For the past several weeks I have been teaching about the Fruit of the Spirit as found in the Bible in Galatians 5:22. This has been a very fun and personally challenging series for me because it has made me more aware of how important it is to not only make teaching the Bible very practical, but also very personal.
A few weeks ago in the Neighborhood Group I attend, we were talking about how people have different “Aha” type experiences in their walk with God. Those moments when something just clicks and starts to really make sense. One of the members of our group said that they really like the way I teach on Sunday morning because I use “real life examples.” (I’m not bragging on myself, just hang with me.) when I asked them to explain what that meant, he said that he liked the fact that I talk about my personal struggles in my teaching and give examples of ow I succeed and fail at times. Those kind of things really help him relate and “get” the message.
I love good examples of teaching points. I love to talk about ways that I mess up. I think it is very important for people to understand that just because someone is standing on the stage doesn’t mean that they have it all together.
Yes I really do honk at people while I’m driving. I really do get frustrated with people and their shopping carts in Wal-Mart. I really do get mad when people are inconsiderate. And I even find myself doing some of the same things that I get mad about.
But I’m working on it.
It takes time for a fruit tree to produce fruit. Depending on how the tree was grown it can take as long at 14 years before it ever produces anything ore than leaves. The same is true for us. Giving the Holy Spirit control of our life and allowing Him to develop this Fruit in our life takes time. Some of it comes easier and faster than others. Some days certain fruit is “in stock” in our life and some days it is not. Sometimes we wonder if the order was even placed.
The key to producing Fruit in your life spiritually is giving the Holy Spirit control. The Bible says that the producer of our Fruit is obvious. Our sinful nature produces the fruit we put out on the shelf or the Holy Spirit produces the fruit we display. Giving the Holy Spirit control and crucifying our sinful nature is a daily, sometimes hourly, (or dare I say minutely”) event. But God promises that when we are “guided by the Spirit” we will produce His brand of fruit.
This morning, the Holy Spirit was not in control. I have asked for forgiveness and now I am under His control again. I hope it lasts the rest of the day and in the morning I will try again.
I smell fresh fruit. Do you?
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Galatians 5:22-23a NLT