Monday, September 24, 2012
What comes to mind when you read the word "fruit"? Is it sweetness? Vitality? Sunny weather? Do you think of your favorite fruit's appearance or taste? Am I making you hungry???
I LOVE fruit, sometimes eating them more over vegetables in a day. Why bother with man-made snacks when I can reach for a fresh peach or a ripe banana? And I can even resist the temptation of eating a fudge-sicle in favor of a mango popsicle any day.
But physical fruit aside, I'm reminded of where the Bible speaks of fruit. We all know of the first sin originating over rebellion from eating the very fruit that was forbidden. Yet, it (and sin) appeared delicious, an oversight on God's plans for mankind. It was no big deal. Right??!! How tragic it was that the way human minds work is through physical attributes. More often than not, the way something looks or makes us feel causes us to end up in heaps of trouble.
So as I sit here this morning, I was actually doing a study on the Fruits of the Spirit. How's that for a segue? Because in those Fruits (yes, big F), they are more than something we are attracted to for what they look like on the surface. They are never-rotting, all-powerful, life-changing Fruits that can only be ingested and manifested when our hearts are made right. How? Well, first you have to know Who or What the Spirit is. The Spirit, the invisible presence of God, is the one thing that can dwell in every human when a belief in God is expressed. To keep it within the heart, a person must "feed" on the ways of God, so that Fruits are the result. And as those Fruits are generated, they grow stronger and are then meant to be shared with others. Before long, everyone is affected by these Fruits and in turn bear their own if they choose to follow the Lord.
The Spirit can only produce Fruit in us WHEN WE EXERCISE OUR FAITH by believing that Christ is Lord over our lives through submitting to His will in all our ways. When we can do that instead of succumbing to sin, we said to be Spirit-filled, allowing the Fruits of the Spirit to manifest themselves in us and be of benefit to ourselves and others.
Beauty the way we define it on a base level may be skin deep, but with the Fruits' help, it can know no age. Anyone can be transformed, regardless of what deformities they may have. Moreoever, "beautiful" people can have their countenance and body marred when they DON'T have Fruits - through restlessness, words of hate, jealousy, selfishness and rage that fills their every motive and thought. You can just see those traits reflecting in their eyes - and that's when you know that any beauty they have is artificial in every way. Such two-faced people can only get by so long. Yes, they may be successful, and yes, they may be popular. But in the end, they are soon forgotten when they die, soon to be replaced by another, like a worn out toy. Who wants to compete with that? It's just not worth it. I'd take the Fruits of the Spirit over THAT any day.
Have you had your FRUIT today?