"the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control." - Galatians 5:22-23
I spent a week away with my family last week. It was a wonderful change in scenery as we secluded ourselves along the shore of Lake Huron and the St. Claire River. One of my goals was to go fishing with my younger daughter. I thought it would be fun and easy - like riding a bike. The problem was that I was never good at fishing. The truth was, I hadn't caught a fish in decades. So, I bought a fishing pole and a beginners tackle box that had all kinds of gizmos & gadgets. I watched 2 "Fishing 101" videos on YouTube. And off we went - to catch the millions of fish just waiting to be caught. Zero fish. Zero nibbles. Nothing to show after 2 days of fishing (except for some sun burn and seven bee stings on my face, neck, and arms.) Friends, this was a picture of FRUITLESSNESS. On the third day, I gave up my fruitless ways. I watched a dozen more "Fishing 101" videos. More importantly, I went to a local bait shop where I met the owner, Brian. Brian grew up in the area. He fished the local waters for his entire life. After hearing my pathetic story, he asked me if I knew what I was fishing for. I responded, "fish." He asked "What kind of fish?" I responded, "Anything living will do." After looking at our fishing poles (one of which is a kid's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fishing pole,) Brian suggested that we focus our efforts on perch. He hooked us up with the right tackle and bait for catching perch. He taught us WHERE and HOW to catch the local perch, and sent us on our way. In the ensuring days, Abby and I fished like pros. Sure, it took focus, patience, and persistence, but our efforts paid off. We caught over two dozen fish. We got so excited that we upgraded our fishing poles, and we can't wait to go fishing again! Friends, this is a picture of FRUITFULNESS. In his letter to the Galatians, Paul writes about the kind of fruit Christ-followers should bear. We refer to this list as "the fruit of the Spirit." They include: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. It's discouraging to live a spiritually fruitless life. You wonder why you're not showing any signs of growth and maturity. You wonder what you need to change. You question the steps you've taken in your spiritual journey. Friends, if you're ready to bear spiritual fruit, join us for worship at Faith. This weekend (July 18-19,) we're continuing week 2 of our series, "The Fruitful Life." Worship with us as we focus on the What, Why, and How of bearing spiritual fruit. Note: in-person worship services are Saturday @ 4 PM and Sunday @ 9 & 11 AM. You can watch our livestreamed service on Sunday @ 9 AM via Facebook & YouTube. Please pre-register if you'd like to attend an in-person service.
~ Pastor Caleb