Pleasanton California in the Bay area has one of the best Farmer's markets that I have ever been to. The sights, the sounds, the people, the farmer's, all combine to make it a wonderful experience; yet the draw is always the produce, the fruit, that is what attracts the people to turn out every Saturday!
Jesus says that when we abide or stay in constant connection with Him we will bear much fruit, we can't bear it on our own. Does our fruit draw others?
The Holy Spirit within each born again believer produces nine categories of fruit; Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Now I ask you, who wouldn't be drawn to this fruit if it was evident in us as believers?
LOVE a word in the English language that doesn't begin to explain the depth of meaning, but we are given insight into the meaning in 1 Corinthians 13. In part, this love embodies; kindness, no envying, no jealousy, isn't boastful, or conceited, not touchy, pays no attention when it is wronged by another, never keeps track of wrongs done to them.....
JOY not the happiness of the world that depends on circumstances. This is a deep down fullness of joy that is constant no matter what the circumstances are in your life! It completely transcends any worldly happiness, this joy never goes away.
PEACE a gift from the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ. The counterfeits of the world offer peace but they never, ever deliver. The peace of God is what keeps and guards our hearts and minds in the midst of a world that is rapidly spinning out of control.
PATIENCE this word in today's world of instant gratification seems ludicrous! Yet those who wait upon the Lord learn the value of patience.
KINDNESS when was the last time you even used that word in a sentence? Remember the "random acts of kindness"? The fact that we had it proves how far away we have moved from kindness to one another that we have to create a movement to do it!
GOODNESS if you asked a five year old today would they even know the definition of that word? Ask one today, no, not your own, their answer might just shock you.
FAITHFULNESS another word that you don't hear very much in 2011. What about loyalty, are you loyal to the Lord? Are you loyal in good times and in bad times to anyone? We badly need loyal, faithful people today.
GENTLENESS almost laughable in today's society that feels you must push ahead or be run over! Several years ago there was a term for this mentality, life was called a Rat Race. The truth is the rats never win, it just appears that way.
SELF-CONTROL go to any book store, or on line and you will find thousands of self-help books and people spend millions of dollars for these every year. Groups are even formed to control out of control people with issues too numerous to name. Yet there is a Book, the greatest seller of all time and it embodies truth and when you know the truth, the truth will set you free. We can't set ourselves free but Jesus does!