“Stocktake Your Fruit”
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”
Galatians 5:22-23 KJV
When was the last time you did a stocktake of your fruit? That may sound like a strange question. But it is an important task that we all have to do on a regular basis. It helps us to remain healthy and steadfast in our walk in the Spirit.
It is easy to become busy and caught up in the ‘stuff’ of life, and because we are not the beneficiaries of our fruit, unless we’re diligent in taking stock we may not be aware of an issue. Until something goes wrong.
Jesus said a lot about fruit to his disciples, this is just one instance during what we call “the Last Supper”:
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples… Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” John 15:1-8, 16 KJV
If at the outset you were thinking to yourself “what’s all this about fruit? Why is it so important?” hopefully you’re starting to get the picture; Jesus uses this analogy to help those who would be his disciples, like you and me, gain a deeper understanding of what is involved in continuing “In Him” rather than just being caught up in a fad; like the latest pop Idol.
What do I mean when I say that “we are not the beneficiaries of our fruit”?
The simple fact about fruiting trees, or vines, is that it is those who either cultivate them, or those passing by get to eat the fruit and if it’s good fruit then they get to enjoy the flavour and the sustenance that it provides. Additionally, if the experience is a. good one there is a greater likelihood that the tree will be nurtured and looked after so that it will produce more of the same fruit and of the same, or better quality, in the future.
We’re going to spend some time looking at the subject of the fruit of our spirit. By spending some time contemplating each of these important attributes, the goal is to further develop our knowledge regarding the life forces that abide within us “New Creatures in Christ”; the areas where we need to spend some attention in expressing those forces so that our fruit is more beneficial to those who we encounter, and how to deal with a situation where our fruit gets ‘squeezed’.
Here are some definitions that we will use in coming sessions:
The Fruit of the Spirit is LOVE. Bear with me in this because traditionally this subject has been taught like a laundry list, with people rattling off their memory verse, without very much attention being paid to detail. But, as we proceed, the word will refer back to itself to reinforce this point.
This LOVE is expressed as:
Longsuffering (Patience, Stability under pressure)
Temperance (Self Control)
As you can see, from this breakdown alone, there’s a lot more to this topic than we may have originally thought.
As Christ’s disciples in this day and age, we need the fruit of LOVE to be flowing from us more than perhaps at any other time in history. The LOVE walk is not something we study once and then move on. The Walk of LOVE is something that we will return to again and again throughout our lives as we continue to Grow in Him.