So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. Romans 7:4 (emphasis mine)
I’ve been thinking a lot about fruit lately.
As believers, we’re called to produce fruit. Fresh, juicy, life-giving fruit for Jesus Christ.
Yet, I’m running into some Christians who aren’t fresh or juicy. Instead of being life-giving, they are joy sucking. Sometimes they’re even downright rotten. Have you ever bitten into a piece of fruit expecting sweetness and got a mealy, mushy mouthful of yuck?
In Galatians 5:22 the apostle Paul gives us a description of what believers produce spiritually: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. Against such things there is no law.”
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control are by-products of a fruitful life.
I’ve been checking for fruit lately; asking myself these questions: (feel free to use them for yourself!)
- Is spiritual fruit evident in my life?
- Am I putting out good stuff into the world?
- Is anything starting to rot?
- Is what I’m producing giving life to others?
- If I were a tree, would people want to pick from me or would they pass me by?
I admit that some days it feels as if the joy suckers are winning. I feel like I’m constantly struggling against the elements of spiritual darkness. Against those powers and authorities that work to corrupt and discourage us.
I want to be fresh for Jesus. I’d like to pray for us and I’d covet your prayers for me!
Heavenly Father, thank you for the opportunity to serve you in this rotten world. Lord Jesus, we eagerly await your return and the restoration of all things. Give us the strength to persevere in our walk and help us fight against the evil surrounding us.
Your turn: Do you have any tips on defeating joy suckers?