Getting Real About Life, about Love, and about God

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Lenten Reflection #26:Bearing Fruit

When we are growing in relationship with Christ it will bear fruit.  Our Relationship with Christ will produce in us character and qualities that are not there previous to our connecting and living in Christ.

The scriptures tell us about what we should see produced in our lives and as we see these qualities we are given evidence that Christ is at work in our lives.  The qualities do not come from us.  We cannot produce Spiritual fruit apart from the Spirit.  No matter how hard we try.

Galatians 5 tells us about the character qualities that are produced by the Spirit in our lives.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Galatians 5:22-23 NIV

You see we don't become more loving toward ourselves and others just because we try really hard.  We can't become more kind or patient just because we want to.  It seems every time I try hard to be patient the more inpatient I get.  I get impatient with my impatience.  We will never, apart from Christ,  have within us the ability to be truly kind, good or gentle.  The ability to be faithful and trustworthy are not natural to us.  Peace within our lives cannot be found or produced by us.

I have always been struck by the last fruit of the Spirit that the writer of Galatians list. Self-control you might think, and most of us do, comes from withing us.  We can make ourselves do what we want.  We can keep our cool.  We can somehow control ourselves and produce in us good morals and character.  But, this is not a fruit that is produced in our lives without Christ.

I have head this once I have heard it 100 times.  "I am going to get my live together and them I am going to give it Jesus."  Have you ever heard that?  Have you ever said that?

Don't believe the lie that somehow you can fix your situation.  That we, on our own, can become self-controlled enough to overcome our struggles, our addictions, our flaws, and our mess ups.  Don't get caught in the trap of thinking somehow you, alone, can become more loving, kind, patient, gentle or faithful.  It just can't happen without living in relationship with the one who produces these fruits in our life.   We will never find peace within without Christ within.  These are not fruits we can produce.  We do not have self-control.  God gives us self-control by his Spirit that lives in us.

We need to give him our lives and let Him get our lives together.  Only He can.  We need to give Him our messes that we have been trying to clean up.  We need to give Him those situations that are causing us to be restless and our trying our last nerve.  We need to submit to the Spirit and allow God to do what only God can do.  Let Jesus be Jesus in our lives.  Allow him to bring about these promised characteristics and qualities.

What is growing n your life?
Can you see these fruits being produced as you live with Him?
Are you more loving, kind, gentle, faithful, peaceful, joyful, patient and self-controlled now than you where before you made Christ your life?

The promise is that these fruits are produced in our lives.  They are a kind of gauge to us of our living in relationship with Christ or playing church.  They will reveal to us if we have been living in a relationship or just a religion.

Let Christ bear fruit in you and through you today.

In Christ's love and mine,

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