Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Apart from the fruit-tree there is no fruit

Many times the words 'peace is a Person' on Ann Voskamp's blog A Holy Experience has made me stop in my tracks.  I can almost hear God whisper through the storm of this difficult period in my life, "Remember where peace abides".

My peace is Jesus.

He is our Lord of peace. (2 Thess. 3:16)
He is the Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

He is peace in my home. He is peace with my children. He is peace in my comings and goings. He is peace amidst the storm. He is peace in my solitude. He is peace in the chaos.

I might be a raging storm of grumpiness and irritability, but he is always there - my peace.  If I fix my eyes on the stress I am stressed, if I fix my eyes on him I am peaceful.

As I thought about the Person of Peace, I thought about the other fruits of the Holy Spirit.  Fruit only comes from a fruit tree, without a fruit-tree no fruit is produced.  When separated from the fruit-tree the fruit rots.

The fruit of the Holy Spirit is fruit produced by the Holy Spirit, not by me, not by anything else.  It isn't my fruit, it is his fruit produced when I abide in Jesus just as he promised. I can't be loving or peaceful in my own strength...as a perfectionist I have tried I promise you, but the result is always despondency and a deep feeling of failure. Without Jesus I have no fruit; when I move away from him and try to depend on my own resources my fruit rots and it kind of stinks.

Rest in Jesus. 
 
Jesus is...

...my love.
...my joy.
...my peace.
...my patience*
...my kindness.
...my goodness.
...my faithfulness.
...my gentleness.
...my self-control.**

Fruit can only be produced by a fruit-tree.

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 
~ John 15:4, ESV

Notes:

*The word from the Greek translated patient means: endurance, constancy, steadfastness, perseverance, forbearance, longsuffering, slowness in avenging wrongs.
**The Greek word translated self-control is the attribute of one who does not let desires or passions have control or mastery of them.


Originally posted 15/8/12 edited and republished here 28/3/14

10 comments:

  1. We are grafted into the true vine and if we do not bear fruit, we will be pruned.

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    1. Without Jesus there is no fruit, without Jesus there is no life. Our beautiful Saviour.

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    2. You know the scripture you refer to is one of my 'trigger' scriptures, in that it sets off some kind of panic attack. Not the pruning part (which means cleansing by his word), but the cutting off of branches that don't bear fruit (and the burning of these branches). It's a scripture used in the past to put fear into me...if I leave X church I am a branch cut off.

      But I know that it is Jesus who cleanses me ultimately by his death on the cross but also daily by his word. I know that the Greek word translated 'prunes' in verse two of chapter fifteen comes from the root Greek word translated 'clean', used in verse three (where Jesus tells the disciples they have been made clean by the word spoken to them).

      The branches that are cut off are those who turn away from Jesus because they feel his words are too hard, too impossible, too ridiculous - they cannot be cleansed - transformed - pruned by a gospel they reject and so no fruit is produced, the branch withers and dies.

      But like the disciples I reply, "To whom would I go?..you have the words of eternal life".

      I cling to Jesus in all my failure and weakness; He cleanses me by his word; my fruit is his fruit. All is safe in his arms.

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    3. Clean - I like that - it makes me think of my garden and how I remove the rotten squash vines so that they don't corrupt the healthy vines.

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  2. "I might be a raging storm of grumpiness and irritability, but he is always there - my peace." I love that. How often I find myself right in that place. Then His sweet presence just seeps in around the grumpiness and changes it all to peace.

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    1. His presence is so sweet. I'm not always aware of it, but he does promise to be with us right until the end.

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  3. Yep....we surrender and submit to God and it's *Him* that does the work in us. Anything we can do is just filthy rags.....

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  4. If I fix my eyes on the stress I am stressed, if I fix my eyes on him I am peaceful. - I LOVE that Sarah.

    I so often do this, fix my eyes on the stress and the worry instead of fixing my eyes on the peace. Great reminder :)

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