Many of us are very familiar with Galatians 5:22-23 - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Verse 25 tells us that if we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
We all know that developing the fruit of the Spirit takes diligence and determination. So many times it seems that a tiny incident can take us from the love walk. When this happens it seems that we can literally see the fruit of peace, gentleness, longsuffering (patience) just falling off of us.
God, our Father, is LOVE! From love all the other fruit comes forth. We first must have this agape love, this unconditional love that the Father has.
Jesus told His disciples: A New Commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another, by this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another (John 13:34-35).
To be an effective witness for God, we must stay in the love walk. We must be a branch so glorious looking, so overflowing with fruit that the people of this world will desire to come to us to eat and be nourished.
We must be in close intimate fellowship with God everyday, being obedient to the voice of the Holy Spirit and following His lead. When we sin it is so important to repent and get right back in fellowship with Him.
If we are filled with the Holy Spirit then we have the ability to walk in love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, faith, meekness and temperance. If the Holy Spirit is in us, then His fruit is there also. But we have to learn to put our flesh to death and walk in the Spirit. Ouch—this is where it hurts a bit—but how glorious the outcome when completed!
If any one was intolerant, or racist before conversion then we can change because we have true love now.. Old ways will die and unconditional, agape love will take over. Someone you just couldn’t forgive on your own strength before conversion - that unforgiveness, that hatred, can now melt away when love takes over. That is walking in the Spirit—that is allowing the fruit to show in your life. When you and I are walking in the Spirit—in the love walk—then the other fruit will naturally follow.
1 Corinthians 13 is the Love chapter—read this on your own. It tells us that whatever works we do, if we do them without love, then we are really not doing anything. This teaching boils down to this: Love Never Fails!
God never fails us, and we need to follow after Him and never fail anyone, including ourselves!
Ask the Holy Spirit to show you (be ready to act on this) where you can improve in your love walk. We need to be known for our love and the fruit it produces, for in this way others will definitely see Jesus in us and be drawn to Him!
Now that we are walking in the love walk the other fruit will blossom in our lives. Take the fruit of Joy. I really mean this - TAKE JOY! The Holy Spirit freely gives it to us. He is definitely never discouraged or down - take on His character. If we can remember everyday just what Jesus has given us, joy would absolutely abound in us and through us.
Peace: What a wonderful gift to possess and share with others, especially in this day and age when terror seems to engulf the world. Jesus says in John 14:27 - Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Glory to God! We never need to have any doubt, fear, or depression any longer. The peace of Jesus is a true peace, a sure peace. Take it - Jesus says He gives it to you - and He attaches no strings to it - He gives it in love. Halleluiah!
Goodness: Which is conforming and walking in virtue and piety; reverence of God and love of His character showing through your moral goodness. If you and I would be one of many walking in moral goodness - what a better world we would live in!
Faith: Each of us can build our faith by reading the Word and believing what God says to us and acting on it. God says it is impossible to please Him without faith. I want to please God and I know you do too. Faith and Peace go hand in hand. Oh, what a wonderful combination! No worry, no doubt, just believing what our Father says and living it. Isn’t God good?
Meekness: Which is humility - getting rid of pride and vanity in our lives. Each of us knows that whatever we do we cannot do it in our own strength - it is always the power of the Holy Spirit in us. Glorify the Father - walk in meekness!
Temperance: Which is self-control. Where do I begin? Each of us has an area or two or three…in our lives where we need to develop self-control. We can do it! The Word says, “I can do all things through Christ Jesus which strengthens me.” If we want to gain control in a certain area, the Holy Spirit is right there to help us be more than a conqueror.