But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.Galatians 5:22-23, NIV
We had a tiny strip of a vineyard on the farm where I grew up. My dad and I were much better at farming vegetables than tending a vineyard. The birds or other animals would steal the muscadine grapes or the cows would get too close and stomp on the vines. Still, it was interesting as a child to run my hands along the vines and see the mess of grapes left behind. I understood the growth of the land and witnessed the seasons of change.
The vine branch surrenders to the pruning of its master. In January, the knowledgeable vineyard owner prunes back the vines to make room for new growth. The vines need to be pruned back by 90 percent! While the pruning looks severe and dead in the winter months, the farmer knows the potential for the growth to come. Indeed, when the weather is kind and the soil tendered and the time is right, the harvest can be plentiful.
So too, God prunes us to make way for new growth. It may be painful, but necessary for new growth and life within us. When we have truly surrendered our lives to God, we will often see the result of the transformation.
I have changed as I have grown and matured, and I know God sees my potential and growth more than even I can.
God is the continual gardener since the time of the Garden of Eden until the end of time.
The more we practice the fruit of the spirit, the more these attributes can come alive in us. It is not an easy endeavor; we are imperfect creatures and are needful of God’s grace and love.
Yet, when we practice the art of love rather than hate, joy rather than ingratitude, peace rather than strife, etc… we learn the skills needed to please God and build up the good fruit/harvest of our lives.
What opportunities do you see to build up others?
What experiences in your life allow you to reflect on (love)? Spend 5 minutes thinking about this moment. (Or joy, peace, forbearance, kindness. etc.)
Dear Lord, Holy Spirit dwell within us. May the stance of our hearts bring us the freedom you desire in us. Help us to live in your image of love and fullness. Like a flower which seeks the sun, may we orient ourselves to You, God of the heavens. Amen
“Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”John 15:4-8, NIV
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Practicing the Fruits of the Spirit: A Book Reflection – In Thought, Word & Deed (katierea.com) A blog about the book Neuroscience and the Fruit of the Spirit. Our bodies literally change based on our loving actions.
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