How do you harvest good fruit?

growing-fruit-4We pray, "Lord give me patience"  "Lord give me peace" "Lord give me Joy" "Lord give me... (insert your gimme here).

Have you ever heard someone say, "Don't pray for patience.  If you do, the Lord may place you in a situation where you have to learn patience."

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  Why use the word fruit?  Why not use the word gift?

Here is another way to look at the Fruit of the Spirit.  The fruit is not something given to you like grace (unmerited favor), it is the Holy Spirit's gift from your efforts.  It is received as a by-product from the daily love based work to honor Christ Jesus and working to live as he lives in your heart.  Then the fruit can be harvested / received.

Fruit must be grown.

So what does it take to grow fruit?  These are the steps to grow fruit trees.  You can see our analogous steps in the Lord's word.

  • you have to plant the seed in good soil  (Matthew 13:3-8) or (John 15:1-10)
  • pull weeds (Jonah 2:5)
  • fertilize (Luke 13:8-9)
  • prune dead branches (John 15:2)
  • keep it in full sunlight (John 8:12; 2 Samuel 23:4; Habakkuk 3:4)
  • water it (John 4:14)
  • control pests, infestation and disease (Psalm 91:3; John 5:4)
  • then in the proper season, the fruit is ready for harvest - not instantaneous - after a time  (Psalm 1:3)

Fruit doesn't grow overnight and is not ready right after the seed sprouts.  The fruit tree must grow and mature; then the fruit will blossom and ripen.  And it takes our efforts before we receive and harvest the fruit.  We can't just ask for the fruit of the Spirit; we must grow in Christ and the fruit will grow in us.

What about joy?   Christ first, then joy.


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