Thursday, April 14, 2011

What must die to let something else grow?

I did some soul searching this past Sunday when our pastor talked to us about a seed needing to die for something to grow. I reflected into my heart as if I were looking into a pool of water. What is deep within? Do I speak/act with love, joy, peace... are my fruits of the Spirit evident even in my relationship with my spouse and my kids?  

What lately have I allowed to die in my life in order to allow the Fruit of the Spirit room to grow in my life?

I thought about how long it takes to grow fruit and what that process might involve. Then I thought about the opposites of the fruits of the Spirit: 

Galatians 5:22-23a 
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control."

To let Love grow in my life, I must not hold on to hatred.
(Prov. 10:12 &1 John 4:7-8 or check out 1 Corinthians 13 on your own.)
- "Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs."
- "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love."

 To let Joy grow in my life, I must throw off the spirit of heaviness - throw off sorrow.
(Isaiah 61:2)
-"...a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair."

To let Peace grow in my life, I must let go of anxiety and fear.
(Phil. 4:6-7)
- " Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

To let Patience (long-suffering) grow in my life, I must be willing to wait, to endure - to let my impatience die.
(James 5:7)
-"[ Patience in Suffering ] Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains..."

To let Kindness grow in my life, I must not act wickedly or be vengeful - I must not be mean or harsh.
(1Thess. 5:15)
-"Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else."

To let Goodness grow in my life, I must be cleansed of indecency, anything unwholesome - mean or wicked.
(Ephesians 5:8-10 and Psalm 5:7)
-" For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord."
-"[God,]You are not a God who takes pleasure in evil; with You the wicked cannot dwell."

To let Faithfulness grow in my life, I must not be inconsistent, disloyal, or apathetic.
(Matt. 23:23)
-(Jesus said:) “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former."

To let Gentleness grow in my life, I must be merciful and not rough or harsh or rude.
(Philippians 4:5)
-"Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near."

To let Self-control grow in my life, I must have balance and self-discipline and have no part of self-indulgence or intemperance (drunkenness).
 (Romans 7:5 & 8:6)
-"For when we were controlled by the sinful nature, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death."
-"The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace..."

So the choices I make allow life and death...  Hmm.
Whatever I choose to water in my life will grow.
Whatever I "forget" to cultivate will not grow.
Whatever I purposefully neglect or inhibit will not grow.
I have a choice.
If I live by the Holy Spirit, allowing His water to flow in my life, His fruits will grow. It will be hard and may even require some things to die in my life, but it will be worth it!

Thanks for listening to my thoughts on this, and may we both cultivate spiritual fruits with the aide of our Lord.

1 comment:

  1. Great teaching on the fruit of the Spirit. I'd never seen such a thorough and clear study of this. Thank you and may God continue to bless you.

    Dad B.


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