Sunday, 21 May 2006

fruit of the Spirit

Two young brothers were punished by being sent to their room. Every time their parents did this, they would open the window and climb down the big tree to get out to play. After a time, they heard their parents talking about the tree. "It hasn't borne fruit in years." "Let's cut it down." They ran out to the shops and bought three kilos of apples, then tied them on to the branches. The next day the boys' parents saw it and were amazed. "But it's a pear tree!" they said.

The fruit of the Spirit are not meant to be grown by us, but by the Spirit in us. We are the wrong type of tree, like a pear tree that suddenly produces apples. The Spirit in us produces the fruit because God is the tree that produces the divine character.

The fruit come as a cluster; nine grapes hanging in the same bunch. It's no use to say, "I am a patient person, but I'm greedy by nature and I can't get self-control." Take them all or leave them all.

Love, joy, peace: these define our inner life
Patience, kindness, goodness (NIV)/generosity (NRSV): these define our relationships
Faithfulness, gentleness, self-control: these define our integrity

And next week at church: The gifts of the Spirit
Last week at church: Who is the Spirit?


Kevin & Sonya said...

Hi Sare! Which church are you going to?


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