May Bear Fruit
As we enter into May, I have been anticipating all the beauty that spring brings. Hearing the birds sing their joyful tunes. The colors of spring brighten the earth as the trees begin to bud, the grass turns from brown to green and the flowers begin to bloom.
I have always lived in the Midwest and therefore, have the opportunity to experience the changes of each season. My favorite change of season is definitely spring. Spring represents new life!
Spring brings the beauty of new life and in order for the beauty to sustain itself, we have to do some work, which includes weeding! Have you heard the phrase “you reap what you sow?”
Just as farmers plant their seeds and expect to harvest more than they plant, a small decision to do either good or bad reaps a much bigger crop, for either joy or sorrow.
The seeds we sow are typically an outcome of the choices we make. We are faced with choices every day, from the time we get up in the morning until our head hits the pillow at night. Some choices are big and some are small, but they are all choices. If you plant weeds, you will get weeds. If you plant fruit, you will get fruit.
John 15:5 says, “I am the vine, you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit. Apart from me, you can do nothing.”
When we make Godly choices, our lives will be transformed. Just like the farmer must battle against weeds to enjoy the fruit of his labor, we must constantly work to rid our lives of the “weeds” of our old sin natures that want to stop the work of the Spirit.
Galatians 5:22-23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
The fruits of the spirit represent the attributes of a Christian life. All nine attributes should be produced by each of us as we walk in our new life with Jesus.
Love – This is the greatest commandment. Love the Lord our God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. Love your neighbor as yourself. God is love.
Joy – The joy of the Lord is our strength! The Lord’s joy is you and me! Jesus endured the suffering of the cross because of the joy of having us close to Him. His joy comes from what is right and just.
Peace – Peace doesn’t come from putting my life in God’s hands. It comes from the knowledge that it’s not mine to begin with. It’s been His from the beginning. I, in my humanness, must step aside and let Him do His work through me because I am His.
Patience—Much of our impatience comes from uncommunicated expectations. We often assume people know what our expectations are of them. We will experience more patience by communicating up front our needs and expectations. When we go to God in prayer, the Holy Spirit living in us will provide us with the patience we need.
Kindness – People will forget what you say, they will forget what you do, but they will never forget how you made them feel! When you come in contact with someone, you will leave them feeling better about themselves or worse, but you will never leave them unaffected.
Goodness – Goodness is a part of God. It is the very essence of His nature and we are made in His image and likeness. James 1:22 tells us to “be doers of the word.” It’s not about just doing good to those who are good to us. We must do good to everyone…even our enemies!
Faithfulness—Faith is believing without seeing and it is believing without feeling. It’s about those times when we can’t see or feel the promise, but we believe in the promise anyway. Faith isn’t a feeling. It’s believing despite our feelings.
Gentleness – It is not weakness, but instead it is strength under control! The greatest leaders understand that gentleness is strength.
Self-Control – When we have the strength of the Holy Spirit, we have the strength to control our sinful desires. To say no to our flesh, and say yes to the Spirit and produce a bountiful harvest of spiritual fruit.
I am blessed to be the featured Voice with Women of Faith Ambassadors in May. We will share practical ways to focus on Godly choices that will transform our lives. Choices that will produce the Christian attributes we need for our new life in Christ.
I pray that God’s truth and love will grow within each of us as we together strengthen our relationship with Him.
God bless you always, and in all ways.
Voice with Women of Faith
Laura Frankl Pedersen is a Voice with Women of Faith. Laura is also a John Maxwell certified speaker and coach who has worked over 25 years in the field of human resources and organizational training and development. In 2011 after losing both her dad and sister, Laura found herself being called to continue the spirit lead legacy of her sister, Sara Frankl. Sara lived with chronic pain as a result of an autoimmune disease and was eventually confined to her home before dying at 38 years old. If anyone had reason to focus on the unfairness of life, it was Sara. Yet through her faith and trust in God, she surrendered her life to Him and therefore accomplished something few can…she chose joy!