together with the Spirit, we bear the marks of a godly life in our daily living.

What kind of fruit are you producing? Paul’s list of the fruit of the Spirit is a handy guide to see how you’re doing in your walk with Jesus. Ask the Spirit today and every day to work in your heart to produce good and wholesome spiritual fruit.

Dear Jesus, forgive us when our lives produce bad fruit. Please send your Spirit to produce in us fruit that is pleasing and glorifying to God. Amen.

About the author — Kurt Selles

Kurt Selles is the director of ReFrame Ministries and serves as the Executive Editor of Today. He is a graduate of Calvin College and Seminary, and received his PhD from Vanderbilt University. Before coming to ReFrame, he served 19 years in Taiwan and China with CRC World Missions. Kurt later taught missions at Beeson Divinity School, where he also acted as the director of the school’s Global Center. Kurt and his wife, Vicki, reside in Grand Rapids and have three adult children.

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