May 01, 2023

The 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. Against such things there is no law.

—  Galatians 5:22-23

Winter had not yet lost its icy grip on the Canadian prairies when our family flew to southern California for a vacation. Soon after arriving, we stumbled upon a grapefruit tree in a park. We often bought grapefruit at the grocery store, but the thought of picking a grapefruit straight from a tree and eating it right there was a temptation we could not resist!

But all of the low-hanging fruit had already been picked. So one of our daughters, sitting on my shoulders, took a long stick and was able to reach high enough to knock down a juicy, ripe fruit from the tree. Never had a grapefruit tasted so good to us!

Years later that same daughter, now an adult, sat on my shoulders again to reach bananas on a roadside tree in Hawaii. We had an apple tree and a pear tree in our own backyard, but this fruit was different. From our perspective it was . . . well, exotic!

This month our daily devotions will focus on fruit—not fruit that grows on trees but fruit that is produced in us by the Holy Spirit. While traces of love, joy, peace, forbearance (patience), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control are present in most everyone’s lives, these traits take on a new and vibrant dimension when we walk in step with the Spirit.

Lord, fill us with your Spirit so that we may produce fruit in keeping with your purpose for our lives. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

About the author — George Koopmans

George Koopmans has served as an ecumenical chaplain at Medicine Hat College in Medicine Hat, Alberta, since November 2021. Prior to entering into chaplaincy, George served as a pastor to two congregations—one in Minnesota (Luverne), and the other in Medicine Hat. George and his wife, Emily, have four adult daughters and three grandchildren. Hiking, biking, and birdwatching are his favorite hobbies.

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