The week before I shared with us the beauty of remaining in the vine and the vine remaining in us.
I wrote about the twig that was cut off it’s branch and did not have access to nutrients if it were grafted to the tree from which it had fallen off from.
Now let us talk more about this tree, its twig, branches and fruits….
How do we know that the tree and the other parts of the tree is healthy. How do we know that the tree does not need pruning or when it does need pruning? How do we know when it should be watered or left to the light of the sun?
Most people can identify a tree that is healthy from it’s outward appearance like the color of it’s leaves, it’s branches,the kind of fruits the tree bears and so on. But farmers and experts can go in-depth to see the annual growth rate of the tree’s branches and trunks.
In this similar light, this is how most people tend to identify believers but God who is the gardener and expert at tending to His vineyard knows the depths of our lives and can see of we are making progress in our christian race.
Once we become engrafted into the body of Christ, Jesus wants for us to keep growing, transforming inside and out to become like Him when He walked the earth.
The evidence of a life progressing in Christ is when people around us, we a ourselves and the inner witness in our spirit can point out that we are constantly producing the fruits of the spirit in our daily interactions with the world. These fruits are mentioned by Apostle Paul in his fifth letter to the Galatians and they are:
- Love- Love for God, Love for our ourselves and Love for every of our neighbors just as we love ourselves.This kind of love stems from the knowledge and love of God. As soon as Jesus was able to, He studied the books of the law, He read about God and how He had helped His ancestors. This for me is exemplary for the kind of lives we should live as Christians. We should devote our time and energy to having experiential knowledge of God. This way, we are able to know and experience God’s love first hand and then we would be able to give love to everyone regardless of who they might be.
Jesus showed love and compassion to everyone that He met, even at the cross He showed compassion to people who had mistreated him. He even went as far as pleading for forgiveness for them from God. This is the kind of love the spirit of God can help us to bear, if only we spend time fellowshipping with Him.
- Joy- An evidence that we are healthy in Christ Jesus will be when the joy of the Lord is our strength 24 hours, 7 days weekly. I have yet to see a live that is void of challenges but the difference we Christians have is Jesus Christ and the word of God.
When we start to encourage ourselves in the Lord, when we are able to look past our challenges and focus on how big our God and just bask in His goodness then we know our lives are bearing the much expected fruits that God wants us to bear. The life of the Psalmist, David is one that you could study to understand and learn how to encourage yourself in the Lord, He did so a lot of times as he journeyed through life.
- Peace – Peace like a river stems from a life whose mind is stayed or set on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.- Isaiah 26:3. May the good Lord help us to trust Him too much to give up in Jesus name.
- Patience – Jesus is a perfect example of conforming into a life filled with patience. There was never a point in the bible where I read that Jesus was in a hurry. Jesus took His time to speak, to walk, to do His ministry. I believe that as much as we allow the spirit of God to work in our lives, He helps us to be patient and bear the other fruits mentioned above and below.
- Kindness – When are able to fully understand how kind Jesus has been and will forever be to us by the power of the Holy spirit then we would able to treat everybody with the same kindness. As I have said earlier, fellowshipping with God illuminates our minds to fully see the picture of the kind of life we have in Christ and this way we are also able to freely share with the world around us.
- Goodness -This has to do with doing things morally and ethically right and in summary doing things that please God. How else can we know and are we be able to do the right things than to study the laws and the ways God would love us to live our lives in the Bible!
- Faithfulness – This encompasses being faithful with little and huge tasks we are entrusted with by our superiors, guardians or God Himself. This also encompasses being faithful in our friendships, relationships and ultimately our relationship with God. When our faith is steadfast and deeply rooted in Christ is a good sign for us as christians. I have heard of stories of men and women who turned away from the faith because they were faced with huge challenges but Christ says He has overcome the world. Therefore, let us not fret by any big a challenge but allow our minds be transformed daily by hearing and meditating on the word of God constantly.
I pray that we are strengthened in our faith and walk with God in Jesus name.
- Gentleness – This may include responding to a harsh tone or speech with a gentle response and so on… This takes the deep working of the Holy spirit to achieve this at all times. As I write this,I am reminded of the bible verse that says, “deep calls unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts, all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me”. -Psalms 42:7.
This for me is a pointer to a situation when one is so submerged in the waves, tides and love of God that he/she just allows God to take control of every reaction, every response, everything!
May the good Lord help us all to be fully and always submerged in the tides and waves of His Spirit that helps us to bear fruits and live purposeful lives in Jesus name.
- & Self-control – I do not think I have heard a successful man or woman recap his/her success story without speaking about how important discipline is. It is an essential ingredient to thrive in this world and the world beyond. Lack of self-control has brought great men tumbling down faster than it took them to become successful. Self-control helps us to deny our bodies and lives of the things the flesh wants us to do such as fornicate,commit adultery, harbor idols in our hearts, be envious, be greedy, be filled with anger and so on.. Just like the other fruits of the spirit, it takes the working of the Holy spirit to bear this fruit.
May the good Lord help us to bear these fruits and live lives that bring glory to His name in Jesus name.