May 29, 2024

Bob Maas
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

Jesus refers to Himself as the true vine, and his Father is the gardener. God inspires all Scripture, and I love meditating in His Word more than any other activity in my schedule. However, in my estimation, Jesus’ analogy of the true vine, describing who and what He is, is the most inspiring and motivational metaphor of all. Not only does it describe Him, but it also characterizes us and clearly defines the importance of abiding in Him.

Just as a branch can only bear fruit if it remains attached to the vine, we cannot possibly bear fruit unless we abide in Him. He tells us that apart from Him, we can do nothing. He doesn’t mean we cannot be busy with activities that provide income and fleeting pleasure, which the world has conditioned us to do. He is unequivocally stating that we cannot bear fruit that will glorify God unless we abide in Him.

That is the calling of every person who believes in Jesus Christ and desires to be one of His disciples. The fruit of the Spirit is how people know we are one of His followers. The Father, who is the Gardner, prunes the vine so that it will bear more and more fruit. The extent to which we are pruned means that God is also being glorified in our lives based on the ever-increasing amount of fruit we bear.

It is fascinating that most of the fruit we bear is only observable when we don’t do certain things. We don’t keep a record of wrongs; we don’t retaliate; we are not easily angered; we are not arrogant; we are not self-seeking; we don’t delight in evil; we don’t give up; patience is not being anxious.

The culture of God’s Kingdom is righteousness, peace, and joy. Let’s focus on abiding in the vine.