As a young man I worked at a grocery store. A jack-of-all departments, I spent time doing a little bit of everything – including working in the produce department. Today, even as back then, I like to watch people try to select the most perfect piece of fruit. Watermelons get thumped, apples get smelled, grapes get tasted, bananas are checked for bruises… the list is long as to what people will do to the fruit in order to select the best to take home!
On a recent trip to the grocery store, I recently purchased some fruit for our fruit bowl. Specifically, my bride asked me to buy some pears. Having grown up eating pears in seemingly every dish and at every meal, I no longer care for pears. And yet my wife found these pears by name, Anjou, that she says are the best she’s ever eaten and it seems like we can’t buy enough of them. I understand this process, because at Christmas those cute little boxes of mandarin oranges come out and I can go through a box in a week.
The Apostle Paul speaks to fruit that you do not pick up at the store, or pluck from a tree or gather from some bush. He is speaking about that which springs forth from a life that is FULL of the Spirit of God. Jesus describes this fruit process in a way that makes us realize that we produce and re-produce that which we truly are, and every one can see the results.
Gal. 5:22-23 (KJV) 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Eph. 5:8-11 (KJV) 8For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: 9(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth😉 10Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. 11And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
Luke 6:38 (KJV) 38Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
Jesus goes on to describe the fruit that we have within should produce without, and we can tell what the inside contains by what we speak from our mouth!
- Luke 6:43 through Luke 6:45 (KJV) 43For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 44For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. 45A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
When you consider the things that we produce as a result of our lives, we see where some make great sacrifices for the reaching of souls, others make great strides in building great structures of churches for people to worship. And yet there are others who lead quiet lives and being a difference in those they come in contact with.
Again, Paul describes something in his writing, but what his focus touches is not a clutch of volumnioius substance, but is however the focus of 3 wonderful truths.
- 1 Cor. 13:13 (KJV) 13And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
So, there is definitely a pecking order!
And do you notice that Faith and Charity are in Paul’s list, but not Hope?
I am no so sure that all will read into this what I see, but, there is a “pecking” order! The greatest of all things is Charity! This word Charity comes from the Greek word that we all know as “Agape” and is a word that is found in flavor only in the New Testament!
Still, with all this Love, there are still the 9 other Fruits of the Spirit that we are responsible to re-produce. What are these items? I will be looking at them over the next few days and will share with you as I research!