One of the first commands in Scripture is the command to be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 1:28). While we normally interpret this to mean producing children, the command actually has much wider implications.
To be fruitful is to show results for one’s efforts. A fruit-bearing tree that does not bear fruit has a problem. A Christian who does not bear fruit for Christ has a problem as well.
What is the fruit Christ is calling us to bear? The first response that comes to our minds might be winning souls for Him or fulfilling a particularly ministry at church or beyond. But as we study Scripture more closely, we see that those things are simply by-products of the real fruit Christ wants us to bear. That fruit is the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
Galatians 5:22 describes the fruit of the Holy Spirit: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” Notice that the verse does not read “fruits of the Spirit” but, rather, “fruit of the Spirit.” Interestingly, there is only one fruit of the Spirit and that fruit is love. Out of love flow joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. All of these are inherent in love.
Love is the fruit that Jesus wants us to bear. Out of our Christ-like love will flow every other kind of fruit we bear, whether that fruit be spiritual (joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control), mental, or physical.
So, I ask you again, are you bearing fruit? Together, let us ask God the Father, the Vine-Dresser (John 15:1) to prune us so that we will bear much love fruit for the building of His Kingdom.
Copyright 2015 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved.