Is Patience Optional As Fruit Of The Spirit?

I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. – John 15:1-2

Have you ever looked at the list of spiritual fruit in Galatians five and thought, “Well, I’m not doing too bad, I have about two-thirds of those?” Most of us think, “I’ve got most of them, that’s pretty good, after all, I’m only human.”

There is something that should be pointed out here. There is just one fruit, and that fruit is manifested in the characteristics that are listed. Jesus uses the example of a vine, presumably a grape vine to demonstrate this point. The fruit of a grape vine is a cluster of grapes. There are many parts to each grape in the cluster. There is the stem, the skin of the grape, the meat and seeds. If one of those components is missing it is not a complete grape.

It is the same with fruit of the Spirit; when one characteristic, or virtue, is absent then the fruit is not complete. When we are living submitted to the Holy Spirit then all of the fruit mentioned will be manifest in us. In fact, a measure of whether we are truly submitted to the work of the Holy Spirit in us is the degree to which the fruit of the Spirit is manifest.

In this passage Jesus is dealing with vines that do not produce healthy fruit. First he lets us know that non-producing branches will be cut off from the vine. That seems pretty severe, but that is what he said. Then he says those branches that are producing will be pruned so that they will produce more and better fruit.

I have found myself in that latter category all too often. The Holy Spirit has frequently gotten my attention by revealing that I am not doing a good job of manifesting his fruit. Then the Father begins to prune my branch. I have found that submitting to the Father’s pruning makes me a productive branch.

Prayer: Lord, I’ve had the attitude that I wasn’t doing too bad if I had most of the Spirit’s fruit, but now I know that there is just one fruit. Grant me the grace to live submitted to the Holy Spirit so that his fruit is fully manifest. In Jesus name, amen.

Principle: When one characteristic, or virtue, is absent then the fruit of the Spirit is not complete.

Affirmation: I consciously seek to submit my flesh so that the fruit I manifest is fruit of the Spirit, not of the flesh.

Reflection: There is but one fruit of the Spirit with nine manifestations. In the passage today the Father is pruning the vine. Does that mean if we do not have all of the fruit manifestations that we are not productive branches? What are your thoughts on that?
My Thoughts: I would enjoy knowing your thoughts on this devotion. Please leave a comment.
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  1. 1 Sermon Notes: Fruits of the Spirit | Faith That Inspires Action Trackback on April 14, 2013 at 7:41 am

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Paul ”Hope Preacher” Smith

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