Monday, July 7, 2014

The God Soil: Part Six (Luke. 8:15)

But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience. (Luke 8:15 KJV)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23 NASB

The Great Commision of Jesus was His last instruction to the followers before He returned to heaven. Go and make disciples. He expected His disciples to share the Good News throughout the world, teaching others His words, and helping them to become disciples of Jesus themselves. When we think of "bearing fruit", we often assume that refers to making disciples, and it does. 

"Making disciples" is not the only kind of fruit-bearing we need to do, however. Before we head out to make disciples, we need to first be disciples. To understand what the fruit of discipleship entails, we need look no further than Paul's letter to the Galatians. He listed the fruit of the Spirit so that there could be no doubt. 

 love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control

There is a tendency to think that these fruit are like spiritual gifts. We can have one or the other, but certainly not all of them at once. Not so, my friends. The expectation is that the work of the Spirit of God will produce all these characteristics in our lives. In fact, He will continue to work in us until they are present in our lives. 

When the fruit of the Spirit is present in our lives, the evidence of discipleship is there for all to see. How can this amazing  array of characteristics be present in our lives? When the seed of the Word of God is planted in a pure, honest, obedient heart and allowed to grow, it will produce the fruit of the Spirit. 

You may well ask, what if I need more patience? More faithfulness? More self-control? More love? If more fruit is needed, perhaps the starting point should be more seed, more of the Word of God in the form of Bible study. Don't forget, though, that the Seed needs fertile soil, free of impediments, to growth. 

What about our hearts? Are the fruit of the Spirit present in our lives and visible for all to see?  If not, why not?

Today pray that we and loved ones would be so filled with the fruit of the Spirit that all will recognize our Lord from whom they came. 
Link to last night's post (praying for terrorists) is here: