Proverbs 23 5-23-22

The fruit of the Spirit is all things needed in a godly life, which is the Christ-like life in us.

30 I went past the field of a sluggard,
    past the vineyard of someone who has no sense;
31 thorns had come up everywhere,
    the ground was covered with weeds,
    and the stone wall was in ruins.
32 I applied my heart to what I observed
    and learned a lesson from what I saw:
33 A little sleep, a little slumber,
    a little folding of the hands to rest—
34 and poverty will come on you like a thief
    and scarcity like an armed man.

Paul talks about one person planting, one growing, but it is God who gives the increase (1 Corinthians 3:6-8). These words are especially true concerning the fruit that the Spirit grows in our lives. In Galatians 5:22-23, we find nine types of fruit:

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

The first three, love, joy and peace, have to do with our Countenance. They are unmistakable for those who walk closely with Jesus.

The second three, patience, kindness and goodness, have to do with our Conduct. They are undeniable in mature Christians.

The third three, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, have to do with our Character. They are under His control as we strive to release control to Him.

There are two more fruit listed in Ephesians 5:8-9; they are fruit of the light in the Lord. Those two fruit are righteousness and truth. It could be said that they shine light in our lives for us to see with spiritual eyes. Verse 11 states that darkness grows no fruit. With the light of righteousness and truth, we can expose fruitless places in our lives in order to prune them or even root them out. Also, it is in the light that we grow.

The task of living according to this fruit is only possible by the counsel of the Holy Spirit. When we stay synced up with Him, the fruit grows automatically–it doesn’t seem like it to us, but He is always working in us to be like Jesus (see Romans 8:29, 2 Corinthians 3:18, and Philippians 1:6).

Jesus said, “By their fruit you will recognize them” (Matthew 7:16 and 20). Want to be like Jesus? Allow Him to guide you as He grows spiritual fruit in your life. In the words of Adrian Rogers, we are to allow God to be not just resident in our lives, but President.

Abba, I want to be just like You. Grow Your fruit in me so that people recognize You in me. It’s a daily process and a dynamic relationship. Thank You for giving me both the desire and the power to do Your will. It’s interesting that You grow fruit in us even in our failures. You have deemed us completely redeemable! Thank You for that vote of confidence. I pledge this day to follow You–and the next day, and the day after that. etc. Amen.

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