Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Quality of the Fruit

We heard a great sermon on Sunday.  Our church is blessed to have Ken Thiessen (an author, consultant, former pastor and area minister) as a part of our congregation, and he occasionally takes the mic when the pastors are away.

He spoke about counterfeit things, and how you can tell if something's real.  Products can be fake (Riders and Jets jerseys in Mexico?), but people also can put on a false front.  The test is to look at the fruit - you can identify a tree by its fruit, and you can identify people by their actions.

I claim to be a Christian - but how is the quality of the fruit in my life?  My actions flow out of my inner character, and prove or disprove what I claim.  The 'Fruit of the Spirit' are listed in Galatians 5:22 & 23:  
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
patience, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Against such things there is no law. 

The fruit of the Spirit - it is the Holy Spirit that produces these fruit:
* this means that the Holy Spirit must be present in me, &
* this means that it is impossible to manufacture these apart from the Holy Spirit - I can't do it on my own.

So how do I test the fruit?  There is no magic formula or checklist, but an honest self examination will reveal the quality of these characteristics in my life.  I drove my daughter out to camp yesterday, and had a great hour long drive home in silence - time to think through the list and reflect.  Honestly, there are a lot of areas I would like to see an improvement in... and since I can't make them grow, I will focus on providing a good climate for growth.  Just as plants need good soil, light and water, I need to soak myself in the word, feed on Jesus, the bread of life, worship, and be thankful and pray in all circumstances.  That's off the top of my head - I'm curious what YOU do to provide yourself with an optimal circumstances for growth.  Leave a comment for us?

So thanks, Ken, for the thought provoking message - I hope many others will take the time for reflection this week, too.  (You can hear the whole message if you go to the church website, select Worship, then Messages onDemand - it wasn't up yet this morning, but should be soon.)

And because a reminder is always a great thing, I searched 'Fruit of the Spirit' on Pinterest... might find a nice print to put up in the house on there!

I also posted along these lines on As the Bus Goes By - Prayers for my Children.

No comments: