October 13, 2008
A Harvest of Fruit
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law,”
Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)
Autumn harvests laden our table with fresh fruits and vegetables. We decorate our homes with a hollow, horn-shaped wicker basket called a cornucopia, or the “Horn of Plenty.” Apples, oranges, bright gourds, and multi-colored Indian corn spill from the basket as reminders of the abundance of God’s blessings in our lives.
The apostle Paul speaks of another kind of fruit – the fruit of the Spirit. He writes, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23).” We do not need to worry about over indulging this type of fruit. God desires us to be so full that we absolutely overflow with His Spirit.
However, in order to harvest the fruit of Spirit we must sow it in our lives. Galatians 5:25 gives us a tip on how to begin to reap this crop, “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” As a farmer labors to produce his crop, so we must work hard, too. When we allow the Holy Spirit to fill our lives, we choose to react in a godly manner when people annoy us and circumstances move beyond our control. We must determine to keep in step with and surrender to the Holy Spirit rather than allow our human nature to overtake us. Think about the following circumstances in which we could allow the Spirit to take control of our attitudes and emotions:
· A fight with our husband
· Parenting teens
· Neighbors who annoy us
· An unappreciative boss
· A fender-bender in a parking lot
· The dishwasher overflowing
· An uncaring doctor
What would you add to the list? Whatever creates irritability, impatience, or discontent could be added. Of course, the key to any type of adversity is to remember the words of Jesus, “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper shall not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.” (John 16:7, NASB).” The Helper is the Holy Spirit. He will help us produce the fruit of the Spirit if we allow it. With the Spirit’s help, we can obtain an overflowing abundance of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness
and of course, self-control.
Will you join me in a harvesting the fruit of the Spirit this autumn?
Dear Lord, teach me to walk in Your Spirit. I want to harvest all the aspects of Your Spirit. Infuse me with Your love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. When I find myself in adverse circumstances, remind me to keep in step with Your Spirit. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Birds in My Mustard Tree: For Those Who Struggle with Faith by Susanne Scheppmann
Pierced By the Word: 31 Meditations for Your Soul by John Piper
Visit Susanne’s blog for more encouragement.
Place a cornucopia on your kitchen table during this harvest season as a reminder to yourself to pursue the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Allow yourself to overflow with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and, self-control. Make a mental note to keep in step with the Spirit throughout your day.
Which traits of the fruit of the Spirit do I need the most?
Am I willing to pay the cost to obtain a harvest of righteousness?
In what circumstances do I need to call on the Holy Spirit as my Helper?
Galatians 5:25, “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” (NIV)
John 16:7, “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper shall not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.” (NASB)
Ephesians 5:8-10, “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.” (NIV)
Romans 15:13, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (NIV)
© 2008 by Susanne Scheppmann. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Monday, 13 October 2008.