The expectation of a farmer for planting melon is that it may bear fruit. Melon is the large round fruit of a plant of the gourd family; with sweet pulpy flesh and many seeds. It is a creeping plant and is not useful for any other thing other than to bear fruits. The word of God says, “Those who are planted in the house of the LORD will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bring fourth fruit in old age, they will be flourishing and invigorated to show that the LORD is upright, just.” Psalm 92, verses 14-15. It is very instructive therefore to remember that our Savior cursed the fruitless green fig tree. Such a deceptive appearance will always attract the judgement of God. The Holy Spirit actually drew my attention to Galatians 5:22-23. It reads,
“But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, against such there is no law.” Definitely,to have the power and gifts of the Holy Spirit is just a means to an end; the ultimate purpose is to manifest the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Of a truth power without love is dangerous, and love without power is deficient.
I had to do some word study on every word of this scripture so as to dig deeper into what the LORD is saying to us.. I pray that the Holy Spirit will enable us to see ourselves in this word of God which is the mirror of our souls; in order that we may be able to plead for mercy in knowledge and understanding. Jesus Christ clearly revealed the reason for saving and choosing us. He said” Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain:”, John 15:16. Glory be to God that when we were saved, we were blood bought, blood washed and spirit filled; but this is just a means to an end. The desire of the Lord for us is to bear such fruit that reflects our Savior’s character in our daily living. First and for most, the understanding that is coming to me is that since the word fruit is singular,it ministers to me that the fruit manifests in Love, joy,peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.
So we’ll examine them one by one and ask the Holy Spirit to help us see ourselves so as to know how to seek God for mercy in case we fall short of any. I believe that the Holy Spirit will change us into His likeness and lift us up as we meditatively read this material.
There is no doubt that as we read on, we will reach a point of decision either to go on with the Lord or go back, because God does not want any deception at all. Hallelujah, the time has come for God to favor Zion. For when the Lord would have built up Zion, He will appear in His glory and He wants us to be with Him in glory. We really need to know who we are, as there are two categories of christians; the spirit-filled christians and the carnal christians. A carnal christian does not believe in the leading of the Holy Spirit. Even if he is filled with the Holy Spirit, he has little or no time to wait on Him to receive instruction before action. It is quite revealing to know that, “…The mind-set, thoughts and purposes of the flesh is death, but the mind-set of the Spirit is life and peace:” Rom.8:6
But God is building a body of sprit-filled christians that are eager to know how to walk with him as they daily yield to the leading of the Holy Spirit. God has zero tolerance for carnality. For those that worship God must worship Him in spirit and truth, not in the flesh. Do you not know that It is the spirit that gives life the flesh profits nothing. No more deception, for when light comes darkness must disappear through elimination by substitution. The bible says, “This is the message we bring to you that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all”. No double standard. God is confronting us with the truth as spirt-filled christians. The first word to be examined is,
1. Love: In Greek, love means ‘Agape’ i.e. sacrificial love. It is not the type of love that you have to bring bread and I will bring butter or fried egg before we can live amorously. It is completely sacrificial and God is about manifesting His sons that are ready to be broken like bread to feed the hungry. Those that are sold out to His will. It is not a marriage of convenience, but one of putting your partner first before yourself.
Agape is a strong, ardent, compassionate, devotion to the well-being of someone. Christ is our perfect example of this love. Owe no man anything but love, Romans 13:8. The type of love that is compassionate. Jesus was full of compassion as he cleansed the leper and healed the lame man. That love covers a multitude of sins.
Agape love of God is seen in Christ as he laid down his comfort, power, and all that goes with it to put on the spirit of empathy. He was able to see eminent destruction and offered Himself as substitute for us and die for us on the cross of Calvary. A young evangelist sent to reach out to lost souls, on his way met an elderly man who loves God. On knowing the mission of the young evangelist, he informed him that a lion dwells on the pathway to the town. The elderly man offered to go first and that after the lion had eaten him, it will not desire another prey for a while, so the young evangelist can then go to fulfill God’s purpose.
That was what Christ did for us and commanded us to do the same and show forth the type of love that forgives and forgets. It was while we were yet sinners that Christ died for us. The Holy Spirit will help us to understand that love was the hallmark of the ministry of the apostles of old. And that is what God is restoring us into, one after the other. I pray that we will embrace this agape love that is poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, in Jesus name.
And Jesus has fulfilled that love practically. For God so love the world that He gave His only begotten son, John 3:16. Since He did not want any sinner to be destroyed, He willingly offered Himself as sacrifice for salvation. Let this mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus. The mind of Christ is the mind of Agape love; and the scriptures says we have the mind of Christ. This is a food for thought. Lord, how am I faring in the issue of this fruit of the Holy Spirit-LOVE?
2. Joy: The scripture is clear on this too, that the kingdom of God is not in meat and drink, but in righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. And the joy of the Lord is our strength. If you are filled with the Holy Spirit, are you experiencing the flow of the joy of the Lord? Joy is the emotional delight over blessings received or expected. But the Lord has helped us to know that the joy of the Lord does not depend on whether you are full, rich, sick, well, prayer answered or not answered. It is just there as a clear evidence that you have God living in you and that you are born of the Spirit of God.
When I got saved, I experienced this joy bubbling in me because I am at peace with the king of kings. It is different from gladness, happiness, or excitement due to promotion or success. No it does not depend on that. Whether the fig tree blossoms or not, the joy of the Lord bubbles in me because of Jesus. Is this true of you? Examine yourself whether you are still radiating the joy of the Lord years after you became born again. Or has the circumstances of the world dampened the joy that you can hardly worship God again? When you are filled with joy you will be eager to praise and worship God. Allow that joy to flow, Hebrews 12:2. Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.
What is that cross that is dampening your morale when you aught to be bubbling with the joy of the Lord? Jesus is our perfect example. No problem should block the flow of joy. I pray that this joy of the Holy Spirit will be the hallmark of His body. In Jesus name. No condition should cast us down, Psalm 43:3-5. Is Christ your exceeding joy? The scripture is supposed to be our armor against the enemy, because a fruitful tree is seen from afar. Is that true of me? Is the joy and love of the Lord seen in my life?
3. Peace: Again the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. The bible says don’t you know your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost and the Spirit of God dwells in you? Peace is a state of quietness. “Thou will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee because he trusts in Thee”. A state of quietness, rest, harmony, order, and security in the midst of strife, turmoil, and temptations. Isaiah 45:7.
Why is one in disarray and in a state of confusion. Why are you like a dry leaf in the ocean being tossed to and fro because of lack of trust in the one that created the heaven and the earth. Do you not know that our Savior cannot fail? The King of Glory is a refuge to those who trust Him. In the midst of turmoil am I at peace, or do I run from pillar to post seeking for help where there is none? Is peace feasible in my life?
4. Long-suffering: Patient endurance, to bear long the frailties (weakness), offenses, injuries, and provocations of others without murmuring or resentment. Is that true of me? Am I not full of murmuring, accusations and disputing? Long-suffering is seen in Christ and this quality of life should be seen in us too. 1 Peter 2:21-24 says “For you were called into this, because Messiah also suffered on your behalf, leaving an example behind for you so that you could follow in His footsteps. Who did not sin and no deceit was found in His mouth. Who, when He was reviled did not revile in return, while suffering He was not threatening, but He gave Himself over to the one Who judges righteously: Who took away our sins Himself by means of His body on the tree, so that by dying to our sins we could live in righteousness, by Whose wound you were healed.” There is also a standing instruction for us in Philippians 2:14-15 to,”Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse, nation, among whom you shine as lights in the world;”
5. Gentleness: A disposition to be gentle, soft-spoken, kind, even-tempered, cultured, and refined in character and conduct. James 3:17. Let us remember this, that God is showing the house to the house,so that we may know what to repent of and yield to His dealings. God who has begun a good work in us will bring it to pass. It is written, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger.” It glorifies God to avoid strife of words.
6. Goodness: The Lord is good and a stronghold in the day of trouble. The Lord is good and His mercy endures forever, Psalm 136. Are you children of that good Father? God wants us to demonstrate His goodness in our relationship one with the other. Goodness means – kind, generous, virtuous, and God-like in life and conduct. Am I generous? Can I share? Am I kind, virtuous, and generous? God gave us His best. We should be generous to God and people.
7. Faith: It is simply knowing what the spirit of God is saying to you and doing it. The bible is specific about faith, that amongst other definitions, without faith it is impossible to please God. Without faith, no righteousness. For Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness. For instance, if you do not have faith you cannot sit on a chair for fear of falling. Hence John the beloved, in confidence born out of love just rested his head on the bosom of Jesus. Remember that, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” I John 4:18. Henceforth I pray God to give us faith that will enable us to soar high to possess the will of God for our lives in Jesus name. Dynamic faith that the enemy cannot shake for we know that greater is He that is in us than the devil that is in the world. Praise the Lord.
8. Meekness: The disposition to be gentle, kind, indulgent, even blanked in temper and passion. Patient in suffering injuries without feeling a spirit of defense. Isaiah 66:2, 1Peter2:22-24 On your way, if you step on a worm it seeks no revenge. But the serpent will seek revenge if stepped on. Serpent will immediately rear up its head to fight back when hurt. Isaiah 41:14, says, “Fear not, thou worm Jacob,and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the Lord, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.” “The meek will he guide in judgment: and meek will he teach his way.” Psalm 25:9: If you want God to fight for you, and teach you, and lead you in the path of righteousness, you must therefore then , be meek. Moses in his time was said to be the meekest, but God had revealed some one greater than him in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Glory be to God. The grace to be meek is available for us in our Redeemer.
9. Temperance: means, Self-control, a moderation in the indulgence of appetites and passion. The scripture says, “When thou sit test to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee: And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite. Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat.” Proverbs 23:1-3. Christ is looking for the fruit in us. You can tell a ripe corn by its looks.
In conclusion, Jesus is coming back to reap fruit. He is not just looking for counterfeit fruit but genuine Holy Ghost fruit that reflects His character. We must not be like the Pharisees and the Sadducees who had no fruit of repentance, a bunch of hypocrites who knew the truth but did not walk in it. John the immerser declared,”An now the ax is laid to the root of the trees: therefore every tree that does not produce good fruit is being cut down and cast into a fire.” Math.3:10. May God help us to walk in His total counsel in the glorious name of Jesus Christ. AMEN.