“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” (Galatians 5:22-23, NLT).

As a gardener, I understand and appreciate the process of growing fruit and vegetables. I plant, water and watch. Some years I have lots of tomatoes and other years not so much. No matter how hard I work, how much I fertilize and wish for a good crop, if the weather, birds and bugs don’t cooperate, there’s not much to bring in.

Similarly, the fruit of the Spirit isn’t something we can produce on our own. I used to think I could do it by obeying laws and doing everything just right. But my peach tree reminds me if I want peaches, I have to have a tree. God is the one who produces the fruit in me as I stay connected to him and follow the Spirit’s lead in my life, cooperating and participating in the life of Father, Son and Spirit. This shows more of who God is – dynamic, thriving, growing, bursting with life and joy. It’s his life in us that makes us truly alive and full of his fruit.

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