This is the third in a series of nine photovotionals based on the photos I’ve taken that
we have hanging on our walls in our home in Brandon, Florida.
One of the images you see as you come in our front door and glance to the left by the kitchen table is an image of a cluster of grapes, a symbol of fruitfulness. Most of us want to live fruitful, productive lives. What does that mean? Different people will give different answers. If, at the end of the day, we can say it was a fruitful and productive day, what do we mean? It usually means we feel we got a lot done, and, again, those desired results would vary for different people.
We humans have different ideas of what makes for fruitful living, but what’s God’s idea of what it means to live a productive life? When God really gains control of a person’s life what kind of fruitfulness is to be the result? Fortunately, we have a very straightforward answer from God. Here’s what God says is the result of His Spirit’s presence dwelling within us: “But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23)
Living a fruitful life for God is not so much about what we accomplish but far more about who we are. It has to do with how effective we are at coming alongside others and living in such a way as to add value to their lives. Fruitfulness is less about results and far more about relationships. Even in the business world a productive person isn’t worth keeping on the payroll if the individual can’t get along with people.
The nine fruit of the Spirit is a great summary of what a fruitful life looks like, but fruit isn’t something you can manufacture. Sure, you can buy artificial fruit to put on display, but it only appears to be fruit, it really isn’t, you can’t eat it. Similarly, we can’t come up on our own with the fruit of the Spirit. We need the Spirit’s help! The more we allow the Lord to occupy our heart, soul, and mind the more we will naturally be a fruitful person in terms of being loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle and exhibiting self-control. It’s a matter of letting the inner presence of God flow outwardly in these wonderful ways. This is what results in living a fruitful life!