What’s your favorite fruit? Mine is mango. Where I grew up mangoes were very common. And on the farm we had a number of trees. I remember as a kid walking to a tree to get a mango and you would just smell them lying there ripe on the ground. Even now my mouth will begin to water when I think of a mango.
So what’s your favorite fruit? What’s your favorite spiritual fruit? In Galatians chapter five Paul tells us what the fruit of the Spirit is.
The fruit of the spirit is love joy peace patience kindness goodness faithfulness gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)
When you first look at that list you may think that there’s more than one fruit. That all of those different items on the list are individual fruits of the Spirit, but notice how Paul wrote it. He said the fruit of the Spirit is. All of those things in the list are different parts of the same fruit.
You might say it’s like the different parts of an orange. You peel it off and you can break it into all of its individual parts, but it’s really one fruit. So God the Holy Spirit is working all of these things in your life. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
So you shouldn’t really say “well I’ve got lots of love and peace, but I have no patience.” No, God the Holy Spirit is trying to make you a complete fruit. All of these things. But it’s tough isn’t it? Because probably like me, when you read this list, you see a lot of room for improvement in your life. You can be loving towards some, you can be peaceful towards some, but there are other people that push your buttons, that cause you to act in very unloving ways. God wants us to repent of those things, those sins, and through the power of the Spirit to be transformed so that we produce the fruit of the Spirit.
So use the Spirit’s given tools to produce these fruit. Stay is his Word, read his law so that you can see your sins and how he wants you to shape your life, and repent of where you have fallen short. And read the gospel. The good news that Jesus took all of your shortcomings and claimed them as his own. And he suffered and died in payment for those sins. Be assured through the gospel that God loves you and has forgiven you. And then by the power of the Spirit, in the joy of God’s love and forgiveness, live as God wants you to be.
So what is your favorite fruit? May your favorite fruit be the fruit of the Spirit. May God bless you and produce it in you. To God be the glory, Amen.