The Fruit of the Spirit
Who doesn’t want to be more loving, joyful, at peace, patient, kind, full of goodness, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled?
Each of those are the fruit that the Bible says we should be bearing (John 15:16). I know I would love to see each one of those more in my own life – wouldn’t you?
So, what do we need to do to bear more fruit?
1. Fruit needs water in order to reach it’s fullest potential
You can probably ask your five-year old how to take care of a plant and they will tell you that it needs water to survive. And if you have ever kept a garden, you have surely realized that if you only water it once a week during the summer months, your harvest is going to be much smaller.
On the other hand, if your plants are receiving frequent and consistent waterings, the plants are going to be stronger and the fruit is going to be better.
Psalm 1:3 (NIV) – He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.
2. Good soil is very important
The soil contains a lot of the nutrients that cause the growth of the plants. There are tremendous differences between good soil and bad soil. This is one of the reasons I said that good potting soil is worth spending more on. We need to be spiritually receptive to allow the seeds of God’s word to grow and develop the way they should.
Matthew 13:23 (NIV) – The one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.
3. Death brings life
John 12:24 (NIV) – I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.
We must die to ourselves and our own desires and submit to God’s plan. In doing so, like the above verse states, we will bear much fruit.
4. Pruning produces more fruit
I am by no means an expert gardener, but I have found this one to be true. It doesn’t make sense while you are doing it, but the results prove its effectiveness. God is an expert gardener and He knows which areas of our lives can be pruned to make us more effective. It does hurt, but the end result is beautiful.
John 15:2 (NIV) – He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.
5. A branch can’t bear fruit separated from the plant
That is a no-brainer right? Well, I don’t know about you, but I have caught myself trying to do that in my own life. I will find myself trying to accomplish things in my own strength rather than “abiding in Him.” All the fruit that we will bear in our lives will be a result of us being connected to our source: God. Just like a severed branch can bear no fruit, neither can we bear any fruit if we are not abiding in Him.
John 15:5 (NIV) – I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
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Kevin at OutOfYourRut says
Bob–Good job bringing clarity to the agricultural references in the Bible. One of the reasons for our biblical illiteracy is the fact that, being a modern, industrial society, we don’t always fully appreciate the references used in scripture, because they aren’t relevant in the world we live in.
I’ve been in a Bible study group for a number of years and one of the things we do is spend some extra time diciphering those references. Sometimes we need to bring in outside resources to help us along, but the clarity is always worth the extra time.
Susan Nazarewicz says
Thank you for that article. I moved from one city to another six months ago (Tulsa to Lynchburg, VA) with my husband and it was a time of pruning. It really hurt. Now I realize that I was not doing anything wrong. I was just being pruned. And it takes TIME for new growth in ministry to come forth. But now I am beginning to see fruit again and I am so glad and thankful. I am leading praise and worship for a small church now and I can see opportunities to promote my book – I Want to Witness, But What Do I Say? God is so good, so faithful and so kind.