Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "And Can It Be That I Should Gain"1 (Lyrics)
Psalm 1:1-2 – Oh, the joys of those who do not follow evil men's advice, who do not hang around with sinners, scoffing at the things of God. But they delight in doing everything God wants them to do, and day and night are always meditating on his laws and thinking about ways to follow him more closely. (TLB)
The summer season always produces the most delicious varieties of fruit. There are so many kinds that I often find it hard to make a choice as I walk up and down the aisles filled with their enticing scents and vibrant colours. I simply want them all. Choosing fruit that has ripened properly is also a challenge, for sometimes that which appears mature on the outside is rotten or unripe on the inside. The ripening process takes time, patience, and the right conditions to produce the best of fruit inside and out.
Galatians 5:22-23a – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (NIV)
For the Christian, life in Christ produces the most delicious varieties of fruit as well. Spiritual fruit gives off an enticing fragrance of goodness and vibrant life within all in whom it roots, blossoms, and matures. And how does such spiritual fruit take root, blossom, and mature within a person? The fruit appears through our delighting in doing everything God wants us to do, by meditating day and night on His laws and His Word, and by thinking on ways to follow Him more closely in obedience.
Such a ripening process, however, takes time, patience, and the right conditions to produce mature Christians inside and out. Just as different trees yield different fruit in season, so it is with spiritual fruit. The various seasons and events of our lives present us with opportunities to lean on, believe in, or trust more fully the power and love of our heavenly Father, which, in turn, not only continues to ripen the spiritual fruit already growing within us, but also fosters the rooting and growth of others, for which I am truly thankful. Why? Because much like my walk through the fruit aisles of the grocery store, when I read the awesome list of the fruits of the Spirit, I simply want them all, don't you?
Prayer: Father God, thank You for the blessings that You offer to us through the fruit of the Spirit. Encourage our hearts this day to delight ourselves in You, to meditate upon Your Word, and to continually think of ways to follow You more closely in obedience, that Your fragrant and vibrant spiritual fruit may take root, blossom, and mature within us as You so desire. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.