Scripture — Galatians 5:13-26, 6:1-10
13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh[a]; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[b] 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever[c] you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
6 Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spiritshould restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. 2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3 If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. 4 Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, 5 for each one should carry their own load. 6 Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.
7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction;whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
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A crop is determined to be a “good” on by its yield, the abundance of its harvest. Our lives and souls are determined to be “good” by the work and evidence of the God in our lives, His “fruit” shown plain.
You could follow everything it says in Scripture and still not bear fruit. We are to follow the Spirit, not the letter of the law.
If we are not sharing Christ for a good reason, ie, to share His love with others as He shared it with us, then we are not doing it for Him or for the good of others. We are doing it for us, which is the absolutely wrong reason.
Many people start with love in the “fruitful” path. But we really need to start at the other end, with self-control. How can we share love with our fellow man, if we don’t even have control of ourselves? If we cannot be gentle? Or kind? The Holy Spirit helps us to build, one upon the other, with love as the ultimate goal, and, as we build these virtues, these fruits of the Spirit, within, the Spirit then helps us to respond to others as God would — to repay unkindness with kindness, votriol with gentleness.
TH eprocess starts with dealing with the difficult stuff within ourrselves. Only by diffing the dirt of our own souls can we grow and harvest a good crop and will the evidence of God’s Spirit show in our lives.
Fruit has seeds that will spread, put down and deepen roots, and grow more fruit. Our fruit will spread to others with God’s help, seeds of gentleness, patience, kindness, and love that can once again grow into beautiful fruit.