May 14: Fruit from the Vine

Read Galatians 5:1-26

If many of us were honest, we would likely have to admit that the Holy Spirit is the member of the godhead least familiar to us. In fact, we may find ourselves giving mere lip service to His existence.

The Bible, however, teaches that the Spirit of God is instrumental in our coming to repentance and faith in Christ (Jn. 16:7-11). It is His cleansing and renewal that give us new life in Christ (Titus 3:5). He indwells believers at the point of salvation (Gal. 3:2; Rom. 8:9). And, if we choose to walk consistent with His indwelling and empowering presence, our lives are different. The fruit of our lives is transformed.

That fruit lies at the heart of today’s reading. Before we came to Christ (and even today if we fail to respond to the Spirit) our lives were characterized by the “desires of” or the “works of the flesh” (vv. 19-21). But the fruit resulting from the Holy Spirit’s presence stands in stark contrast. This fruit includes godly virtues like “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (vv. 22, 23). Those are qualities that we cannot, merely by our own will, tie onto the branches of our lives. No, they flow from the Spirit.

These virtues of godliness should be on the grow as we are developed into fully devoted followers of Christ. And they will be the focus of our attention over the next several days.

But before we close today, we must ask, “Do I have a personal responsibility in seeing these supernatural virtues manifested in my life?” Or, stated otherwise, “If this is the ‘fruit of the Spirit,’ do I just have a passive role in seeing them manifested?”

Clearly, Paul understood that we have responsibility. We are to “live by the Spirit” and “keep in step with the Spirit” (vv. 16, 25). In fact, he instructs us to “sow to please the Spirit” (Gal. 6:8).

We all know that water is key to fruit production. Which garden of your life are you watering through the focus of your attention and thoughts and even through your entertainment choices? The garden that is causing your natural desires to grow? Or the one that is fueling the growth of the fruit that God wants to produce through His Spirit?

Water the right garden and you’ll produce the right fruit.