Word for Wednesday

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Galatians 5: 22,23

One of the most fascinating sections of the grocery store, for me, is the produce area, especially the fruit displays. Depending on the season, there are often items there that I have never seen before, and would love to check out. Very large stores will often offer a multitude of unusual fruit, and I spend time examining them with delight. But when I come to today’s text, I find a vast array of fruit that God is looking for in His orchard, fruit that brings delight to His heart when He encounters it.

The apostle has been challenging the Galatians about their return to the observance of the law. In today’s text he lists those things that are a result of a Spirit-filled life, pointing out that the law does not have anything to say about them. Observing the law had nothing to do with the fruit of the Spirit. Those who lived under the Old Testament economy were not indwelt by the Holy Spirit in the same way that we are in this day of grace.

An observer of the law would never have manifested all of these ‘fruits’, nor would he be required to. But Paul tells us that we who are saved are missing something if these fruits are missing from our life. Somehow, the Holy Spirit is being restricted in His ability to produce fruit in our lives. Where does the problem lie?

There is certainly no problem with the Word of God, it provides us with our spiritual food… the fertilizer, if you will, for producing a bountiful crop of fruit of the Spirit. There is certainly nothing wrong with the work of the Holy Spirit, as He works with us to bring us into conformity with the image of Christ.

No, any problem in the development of the fruit of the Spirit in our lives is our own selves. We allow the cares and the attractions of the world to take over the place and time that belongs to God. We distort our priorities, we rob God of His rightful place in our decisions and plans.

This list of fruit is beautiful. Would you not like to have such a crop? -Jim MacIntosh

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