Would you like to know a guaranteed way to glorify God?
The Lord told us in John 15:8 –
“By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.”
We glorify God by bearing much fruit. Today we go back into Galatians 5:22-23 to examine more closely the fruit of the Spirit. By knowing what type of fruit the Holy Spirit produces we will grow in opportunities to glorify our Father. This is also our memory passage, so remember to meditate and memorize as you read today.
Galatians 5:22–23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (ESV)
Getting to the Heart:
One of the most helpful things we can do with this list of spiritual fruit is to understand what each part of the fruit means, what it replaces, and even what tends to be a counterfeit version of each part. I’ve been helped so much by the Bible study resource Galatians for You by Tim Keller1, and I’ve created a chart below based on his helpful explanation of the fruit of the Spirit.
|Love||Love and care for a person based on their good, not on what they bring to you||Self-protection; self-promotion||Attraction for someone based on what they add to you or how they make you feel|
|Joy||Happiness and delight in God for Who He is and what He does in the world||Hopelessness; depression||Happiness based on changing circumstances|
|Peace||Confidence and rest in the sovereign wisdom and control of God||Anxiety and fear||Not caring about something; feeling indifferent|
|Patience||The ability to stand up under the pressures of life without lashing out in anger toward God and others||Resentment toward God and others||Cynical lack of care|
|Kindness||Motivation that serves others for their good in a practical way, out of a sense of complete inner security in Christ||Envy; refusal to rejoice in another’s prosperity||Serving others to ultimately manipulate them or prove to God or others our worth.|
|Goodness||Also means integrity; being one person or the same person wherever you are||Hypocrisy||Speaking your mind and not holding back truth to make yourself feel better or look good|
|Faithfulness||To be absolutely trustworthy and always true to your word||Being a friend only in good times||Being loving but never willing to confront when needed|
|Gentleness||Humility, specifically self-forgetfulness, prioritizing others and responding calmly even when they are aggressive||Attitude of superiority or self-absorption||Spirit of inferiority, speaking ill about yourself|
|Self-control||Ability to endure in hard times by focusing on the important not the urgent||Impulsiveness or recklessness||Willpower to endure difficulties to prove your worth or strength|
Sometimes it’s necessary to slow down in our Bible reading and really dig in to specific words to better know the Lord’s message. This passage with this list is a case in point: we need to really understand these aspects of the Spirit’s fruit. It’s all so we can bear the fruit that brings joy and glory to our Father.
Today a group of men came to our home to cut down some trees that we had let grow over the years but that had become a nuisance. It is amazing how much more light, area to grow other things and even just to play in that the removal of those trees provided.
Walking in the Spirit is like that, I think. All of us have some motivating attitudes that are contrary to the fruit of the Spirit. Jesus came to deliver us from that ruling flesh that loves to assert self and sow destructive works. The Holy Spirit is the power to come in and chop those works down at their root level and open up your life to the light and freedom of God (Gal. 5:1).
Let’s talk it over:
- Where are you seeing growth this week in the Spirit?
- Do you see any opposites in your attitudes and actions?
- Do you spot any counterfeits to the Spirit’s fruit?
Lord Jesus, we believe that it is for freedom that You came to set us free. That freedom is the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control that the Spirit produces. This is the fruit we see in You, Lord. We love You because of who You are and how You shared that fruit with people all the time. There was never a time when You were not bearing fruit, and You are worthy of the greatest freedom and joy. Yet You took on our record of fleshly works and received the punishment for reckless, self-absorbed living that defied God and defiled our fellow man. Oh, we love and thank You for paying for those many many sins. But we love and thank You all the more that now You share Your Spirit with us so that we might walk with You and experience what You alone deserve. Help us to glorify our Father by bearing much fruit today. Amen.
Worship in Song:
- Galatians for You resource by Tim Keller. Pages 141-142 used for the chart above.