March 20, 2017 - Springtime is upon us and isn't it beautiful. East Texas is ablaze with color. Driving down the highways you can see the woods filled with dogwoods that are in full bloom. Yards filled with beautiful Azaleas and Lillies. Deep green pastures and plowed fields form a patchwork of beauty that makes East Texas one of the most beautiful places on earth. All the trees blooms that capture the eye and add a realization of the magnificence of Gods creation of new life each year.
I am always most amazed at fruit trees. In the spring they are beautiful with their blooms. Everyone of them are covered with beautiful white or pink flowers that last for a few weeks and then they are gone. If you look closely when the blooms fall off you'll notice everywhere there was a bloom it is now replaced with a tiny fruit. You can't tell what kind of tree it really is until it starts producing fruit. The fruit is unique to the tree.
An apple tree can't produce figs, an orange tree can't produce peaches. A tree cannot produce a fruit that is not in its DNA to produce. Apple trees always produce apples.
Jesus draws the fruit tree comparison with religious people in Matthew 7:15-20. In the sermon on the mount Jesus says about "religious" people, "You will know them by their fruit". Notice He didn't say by their gifts. Don't misunderstand, the gifts of the Spirit are important, but Jesus is clear in His speech when He says "you will know them by their fruit." You see the fruit we produce comes from within us. If someone is filled with the Spirit they will produce the fruit of the Spirit. These fruit are the true character traits that all Christians should be identified by.
So what are the "fruit of the Spirit"? Paul lists those in Galatians 5:22-23 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering (patience), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control." He adds "against these there is no law." If you want to know if someone is a Spirit filled believer check their character. All born again believers have these traits as part of their spiritual DNA. Its the only fruit they can produce.
So to use Jesus' analogy, if you are not producing this kind of fruit in your life you probably need to check your heart and your faith. Remember in Matt. 7:19 Jesus said, "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown in the fire." He said that to emphasize how important it is for us to live our lives producing those good fruit. Just think what the world would be like if everyone possessed and lived by these nine fruit.
What a wonderful place it would be.
Here's the good news! No matter where you are in life or what you have done God loves you. He wants you to experience the joy of salvation so that you can have the peace that passes all understanding. He is long suffering and kind when you need Him. He wants you to taste the goodness of His blessings that He is faithful to pour out on His children. He will be gentle in His dealings with you and give you the self control that you need to keep yourself pure and holy. All you have to do is ask Him to forgive you and let His Spirit take control of your life.
I'm Just Sayin