Thanks to http://homespunchildren.blogspot.com/ for this great read. Check out her site!
Living a Fruitful Life
God’s word says that He will cut off every branch in Him that bears no fruit for a true follower of Christ will live a life that is fruitful. This verse made me ask myself, "is my life producing spiritual fruit, what exactly does spiritual fruit mean, and where does it come from?" If spiritual fruit is so important, then why was it that I knew so little about it? I prayed and studied scripture until I found the answers to my questions. Spiritual fruit is produced as a result of having the Holy Spirit dwelling inside of us and comes only through the Spirit, not from our own effort. Some times we think that the busier we make ourselves for God, the more fruit we are producing. Notice the word "we". "We" can not produce fruit on our own, for fruit only comes from the Spirit. While God has called us to do good works, we need to remember that good works should come from the spiritual fruit that is already evident in our lives, not for the purpose of producing our own fruit, for apart from Christ we can do nothing. Even a sinner can help the needy and perform many good works. Spiritual fruit comes from abiding in the vine, which is God. The more we abide in the Lord, the more our lives produce characteristics of the fruit of the spirit such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Abiding in Christ requires effort. We can’t just sit back and expect to grow in our relationship with Christ. We have to be obedient to his commands, repent of our sin, and continue to grow daily in His grace with our eyes fixed on Jesus. If your life has no evidence of spiritual fruit, repent and reconnect yourself with the vine who promises to produce spiritual fruit in our lives when we abide in Him.
"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."
"This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples."
Matthew 7:20 "'By their fruits you will know them'"
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
John 15:4-5 "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing"
Hos. 14:8 "From Me comes your fruit."
Fruit of the Spirit
Apart from Christ we can do nothing. It is only through abiding in Christ can our lives have true spiritual fruit. Here is a list I found that names some of the things that will be present in our lives if we continue to abide in Christ.
A Partial Inventory of Spiritual Fruit.
A desire and ability to:
1. Pursue God's glory (1 Cor. 10:31).
2. Mature in Christlikeness (1 Pet. 2:2).
3. Be kind to others (Eph. 4:32).
4. Restore relationships (Mt. 5:9).
5. Rejoice in the Lord (Phil. 4:4).
6. Persevere through trials (Jas. 1:2-3).
7. Suffer persecution for Christ (2 Tim. 3:10-11).
8. Delight in God's commandments (Psm. 119:47).
9. Read, study, memorize, listen to and meditate on the Bible (Jos. 1:8).
10. Share your faith (2 Tim. 4:5).
11. Be patient with others (1 Thes. 5:14).
12. Contribute to church unity (Eph. 4:3).
13. Desire goodness (2 Thes. 1:11).
14. Pray without ceasing (1 Thes. 5:17).
15. Faithfully prioritize church (Heb. 10:23-25).
16. Prefer others (Rom. 12:10).
17. Surrender fully to Christ (Lk. 9:23).
18. Act faithfully (Gal. 5:22).
19. Serve in the church (1 Cor. 12:7).
20. Experience true peace (Gal. 5:22).
21. Be a committed marriage partner (Col. 3:18-19).
22. Love God and others (Mt. 22:37-39).
23. Guard your heart (Pr. 4:23).
24. Manifest a tempered spirit (Tit. 2:2).
25. Exercise self-control (Gal. 5:23).
26. Grow in the knowledge of God (2 Pet. 3:18).
27. Repent of known sin (Lk. 13:5).
28. Develop biblical wisdom (Eph. 5:15).
29. Examine yourself (1 Cor. 13:5).
30. Practice hospitality (Rom. 12:13).
31. Be humble (1 Pet. 5:6).
32. Work hard with integrity (Col. 3:23-24).
33. Act with gentleness (Gal. 5:23).
34. Manage your home (1 Tim. 3:4).
35. Instruct and discipline your children biblically (Eph. 6:4).
36. Listen more than you speak (Jas. 1:19).
37. Want Christian fellowship (Ac. 2:42).
38. Speak wholesome words (Col. 4:6).
39. Encourage others (1 Thes. 5:11).
40. Be an example for others (1 Tim. 4:12).
41. Forgive others (Mt. 6:12).
42. Fast (Mt. 6:16).
43. Hate evil (Rom. 12:9).
44. Be filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18).
45. Support missionaries (3 Jn. 1:7-8).
46. Engage in spiritual warfare (Eph. 6:13).
47. Sacrifice with your finances (2 Cor. 8:3-5).
48. Experience hope (Heb. 6:11).
49. Sing spiritual songs (Eph. 5:19).
50. Develop biblical convictions (Jas. 4:17).
51. Commit to pure doctrine (Tit. 2:1).
52. Desire God's will (Jn. 4:34).
53. Be thankful (Col. 3:15).
54. Submit wherever necessary (Eph. 5:21).
55. Prioritize spiritual things (Col. 3:1-2).
56. Long for our Lord's return (Rev. 22:20).
Note: Our hearts must always be examined as much of this can be produced in the flesh.