God’s encouragement for us…
Jesus tells us that He is the vine and we are the branches, that whoever abides in Him and has Him abiding in their heart, that branch will bear much fruit. In Galatians 5:22-23 we find a list of the Fruit we will bear: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. What lovely fruit to bear and share with others. It sounds like heaven to me!
This fruit describes the world I want to live in, too. I want to experience a bit of heaven here, yet I struggle to do my part. Especially hard for me, is to express this to those closest to me who have hurt me. I have felt they needed to apologize first and so I’ve waited for apologies that never come. As a result, the “fruit” I’ve born has been stubbornness and even coldness.
God’s Holy Spirit has helped me through this scripture by reminding me that I now abide in Jesus. His love for me isn’t dependent on my actions, but on Who He is. And while apart from Him I cannot bear His fruit, abiding in Him means that He flows through me to produce this fruit. In other words, it is His fruit that grows on my branch!
With this new understanding, I confessed my sin of unforgiveness so that God could prune it from my branch. Focusing on how I abide in Him has allowed His “Fruit of the Spirit” to flow into my heart! My daily prayer is to bear His fruit and give it to others as freely as He gives it to me.