Sand Mountain Sermonette 13
Galatians 5:22-23 & John 15:4
Grandmother’s Grape Vines
“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23
I still remember the muscadine grape vines my Mamaw Iris had running along posts out in her backyard in North Alabama. For many years they produced the delicious grapes my grandmother and I would enjoy when I would visit her home on a Saturday or stay over for the entire weekend. On occasion, I would also help her carefully prune the vines of dead or dying branches which would ensure more and better fruit the next year.
One has said, “Fruit is the delectable product of that which is created by the inner life of the vine.” On the eve of His crucifixion, the Lord Jesus said to His disciples, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me” (John 15:4).
God has called every Christian to bear all the “Fruit of the Spirit.” Notice fruit is singular here, not plural. One has likened it to one fruit with nine characteristics because the fruit is borne in the inner life of the Christian via the Holy Spirit. You can even cluster the nine characteristics into clusters of three.
Here are three questions for you to meditate on as you go about your week?
1. What about my countenance? Do others see Christ’s love, joy, and peace in me? 2. What about my conduct? Are patience, kindness, and goodness characteristic of who I am?” 3. Do I exhibit faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control? And remember, the first fruit Paul lists from which all the others arise is, “Love.” May we Christians bear the bounteous, beautiful, and tasty fruit of the Spirit of the Living God this week as we pray for Christ to be first place over our hearts and minds.
Here’s an example: The word for “patience” Paul uses in cluster number two, means “far from anger” in the original language. How is your patience coming along? Learning God’s way too, day by day.