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The Fruit We Bear

April 12, 2018

“By their fruit you will recognize them …” — Matthew 7:16a (NIV)

A Bible study leader and I were talking recently about a situation that greatly distressed her. Knowing she was going to be on vacation one week, she’d asked one of her friends to come in and lead the group. This friend was a longtime student of the Bible and a terrific teacher. But the day after her friend taught, this leader received an email from a member of the group accusing her friend of being a false teacher.

The leader went through every point, lining it up with Scripture, and couldn’t see any evidence of this serious accusation at all. She came to me and asked for my advice.

I said, “Tell me about the fruit in the woman’s life who is making the accusations. And then tell me about the fruit in the life of your friend who taught the lesson in question.”

The answer to this question made things much clearer for the leader.

Fruit is the evidence of God’s Spirit in us. It’s not that we are perfect by any means. But on a consistent basis are we demonstrating what Galatians 5 lists as fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control?

Matthew 7:15-16a warns us, “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them.”

This isn’t just a way to discern a false prophet or teacher, it’s also a good reminder for us personally.

Today, this isn’t a call to look for negative things in others. Not at all. Earlier in Matthew 7 Jesus teaches us to pay attention to the plank in our own eye before picking at the speck of sawdust in another person’s eye,

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Verses 3-5)

As we follow God we must remember it’s important to be learning about His Word. But equally important we must also be living out His Word.

Information without application will not equal transformation.

The way we treat others, speak to others, demonstrate patience with others, notice others and honor others will either validate or violate what we say we believe. The very best sermons aren’t those preached from a stage but rather those lived out in everyday life.

What a needed reminder for us all today.

Heavenly Father, I don’t want to just know You, I want the fruit of my life to reflect You in all I say and do. Help me to show Your love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control to all I encounter today. In Jesus’ name, amen.


Today’s blog post first appeared within the Matthew study in the free First 5 app from Proverbs 31 Ministries. If you’re looking for a new, in-depth way to study the Bible, we’d love to have you join us as we learn together chapter by chapter, book by book. Visit First5.org for more information or download the app to your device!

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16 Comments
  1. Brenda

    Heavenly Father, I don’t want to just know You, I want the fruit of my life to reflect You in all I say and do. Help me to show Your love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control to all I encounter today. In Jesus’ name, amen.
    I love prayer Jesus gives us gifts spirit .We giving him our time hear listen, read his word and give our Life follow him even in world that show us we need have Peace Lord keep helping me hear follow you

    Reply
    • Brenda

      Lysa
      Listen God know what tel me that I worked so hard on presentation looking up everything typing in help person because working so hard adding everyone else
      then email sent had know information we address the poverty global reports from UNFPA Sustainable Development goals end poverty , hunger,Good health and well being education Gender Equality which what presentation was all about frustration email sent all my work not being received wanting complete things Lord given me work homeless and poor knowing God Holy Spirit wants me else where do his work every road block others do God doesn’t want me fail at this given me where wants me learn work achieve work for him

      Reply
  2. Bette

    Your blogs seem to always come at the right time for me. They are always so timely.
    Thank you for your ministry

    Reply
  3. Denise Pass

    This is so true and such a sweet reminder. During one season of my life when I felt accused and misjudged, the LORD also quickened my heart with a filter I could apply. Were their assertions biblical? If so, it was oil on my head. If not, I could let it go and pray for them.

    Reply
  4. Arlene

    Lysa, Thank you for this message. You seem to write exactly what I need to hear each time! I am thankful for your words, your heart, your compassion and your faithfulness.

    Reply
  5. Laura Grace

    Amen! Fruits of the Spirit was on my heart yesterday. I was talking to the kids about it during our after school bible program. Fruits are supernatural! We need to pray for them to happen in our lives and be mindful of it too! “Fruits!” Very important yes! Thank you for sharing this! Laura Grace, Author Grace to Grow

    Reply
  6. Brady W.

    Whew. Needed this today. Thanks for the reminder.

    Reply
  7. Dennise

    Would you believe just 2 days ago the Lord was dealing with me about this very thing….. Here is my journal post:…. Thinking today about the Fruits of the Spirit…. and how vitally important they are to our spiritual health… Lord, I help me to be more intentional, more diligent, and more Discerning – to make sure they are a part of my daily diet.
    Thank you Lysa for posting this today.
    God bless

    Reply
  8. Genesis A. Slaughter

    Good Evening, I am preparing to shut down my verizon acct due to their shift to AOL. please update my information by using the new email account listed below.
    Thanks so much and I love the posts I receive from you.

    Genesis

    Reply
  9. Jayne

    I so needed this today! Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love this website and your daily devotions!

    Reply
  10. Audriana

    So true! And it’s so easy sometimes for us to let the spirit of religion creep in and convince us to start thinking about fruit as what’s going on in someone’s life instead of looking at what’s flowing out of their heart. Sweet reminder.

    Reply
  11. Kristi Ann

    Amen-Amein Sister in Christ Jesus-Yeshua Lysa!! God Bless All my Sisters and Brothers in Christ Jesus-Yeshua and Your Families and Friends!!

    May our ONE TRUE GOD THE FATHER who art in Heaven Above Bless all my Sisters and Brothers in Christ Jesus-Yeshua and my Messianic Jewish Sisters and Brothers in Christ Jesus-Yeshua and Your Families and Friends!!

    I Love you all Everyone through Jesus-Yeshua Christ, because HE LOVED 💜💕 EVERYONE FIRST!!

    Love 💕 Always and Shalom ( Peace ), YSIC \o/

    Kristi Ann

    Reply
  12. Sandie

    I said, “Tell me about the fruit in the woman’s life who is making the accusations. And then tell me about the fruit in the life of your friend who taught the lesson in question.”

    The answer to this question made things much clearer for the leader.
    ……….
    I always say to someone who is offended by this & that to consider he source.

    Reply
  13. Lenee Sparks

    Thank you, Lysa!
    God bless you!
    I truly appreciate you speaking truth into my life! I’ve read some of your books and participated in some of your bible studies. I’m always better for having spent time with you in God’s word! But most of all, I was truly blessed hearing you at The Grove this past March!!! I’ve been praying for you all during your “meanwhile” . Gen.50:20
    God is good!!!! And He is able! Ephesians 3:20.
    God showed up that night in big ways! My mom got to come with me. We were celebrating what would’ve been my Dad’s 75th birthday. He’s been in heaven 26 years. But we know he was smiling down on us because even Shelley and her team served cupcakes with a G on them!
    PS I sure wish there was a DVD of that night so I could hear it again! 💝

    Reply
  14. NIKKI PATTI

    HOPE is the humility of the cross making “it” stick, but MERCY is JESUS making “it” stop! Love you in gratitude, NIKKI PATTI cs women’s chandler az usa

    Reply
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