Summary: We get to a place in our faith where we have grown spiritually and where the things of faith are ripe and rich within us. It is at this time of our lives that Jesus can add even more to the spiritual produce that is to be shared with the world.
Just this week I got a call from someone saying they work for the Canadian Revenue Agency like the I.R.S. in the States. The man sounded like he knew what he was talking about he made a claim that alarmed me since I had been dealing with the C.R.A. the last couple of years.
This supposed government worker told me I had committed tax evasion and that he needed my Social Insurance Number to verify who I was to check me against the claim. I could hear what sounded like a call center in the background and began to get suspicious. It is at this time that my self-control was beginning to slip and my remote control was taking over.
I began to argue with this man over the phone and told him he had the wrong person. He assured me that he did not and I told him that there was no way on earth he was going to get my Social Insurance Number over the phone. Once I said that he threatened me with an Arrest Warrant to be issued in my name and carried out by the R.C.M.P.
I let him know I was an ex-cop and that I was pretty sure what he was doing was illegal. I invited him to send the police but his obvious false threat still upset my spirit. I realized then that I needed to take to heart the words of St. Peter from 2 Peter Chapter 1. I also needed to apply all the previous lessons about the fruit of the spirit if I was to walk in peace and confidence in a world that is opposed to those who would follow Jesus. So in short this is part of the inspiration for this week’s message.
Last week we talked about Peace and discovered that real peace is dependent on the presence of Jesus Christ in our lives and not the absence of our troubles that assures the Christian of a “Peace that passes all understanding”. Philippians 4:7
I want to put it all together for your today as it may serve as a good message to carry you through the summer break. What comes after the Fruit of the Spirit?
All this talk of fruit and vines, of peace and love, of kindness and charity, and of long suffering and gentleness is meant to remind each of us that we are meant to be a living growing human being that has the fruit of the Spirit spilling out of their lives in a variety of ways and at a variety of times.
Not all fruit is ripe at the same time.
Plants that get a proper balance of sunshine and rain do well and plants who have a Gardner looking after them do even better.
You see our Gardener has a vested interest in the harvest He is working to produce within each of us.
You just might be a blue ribbon peach in the eyes of Jesus or maybe a lovely plump plum. Others here may represent a full sweet cluster of grapes.
It can sometimes take time for fruit to ripen within each of us and different fruits require different care and ripen in different seasons.
But the underlying lesson we learned last week from Jesus was to “Remain in the vine” … “apart from me you can do nothing”. John 15:5
Today we listen to the words of a man whose life produced much fruit but not all at the same time. It was spread out throughout his life as he walked with Jesus and as he encouraged others to walk with the Lord.