I apologize for this unplanned, unanticipated hiatus from the World of Blog.
Life just happens sometimes.
But now I'm back, and I want to tell you about the weirdest thing happened last week.
Thursday night we had Paul and Peyton over for fajitas and we made two delicious pitchers of "Fruits with Spirits" (aka, Sangria!!!!!)
At church that Sunday JD preached about the Fruit of the Spirit.
So clearly he had my attention...
(And don't I have all of yours now too?)
We are doing a sermon series titled "Gospel" right now in anticipation for the launch of JD's book.
His book is called, Gospel.
The sermon this week was one of those sermons that you can't stop thinking about, talking about, or (apparently) blogging about all week.
My heart was ignited.
The Fruit of the Spirit are:
And don't each of us have one or two of these that our hearts just squirm uncomfortably at when we hear? Because we know that it is something that our life lacks. And probably longs for.
This is what JD challenged us with this week: The Bible refers to them as the "Fruit" of the Spirit. It does not refer to them as the "Fruits" of the Spirit.
(Or "Fruits with Spirits" for that matter.)
The point being, it's singular. These characteristics, they are the fruit of a life rooted deeply in Christ. A life that abides in Christ. Remains connected to Christ like the branches to the vine. And if there is even one that you do not produce at all, then you don't have the "Fruit of the Spirit". You are only as mature as your weakest fruit.
And that's about when everyone in the whole church starting squirming uncomfortably in their seats.
You are only as mature as your weakest fruit.
You may agree or disagree with this statement, but the point is that a life rooted in Christ is different. It has a different "DNA makeup." And it produces fruit accordingly. When we are rooted in Him, we have the DNA makeup to produce each of these fruits,
Even though, some take longer to develop in us.
The way a child has to grow into his big ears or feet.
But Jesus commands us to walk by the Spirit. And like JD put it, producing Fruit of the Spirit is not like using a recipe to make waffles where you follow the instructions, add the right ingredients, and out comes the right "fruit".
No, it's like making babies, not waffles people!
Babies are literally the fruit of two people getting carried away in a moment of intense love and intimacy. So it is with the Fruit of the Spirit. It is produced when we get carried away in an intense, intimate, relationship with God. Suddenly, we just produce it. Not because we followed a recipe and did the right things. But because we were swept away by God's amazing love.
And the flip side?
When we don't constantly root ourselves, deeper and deeper,
Then we will begin to see evidence in our lives of the Fruit of the Flesh:
Delighting in the downfall of others
And it continues...
Anyone really squirmy now?
This is the truth we keep coming back to: It's imperative that we truly Abide in Christ.
Live with him,
Fill ourselves with His word.
Remember just how much He loves us.
And get swept away by it.