Galatians 5:22-23a (New International Version)
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Growing up we had in our back yard one of the coolest swing sets. The day soon came that my brothers and I we out grew it. Once we did the question came, what we do with it. Not sure whose idea it was but the decision was made to make it into a grape arbor. As the summer progressed we were able to enjoy the many grapes that were produced. What a joy it was to go pick the grapes directly from the vine. Unlike the seedless grapes I buy in the store, these grapes had seeds. These seeds which I would so tediously take out of each grape would produce more grapes if I'd plant them and give them the right conditions under which to grow and multiply.
I thought of the fruits of the Spirit. Like the grapes from the vine, these fruits, if handled correctly, would multiply in our lives, making us better persons and blessing others who touch our lives.
Have we allowed the fruits of the Spirit to be manipulated like the hybrid grapes until there are no seeds to be planted and spread to others? Have we made them beautiful and enjoyable for our use only, with no means to spread them to others?
The good things of life need to be shared and multiplied, but unless the seeds are there, they become dead ends, one-time-only fruits that evidence the Spirit in us, but don't allow us to pass them on to others.
Have we allowed our churches to become hybrids -- producing the very best programs possible in the most beautiful buildings we can afford, yet producing a fruit that contains no seeds?
Dear Lord help us to understand that our spiritual fruits must contain seed that will multiply and grow to keep Your church going. Make us seed producers in Your church. In Jesus’ name, Amen.