Immanuel Lutheran Church
Fruit of the Spirit the Core
This summer as we have been focusing on Fruit of the Spirit each Sunday, a common theme has been revealing itself to me. You could call it the "core" of the Fruit of the Spirit message. Each of the Fruits of the Spirit describe the character of God as revealed in Jesus Christ: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23 The Living Bible). As the Holy Spirit develops these fruits in us, we become more like Christ-like.
That is at odds with what we see in society around us. Paul puts it this way: "But when you follow your own wrong inclinations, your lives will produce these evil results: impure thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasure, idolatry, spiritism (that is, encouraging the activity of demons), hatred and fighting, jealousy and anger, constant effort to get the best for yourself, complaints and criticisms, the feeling that everyone else is wrong except those in your own little groupand there will be wrong doctrine, envy, murder, drunken-ness, wild parties, and all that sort of thing" (Galatians 5:19-21 TLB).
As we look at the world around us we see all too many examples of what happens when you "follow your own wrong inclinations." Which kind of world would you rather live in, one filled with the Fruits of the Spirit or the fruits of our own inclinations?
When people live lives characterized by the Fruits of the Spirit it is attrac-tive to others. People like to be around those who show love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in their lives. As we become more Christ-like, our lives become a witness that attracts others to us and to the source of what makes us who we are to God. Living lives in harmony with the Fruits of the Spirit becomes an evan-gelism tool, a way of pointing others to Christ. One little example of that is the song lyric "Theyll know we are Christians by our love." How we live our lives reveals who we are and whose we are.
We can either work with the Holy Spirit to cultivate these Fruits of the Spir-it in our lives or reject the Holy Spirits shaping of our lives and live by our own inclinations. When you are on a journey it helps to "begin with the end in mind." In our spiritual journey, having a clear image of what the Holy Spirit is trying to do in our lives helps us to be active participants in bring-ing forth these fruits in our lives.
So, spend time with these fruits this summer. Savor their fresh sweetness in your life.
In Christs service,Pastor Marla