|THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT|
Bible Reading: Galatians 5:22-25
|Yesterday’s and today’s readings have been almost the same in order for us to think more about the work of the Spirit in re-producing the character of Christ in our lives. The word “fruit” in the original text is singular but it includes a whole cluster of the characteristics of Christ. The nine aspects of this fruit can be divided into three sets of three. Look at them this way:
Love, joy, and peace cover our inner experience. Patience, kindness, and goodness speak of our outward conduct. Faithfulness, gentleness, and self control remind us of our continuing attitude.
While we may divide the fruit in this way, remember that the Spirit does not want to produce love in one believer, joy in another and peace in someone else. We are of course different individuals with varying personalities. We may be inclined naturally to one or other of these attributes. But the Holy Spirit wants to develop all of them in the life of every believer.
Love is mentioned first. It is the kind of love God has for the whole world. It is unconquerable kindness, undefeatable goodwill. This kind of love gives sacrificially for the benefit of others. It is also seen not only in what we do but in what we refrain from doing. True love keeps on loving and giving.
Joy is not merely being happy about everything. It is the quiet confidence that we are in God’s hands and are very happy to be there. That kind of joy can be contagious also and can be a real witness for Christ.
Peace is linked with joy. It comes not from the absence of trouble but from the presence of God. It can underlay all the rest of our lives and comes as our faith rests in God Himself. We believe that God knows best and only plans what is good for us.
These are three of the experiences of a heart in tune with God. Are they yours? They can be.