"If you write FOR a particular market or FOR a particular editor you will often miss the mark. But if you write because your fingers have danced across the keyboard, because a character has tapped you on the shoulder, because a story has settled in your heart, then even if you never sell it you have done the work you were meant to do. And sometime, dear readers, real magic happens." Jane Yolen

11/3/08

Monday Manna - Fruit

For this Monday, Kristen at Exemplified invited us to share our thoughts/perceptions on Galatians 5:22-23. Be sure to stop by her blog to see what other wonderful, God-fearing folk had to share about these words of God.


Here is my contribution.


The Fruit of the Spirit. I've often pondered these two verses from Galatians. There is much to desire in them. I've even decided to pick, shall we say, a "fruit a week," and work on it in particular, attempting to better look like my Savior.

In case you aren't aware, this is (excuse the pun) a fruitless endeavor. I can't make myself exhibit this fruit any more than I can "make myself" acceptable to God.

In reviewing this passage, especially the first verse, I consulted several translations. Look at what I found in the Amplified Version. If you would, pay special attention to the first part of verse 22.

But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge]. Galatians 5:22-23 AMP
First, note that it is the fruit...is - not the fruit, or fruits, are. These are not individual things to "work on." It's one fruit. This is not a list of character traits that we need to strive for to be more like Jesus, or to please Him. It is, for lack of a better term, a package deal.

Next, look at what "it" is. This fruit comes from the Holy Spirit - God Himself. And it is "the work which His presence within accomplishes." We do not accomplish it on our own, any more than we earn our salvation. When we are saved, the Holy Spirit comes and lives with in us. And like a seed planted in the ground, He produces a crop within us--His own fruit.

Every person who is a child of God has this fruit within us--all of it. And, through a process of growth and yielding to the Spirit and God's will in our lives, each facet of it will bloom, showing outward evidence of the Spirit that lives within us.

It's easy to look at this list of Spiritual fruit and think "I really need to work on 'fill in the blank.'" But that's not what it's about. What we need to do is "work on" giving the Spirit control. Once cultivated by the Master Gardener, the fruit will come.

Heavenly Father, thank you for Your precious Word, and for sending Your Spirit to live within us and bear fruit, the Fruit of Your Spirit, through us. Help me to yield to You and allow this Fruit to blossom within me. Let others see this wonderful Fruit and know that it is You who produced it. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.

7 comments:

  1. A couple of years ago, I did Beth Moore's study called "Living Beyond Yourself" which is a study of Galatians 5:22-23. Your thoughts clearly resonate with many of the truths she highlighted in her study.

    In particular, I love the truth about how it is God's working within us (via the power of his Holy Spirit) to bring about the fruit. Our job is to stay connected to the Vine and to keep tending our souls for the harvest.

    Wonderful Monday manna!

    peace~elaine

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  2. This is a wonderful post and a very important revelation. It is not us but it's the Holy Spirit working within us to produce the fruit of the Spirit.

    thank you for sharing.
    Vickie

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  3. I loved your thoughts today on the fruit. We really do need to work on letting His Spirit take control and do this thing through us.

    Without him, I'm just one small incident away from throwing a banana at someone. Not what He had in mind when he told us to "cultivate" our fruit, huh? ; )

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  4. Hi Joanne,
    It seems we did have some similar thoughts on the fruit, didn't we (I LOVE the amplified version of this passage too)? Your post is beautiful and this part so eloquently expresses it: "Every person who is a child of God has this fruit within us--all of it. And, through a process of growth and yielding to the Spirit and God's will in our lives, each facet of it will bloom, showing outward evidence of the Spirit that lives within us"
    Thank you for the post! You are truly gifted and encouraging in your writings.

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  5. Looks like we both got the same thing from this verse - I love when that happens!

    Awesome post!

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  6. Great insight We are not seeking to produce a list of fruits but one fruit which the holy Spirit produces.

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  7. Jo, I needed this teaching today. Wonderful insights - especially about the "fruit" being singular, and it coming by HIS work. Now if I could stop trying so hard. :)

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Thanks for stopping by. I would love to hear your thoughts - please share them!


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