John 15:8 – This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. (NIV)
Upon our retirement, my husband planted five Satsuma Tangerine trees, some of which he received as Christmas gifts. He has lovingly tended these trees with fertilizer, pruning, spraying, and following whatever additional advice the county agent shared with him. The trees have been producing for three or four years now. He enjoys sharing this fruit with our friends. Each year, he has learned a little more about their care, and improvement can be seen with each additional crop. This year, our fruit is as large and healthy as that in the supermarket. Sharing our Satsumas with our friends blesses us much more than it does the recipients.
This improved fruit reminds me of the fruit of the Spirit and how the more we exhibit love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control, the more our lives improve.
The fruit of the Spirit produced in our lives become more noticeable as they are improved. Like the gift of the Satsumas to our friends, these gifts benefit us more than the people around us.
To improve our fruit of the Spirit, we need to partner with God in the various acts of ministry. As we work in partnership with Him, there will be indicators in our lives that we are becoming more Christlike. As we grow, we also rejoice in the spiritual fruit in the lives of those with whom we share life's journey.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for the fruit of the Spirit in both our lives and the lives of those with whom we share the faith. May each fruit-bearing season continue to show improvement in our lives and the lives of those around us. Amen.