I lost it with my kids the other day....completely, one-hundred percent lost it. I yelled at them for trashing the den while I was with their baby sister, trying desperately to get nap time on her mind. One started crying, the other came to hug me, and I had to say "I'm sorry" very quickly. I was not patient and long-suffering with my kids that day. I was not kind, gentle, and self-controlled. I chose to dig into the arsenal of my sinful flesh and I pulled out some very ugly weapons. Had I reached into the treasure trove of my fruit basket, things would have turned out much better.
Yep...you read that right. I said, "fruit basket"! And guess what? If you're a Christian, you have one, too!
Truth #6 - You have the fruit of the Spirit.
In other words, you're fruity! :)
Galatians 5:22-23 identifies the contents of our baskets -
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law."
The Spirit, who dwells inside you, is constantly working on you! He's continually pruning you and reshaping you, so that you will bear much fruit! Just as a well-kept apple tree will produce a wonderful harvest, so will you, as the Spirit does His work.
Just beware, that you always have a choice. You are a new creation, you've been marvelously redeemed, and you have the Holy Spirit as your guide...but your rotten, stinky, fleshly-side must be crucified daily...even at times, moment-by-moment. Unfortunately, it will want to rear it's ugly head and you'll sometimes want to side with it, just like I did in the example above.
Remember, Paul said,
"So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me." Romans 7:21
"We have an indwelling desire to sin, but the Holy Spirit maintains within us a dominate desire for holiness." (quote from "The Pursuit of Holiness" by Jerry Bridges)
There is no doubt, each one of us struggles with our flesh, but as Christians, our lives should be characterized by the fruits of the Spirit over and above it all!
The Bible says,
"You shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?" Matt 7:16
In other words, your fruit should be showing...significantly!!
Ask yourself some hard questions, and if you're brave enough, ask those closest to you to give you an honest assessment. Question them...
"Am I patient? Would you say that I am kind? Do you see me as a loving person? What about faithful? Self-controlled? Gentle? Good? Joyful? Peaceful?"
My guess is that if you're lacking in any area, you'll already know it. Those areas are probably some of the ones that the Holy Spirit is working with you on the most! And, aren't you so thankful that He doesn't give up?! Aren't you so thankful for His grace?
I know I am! I sure needed it the other day with my kids. I need it every day that comes!!
Lord, help us all to be more fruity and fruitful for You! Help us to stay yielded to You as You work on us, pruning our lives and tilling up the soil of our souls. It is our sincere desire that as others view our lives from the outside, they will notice a difference in us by the way we deal with and relate to others. Would You help our lives to be so characterized by the fruits of the Spirit that we can witness to others without saying a word?
Need to catch up on this series?