Thursday, August 11, 2011

Are you producing fruit?

Philippians 1:8-11

     God knows how much I love you and long for you with the tender compassion of Christ Jesus. I pray that your love for each other will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in your knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until Christ returns. May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation – those good things that are produced in your life by Jesus Christ – for this will bring much glory and praise to God.

     Paul had such a deep, loving and compassionate relationship with the Philippian church and because of that relationship, he longed for them to continue to grow and mature in their relationship with Jesus Christ. He understood that if they weren’t growing in their walk with the Lord, then they were dying, spiritually speaking. Modeling and emulating Jesus Christ was his number one priority, while teaching that salvation should produce some specific, Godly character traits and values.

     Living in this fallen world, often times, we are heavily influenced by its morals, values and priorities. If we are not grounded and immersed in the Word of God and its teachings, we can be led astray by our own selfish, human desires and longings. And when led by those selfish desires, we fall short of God’s standard in our lives when it comes to modeling the fruit of his Spirit.

     What are the fruits of the Spirit? Let’s look at Galatians 5:22-23:

     But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

     It is only when we are led by the Spirit of God that we are able to produce His fruit. If we are led by our sinful, selfish nature, then we are in direct opposition to the Spirit of God and our actions will show it. We can’t have one without the other. If you want to produce His fruit then you must be led by the Holy Spirit, which means that you must commune with Him each and every day.

     Have you ever witnessed a child imitating their father or mother in exact likeness and actions? Why do you think they are able to accomplish that? It is because that child has spent untold number of hours in relationship with their parent. They have watched every move they’ve made and listened to every word they’ve spoke and because of that they are able to imitate their exact movements and actions.

     It is the same concept when it comes to imitating the Holy Spirit. We are to watch his every move and listen to his every word, and then and only then are we able to produce the fruit that Paul is talking about.

     What kind of fruit are you producing? When you look at the fruit listed in Galatians 5:22-23, can you say that you have modeled any of them this week? When was the last time that you spent any significant time in prayer with the Holy Spirit? If this is a new concept for you, take some time today thinking about and trying to understand the fact that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity (or Godhead), given to you to assist you in your walk with the Lord. As a Christian, He lives inside of you and attempts to commune with you on a continual basis. Give Him some needed attention and interaction today and listen quietly for His response. Also, pick one fruit of the Spirit and ask the Lord to help you to be able to model that fruit in some way this week.

Have a great day!

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