The Fruit of the Spirit


Cultivating the fruit of the Spirit will help us love those who are hurting or those who are hard to love.

A fruit tree will bear fruit if the tree is healthy and if the soil is good. For exceptional fruit, the tree must be pruned. Weeds need to be pulled around its base and adequate fertilizer and water must be provided.

Similarly, bearing the fruit of the Spirit in our lives requires pruning, weeding, and fertilizing. Growth comes through studying God's Word and applying His principles to our lives. Pruning and weeding remove the attitudes and actions that are not like His.

The Holy Spirit is the One who convicts us of sin and leads us to a point of repentance. Christ is the One who fertilizes our lives with His Truth and love. He gave His followers a new commandment to love one another. But this love was not to be a human love. "As I have loved you, so you must love one another" (John 13:34).

It cost God everything to demonstrate His love for us -- the very death of His Son. And love, if it is sincere, will cost us something, too. It may not cost us our physical lives, but it will cost us something emotionally. This is why a commitment of love should never be given lightly nor recalled without thinking through the consequences of our decision.

God's love is strong enough to teach us how to love someone who is unlovely and harsh. How do you do this? First, begin by realizing that many times the only way we can love another person is through God. He is the only One who can teach us to love and to understand those who are hurting or who are difficult.

Second, pray. This is the key to loving others the way God loves you. Even if you find it difficult to pray, God's Holy Spirit will guide you when you humble your heart before Him (Romans 8:26).

Prayer: Lord, I struggle with loving some of the people in my life. Help me lift them up in prayer to You -- to pray blessings over their lives as You see fit to give. Teach me to love the way You love. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

"Let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God" (1 John 4:7).


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