Our focus verse for today comes from Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. against such things there is no law.”
We love lists, don’t we? We like to categorize, label and rank thinks from top to bottom. In fact, I’m sure there are some of you who have read this list of the fruit of the Spirit and wondered where number ten was. Why didn’t Paul just tack on obedience or holiness or righteousness and give us a nice, orderly list? Well, I’m not sure as to how God decided what to include or exclude, or why He chose nine instead of one of “His numbers” like seven or three or forty, or whether the order is significant or not. But I am sure that when it comes to the Spirit, He is all about producing fruit. So, in that respect, we should be asking ourselves what kind of fruit do we produce?
What hangs from the branches of our lips, our hands, our minds and hearts? Are we able to suffer long when the same person keeps requiring so much of us? Even if it’s one of our kids? Are we faithful in our tasks regardless of whether anyone is watching? Is there joy in your face, or does your expression convey the worry or anxiety that you are carrying around? Is kindness your first reaction to someone’s failing, or do you tend to judge and dismiss them as sinful and hopeless. I know that my list of fruit is far less impressive and much more inconsistent. But the great thing about God is that He wants us to bear this fruit, so He says that He will do it for us. So, when we ask Him to make us this way, and we need to do this every day, ask Him like you are a small child in His arms, completely secure and confident that He will provide. get rid of the image that God is frustrated with our failures and aggravated that we don’t measure up. Let Him forgive you. Let Him fill you. Let Him answer your prayers.
As we seek Him today, ask God to bear the fruit in us that He so deeply wants us to bear. Realize an area from His list that is a weakness in you and ask Him to increase that in your daily life. Give your day to Him, yielding to whatever the Spirit has in store for you.