Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Fruit of the Tomb

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. - Gal. 5:22-23

The fruit of the Spirit... I'm sure we have all remember lessons for our early Sunday school years where we played with real fruit, or memorize the list, or even sang it in a song. The Fruit (for short) is something that, if you are a follower of Christ, you can not escape dealing with. What is it? Some of them are easy... Patience. That's an easy one to understand. Self Control is another. It's not hard to see when you are practicing self control and when you are not. But what about some of the others that may be more difficult to readily identify... Goodness. I know when I bite into a Snickers bar that it's filled with yummy chocolately 'goodness'. But I don't think that's the same thing. And what about the confusion that exists for many people in the difference between joy and happiness?

Obviously, The Fruit being part of the Word, they are not at fault if we can not define them. I think the difficulty arises not the the defining of The Fruit, but in our focus when we try to do it. I believe that it is our one dimensional view of The Fruit that creates the problem when trying to truly understand it's meaning and purpose. We must look at the whole fruit to see God's ultimate design and purpose for them. Each of the 9 Fruits must be viewed in the following context:

1. Framed Upwardly (in God's Word and character). These are the fruit of the SPIRIT after all. God is the creator of all things, if we are to even begin to understand the Fruits, we must first look at them through the lens of the Creator.

2. Felt Inwardly (in our hearts and minds). The Fruit's are not random meaningless words. They are active. The are attributes. They must be felt in our hearts and reasoned in our minds if we are going to be able to put them into practice.

3. Focused Outwardly (in our words and character) The Fruit is not a list of 'self-focused' ideas or suggestions. They, just like the Word, are living and active. These should be the first signs of faith in Christ to anyone that we come in contact with.

Jesus sacrificed Himself in the ultimate act of both compassion and obedience. Not just to give us eternal salvation and security, but also to give us a daily, moment by moment, access to Him. In this exchange, God gives us the chance to become more like Him, in order to reflect Him to a world that needs Him.

"When we frame The Fruit in God's Word and character,
the true meaning is felt within our own hearts and minds,
empowering us to focus them towards others."

1 comment:

Melanie said...

Hey Babe, I like the fruits. My favorite part was the snickers "goodness"..mmmmm