Galatians 5:22, 23
One day while visiting a remote village in southern Moldova, a precious Moldavian family invited our family to come to their home for lunch. When we arrived, we could see a huge table set up outside the house under a veranda. The veranda was covered with luscious green vines laden with the biggest grapes I had ever seen anywhere in the world.
As I sat there with Denise and our boys, I looked up to examine the green, white, red, and purple grapes—mixtures of grapes I had never seen before. Soon it was time for dessert, but instead of ice cream or cake, oversized platters overflowing with grapes were placed on the table right before us. We had never seen such plump, colorful grapes, so at first we just looked at them in amazement. When we finally put them in our mouth and bit down, the juices literally flowed. That was the sweetest fruit we had ever tasted in our lives! My taste buds can almost taste them again as I write about it now.
Fruit is wonderful! It is healthy, beneficial, and delicious. This is one reason the apostle Paul used the word “fruit” to describe the wonderful things the Holy Spirit wants to produce inside our lives!
After Paul discusses the works of the flesh in Galatians 5:19-21, he begins to elaborate about the fruit that the Holy Spirit produces in a believer’s life. In Galatians 5:22 and 23, he writes, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance….”
Just as Paul previously described the works of the flesh, now he tells us what the Holy Spirit wants to produce in us—and what a contrast there is between the flesh and the Spirit! The flesh produces “works”—from the Greek word ergos, which implies hard work or hard labor. As noted earlier (see July 14), a life dominated by the flesh is filled with excess, imbalance, unhealthy extremes, laziness, self-abuse, hatred, strife, bitterness, irresponsibility, and neglect. It is the hardest route for any individual, yet the flesh still cries out to be in charge, screaming to have its own way, demanding to be the boss. On the other hand, a life dominated by the Holy Spirit is filled with benefits and blessings!
Look at what the Spirit produces—fruit! The word “fruit” is from the Greek word karpos, which describes the fruit of plants, the fruit of trees, or the fruit of one’s body, such as a person’s children or offspring.
Regardless of whether it is a plant, an animal, or a human, all fruit is produced from some kind of seed. If there is no seed, there is no fruit—and the kind of seed that is sown determines the fruit that will be produced (Genesis 1:11, 12). Apples always produce apples; oranges always produce oranges; dogs always produce dogs; cats always produce cats; humans always produce humans. The character of the seed determines the fruit.
The moment you received Jesus as your Savior by faith, God sowed His Spirit and Word into your heart like a seed, and you were spiritually born again by the incorruptible seed of the Word of God (1 Peter 1:23). And just like apples always produce apples and oranges always produce oranges, God’s seed inside you immediately began to produce God! The kind of seed always determines the outcome of the fruit; therefore, you should expect your life to yield the fruits of the Spirit, for that is the seed God has sown into your heart.
Does a vinedresser worry that his grapevines might produce oranges? Of course not! He knows that grapevines only produce grapes. Does the owner of an orange grove run to the orchard to see if his tress produced watermelons? Of course not! He knows his tress will produce oranges because orange trees only produce oranges. If someone wants to grow watermelons, he has to plant watermelon seeds. Once those watermelon seeds are in the ground, he can rest assured that eventually he will have long vines growing juicy watermelons in his garden.
The same principle holds true in the spiritual realm. To get what you want, you have to plant the right seed, because seed always produces fruit after its kind.
So if God has sown His Spirit and His Word into your heart, you have every right to expect divine fruit to be produced inside you! The fruit that the Spirit produces is wonderful, godly fruit, overflowing with blessings and life. As you allow the Holy Spirit to produce these fruits in you, you’ll find that people love to be near you because you’re such a pleasurable experience for them. Once they partake of the love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance that is evident in your life, they will want to come back for multiple servings of that luscious fruit!
So don’t give way to the flesh and allow it to produce its ugly work in your life. Instead, yield to the Spirit and allow the seed of God’s Spirit and Word to produce the fruit of the Spirit in your life. You are the one who makes the ultimate decision of who is going to rule you, so choose wisely today. Do you want to walk in the cruel, hard, bitter works of the flesh? Or would you prefer to mortify the deeds of the flesh and allow the Holy Spirit to produce His wonderful fruit in you? Which path are you going to choose?
MY PRAYER FOR TODAY
Lord, thank You for sowing Your Spirit and Word into my life. Forgive me for allowing the flesh to dominate so much of my life. Help me yield to the divine seed You have planted inside me. I know that Your life resides in me, longing to be released, so today I make the choice to let Your Spirit start working mightily inside me. Thank You for the life of God that is flowing up from my spirit right now, producing the life and the nature of Jesus Christ in me!
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY
I confess that the Holy Spirit lives in me and is producing His fruit in my life. The flesh no longer rules or dominates me, for I yield to the peaceful fruit of the Holy Spirit in every sphere of my life. I demonstrate love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance in my life. God has sown His Spirit and His Word into my heart; therefore, I expect this divine fruit to be produced inside me.
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER
- Can you think of one person who manifests the character of Jesus Christ so much that when you are with him or her, you feel as if you have been with Jesus? What specific qualities are exhibited in the life of this person that make you feel that way?
- What steps do you need to take so the Holy Spirit can more readily produce this godly fruit in your own life? For instance, what role do you think prayer or reading your Bible has in developing the fruit of the Spirit in your life?
- If you were to ask others what kind of fruit they see in your life, how do you think they would answer?
The moment you received Jesus as your Savior by faith, God sowed His Spirit and Word into your heart like a seed, and you were spiritually born again by the incorruptible seed of the Word of God (1 Peter 1:23). And just like apples always produce apples and oranges always produce oranges, God’s seed inside you immediately began to produce God!