If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. (v. 25)
The law can’t produce them or maintain them; only the Spirit can nurture them. Such are the fruits of the Spirit. Where is fruit budding in your life and in your family, church, or community?
In Matthew’s Gospel Jesus warns about false prophets, and he twice reminds his listeners that they will recognize the false prophets by the fruit they bear. There are outward signs of our inward disposition, and just as false prophets can be detected by their failure to produce good fruit, so we too can bear fruit that reveals what is at work within us. At its ripest, the fruit of the Spirit draws attention not to us and our actions but to the One who is working through us. I’m reminded of the song about how “they will know we are Christians by our love.” A tree’s fruit reveals what kind of tree it is. Likewise, the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control witness to the power of God’s Spirit at work within us. From our roots to our branches, the Spirit is moving, producing a harvest that nourishes us and all of God’s people who are hungry for a taste of good fruit, not as the world gives, but as only God can give.
Friends, stay rooted in prayer, discernment, and the word of God, and may you bear much fruit to the glory of God!
As you pray, ask God to cultivate in you a bountiful harvest of the Spirit’s fruit.
About the Author
Jessica Bratt Carle lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she has served as a chaplain and more recently as a clinical ethicist at Corewell Health (formerly Spectrum Health) since 2017. She is a minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA). She and her husband have two young sons.