Friday, April 12, 2019

Offering the Fruits of the Spirit

By: Sarah Geringer

But 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 NIV

What is your favorite fruit?

I love fruit and eat it every day. It's hard for me to pick a favorite, but I think cherries take the prize.

When I think of fruit, happy memories come to the surface. My great-grandma put fresh raspberries in coffeecakes, wild blackberries in custard pie, and grapes from her own vine in homemade grape juice. My mouth is watering just thinking about that dark, flavor-packed juice in a Mason jar.

My grandma helped me grow my first cantaloupe when I was probably 8 years old. Nothing tasted better on a hot, humid August day than ripe cantaloupe from the garden.

Picking strawberries with my children. Fighting playfully over who gets the fresh pineapple juice while my husband and I cook Chinese food. Making a fresh cherry pie, all from scratch, with cherries picked from the tree at the family farm.

Fruit is a simple, delightful pleasure for almost everyone I know. I love that the Bible describes the best parts of the Christian life with a metaphor of fruit.

When we bear fruit through the Holy Spirit's power, we cause others to crave God. 

Our love, joy, and peace taste much sweeter than the stale offerings of the world.
Our patience, kindness, and goodness whet others' appetites with the flavors of heaven.
Our faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control are refreshing and rejuvenating compared to the harsh, bitter everyday fare that lost and hurting souls take in every day.

You know how wonderful fresh fruit tastes. When you share the fruit of the Spirit with others, you give them a taste of God's goodness and abundance. 

I know it's difficult to keep offering good fruit when you feel worn down. The beauty of this scripture is that you don't really have to do anything except depend on the Holy Spirit to produce fruit through you. 

When you abide in God's presence, you are connected to the Vine who will produce fruit in your life.

Friend, I encourage you to draw close to Jesus in these twelve days before Easter. Consider His sacrifice for you, and how you can share the good news of Easter with someone this year.

Abide in Jesus' presence, and He will produce fruit through you.

Remember, you may be the only person who shows Jesus to someone else today. What you do and say really matters, because you are chosen and loved by God, and He has given you a unique purpose to fulfill.

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Have a wonderful weekend!

Blessings and God's peace to you,

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Reflection questions:

1. Which fruit of the spirit is easiest for you to bear, and why?

2. How can you bear more spiritual fruit leading up to Easter?

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