Of all the Spirit’s gifts to me, I pray that I may never cease
to take and treasure most these three:
love, joy, and peace.
The Spirit shows me love’s the root of every gift sent from above,
of every flower, of every fruit,
that God is love.
The Spirit shows if I possess a love no evil can destroy;
however great is my distress,
then this is joy.
Though what’s ahead is mystery, and life itself is ours on lease,
each day the Spirit says to me,
“Go forth in peace!”
We go in peace, but made aware that, in a needy world like this,
our clearest purpose is to share
love, joy, and peace.
by Rev. F. Pratt Green (1903-2000)
Fruits are nature’s wonderful gift to the mankind; indeed, they are life-enhancing medicines packed with vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and many phyto-nutrients (Plant derived micronutrients), Vitamin A; Vitamin B1; Vitamin B2; Vitamin B6; Vitamin C; Folate (folic acid) plus calcium, choline copper, flourine, iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, silicon and zinc to name a few. They are an absolute feast to our sight, not just because of their colour and flavour but for their unique nutrition-profile that help keep the human body free from diseases and keep it healthy!
[When all is said and done, we know who wins this fight!]
What are “Fruits of the Spirit”?
Love The greatest of all virtues. Love is the power that moves us to respond to someone’s needs with no expectation of reward. As displayed by or through Christ in John 15:12, “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” In Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” In Ephesians 5:2, “And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.”
Joy An inward hope and exuberance in spite of outward circumstances. Joy differs from happiness, which relies on favourable circumstances. As displayed by or through Christ in John 15: 11, ” These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” In John 16:20-22, “Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy….Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take away from you.” In Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say rejoice.” This is what Paul said while he was in prison.
Peace This is both a supernatural calm midst chaos and the ability to bring harmony between two opposing sides. As displayed by or through Christ in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” In Hebrews 12:14, “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.” Christians are known to be peacemakers. Rebellion and lack of faith can produce disharmony even among people of God and so it is important to always pursue peace. Peace is Christ’s gift to His followers today and forever.
Longsuffering Is the quiet willingness to accept irritating or painful situations. As acted by or through Christ we have in Luke 23:34 at His crucifiction Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” In Colossians 3:12 in the creation of a new man, one who accepts the Lord, not just putting aside his old life but incorporating new characteristics in his everyday living showing his change, “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.”
Kindness Is the generosity and consideration we show towards others. As displayed by or through Christ we have in Ephsians 4:32, “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” and in Titus 3:4, “But when the kindness and the love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us.” Our uniqueness in the world should be visible by others by morality, mood, money, mouth and manners.
Goodness Our moral excellence. As displayed by or through Christ Galatians 6:10 says,”Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Even though doing good to unbelievers is important, the first test of our love for God is our love for our brothers and sisters in Christ. And in Acts 10:38, Peter points out, “…how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” We may not have the power Christ had in healing or casting out the devil, but we can sow the seeds that leads someone to Him and let Him take it from there.
Faithfulness Enduring loyalty and trustworthiness. As displayed by or through Christ, Paul in Romans 3:3-4 is trying to let the people know that God is faithful, both when He rewards them and when He judges them. “For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect? Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written: “That You may be justified in Your words, and may overcome when You are judged.” Jesus says in Revelation 2:10 “…Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.” Despite the trials and tribulations life throws at you from now until He comes again, just remain true and trust Him for everything.
Gentleness The power to control your reactions when dealing with difficult people and situations. Don’t confuse this with weakness. As displayed by or through Christ, in Matthew 11: 29 Jesus said, “Take My yoke [follow in His footsteps] upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” By following Christ’s footsteps ourselves, we enjoy the release of day-to-day stress which God intended which makes us gentler people. We are also reminded in Titus 3:2, “…to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men. For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another.” Especially in this day and age we need this virtue in dealing with relationships to rulers and authorities and especially with Christian interactions with others. If this quality can be found anywhere it should be found in God’s people.
Self-control The ability to restrain inappropriate passions and appetites. As displayed by or through Christ we have in Matthew 26:53 when Jesus was in Gethsemane, just about to be betrayed, one of His followers got angry, took a sword and cut off the ear of a servant of the high priest, Jesus said, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.” thus showing that without self-control you can get yourself into more hot water. In 1 Corinthians 9:25, “Everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.” The prize is a crown in the Kingdom of Heaven and we as Christians shouldn’t be content just to run the race but be passionate about winning it for Christ. Now that’s the self-control that grace gives you to strive to win without stepping on land-mines.
Are these not the fruits, so bountifully supplied by the grace of our Lord, you want in your arsenal when we approach the coming of Christ and the end of this age? We will surely need them!
You Will Know Them by Their Fruits
Jesus said in Matthew 7:15-20, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.”