Daily Devotion | Day 246
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace . . .” (Galatians 5:22-23, NKJV).
In today’s passage, Paul lists nine different (but related) things and calls them the “fruit of the Spirit.” The complete list: is, love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Here, Paul makes use of a familiar agricultural image to instruct Christians about the nature of life in the Spirit. Typically, a farmer cultivates the soil, sows and waits for harvest. At harvest time, the farmer moves in to reap the fruit (the produce) of the field.
The word “produce” or “fruit” is a collective term which may refer to a variety of crops on the same land. On a particular field (for example, a garden) a farmer may grow corn, cabbage, tomatoes, pepper, etc. This is the analogy Paul is using when he speaks of the fruit of the Spirit. Assume, therefore, that the Spirit is the land; and love, peace, joy, etc. are the different produce growing on the land.
Later, in Galatians 6:7-9, Paul reinforces the sowing-reaping analogy when he writes,
“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”
As you can see, sowing precedes harvesting. Furthermore, what you sow is what you reap. Paul speaks of fruit of the Spirit. What he means is, when you sow to the soil of the Spirit, you will naturally harvest the fruit of love, peace, joy, etc. These manifestations are evidence that you are authentically walking in the Spirit, i.e. you are submitted to the leading of the Spirit.
Alternatively, you have the option of sowing in the soil of the flesh, i.e. a life contrary to the ways of God. But, be advised that this option leads to everlasting death or “corruption,” as Paul has noted (see Galatians 5:19-21).
The only path that leads to life is the path of the Spirit. Sowing in the Spirit is simple. It essentially means walking in obedience to God’s Word. If you are doing that, you are sowing in the Spirit. The natural result is, you will manifest the following fruit (all, not some of it): love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Don’t sow anything you don’t want to reap.
Choose wisely. Invest wisely. Sow in the Spirit, and the harvest of life shall follow.
Blessing: May the Lord bless you and prosper you in all your ways. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.
For further study: Romans 8:1-17