One of my favorite topics in the Bible is the Fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” So this month, we’re talking about “My Fruit-Full Life.”
What constitutes a fruitful life? For some, it may be money, success, and achievements. But all of that is temporary. The only lasting fruit is the Fruit of the Spirit. And when we look at the life of Jesus – we see all nine perfectly modeled for us to emulate.
Love: No one loves like Jesus loves. He said, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13). He demonstrated this love on the cross when He died for our sins.
Joy: Scripture records that Jesus was rich, yet He became poor so that through His poverty, we may become rich (2 Corinthians 8:9). The Bible also speaks of Jesus’ sorrow…. It may be hard to see past those moments and wonder if Jesus could be joyful, but He was. His joy wasn’t based on circumstances, yet He shares His joy so that we can experience it, too. He said in John 15:11, “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.”
Peace: In addition to joy, Jesus also gives us His peace. He said in 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.” We can have peace in the middle of chaos because of Jesus.
Patience: Peter, one of Jesus’ closest disciples, would write, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). He should know – he was on the receiving end of Jesus’ patience more than once!
Kindness: Everywhere Jesus went, He demonstrated kindness to others. He encouraged kindness, even going so far as to encourage His followers to show kindness and love to their enemies (Matthew 5:40-43)!
Goodness: The goodness of Jesus could never be faulted. His acts of goodness and mercy were demonstrated throughout the Gospels, especially as He regularly extended His goodness on those who needed healing and comfort.
Faithfulness: Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” We can count on His faithfulness because His character and goodness never change.
Gentleness: It’s important to note that gentleness does not equate to weakness. In Matthew 11:29, Jesus said, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” It’s through His strength that we are invited to find rest. When we lean on Him, He gently helps us through every circumstance.
Self-Control: Jesus regularly modeled self-control throughout His ministry, but nothing compares to the self-control He exhibited during His torture and execution. In John 19:11, Jesus responded to Pilate, saying, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above.” Despite His beatings, the mocking, and the crucifixion – He who had the power to pull Himself off the cross endured it all for our sakes.
Jesus showed us how to live according to the Fruits of the Spirit and when we let the Holy Spirit lead in our lives, He will make them manifest in us, too.
And with that said, we reach my favorite part of Galatians 5:22-23: “Against such things there is no law!” You can demonstrate love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in a powerful way when you allow the Holy Spirit to guide you every day. While our world grows increasingly antagonistic towards Christian values, no one can argue against the Fruit of the Spirit! It’s truly a gift for Christians to embrace as they grow closer to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to make us more like Jesus!
Verse of the Month: Galatians 5:22-23
Recommended Reading: Listen, Love, Repeat, by Karen Ehman; The Spirit Filled Life, by Charles Stanley; Paul: A Man of Grace and Grit, by Charles Swindoll