In my past 2 blogs (His Workmanship and Chosen to Bear Fruit), I have looked a little bit at what it means to be a new creation in Christ and how we can bear fruit. The Bible talks much about fruitfulness – and bearing fruit for His Kingdom is one of the greatest desires of my life. But the question might be asked: What is this fruit?
We often think of souls won for the Kingdom of God, and certainly this is wonderful fruit for which we can be grateful. But fruitfulness is manifest in many other ways as well – through good works, a life lived in humility, deeds consistent with repentance, a thankful heart and lips of praise. Our fruit is exhibited through our attitudes and actions.
According to Galatians 5:22-23, the fruit of the Spirit is “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance [self-control].” However, this fruit is not just feelings. How can I claim to have love, and not be a loving person? How can I have joy, and constantly be in a bad mood? How can I have peace, and still be a worry wart? Kindness, gentleness, goodness, patience, and self-control are all known and shown by actions.
If I am kind, I will do kind deeds. If I am meek, I will freely and willingly take the lower place and seek the good of others. How can faith and longsuffering be manifest but in situations and relationships that require patience and endurance – loving, forgiving, and bearing with others? Our actions and attitudes show whether our lives are producing good fruit or bad.
Jesus chose us to bear much fruit, God is glorified by our fruitfulness. We bear fruit by submitting to the will of our Father, staying connected to the vine (Jesus), and being filled with His Spirit. May each of us determine to live in such a way that we will bear much fruit and bring Him much glory in 2011.
Mary Jo Nutting