If you stopped by because you read my devotion today (August 25, 2016) over at Encouragement Cafe, WELCOME! So glad you are here!
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” John 15:1-2 NIV
I have several different types of fruits growing around my house. I have fig bushes, muscadine vines, plum trees, pomegranates, strawberry, blackberry and blueberry plants. There’s no comparison between the fresh fruit that I can go out and pick and what is bought in stores.
I often make jelly from the produce that I gather. Even though the jelly is costly to make because of the amount of sugar that is required, it also is better than store bought. (Sorry, Mr. Smuckers!) But I love sharing the jelly with others, which I often give as Christmas gifts.
But I have to confess, even though I have access to all of the various fruits I mentioned, not all of the plants bear much. The fig bushes produce a lot, but often the ants will get into the figs before I can pick them. The deer eat my blueberry bushes. The muscadines were pruned improperly and produce less each year. The pomegranates – I just don’t pick them.
My plum trees produce a lot. I pull off many of the small, green plums so that the fruit that is left will grow bigger and sweeter. I weed my fenced in strawberry patch regularly and gather much from it.
The difference in what I am able to gather a lot of and what I gather little of is the amount of time and effort I put into tending to the fruit trees and plants.
It’s the same way with us as Christians. When we accept Christ as our Savior, He immediately deposits the gift of the Holy Spirit within us. We are told in the scripture that the Holy Spirit will teach us and guide us into all truth. As we allow the Holy Spirit to have more control in our lives, we will start producing the fruit, the evidence, of the Spirit.
Producing the Fruit of the Spirit doesn’t just happen. It takes us allowing God to prune us. It takes us putting up boundaries in our lives, like my fenced in strawberry patch, to keep the things of the world from taking root in our hearts. Instead of ignoring spending time with God like I ignore my pomegranates, it takes us consistently staying in God’s Word so that the Holy Spirit can teach us what to do.
And when we allow the Fruit of the Spirit to grow, it produces a sweetness in our souls that all can see.
As we look around us and see all of the Summer produce, think about the Fruits that we should be producing.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23(NIV)
We can’t just pick and choose the fruit we want and ignore the rest like we may do in the store. With the Holy Spirit living within us, our lives should be exhibiting every characteristic. If you feel you are lacking in some area, ask God to prune the things in your life that are prohibiting Him from “growing” you.
Heavenly Father, Thank you for giving me the gift of the Holy Spirit. Help me to allow Your Spirit to work in and through me. Help me to allow You full freedom to remove the things in my life that are keeping me from producing the Fruits of the Spirit that I should be exhibiting in my life. May my life show daily the evidence that I am Yours. In Jesus name, Amen.