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The Poison of Bitter Fruit

Matthew 7:15-20 NKJV

15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

Life has a way of handing each of us less than ideal circumstances when we least expect it. These difficult life events can have an astounding impact on our character and the results we produce throughout life. Our circumstances, trials, and tribulations can make us better or bitter.

Just as the scripture above states, a good tree (a person who is spiritually sound, rooted in the truth, and connected to God) bears good fruit, but a bad tree (a person who is spiritually lost, rooted in the ways of the world, and disconnected from God) bears bad fruit.

A good tree cannot bear bad fruit just as a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.

In Galatians 5:19-21 we are warned that those who produce works of the flesh (bad fruit) will not inherit the kingdom of God.

19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

The Bible tells us what the fruits of the Spirit (good fruit) are in Galatians 5:22-23 and then warns us again in Galatians 5:24-26 to not walk or live outside of the Spirit as this produces bad fruit.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

Our purpose and role in the world is to be a good tree that consistently produces good fruit; sharing the love of Christ with every person we encounter daily.

If we are attempting to carry our burdens alone, apart from God’s help, power, and authority, we will quickly begin to see the poison of our bad fruit seeping into the lives of those around us.

Maybe you are thinking; that is me, the fruits I am producing are not good. Perhaps you think I am ‘mostly good’ but I do not think you need God to be a ‘healthy tree that produces healthy good fruits’. Some of you may even be thinking I have accepted Christ that makes me a good tree only producing good fruit.

We need to look at the details of what make a tree ‘good and healthy’, producing good fruit. When comparing to our spiritual life a good tree would need particular care that a bad tree would not have.

A good tree would first start off as a ‘good seed’ in this case it starts with the acceptance of Jesus Christ into your heart as your Lord and Savior. From this seed, the tree begins to sprout roots which will be what supports and strengthens the tree to be able to stand throughout its life.

Once the tree has a set of strong roots it slowly begins to sprout up towards the sun, in attempt to get the light and nutrients it needs to continue to live, grow and thrive. Another important part of a ‘good tree’ (spiritually speaking or literally speaking) is proper care. Seedlings and full grown trees alike must be watered daily. The water in our spiritual life is the constant pouring in to our hearts of God’s word.

As the tree grows and branches begin to form we must prune out anything that is harmful or hindering it’s growth. Sometimes pruning is necessary in our life as we grow spiritually, to eliminate possible trouble areas that threaten the quality of our fruits and our overall tree health.

Tree Lifecycle

Good seed – water/light for nutrients -roots form and tree is growing – branches sprout – pruning to shape the tree and remove anything threatening its fruit production – finally produces good fruit consistently

A quick overview of a solid healthy good fruit producing tree would look like this spiritually.

  • Person accepts Jesus Christ into their hearts as their Lord and Savior. (the good seed)
  • Then the person would water their seed daily by reading scripture and seeking God daily; inputting the necessary nutrients needed to ensure the tree has strong roots and continues to grow. (the water/nutrients)
  • The spiritual tree forms with roots deep in biblical morals, beliefs, and truth. From there the tree continues to be watered, the tree continues to grow, and branches begin to sprout.
  • At this point the tree has a stable core and root system. Enabling it to stand and withstand any storm that comes its way. The branches are forming and it is time to prune out any branches that are hindering our growth. (removing and healing parts of our life that are damaged and/or sinful to ensure our tree stays strong and healthy preparing to produce good fruit.
  • Finally good fruit is produced from a good and healthy tree: love, peace, joy, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control

I am pretty confident in saying most people have heard the saying “you reap what you sow”. In other words you do good you get good; you do bad you get bad. I could not agree more; however, I would like everyone to look into this claim a little deeper.

The fruit we produce are the seeds we are sowing into the lives of those around us, including those that we love. Children, spouses, siblings, parents, and grandparents are some of the most influenced by the seeds we sow.

Now that we have seen what it looks like to be a good tree bearing good fruit, take a look at what it may look like to be a ‘bad tree’ bearing ‘bad fruit’.

  • Failure to accept God or denial of His existence. (bad seed)
  • Failure to water and give seed the proper nutrients to grow healthy, strong, good roots. (no biblical truth inputted into their lives)
  • Tree sprouts but the core and roots are weak and unable to hold the tree firmly upright. Causing it to sway, crack, and feel the pressures of life’s storms. (core and root system is not built on sound truth, leaving it vulnerable when difficulties strike.)
  • Tree begins to form branches and preparing for fruit, however the tree cannot hold the weight of the newly formed branches (life circumstances, pressure, and emotions) and we do not have the proper tools to ‘prune’ the tree. (leaving the damage and sinful ways still attached to the trunk/core; weighing it down causing its fruit to be far less than ideal.
  • The tree produces bad fruit; fruit that is damaged, diseased, unhealthy, and destructive. The Bible gives us the examples of bad fruits; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like.

When we are living a life that is not centered around God and rooted in the truth (His Word-the Bible) the fruits (actions and results) we are producing lead to our own self destruction and it plants ‘bad seeds’ in the lives of those we care about.

Just as the good fruit plants seeds of hope, love and truth. Bad fruit will poison the life of those around us causing bad seeds to take root in their lives or cause their good fruit to transform to fleshly bitter fruit.

It is true that we act, speak, and even think like those who we are spending majority of our time with. What we take in, is what we put out. This is why it is key to plant the good seed of salvation into your life and properly care for it by watering it with God’s Word.

The great news is it doesn’t matter how big your ‘bad fruit tree’ is; there is ALWAYS the option to stop feeding the bad fruit tree and plant a new good seed, the seed of salvation and truth in Jesus Christ. Just as a typical fruit tree will die off if you stop watering it; so will your internal spiritual fruit tree.

Reflection

Everyday we make the choice as to which tree we will water and the type of ‘fruit’ we will produce. Look within yourself and think of the ways you act, speak, and think.

What kind of fruit are you TRULY producing?

  • Is it positive?
  • Is it God centered and truth based?
  • Does it line up with the fruits of the spirit in Galatians 5:22-26?

Is your inner spiritual tree a ‘good tree producing good fruit’ or ‘is it a bad tree producing bad fruit’?

  • What kind of tree do you want to have?
  • What changes if any do you feel you need to make to produce ‘good fruit’?
  • What areas of your life do you think could use some ‘pruning’ (perhaps an area you struggle in)?

Call to Action

Do you want to start over and plant the ‘good seed’ of salvation within you?

  • Say a prayer for salvation and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.
  • Start watering the seed daily by reading your Bible.
  • Pray and Study God’s Word to ensure your new tree is well rooted and strong.
  • Seek God’s guidance on any ‘pruning’ or changes that you may need to make to protect your tree from producing bitter, fleshly fruit.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for sending Your Son to save us, to live within us, and enable us to produce good and healthy fruit in our lives and those around us. Lord God, forgive me for not properly caring for my inner spiritual tree, for not studying Your Word and seeking Your guidance in all I do. Lord if there are any areas in my life that I need to prune out for the sake of Your kingdom and to ensure I am producing good fruit and sowing good seeds into the lives of my loved ones. Lord God, help me to know where I may have poisoned others fruit by my bitterness and show me if and how I can sow new good seeds.

I pray that each person who reads this blog has open ears, open eyes, and most importantly an open heart to hear Your truth. I pray that You would help each person to truly seek their heart and have discernment on the type of fruit they are truly sowing into the lives of others. I pray that they would feel Your love and the Holy Spirit would move within them and help them to take the step of faith to accept the seed of salvation if they have not already and to ignite the desire to water it with the truth in God’s Word.

I pray You will bless each and every person who seeks You with all their heart and lead their steps in the way you want them to go. It is in Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen

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Daily Devo- Godly Parenting

As parents we have many responsibilities pertaining to raising our children. We literally have to teach our children everything- from eating- to walking/talking- to how to interact in the world as they grow. Our children rely on us to teach them life’s most basic needs and provide them with the tools and knowledge needed to survive and have a fulfilling, happy life.

When you ask parents what they feel is their responsibility to teach their children- you get answers like: Feed them- Protect them- Prepare them for life. These things are all necessary but we also need to further break it down and think about what we are teaching our children.

Is it positive? Is it helpful? Will the things they are learning from us, help them or hurt them, in their futures?

How do we know what we should and should not teach our children?

This world has been grossly misinformed on how our children should be raised. They are confused by ‘lovely-sounding’ misconceptions that ultimately lead to destruction at some point in their lives.

One example is the rose theory. It alleges that children are like rose buds- if no one bothers them or interferes with them- they will naturally unfold into gorgeous roses.

Sounds nice! The problem is- children are not born with the same needs as a plant. Children need strong, loving parents- not a friend or an observer- to watch them ‘naturally unfold’.

I have heard many times in my life that having a child does not come with a how-to or instruction book on raising them. However, as I grew and had my own child- I realized this is not entirely true.

Although, when I gave birth and was ready to leave the hospital with my new little bundle of joy- no one handed me a book and said read this and you will have perfect children. The thought of thinking you can raise a perfect child without any outside interference is a bit laughable for me at this point in life. There is no way to control or predict and prevent negative life experience’s for our children- it is guaranteed going to happen- we live in a sinful, fallen world.

But we do need to be teaching our children how to be prepared and how to respond, when unexpected things happen.

The Bible is God’s handbook on life. It has a lot to say about how to raise our children and how we should and should not live our lives- furthermore it also explains why we should raise our children in a specific manner- as it leads to joy, fulfillment, love, peace, and eternal life- just to name a few.

Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it

Proverbs 22:6 NKJV

Let us take a look at seven functions of great parenting according to God’s Word.

  1. Nurturing-
    Besides the obvious nurturing in healthy foods- As parents we should be feeding them spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and socially. We teach them how to handle emotions like anger and sadness correctly. We teach them how to play and share- how to recover from grief or loss- how to laugh and how to pray. We should be teaching them how to think, listen, and learn and how to communicate effectively. Above all we should be teaching our children about God.
  2. Protection-
    All infants need protection from a loving parent to survive. Good parents seek to find a balance between protection and overprotection- especially in a world that is becoming increasingly violent.

    But we also need to provide protection over their mind and soul in an eternal sense. We should be leading by example and teaching our children about God. Protecting their minds against agnosticism (the belief that there is not enough proof to say that God does or does not exist), prejudice, hatred, and injustice.

    We must counter cultural trends that encourage superficiality (lack of thoroughness, depth of character, or serious thought) and materialism (a tendency to consider material possessions and physical comfort as more important than spiritual values) to be the basis of their thinking. We need to equip our children with the truth and train them in the way they are to live, according to God’s will, in order to protect them from these ways of thinking.

    They may temporarily rebel but they are likely to return to those good teachings they learned early in life.
  3. Creativity
    Good parents are creative with how they teach their children- correct them- play with them- spend their money- prepare them for the future- and even on teaching their children about God.

    Deuteronomy 6:4-9 NKJV- “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
  4. Education:
    Many parents seek out the best preschool for their toddlers in hopes the child will receive the best education and prep for elementary school. However, children need far more than just the text book basic academics. Children need to learn the foundation of trust.

    Trust comes from a consistent response to your child’s needs. Weather the response is tender love or tough love-likely a mixture of both, but either way the child knows you are there, you care, and will take charge for their well being.

    Preschoolers who learn how to respect boundaries and obey rules are more likely to be safer and more responsible teens. Proverbs 29:15,17 makes it clear that children respond to the rod of correction.

    One example I have seen is picturing the rod of correction as a shepherds hook- designed to prod wayward sheep away from danger. And at times, the hook is needed to rescue a sheep who has fell into real danger.

    Children can learn to know right from wrong- we simply must teach them. We need to teach them the qualities that later become the fruits of the Holy Spirit- love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, and self control. (Galatians 5:22-23)

    By teaching our children these values we are preparing them for a future in eternity.
  5. Motivation
    You set the tone of your child’s inner voice. We should be teaching our children that their life is no accident- that God has a plan and purpose for them- their only job is to seek it- find it- and follow it.

    Motivation to make one’s life count for God is taught at a young age. Parents who bless their children with this truth and help them to discover God’s best for them live a happier, more fulfilling life.

    Unfortunately, some parents choose a different route of motivation in their parenting- they declare things over their children that are negative predictions- usually done in bits of anger. These statements are detrimental to a child’s mental health and become the very curse that causes some children to fail. They believe the lies and curses their parents have said over them to be true and it robs them of the healthy motivation it takes to accomplish what they are called to do in life.

    Paul wrote in Colossians 3:20-21
    Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.

    When parents bless their children- it is easier for children to be obedient. We as parents can not ignore, neglect, or abuse our children physically, mentally, spiritually, or emotionally and think that they would or even should be obedient to us.

    God calls children to be obedient to their parents and show respect but He also tells parents NOT to provoke (stimulate or incite (someone) to do or feel something, especially by arousing anger in them.) their children.

    Bless your children with the love of Christ and they will grow to do the same.
  6. Relinquishment
    The goal of Godly parenting and training our children up in the way they should go is to raise happy, healthy, and God-fearing adults whose lives will make a positive impact in the world.

    Teaching our children responsibility through giving them chores or tasks to complete- showing them how to complete them well- and than expressing approval and appreciation will prepare them to become independent, motivated adults.

    Letting our children go out on their own into the world is a scary process. However, this process can be easier when parents have the reassurance that they are transferring them from the shelter of their parental wings to the perfect care of God.
  7. A place to return
    Teaching our children the foundational truths in God’s word will prepare them for times of struggle in life. Having a solid foundation is important for our children to successfully navigate through life’s storms.

    Sometimes children stray away from God, but they almost always find their way back. This is because they have the solid foundation in which their childhood formative years were built upon.

    This will also help bring comfort as we grow older and eventually pass away. Our children will know they are never alone- that they are a child of God and can fully rely on Him for every need.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for being a Father of love- for being patient with each of us- and for giving us Your Word so we may study it and learn more about who You are and who we are in You. Lord, I thank you for giving us this message and showing us through scripture how we should be parenting our children. I pray parents all across the nation will open their hearts to You and seek Your guidance. Lord, the world is so lost and many are chasing what they desire without giving any thought to their eternal destiny and they are falling into the traps of Satan and choosing the ways of the world. Lord, many do not even know who You really are and have never tried to know You. Many were never taught about Your love, mercy, and power and Lord I pray they would have an undeniable encounter with You. That they would feel Your love and presence and be moved to seek You more. I pray parents everywhere, including myself, would remember to teach our children about You and to live by example. I pray for Your protection over each of us and our nation as a whole. In Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen

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Daily Devo- Access God’s Power

Acts 1:8

But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Our power as a born again Christian comes directly from the Holy Spirit. When we ask Jesus to come into our hearts; the Holy Spirit (3rd person in the trinity) comes to live within us. Dwelling within our hearts and abiding with us forever more.

Witness is defined by dictionary.com as a verb meaning to see, hear, or know by personal presence and perception.

Being a witness of God doesn’t mean you merely go around telling everyone about what He has done for you. Although sharing your testimony is part of what God has called you to do- we must take notice to what the Bible says about the Holy Spirit living within us.

When we become born again believers and have accepted Jesus as our Savior we begin to walk in the spirit. The Holy Spirit is what helps us to change ourselves from the inside out- to begin living the Christian life through us.

16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

Galatians 5:16 NKJV

We can not make the changes on our own. The human species is flawed. Without Jesus being the bridge between us and God we are nothing. However, when we accept Jesus as our Savior, He bridges the “gap” of sin between us and God. He sends the Holy Spirit to dwell within us from that day on.

The Holy Spirit lives within us and bears witness to those around us as they see the changes in our life right before their eyes. We are called to be a witness through the power of the Holy Spirit so that others will see we are not like those who live for the world.

Have you accessed God’s power?

You do not have to fight the battles in this life alone. God is almighty and powerful- He has already won the war- put your trust in Him and unleash the power of God in your life!

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for sending Your son to die on the cross for my sins and bridging the gap between us. Thank you for giving me access to Your power through the Holy Spirit. Lord I confess that I get wrapped up in the moment sometimes and forget that my actions, my words, and my attitude should reflect You. That my pure existence is to be witness of Your love and to share the exciting news of God’s power, patience, and purpose for our lives. I pray that You would give me discernment and direct my paths. I pray that You will help me to exercise self-control and not be so easily swept up into the world. Thank you for Your forgiveness and promises to help me and protect me in Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen

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Discovering Absolute Truth

One who is sincere in searching for the truth will ask questions either directly or indirectly. Questions that help lead them to the truth, such as: What is truth? Where can I find it? How do I know when I find it?- and so on. On the other hand there are those who lack the sincerity of finding truth and often settle for the mindset- truth is whatever is true for me. The problem with this thinking is many people believe lies, false truths, and even have little to no knowledge of something, then go on to claim facts about a particular subject can not be true. This is a distorted way of thinking and living- robbing the person of the absolute truth which can and will set them free.

The good news is that the truth can be discovered, defined, and experienced. Making the reality- that what a person believes- DOES matter. Truth matters.

What is truth?

Dictionary.com defines truth as that which is true or in accordance with fact or reality.

Truth can not be altered and refers to things how they really are- no matter what people may believe. In the world we live in today postmodernism advocates that “something is true, if its true for me.”

Christians deny this definition because we believe in absolute truth, meaning that truth is truth- regardless of a person’s personal experiences. In order for something to be considered “truth” it must be measured, but NOT against what they believe- but against absolute truth.

God is the Absolute truth and is the foundation for all truth because He is truth.

John 14:6
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

God loves truth and hates falsehood.

Proverbs 12:22
Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord,
But those who deal truthfully are His delight.

God can NOT lie!

Titus 1:2
in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began,

Because God is truth- He holds His people to His standard of truth. Psalm 51:6 tells us we will desire the truth in our inward parts. People of truth exhibit behavior that matches their words. They seek to be accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

How can we be people of truth?

We can ask God to help us. Ask Him to lead you, guide you, and teach you what is true and acceptable to God. (Ps. 25:5) The Holy Spirit, the spirit of truth, will lead us to the truth of God’s word, give us receptive hearts and minds, and submissive will to know the truth, be the truth, and do the truth. When someone is sincere about seeking the spiritual truth, the Holy Spirit, will bear witness in our spirit through God’s word and we will know it is the truth.

In order to be a person of truth you must be genuine and authentic. This includes being honest with yourself in all areas of your life. Truth will not settle for anything less than honesty with yourself and others. When you seek the truth- it has a way of shining the light into the dark areas of our life- so that we can clean it up, dust it off, and move forward in truth.

When we are people of truth and know the absolute truth, we will behave accordingly. Truth will inspire us to live authentic lives and speak authentic truth. Truth will refuse to rename sin in our life or the lives of others. Truth will urge us to speak the truth to people- out of love- as we seek peace with others. Truth will prompt spouses to be faithful to one another. Truth will stimulate parents to live consistent lives before their children. Truth will inspire us to pray that God’s will be done.

How can the truth help me?

Truth will help you be prepared and equipped to do battle against the enemy- Satan- the father of all lies! Satan and his demons will flee from the truth. If you are in truth with God you can withstand and quench every fiery dart from the devil. No weapon formed against you shall prosper. You are protected by the full armor of God. (Eph. 6:12-18) The belt of truth has to be in place before the rest of God’s armor will fit.

Truth plays a large role in helping relationships. We have to be truthful with ourselves and others in order to be able to help them. We also have to require truthfulness from those we are trying to help. We have to be able to speak to hurting people from a place of truth and experience.

The hurting souls around us need to learn truths such as:

  • Their relationship with God is not based on performance, but on His grace and what He has already done for them- Salvation is a gift from God- not to be earned only accepted. (Eph. 2:8-9)
  • In a relationship with Jesus, they are a person of worth and value- perfectly and wonderfully made. (Eph. 1:4-5)
  • They need to accept, they are human with failures and limitations and where they are weak He(God) is strong. (2 Cor. 12:9)
  • Their pain can be used by God to help them grow and mature and then help others. (Rom. 8:28-29)
  • They can experience freedom and joy in their life with Christ. (Gal. 5:1)

The Freedom’s of Truth

Jesus promised us that the truth will set us free.

John 8:32
And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

When people know the truth- that is Jesus Christ- it sets them free from the lies and deceptions of Satan. It breaks the bondage that spiritually and emotionally binds us. The truth of Jesus can break chains and generations of sin- deliver us from the pain of our past- and break us out of the imprisonment of our emotions and thought life. The truth will help people rebuild their self-image and worth and see themselves as the unique and powerful child of God that they are.

In absolute truth that is Christ- we can be all that He intended us to be- it gives us the freedom we need to enjoy building an intimate relationship with Him.

Psalm 100:5
For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.

Just as prisoner’s long for their freedom- those bound by sin and engulfed by a negative thought life long to be free of the sins and bondage that is keeping them miserable. Jesus tells us that we can have that freedom by knowing the truth- which is Him.

Truth is not an abstract concept- it’s a reality and absolute truth can not be changed, altered, or skewed. Jesus came into the world to ‘bear witness to the truth’ (John 18:37)- He was truth in the flesh.

Jesus frees us from the consequences of sin, from self-deceptions, and from deception from Satan. The truth in Jesus will set you free! Free from sin’s death penalty and the destructive, corrosive effects of sin and deception in our minds and over our life.

Let’s Pray

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for Your truth and for the opportunity to know it and live it. Lord, help me to see Your truth in every area of my life, if there is deceit happening in me or around me- expose it in Your light. God, as I seek You and the truth- guide me, protect me, and surround me with Your love. I want to know You more, know Your truths and live a life of freedom and joy just as Your word promises. Thank you God for being a trustworthy and honest Father. Lead me in Your truth and teach me Lord, fill me with Your Holy Spirit and gird my waist with Your truth so that I can withstand the schemes of the enemy- in Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen


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9 Fruits of the Holy Spirit- Learn to walk in the Spirit

What does the “fruit of the spirit” mean?

The fruits of the spirit are 9 specific behaviors that are a result from the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of a Christian. The Greek word καρπός that we translate to “fruit” usually means fruit in the sense of edible fruits and vegetables- however can also be translated as offspring, deed, action, result, or profit. In an agrarian society, fruit is a good thing; it is the result of hard work and careful tending.

In the world we live today, we may use it in a phrase like the “fruit of our labor” in this case the “fruit” you receive from your hard work may not be apples, oranges, or corn. In fact- it’s more likely to look like a paycheck-a reached goal-a finished project- a triumph over hurt(s) or obstacle(s) in your life- perhaps for some, it’s starting a new family. The Lord blesses each person differently according to their needs and most importantly His will.

Understanding the different meanings of the word “fruit” will help you apply the scripture more appropriately and easily to your life. Helping you to understand the root meaning and recognize the fruits you are producing in your own life.

Life is all about choices– our choices produce the fruit in our life!

Read Galatians 5:16-26 – NKJV (emphasis added below)

16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

The Bible clearly shows us in Galatians 5 that the result of the Holy Spirit working in a believers life results in love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

It also shows us that in contrast to walking in the Holy Spirit— is to be walking in the flesh. In other words– doing things our way without seeking guidance from the Holy Spirit. It also goes on to tell us what the results will look like in our life if we are choosing to walk in the flesh. It specifically states the following:

  • adultery
  • fornication
  • uncleanness
  • lewdness  
  • idolatry
  • sorcery
  • hatred
  • contentions
  • jealousies
  • outbursts of wrath
  • selfish ambitions
  • dissensions
  • heresies
  • envy
  • murders
  • drunkenness
  • revelries
  • not to become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another

After having studied the above scripture in Galatians 5– I think it is fair to say, we have two choices in life– we can walk in the Holy Spirit or we can walk in the flesh.

Matthew 7:15-20 says You Will Know Them by Their Fruits

15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

Let’s take a minute to be truly honest with ourselves and God. Let’s say a prayer to ask God to expose to us our own hearts and open our minds and self to clarity in Him.

Heavenly Father,

I am thankful for Your Holy Spirit and the redemption I have in You. Lord help me to see my heart through your eyes. Expose to me the things I may not even know is happening within my mind and my heart. God I pray you give me clarity through Your word and help me to transform my heart, my mind, my entire self- to be more like You. God, I know I am far from perfect and I make mistakes daily, forgive me Lord, guide my path, restore my faith, and show me what You want me to learn in my time spent with You. Lord if I am believing something that is not true, help me to see the truth in You. Thank you God for Your promises, that never fail and Your blessings that I know you are already working on for me. In Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen

God is good! Let’s take a closer look at the 9 fruits of the spirit.

Love

There is more than one type of love.

  • Storge – empathy bond
    • Storge (storgē, Greek: στοργή) is liking someone through the fondness of familiarity, family members or people who relate in familiar ways that have otherwise found themselves bonded by chance. An example is the natural love and affection of a parent for their child.
  • Philios – friend bond
    • Philios (philíos, Greek: φιλία) is the love between friends as close as siblings in strength and duration. The friendship is the strong bond existing between people who share common values, interests or activities.
  • Eros – romantic love
    • Eros (erōs, Greek: ἔρως) was love in the sense of “being in love” or “loving” someone.
  • Agape – unconditional “God” love
    • Charity (agápē, Greek: ἀγάπη) is the love that exists regardless of changing circumstances.

      To read more from the source on the types of love click here.
      NOTE: THE WEBSITE LINKED IS NOT ASSOCIATED WITH FAITHANCHORED.COM

In Galatians 5 the type of love it is referring to is Agape love-God’s unconditional love. A love not earned but freely given to those who have accepted Him as their Lord and Savior. Agape love isn’t about what we do or do not do– it’s what has already been done for us, through Jesus Christ. This love is never changing, never failing, and covers all sin.

Jesus said in John 15:9-11

“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” 11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.”

I am sure there are others–like myself– who struggle with this- because let’s be honest– loving everyone– including those who hurt, offend, or disagree with u– is downright hard!

But with God’s help– you can love someone with an unconditional, agape, love regardless of what they may have or have not done. This is because we only have agape love through the Giver (Jesus)– so because we possess His perfect love–from walking in the Holy Spirit– we can give that love to others.

You can’t give what you do not possess. We receive His love as a result of walking in the Holy Spirit, and allowing Him to guide us. Reacting in His spirit not our flesh with each step we take.

Joy

Joy in the biblical reference is gladness in realization of God’s favor and mercy. Joy is happiness NOT dependent on your circumstances but solely on the reverential understanding of God–His power–His Will–the truth of who you are and your purpose in Him. When you have joy as a result of walking in the Holy Spirit nothing can bring you down-because you know through God that you are covered.

Nehemiah 8:10 tells us Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials..

Peace

Peace- in the biblical concept– means you are far from fear and worry when it comes to finances, trials, food, clothing, and daily essentials.

God’s word tells us in Romans 8:6 For to be carnally (fleshly) minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

Meaning if we walk in the Holy Spirit the result is the fruit of peace. The peace that surpasses all understanding. This type of peace comes from allowing the Holy Spirit to work in our mind and heart. The fruit of peace can be seen when peace comes even when life’s circumstances are far from tranquil.

John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

Philippians 4:7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Longsuffering

Longsuffering is not something we hear often in conversation- a more common word meaning the same would be- patience, endurance, constancy, steadfastness, perseverance, or even slow to anger.

When we walk in the Spirit the result is we bear fruit of patience, endurance, and become long-tempered. Through the Holy Spirit we are able to wait longer- to trust in God’s timing.

Look how Paul explained the patience of Jesus in 1 Timothy 1:16
However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.

I know I am not alone when I say I have certainly benefited from Jesus being one of great patience–especially since I haven’t always been one to “learn my lesson” the first time ..or ten! haha.

Seriously though, I am so thankful for Jesus’ patience with me. It’s never too late to make a change!

Another form of evidence that the Holy Spirit is in our life is we become patient- humble-gentle with one another. Just as Ephesians 4:1-2 shows us.

 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love

Kindness

Kindness in the biblical aspect conveys the meaning of moral goodness, integrity, and/or usefulness. In the King James Version this word is translated “gentleness,” which links it to the meaning of a gentleman or a gentlewoman, someone who behaves properly (according to God’s word), with moral integrity and kindness.   

Romans 2 reminds us that it is because of God’s goodness that we are brought to repentance and not judgement. This helps us to remember to not be judgmental and remain humble. Evidence of the Holy Spirit working in a Christian’s life is moral integrity with kindness–not getting stuck in the trap of self-righteous judgment.

Goodness

Goodness in the biblical aspect means uprightness of your heart and life. In other words-your heart is in the right place. It relates to not only being good but doing good things-expecting nothing- including recognition because you have done something “good”. Goodness from walking with the Holy Spirit acts in response of faith in His power– because God is good, it is by His power we are prompted to do good things for others that He calls us to do.

2 Thessalonians 1:11 New Living Translation

So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do.

Faithfulness

Faithfulness is a character trait based on the combination of dependability and trust in the confidence of God and His eternal promises. Faithfulness is a result of walking in the Holy Spirit– evidence that the Holy Spirit dwells within us and our faith is in Him and Him alone.

2 Corinthians 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.

Faith is evidence of things unseen– It is by faith that we understand

Hebrews 11:1-3 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

Gentleness

Gentleness (could also be translated as meekness) is a personal trait that is a result of a Christian who is walking in the spirit. It is a fruit that comes as evidence of the Holy Spirit working within oneself. It is because of God’s gentleness that we are able to show it through our actions to others.

Jesus describes himself as gentle–meek in Matthew 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

Wikipedia explains gentleness like this “Gentleness is a personal quality which can be part of one’s character. It consists in kindness, consideration and amiability. Being gentle has a long history in many, but not all cultures. Aristotle used it in a technical sense as the virtue that strikes the mean with regard to anger: being too quick to anger is a vice, but so is being detached in a situation where anger is appropriate; justified and properly focused anger is named mildness or gentleness.”

James 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, [and] easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

What a great reminder for us to be slow to anger and gentle in our words.

Self-Control

Self -control comes as a result of walking in the spirit and is the ability to control ones body and desires–physically and mentally. It is the opposite of walking in the flesh and indulging in one’s selfish desires.

Galatians 5:16-18 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law

2 Peter 1:5-9 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.


sources used: https://www.christianity.com/wiki/holy-spirit/what-are-the-fruits-of-the-spirit.html, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Four_Loves, https://www.biblegateway.com

Daily Bible Verses

D.B.V.- January 8, 2018

Galatians 6:9- Ans let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

Daily Bible Verses

D.B.V.- February 19, 2017

Galatians 6:9- And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

Daily Bible Verses

D.B.V.- June 17, 2016

Galatians 6:7– Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.

Daily Bible Verses

D.B.V.- June 16, 2016

Galatians 6:9– And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.