We started a new series this week at church. It's about the Fruits of the Spirit. We started yesterday with love. Jesus commanded us to love.
John 13:34 (The Message)
"Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another."
If we're commanded to love one another, then how can love be a fruit? After all, a fruit just grows. It's not something you do. If you get a chance, please go online and listed to the sermon by Dr. Bob Swikard. It's a wonderful insight into the fruit of love.
Mom & Dad fully understood and lived out this commandment. They were also a great example of how God can grow this fruit within us. They both remained connected to God and allowed Him to work through them. In this way, God was able to grow the fruits of His Spirit within them.
A diseased or unhealthy tree will not produce much fruit, if any at all. We have to be healthy inside, in our hearts, if we are to produce the Fruits of the Spirit. And we all know that you won't get peaches from an oak tree. The only way to change what is growing out of me is to change what is deep within me in my heart.
Luke 6:43-45 (The Message)
You don't get wormy apples off a healthy tree, nor good apples off a
diseased tree. The health of the apple tells the health of the tree. You
must begin with your own life-giving lives. It's who you are, not what
you say and do, that counts. Your true being brims over into true words
What hope is there for me? The thing is, I know Dad would say the same thing about himself. The beauty of it is that no matter where we've been, how we've lived, there is hope! God has provided a way for me to become connected to the true vine. I can just see Dad saying this with his face beaming and chuckling, "Ha, ha! Praise the Lord" in way only he could. Praise the Lord, indeed!
1 John 4:7-10 (The Message)
My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes
from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a
relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn't know the
first thing about God, because God is love—so you can't know him if you
don't love. This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only
Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of
love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but
that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins
and the damage they've done to our relationship with God.