What is your favorite kind of fruit? I like bananas. They are probably my favorite fruit.
When I was little, we had lots of fruit trees in our back yard. My parents grew green apples, apricots and cherries. We had a big cherry tree in the back yard, and every year, right around my birthday, the cherries would be ripe and ready to pick.
I can remember one birthday party all my friends and I had a big cherry fight in the back yard. We were all sticky and messy, but we had a lot of fun. And even with all the cherries we picked off, there were still a ton of cherries on that tree.
My sister and I and my mom and dad would pick the cherries and the apples and apricots each summer, and then we would help my mom make pies and jams and jellies. We would keep a lot of what we canned in our cellar to use throughout the year, and we would give some of it away to other people.
Do you know that the Bible tells us that we are to produce fruit? Do you think that means God wants everyone to grow fruit trees in their back yards? Probably not. But he does want us to share our fruit, and the Bible tells us exactly what kind of fruit God sent the Holy Spirit to help us produce.
Who knows what a fig is? Figs are grown on trees. Figs are small pieces of fruit, and they have teeny tiny little seeds in them. If you have ever eaten a Fig Newton, then you kind of know what a fig tastes like.
The Bible tells a few different stories about fig trees. Let’s listen to one of them today:
In Luke 13:6-9, Jesus uses a story about a fig tree. It says : ..."A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, 'For three years now I've been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven't found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?' " 'Sir,' the man replied, 'leave it alone for one more year, and I'll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.' "
In telling this story, Jesus was really talking about us and about God. God has “planted” us here on earth, and he expects us to produce “good fruit” in our lives. But the kind of fruit God expects us to make is different from apples and bananas and even figs.
God says the fruit we produce should be seen in the way we act: He asks us to produce LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS AND GENTLENESS, and He calls all these THE FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT. That means all these actions are our “fruits,” our goodness, and they are produced directly from the Holy Spirit. All we have to do is let the Holy Spirit into our hearts, and we will be able to produce all these things: LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS AND GENTLENESS.
What can we do to produce these Fruits of the Spirit? We can go to church every Sunday. We can read God’s Word in our Bibles, and we can pray every single day. Those things will help us to live a fruitful life.
Let’s pray right now and ask God to help us with that:
Thank you, Dear Lord, for providing us with the Holy Spirit. Help us to use Your faithful love and kindness to produce good things that will glorify You. In Jesus precious name we pray. Amen.