"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. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit." Galatians 5:22-25
"But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil." Hebrews 5: 14
"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." James 1: 2-4
When praying through June’s painting, all I could see was fruit on a table, colourful and delicious looking. I really enjoy painting fruit, so of course this was an awesome composition to see… I asked the Lord to speak to me about what this fruit means. The first words I heard were, “Mature Fruit.” He began speaking to me about spiritual maturity, spiritual fruit and how we must move into maturity as the body of Christ and individuals. During trials and testing, we are often being pruned and challenged to repent of sinful ways so we become more mature in our walk and faith. Our character is matured as we see in the perspective of the Spirit rather than in the flesh.
The first verse most of us will think about with fruit is in Galatians, referring to spiritual fruit.
What does it mean to bear fruit? Essentially, it is becoming like Jesus. Spiritual fruit will show itself in our lives as a change in our character and outlook. As we spend time with Jesus and get to know Him better, His thoughts will become our thoughts. His purpose will become our purpose. We will become more like Him.
Spiritual fruit is what others see in your life. Do you exude any of the fruits of the Spirit outlined in Galatians? Something to think about. I began to read about how fruit matures, here is what I found out:
Maturing and ripening process:
Fruits undergo numerous changes during ripening. The major changes include fruit softening, sweetening, decreased bitterness, and colour change. These changes begin in an inner part of the fruit, working its way towards outer most tissue of the fruit. The maturing process of fruits refers to the last stage of the biological function, when they grow to the maximum size. The best quality of fruit when harvest is done at the perfect maturity stage. Picked and ready to eat!
I always find it amazing how God designed the world around us and how we can learn spiritual truths from His creation. The parallels that were highlighted to me:
- Fruit softening, much like our hearts
- Becoming sweeter and less bitter, resulting as we repent of our sinful ways and fleshly desires
- Colour changing, we become richer in tone as we mature, becoming beautiful shades of God’s masterpiece. Our character can be like colour… changing as we mature.
- Change occurs inside the fruit towards the outside, as does in a person. We change and develop from what is in our heart and minds. When focused on Christ and in the Word, we develop from the inside out.
I hope this simple painting of fruit will be a reminder of becoming more like Jesus. My desire is to know him more and continually develop into spiritual maturity day by day.
P.S. I also have to mention, I painted this outside on a porch in beautiful British Columbia, Canada. My parents have a place in the Okanagan where we go to, to get away and relax. It is the most gorgeous country-side of wineries, hills and lakes. Orchards bloom everywhere in this region. The perfect place to paint and reflect on producing spiritual fruit, where fruit grows in abundance. My prayer is we all grow into maturity in Christ, so we can serve others with His goodness. It is a process that develops our entire life, as we press on towards the day we see Jesus face to face.
"I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained." Philippians 3: 14-16
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