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  • Writer's pictureRay Reynolds

Be Careful of the Fruit You Bear

What kind of fruit do you bear (Matthew 7:16, John 15:1-8)? Paul reveals through Galatians 5:22-23 that nothing should hinder us from bearing the fruit of the Spirit. Bearing spiritual fruit should be natural for a Christian. As natural as breathing oxygen.

Paul mentions that the are no laws or requirements that should hinder us from reaching the Spirit's full potential in our lives. We can be full of "love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control." No law of the Land should prohibit us from doing these things because they will benefit all of mankind. We can gain unlimited courage and boldness when we soak up Scripture and pray without ceasing. We should gain qualities that are exemplary for even non-believers.

The real question Paul seems to be asking us in Galatians 5 is this: “Are you following the Holy Spirit or something/someone else?” This is why he lists the works of the flesh (bad fruit) prior to the list of the fruit of the Spirit (good fruit). If you are following the ways of the world, people will see it from the works of the flesh. If you are following the Holy Spirit of God, people will see it from the fruit of the Spirit.

Now.... This is where the rubber meets the road. Which do you bear? Good fruit? Or bad fruit? Matthew 6:15-20 says, Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them."

The world is full of fruit inspectors. You WILL be known by your fruit. If you practice "adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like" you are not pleasing God (Galatians 5:19-21). It will ruin your influence, hurt your fellow man and keep you from inheriting the kingdom of God.

Bearing the wrong kind of fruit will be obvious to those in the church and in the world. No one has ever confused a guava for a strawberry or a grape for a watermelon. This is a call for us to inspect our vineyards and gardens. You can’t pretend. You can’t hide it. You can't ignore it. God is watching. And the world too. Let's bear good fruit! Have a great week!

You are loved.

Ray Reynolds

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