Probably the biggest desire in my life is to be more like Jesus. I know I don’t live like it every day, and I promise you I’m far from it, but whenever I sit down and think about what I would like to accomplish in my life, the only truly fulfilling thing that I see is living for Jesus. Living for Jesus involves becoming more like Him. And when one becomes like Jesus, the Fruit of the Spirit are the sign of it.
The fruit of the Spirit are a sign of spiritual growth. The important key to produce these fruit is to remain in a personal relationship with Jesus. We see this in the analogy made by Jesus in John 15:1-17, about the vine and the branches. In the bible we see that a number of “fruit” are mentioned that can be found in the life of one who is living for Jesus; the life of a disciple.
The fruit of the Spirit is the true Characteristic of a life full of Jesus. The fruit of the Spirit are not a result of human effort, but rather the result of Jesus Christ living in and working through that individual. The following scripture is where they are mentioned:
“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
Each of these fruit should be a dominating attribute of our character. And when we get deeper into a relationship with Jesus, more in-tune with the vine, we begin to bear these fruit. The following is an in depth look at each fruit:
LOVE: This is the distinguishing characteristic of an individual living their life for Jesus. (John 13:35)
JOY: This is the confidence that comes from knowing that God is sovereign. That He is in control of our lives and our future. This quality is not lost even in the midst of the great trials, grief’s and persecutions.
PEACE: This is a gift from God that transcends all understanding, and guards our hearts and our minds, even in the most trying times. (Philippians 4:6-7)
PATIENCE: This virtue we bear with one another. This also means that we trust that God is working to complete His will for us in every and any situation we face. Jeremiah 29:11 is a great scripture to remind us of this.
KINDNESS: This means to act toward others as God acts toward us, and to be sensitive to others needs.
GOODNESS: This is a virtue that makes it possible to live a transparent life before God and others.
FAITHFULNESS: To be trustworthy. It is the character of one who would die for his/her faith. (Revelations 2:10)
GENTLENESS: This virtue has to do with being considerate and sensitive to the feelings and needs of others. It is the quality we see in Jesus in Matthew 11:29; Learn from me, for I am gentle…. Jesus was truly gentle. He had the self-control to never be angry at the wrong time, but rather always at the right time….this is what we need to develop.
SELF-CONTROL: The ability to overcome the desires and appetites of the flesh, the power to live in the world, while not being a part of the world.
(The insight on the fruit of the spirit was derived from the book “Discipleship 1″, by Nick and Leona Venditti, on pages 34-35)
Each of these fruit are characteristics of God, and are the qualities that the Holy Spirit wants to form in us.
We all need to push ourselves to become more like Jesus. We will never be perfect, but that shouldn’t stop us from the process of being perfected in Jesus. This decision to be in Jesus (in-the-vine) is not a one time thing, once a year thing, once a month or week…it is a daily, moment by moment decision. The more time we spend with Jesus, the more He will rub off on us. Check yourself daily to see if these fruit are present in your life…if they aren’t, open your heart to God and let Him begin planting. Be willing to do what is neccesary to get back to the vine, and stay there. So to make it simple; spend time with Jesus.