I recently came across these sermon notes from a message by Ken Thiessen (an author, consultant, former pastor and area minister).
He spoke about counterfeit things, and how you can tell if something’s real. Products can be fake (he told of seeing Riders and Jets jerseys for sale in Mexico), but people also can put on a false front. The test is to look at the fruit – you can identify a tree by its fruit, and you can identify people by their actions.
I claim to be a Christian – but how is the quality of the fruit in my life? My actions flow out of my inner character, and prove or disprove what I claim. The ‘Fruit of the Spirit’ are listed in Galatians 5:22 & 23:
patience, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Against such things there is no law.
The fruit of the Spirit – it is the Holy Spirit that produces these fruit:
* this means that the Holy Spirit must be present in me, &
* this means that it is impossible to manufacture these apart from the Holy Spirit. I can’t do it on my own.
So how do I test the fruit? There is no magic formula or checklist. An honest self examination will reveal the quality of these characteristics in my life. Shortly after hearing this message I drove my daughter out to camp, and then had a great hour long drive home in silence. It was a good time to think through the list and reflect.
Honestly, there are a lot of areas I would like to see an improvement in… and since I can’t make them grow, I will need to focus on providing a good climate for growth. Just as plants need good soil, light and water, I need to soak myself in the word, feed on Jesus, the bread of life, worship, and be thankful and pray in all circumstances.
I’m curious what YOU do to provide yourself with an optimal circumstances for growth. Leave a comment with your best practices – I am always ready to learn from you!