A farmer, who is also a university professor, has grafted 40 different kinds of fruit into one tree. This one tree produces plums, peaches, nectarines, cherries, apricots, and 35 other different fruits. In spring, blossoms of pink, white, and crimson appear. Later, a variety of fruit appears—amazing! But it brings to mind what the Apostle Paul explained about the fruit of the Spirit, found in Galatians CH 5. He explains that in contrast to the evil activities that come from living apart from Christ, those who are in a relationship with God can bear fruit that reflects the character of Christ. He writes: “[The] Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control… Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.” So today, rather than trying with tedious effort to avoid evil conduct, Paul says we can invite God’s Spirit to live on the inside of us; as we rely on Him, He gives us the power to live a fruit-bearing, Christ-centered life.
Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More