Think back to when you were growing up. Like most kids, you probably had a lemonade stand at some point. It’s almost a right of passage to go into the kitchen and make a batch of lemonade sweet enough to rot teeth and go out in front of your house and sell it. In fact, I knew quite a few kids growing up who made a nice chunk of change selling lemonade. Now granted, they were the really sweet or adorable kids no one can say no to.
But I had a different idea. My brother and I were quite the capitalists growing up. If it meant I could have more money for the ice cream truck, then I would do it. We had two ideas that netted us some pretty nice profits. First, we sold golf balls. We lived along the 18th hole of a golf course and the bad golfers who had lost all of their golf balls by the last hole were desperate to buy from us.
We also ran a different venture once that reminded me of the fruit stand idea. We just sold the fruit. In south Florida, you can find just about anything growing in people’s backyards and so we sold oranges, lemons, limes, coconuts, star fruit, bananas, mangoes, and avocados. And we did pretty well. Who can pass up a little kid selling fruit along the side of the road.
Well, today we’re going to talk about a different kind of fruit, a kind even more crucial to our lives, and that is the fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 tells us, “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” These are all wonderful fruits or attributes but fruit is a product of where it grows. A fruit tree will only produce the fruit it was meant to. And as such, we will only produce fruit according to what’s within us. If the Holy Spirit resides in us, if we have given our lives wholly over to God, then we can expect the fruits of the Spirit to be evident in our lives. If they are not, then we must question whether we’ve truly given God control of our heart. If we’re still weighed down by the world, then we will bear its fruit of frustration, selfishness, anger, and depression.
“No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.”
Remember that Jesus teaches that it’s from the heart that our fruit grows. So what’s in your heart…the world or the Spirit of God?