Luke 6:43 – “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit”
Galatians 5:22-23 is one of the most memorized scriptures in the bible.
This scripture speaks of the fruit that comes out of being part of Jesus and having the Spirit within. It lists many different “fruits” that should be produced from us.
So let’s discuss the fruits and what they should truly look like in our lives.
The easiest fruit to convince ourselves we have is the fruit of love.
There is a reason it is placed first on the list in Galatians also. Love is the greatest thing we can have for one another and probably one of the biggest topics in the bible.
Two Major Scriptures On Love
You can find the topic of love either explicitly or implicitly in many of Jesus’ parables and actions. Of the many scriptures that can trace back to love there are two that most explicitly give us direction.
The first scripture is found at Matthew 22:36-40 (or Mark 12:29-31).
This is also known as the greatest commandment when Jesus tells the Pharisees and the others around that the greatest thing we can do is love God with everything.
Once again, in the scripture, the order in which Jesus states the parts of the body are important. Notice he says we should love with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.
He wants all of our heart, which is literally the center of our life. Without a heart, we would literally keel over.
He wants us to dedicate our whole life to being with Him. He wants our lives to be dependent on His whims and not our own.
Then He targets the soul, the part of us that will forever end up next to him.
This is important to note because later he notches a point about how nothing going into the body defiles the soul but it’s that which comes out (Matthew 15:11) – meaning that God wants the love to come out of us in EVERYTHING we do.
The last two are probably the easiest to understand but are targeted last because if you have your heart on Him, then your strength should be devoted to His causes and if what comes out is positive, then your mind is already focusing on him.
This also is left this way knowing we make mistakes and the one thing that God will always do is forgive as long as we keep striving to put this on him.
Now you’ll notice that the quote from Matthew 22 contains the second greatest commandment also. Jesus thought it important enough to answer the Pharisee’s question with the top two commands which means He probably thought them both really important to connect.
Love one another as if they are yourself, which if you are loving like the first commandment means that your focus for them is on Jesus also and means that more of Jesus’ goodness is coming out of one’s self.
Jesus connected them not because they are the two greatest, but because He knew that by doing the second, you would be at least halfway to truly loving Him.
The second scripture, that is an often quoted scripture at weddings, is Ephesians 5:21-33.
For you who are married, it would be good to look at this from the obvious perspective, but there is a second perspective to consider. That perspective is the perspective that we are supposed to be the “wife” in the story and Jesus is the husband.
We (as the wives) are to submit ourselves to the Lord. We are called to obey Him and give ourselves up for what He desires for us. We are called to be good wives to Him and what wife makes the task of the husband more difficult?
We are called to release our own roles to take on the role that He wants for us.
Is It The Real Deal?
As noted in 1 Corinthians 13, love, if it is true, will mean much more than anything else we do in our lives.
As noted at the beginning, we are can often convince ourselves that we have love but is it God’s love that we are expressing? Does our life depend on what He says and not what we might desire for ourselves?
That is the question I am putting on you, is that love the real thing He asks of us.
“Hear O’ Israel, The Lord our God, the Lord is One, Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:29-30)