Over the next 10 weeks, we at Choose Ministry encourage you to join us as we focus our choices on the fruits of the Spirit.
What are the fruits of the Spirit, you might be asking? They are found in Galatians:
“But the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you is
divine love in all its varied expressions,
joy that overflows,
peace that subdues,
patience that endures,
kindness in action,
a life full of virtue,
faith that prevails,
gentleness of heart, and
strength of spirit.
Never set the law above these qualities, for they are meant to be limitless.”
Galatians 5:22-23 (TPT) (emphasis added)
To a follower of Jesus, the fruits of the Spirit are more than a list of character traits we want to aspire to achieve. The fruits of the Spirit are an expression of the Holy Spirit who dwells within all believers.
In John 15:1, Jesus said to His disciples:
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.”
Jesus continues as He describes branches which grew from the vine and produced fruit. These branches, representing us, His followers, would be healthy and fruitful as long as they remain connected to the vine.
In John 15:4, Jesus says:
“Remain in me, and I in you. Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, neither can you unless you remain in me."
Although we depend on the Spirit to produce fruit, we must NOT be passive. We have a responsibility to turn our lives toward God through prayer, Bible study, repentance, praise, and other healthy habits. If we want to bear fruit, we have to make the decision to seek faithful obedience while resting and remaining in the promise that God fuels us by His Spirit at work in and through us.
But let me encourage you, my friend, we are not alone on this journey! It’s not our job to make the fruit appear in our lives. The Holy Spirit does the work for us!
I have been told by individuals that they are not able to “choose.” They feel so lost and depressed that no matter how hard they want to be filled with joy, they just can’t choose joy and then feel it. They are at a loss and so desperately want to feel better.
I understand what they are saying, and they are absolutely right. You can’t just will yourself to have joy. You can’t simply tell yourself to choose joy and then have it instantly happen.
The first step is accepting Jesus into your life. Do you believe that Jesus is your Lord and Savior, that He died to save you from your sins? Have you committed your life to Him?
When you give your life to Jesus, all the fruits of the Spirit are planted inside you in seed form. Through the Spirit, you can experience joy and peace and gentleness and self-control, all the fruit, in every circumstance, no matter how difficult or painful. You may not be a naturally patient person, but you can call on the Spirit within to produce patience. If you’re battling unhealthy behaviors, like an addiction or some other kind of destructive habit, the Holy Spirit can give you the ability to resist the devil and make healthy choices.
On your own, it would be impossible. But when you operate in the Spirit, you have a supernatural ability to overcome.
I encourage you to take the first step. Admit you are a sinner. Believe that Jesus died to save you from your sins and provide you with forgiveness and grace. Commit your life to Him!
And then stay connected to the vine and allow the Holy Spirit to do the work in you that you can’t do on your own! And start seeing the fruit in your life!
We invite you to join us in the weeks ahead as we explore each of the fruits of the Spirit. Next week is one of our favorites as we focus on Choose Love!
With joy and love,