Fruit of the Spirit: Day 12

The True Vine

by

Today's Text: John 15:1-11, Galatians 5:25, 2 Corinthians 3:17-18, 2 Corinthians 5:17-21

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

- John 15:5, NIV -

Love.
Joy.
Peace.
Patience.
Kindness.
Goodness.
Faithfulness.
Gentleness.
Self-control.

When I read the familiar list of the fruit of the Spirit, I immediately think, YES. I want to be all those things!

Who doesn’t love joy and peace? Who couldn’t use more kindness and self-control?

It’s right to see this list and want it to be true of us—the fruit of the Spirit is good because God is good! The problem comes when we set out to bear fruit by being good, when we pretend fruit-bearing is simply a matter of our will instead of a result of our connection to Christ. The key lies in the name: the fruit of the Spirit. Not my fruit. Not your fruit. Not the fruit of She Reads Truth, or your favorite theologian, or even the Church! The fruit of the Spirit is borne of the Spirit. Period. The end.

To understand fruit-bearing in Gospel terms, there is no better resource than John Chapter 15. (Seriously – read the whole thing and then read it again! So good.) Jesus uses clear and practical imagery to explain the connection between Himself and His disciples:

“I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without Me.”
- John 15:5 HCSB

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control are not fruits we bear of our own sheer will and desire. We bear fruit when, and only when, we are grafted to the True Vine. Jesus Christ is our nourishment! His Holy Spirit in us is the fruit producer; we are simply the branches which have the privilege of displaying His fruit. Or, as I keep saying and threatening to put on a t-shirt, “We don’t bear it; we just wear it!” (I know. Thank me for that one later.)

Friends, Jesus Christ comes to make us new. He comes to redeem the dead branches that we are and give us abundant life! Abiding in Him—resting, dwelling, remaining in Him— is the only source of our strength, our goodness, our fruit. Let’s press into the True Vine together today. Let’s be about the business of abiding in Jesus, and trust His Spirit to be about the business of bearing fruit in our lives.

As we wrap up this study, let’s take a moment to reflect and share:

Which fruit of the Spirit are you most tempted to produce on your own, apart from the Vine?

How has the Scripture you’ve read over the last 12 days changed the way you think of fruit-bearing? And abiding?

——

PSST – Just because our study of the Fruit of the Spirit is over, it doesn’t mean we’re done! Let’s keep reading! Keep seeking! Keep *ahem* abiding! Join us MONDAY as we begin a short, 5-day, crowd-favorite study of old Hymns and the Scriptures that inspired them! Not only will we enjoy some favorite returning guest writers (Sandra McCracken, Ellie Holcomb and more!), but this time around, we have actually been in the studio recording She Reads Truth’s very own arrangements! (More details tomorrow!!!)

So. Grab a friend or two, and plan to spend 5 days in the Word with us, with that special added layer of Scripture and worship!! WE CAN’T WAIT!!!

 

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  • Diane Eppley-Suffern

    This study has opened my eyes to my own striving and dissatisfaction when I don’t see evidence of this fruit. I’m going about it all wrong. This isn’t something I can “work up” to prove I’m a believer, as if that were possible. It’s about being with him, daily, and these traits being an outgrowth of that closeness. Hugely freeing.

  • Stephanie Garcia

    The best part about this study is that it reminded me that our role IS an active one, just not in the way we think: we actively must abide in Christ, trusting and growing our faith. We don’t “earn” these fruits, they are given to us through God’s mercy and love. But that doesn’t mean we get to just sit on the sidelines as believers!

  • Sarah Koerting

    This study was amazing! A sister and I share a theme of being still. This study broadened my understanding of how by being still I am better able to abide, thus allowing the Spirit to bear more fruit! Thank you, God, for using these women as a way to impart even more of your wisdom!

  • Stephanie Theel

    I have so enjoyed this study! God has used it as a powerful reminder to me of how very essential it is that I am fully connected to Him.

    That is the only way I produce fruit.
    Not of my own hustle or grind or all out gritting it & faking it.

    This plan gave my eyes a wash to see that I’ve been doing those very things as a result of trying to produce Spirit fruit with human effort. Very needed study for me! I’ve been too disconnected for too long and the heart-breaking part was how I didn’t even see it in the fog of busy existence! Thank you God for using these wonderful women as a part of your voice!

  • Caroline

    Lord, remind me that the fruit of the spirit are not borne of my own goodness, but of the spirit!

  • Ashley (WriteLaughDream)

    Yes this has been a great reminder. Because I can be easily annoyed at times I’m often trying to control that behavior and this was such a blessing to me showing that I just have to keep diligently seeking him for anything to change. We can’t force ourselves to be gentle. That very statement seems contrary. But we have to realize it’s a process and sometimes it’s not as quick as we would like. Thanks so much for sharing this. God guided me here at the right time.

  • This study is awesome! I’ll be revisiting this one for sure.

  • Nikki Falvey

    What a wonderful study! And I am reading this on the day of Yom Kippur, the Biblical day of atonement—how fitting to read of Jesus’s sacrifice that atoned for our sins and the work of sanctification that the Spirit is continually producing in us! For the questions: I think I am most guilty of trying to produce kindness on my own. I have always been told that I am nice or kind and I, to my shame, take pride in those words. I want people to always think that I am kind, and this often leads me to be a doormat, not standing up for my morals or Biblical values when I should. It also results from me seeking the approval of ma. Rather than that of God. And all these people don’t see how truly UNKIND I am in my thoughts and sometimes my words and actions. Even when I try my hardest to be kind, I fail and am often only kind as a result of pride. Thank God for His Spirit and His Fruit!

  • Thank you SRT for this study and thank you Holy Spirt for giving us such wonderful fruits to abide in.

  • Katie Jane

    I can fall into trying to be “good” because I want people to like me. It takes away showcasing Gods glory through me and becomes all about me. I’ve loved this study because it’s reminded me that I can continue to live this way OR I can live in the freedom of the spirit!! Then, when I display those fruits I can, with so much gratitude, say it wasn’t me, it was God :). Thank you for your encouragement through The fruits of the Spirit!

  • Amanda, thank you for your words. I like the perspective and the reminder that if we go out to do or be good then we haven’t really gotten the idea. We have to just be good by being in the Holy Spirit and being grafted to Jesus. It should be natural not contrived. And isn’t that the true definition of a real Christian? Natural not contrived, humble not pompous, powerful in our actions but not loud and obnoxious.
    Dear Father, please help me to feel the power of your vine in my meager branch and teach me to reach out to others as you would have me do.

  • Hmmm I guess the one I would like to control on my own is to be self controlled bcuz I have a quick temper and can be very impulsive. What this study has released me Frm is condemnation and the over all feeling of stress to try on my own and then feel so ashamed when I fail! Bcuz i fail on my own. Thank you to all who put in to this wonderful study on fruits of the spirit! God Bless!

  • teamshapeher

    I'll take a small in that shirt! THAT is a perfect way for me to remember it.

    I think for me, I try to produce goodness and love on my own the most. Goodness because I fight the legalistic thought process of "I'm doing something to mark off my list and make Jesus love me more" when in reality He can't love me any more. He gave me all His love on the cross. I already have it. I'm good and holy because of His love in me – that's all. Love because – if I'm being honest – I don't love people as well as I wish I did. I try to conjure it up on my own and it's something I'm constantly taking to the Lord asking for forgiveness and strength to see people as He does.

    The line, from today, "Be about the business of ABIDING in Jesus and TRUST His spirit to be about the business of bearing fruit in my life". was it for me. THAT nails it all home for me. Perfect. Love it. Abiding and trusting.

  • I struggle to try and produce self-control on my own. When I mess up, I feel guilty and it’s so easy to say “ok, now I need to start working on having more self control.” But I am so thankful for this study and being reminded that my identity is in Christ and not my efforts at being “good”. Abide in Him! Abide in Him!

  • I can’t thank you enough for this study. Each day has been a blessing and has completely changed me. Until now, and despite spending 7 years at an all girls catholic boarding school, I had never been introduced or understood (or indeed sought out) the fruits of the Spirit. The Spirit was seriously lacking. This study has opened my eyes in so many ways. The most liberating and awesome truth for me was that by simply abiding in God, he is working through me via the Holy Spirit. Knowing that I need just be, that that is enough, is incredibly comforting and liberating. I will be revisiting this study over and over again for years to come :) THANK YOU !!

    • Alexis

      Hi Sabrina, I was raised a Catholic and attended parochial school for 8 years in the 1960’s. These study plans, the comments as well as other outside bible studies has brought God into my life in a way I never experienced before. So glad for you that you found SRT! :-)

  • Kasey Summers

    We must be connect to the Vine to do anything good!!!! Bc it is the Vine in us doing the good!

  • Hannah Rose

    Goodness. I try to be as good of a good girl as I can muster up, I try to please everyone and do what is expected of me, I try to do well in school, to fit in, to be the person everyone wants me to be. But I myself am not good. I have a sinful human nature, just like everyone else. Jesus is good, and He gives me that goodness to share with everyone else. I forget that most of the time. Goodness is given, not mustered up.

  • Antimony

    “The problem comes when we set out to bear fruit by being good, when we pretend fruit-bearing is simply a matter of our will instead of a result of our connection to Christ”. Not something I can drum up. Oh I try. And I fail. Over and over ahain

  • self control: does not matter how determined i am at any given day I mess up…esp if i go into the day being determined in MYSELF…..and not being so hard on myself when i do mess up, cause its going to happen . the difference is the SOURCE of my determiniation and Him with me in it.
    GREAT STUDY…

  • I have tried bearing all of these on my own and have failed time and time again. I know, each day, I must pray for His help, guidance and strength to help me with all of these!

  • Like a lot of the women here have said in the comments, I try to produce self-control myself. I think I take the general idea of self-control and apply it to most of the fruits: it takes self-control to be kind and gentle, self-control to have a peaceful schedule and therefore life, self-control to be patient, etc. Before really thinking it through through this study, I definitely tried to produce most of the fruits on my own through self-control (and control of others). So, a big HELLO moment for me! Thank you for the enlightenment.

  • As someone coming back to Christ this was my first study. It was the perfect study and I am so blessed to have found she reads truth! 

  • In Christ I'm Found

    I enjoyed this study more than I have any other this year. It was humbling seeing all my many faults but so encouraging to read over and over that God takes control of fruit bearing by His Spirit in me, as I abide. All I need to do is abide. Glory to God, He gives us the easiest job of all.

  • Vintage Gwen

    This study has shifted my perception of the fruit of the Spirit. Praise God I no longer produce fruit but the Holy Spirit does! Pretty sure all the fruit I’ve tried to produce on my own was never ripe, juicy, perfect fruit but rather under ripe, dry wanna be fruit. I shall forevermore rejoice in my abiding and reap a harvest of Spirit Fruit!!

  • For me the fruit I always try to bear is self control and patience. I have seen more clearly how it is once agin not of my works but His alone who can and will produce these in me. I love my Jesus!

  • I’m pretty new to SRT (started with Easter study) and loved this study. I want to go back and read it all again.

  • The two days that struck me the most were Goodness- so misunderstood and definitely one we are tempted to think we can do without God’s spirit. To think we have to be good in order to deserve God’s spirit rather than the other way round. Also self control to challenge the conception of just saying no and letting God’s spirit take control of every part of us. To be spirit controlled and ensure we have the right foundations – not on sandy ground so we get washed away but on rock. The Rock that is our Lord and Saviour whose spirit is our guide.

    I was a few days late starting this study but it has reinvigorated my bible study after a tough time. It came amid news of a friends death and has helped me to stay grounded in a time of deep sorrow. Thanks shereadstruth and all you ladies for your amazing comments. ps. gentleness was also a really powerful day as I learn what it means to be a Godly parent!

  • Pyrexpirate

    I love all the she's that share here… We are all women of God and and fall short in something… The honesty here is what reminds me that im not alone. The women here have so much to teach just by sharing comments of their life. Its so enriching! Thank you! This community has changed my life.

    • ann

      Yes! The comments bless me so much too! So great that we can encourage & sharpen each other here. I learn so much from this beautiful community. Thank you Jesus for my sisters.

  • I went through this study, and last night I got so upset at my hubby, and said a few things that were mean and hateful. I went to bed thinking where is that fruit??? I ask for forgiveness from God and my husband. I readily received open arms from both. I am praying for my husbands salvation and wonder, if I can’t show more fruit, will he ever give his life to Jesus? I’m trusting that The Lord has got this.

    • Candice

      I won, Christ won I should say, my husband, then finance, to the Lord, I believe through a change in my heart. Try reading Debi perals “Help Meet” book. It is a lot to take in, but forever changed my life! Good luck and God bless! It can be done!! :)

  • PLEASE make that into a real shirt. I would buy 12.

  • Let’s be about the business of abiding in Jesus, and trust His Spirit to be about the business of bearing fruit in our lives. YES!!!

  • This was EXACTLY what I needed to read today and I have loved this whole study!! Thank you!!!

  • maeflowersvoyage

    This study has seriously been so challenging and such an invitation into the deepness of Jesus! I have felt such a stretching and growing in this study! I would say I try to do all of these out of my own strength. Trying to make myself good or kind or whatever– but the scriptures do make the most sense when they say abide and when we do we bear fruit (words of knowledge, healing, prayers, etc) Also, the reality of my attitude and perspective changes. It's like looking at a beautiful watermelon, you cut it open oh man it looks juicy and good, then you cut a slice and take a bit–IT IS SWEET!!! SO GOOD! ( I have a craving) All of that to say I am finding that this bearing is more than just having these fruits but enjoying and seeing the transformation of these fruits out of my "branch".

  • Michelle Malone

    This by far, has been my favorite study and the most helpful and healing to/for me. I have learned so much through this. Thank you sisters! PS- I think it’s time for another online retreat/recording again!!!!! I loved that Christmas one ya’all did!

  • I had an amazing experience on Wednesday relating to gentleness. I had a meeting with my administrator that I was not looking forward to. In preparing for it, I sought a lot of advice and was generally ‘hot’ about the topic. I couldn’t be calm and was pretty much enraged whenever I talked to anyone about it. The night before and all morning prior to the meeting I prayed and prayed, asking for God’s words to be the ones that came out of my mouth not my own.

    When the meeting started I was calm and gentle in every response or statement, completely unlike every other time I had talked to anyone about the subject. The meeting was extremely productive and actually turned out the complete opposite of the way I thought it would go – the way I had been praying it would.

    I knew immediately that I was not in control during that meeting. I had given up all control to God and let his words speak through me. And I am still amazed at the way the meeting went!

    Also after (although I wish it had been before!) I read the day’s devotional and was floored. The gentleness that I showed during that meeting was definitely not anything from me. That was a direct result of the time I spent talking with God prior to the meeting and giving up the control and letting Him bear fruit in me.

    Even now – days later – when I talk to people about it, I can feel the anger raise in me and KNOW that that meeting Wednesday morning was God working in me. And I obviously still need to be grafted to the vine in order to keep producing that gentle fruit.

    • In Christ I'm Found

      So amazing to read this. I had a similar experience and it was one of the coolest things I have ever experienced. It blows me away when God does these things for us. Not because I doubt Him but because it shows His goodness towards us in full splendor!!

  • Adrienne

    For the first time I realized that being in the vine means you will be "adjusted" one way or another. If you are not bearing fruit you will be cut off and if you are bearing fruit you will be pruned. Both can be a painful process but only one bears more fruit. I would like to be on the end that bears more fruit and brings forth life! Also this study has taught me that abiding and living in the Spirit instead of trying to produce fruit by my own determination is how this process is meant to be! And for that I am grateful. I really enjoyed this study!

  • For me it seems as though I am always trying to create peace. Peace in my home, peace in my family, etc., etc., as if this peace that I am really seeking can be found outside of myself and I have control over it, but what I am really desiring is that peace that passes all understanding; the peace that only Jesus gives, not of the worldly kind.

    Thank you for this study! It has reminded me of the beautiful simplicity and freedom in the Holy Spirit that says just ABIDE; cling to the vine. That the Lord has already provided everything that pertains to life and godliness.

    Amanda: I really like your t-shirt idea!

  • This has been an excellent study. Each days readings have given much insight. It has shaped my thinking away from my self and my control (If I can BE these things then I'm on the right path) to living through and trusting the spirit so I might BECOME loving, peaceful, joyful, patient, kind,good, faithful, gentle an self controlled. My challenges – patience and self control. Oh Lord remind me daily you are in control.

  • I loved this study as well! Thank you for your efforts in helping us know Him through it.

    My big take away, as so many others have stated is staying connected to the Vine in order to produce the fruit. I can never quite keep up, am never quite enough on my own.

    We juggle so much as mamas and I want to do it joyfully, not with a fake smile while I’m really anxious or slightly overwhelmed inside. This mama job is work. And it’s tiring but true joy, true rest in all comes only when we abide in Him. Oh, how I need that reminder.

    Working on a little more abiding today!

  • For me it's been eye opening to realize that self control is not always my thing ( though when I'm deciding to eat too much, it's usually just me…)- that when I'm truly abiding in Jesus self control will just happen and I will WANT to do the things that will please God. It will flow out of me. What a concept!

    I also was very struck by the study on goodness – the word good is used so much today and isn't very descriptive anymore, I loved seeing it from a heavenly perspective! Thank you, SRT sisters for another meaningful study :)

  • I've read John 15 and the fruits of the Spirit in Galations many times but never connected the fruit that is produced by the branch that remains attached to the vine as being the fruit of the Spirit. Mind blowing moment!!! The love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,goodness, faithfulness,gentleness, and self-control I so desperately want to be true of me is only the fruit of remaining and abiding in vine…not just in the morning or when it's convenient or easy or I feel like…but all the time.

    Joy is a fruit that I desire but allow distractions and difficulty to rob me of. Last Sunday I was reminded here and again during the message that joy is not something I create but rather a gift of the Holy Spirit for me. That afternoon my family and I spent an afternoon at the beach and as we enjoyed each other and God's creation His joy and delight in us washed over us and flowed out of us, down to the giant starfish we found after an hour of searching that delighted my son's heart. It's in the abiding not in the creating.

  • Favorite study!!! I will come back to this for years to come.

  • lzbethfranczyk

    God really used this study today. So excited that I heard from Him! I had been praying, and He was asking me to live in the present with Him, that I can't fix all the things before I come to Him, but that He invites those things and He wants to work with them, that I can't be the one who guides myself into godly living. And then I read John 15. Knowing that He is the one that does all that work is such a huge burden lifted!!!!! Self-control is the fruit I try to fabricate myself because I'm really disciplined and goal-oriented, but the self-control He offers is kinder than mine. He doesn't mentally and emotionally beat me into submission.

    I'm so blessed by your work, you guys! Thank you!

  • Shirley Burkenpas

    Is it amazingly wonderful, that when you've given over self unto The Lord Jesus Christ, the "Freedom" He reward's your heart, taking away those heavy burdens…this must be done Daily, for everyday is new….least you slip and doddle along life's path without Him, wondering Why are these burdens so heavy again? Guilty, have I been so often…I Thank God for this Bible Study in which it has sharpened my understanding/wisdom to even the point of enjoying life more…all for His Glory. I had been convicted on all the fruits, thus can not single out any one…I Needed more than any other… so deeply desire Jesus Christ in my heart. His Will not mine be done.

  • I try to achieve peace and joy on my own accord and when I can’t get to that point, it frustrates me. but I have to remind myself that peace and joy are fruits of the spirit and if I tap into the Vine, like we were meant to do, then I can access this trust peace and true joy. it’s only found in him. not on my own efforts to achieve it. I really enjoyed this series, thank you!

  • When I thought good and hard today about which fruit I am most tempted to try and produce on my own, I was surprised when I realized that it is self-control. I am a very Type A person and have always been a rule follower, and I tend to try to micro-manage my own actions, obsess about the little details, and focus rigidly on "do's" and "don'ts." I even take it further at times and try to micro-manage and control others (hello there, sweet husband!). It was a huge relief to acknowledge this today and to pray that the Lord help me to let go of trying to produce this fruit, and to choose instead to simply abide in him. So much pressure off my shoulders!

    Loved, loved, loved this study. My favorite yet – it was literally life changing. Thanks so much, SRT!

  • This was such a great study. One of my favorites so far i think…. mainly because it was such an "AHA" moment for me…. it's the fruit of THE spirit. Not the fruit of MY spirit…WHAT?!?!?! Drop the mic. Walk off the stage. I have lived my 30 years so far practicing this totally off base. I can be and do these fruits only by allowing the holy spirit to act in me and through me. Such a game changer for me!

    I am most tempted to produce peace on my own. Peace for my totally dysfunctional family. Peace for my friends who are going through trials. Peace in my marriage. Peace for my brother and sister who are agnostic. I would throw peace around like candy at a parade if I had the power… and boy, did I think I had the power. If i try harder, talk to them more, show them more love and try to smooth over old wounds…. despite feeling like i was beating a dead horse or my head against a wall, I have never stopped trying to bring peace into the lives of so many in My life. Finally, i understand. "Apart from me, you can do nothing". OH.

    No more. Father God, guide me in relinquishing control, show me when I'm trying to take over and bear my own fruit. I only want to abide in you and through my connection to you, may your will be done in my life and those around me. Amen.

    Wonderful study!

  • This study has brought so much peace and clarity into my life. Thank you SRT for your faithfulness to point us to Jesus daily and for this study of the spirit. Thankful for you all!

    Also, I am in full support of SRT “We don’t bear it, we just wear it” fruit of the spirit tees ;)

  • I see so many other ladies agree…I think self-control is where I try the most to work it out in my own. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the day-in and day-out routine of life that it can easily become an area that I don’t even consider to ask God for help. I’m not exactly proud of that statement, but I realize that up until now, self-control has primarily been an “up-to-me” thing. So thankful for this study, for the chance to refocus my heart and mind on the fact that apart from God, none of these fruits are possible. Thank you SRT team!

  • Great study!
    This was the first, in all the times I have heard teachings on this passage, that I truly understood that the Fruit is not a result of what I do. I can never, ever produce this fruit on my own. The concept of abiding in Him has really resonated with me.
    Apart from Him I.can.do.nothing…
    Thanks so much for this eye opening study!

  • Realizing that apart from Jesus I can do nothing! Nada. Zippo. And with him I can do anything!!! Also realizing that if we live by the spirit I must keep in step with the spirit. Only way to keep in step is by sighting where you are going. Part of a kingdom not of this world.

  • Meredith

    I definitely try to produce self- control on my own! Period. I think that might be the only one. I have studied these verses and John 15 quite a few times in my journey, but this study has definitely been the most influential. Maybe it is because of where i am in life…having three small children, having a hard time finding time to spend in the Word. Thank you for making it easy and enjoyable. I have been following this site since lent. I am honored to say i have been in the Word each day since then because of this site. Thank you!

  • Brittany

    I would say that I mostly try to gain self-control on my own strength and it has not worked for me. Reading the scriptures from the past 12 days has helped me realize that none of these can be attained through my efforts alone. I have to trust the Holy Spirit and allow it to work in my life at its own will. I have to release all control. Also, John 15:5, spoke very clearly to me. Apart fro Him I can do nothing. So what must I do? Remain in Him (His word) at all times! Recall those scriptures in time of trouble, take the way of escape when faced with temptation. Thanks a lot ladies for this study, it has really blessed my soul!

  • One of my favorite studies so far!!

    I'm so happy to come here to this place each morning, coffee in hand and my heart open to all God has for me to learn of Him.

    So thankful for you ladies! I also enjoy telling others about She Reads Truth..it's changed my morning devotions so much!
    Looking forward to what's coming up in the next study.

    Be loved & be blessed.

  • Shannon H

    This study has been so challenging to me…in a good way! I think I always viewed the fruit of the spirit as things I needed to add to my daily list to “work on” which always left me frustrated and discouraged because I would fail at the starting gate! I am right there with Kelly, I think self-control is where I wrestle the steering wheel from God most often….surely if I were more self-controlled, I would be more gentle with my children and more patient within my 4 year old, and I wouldn’t give in to the temptation to eat all the cookies, etc etc. But the TRUTH that the fruit of the Spirit is not from me at all, but from the Holy Spirit in me IS freedom! Just like the verse in Galatians says! I am free to rest and abide in the assurance of the Holy Spirit’s continuing work in my life. I am free to nestle deeper into the True Vine and gain nourishment, trusting that fruit will be produced, to the glory of the True Vine!

  • This study has been so convicting to me! Every day I thought of how I try to have the fruit on my own instead of relinquishing my control and allowing the Holy Spirit to be in control. Living a life that produces the fruit of the Spirit isn't about my control, but about my surrendering of my will. There is nothing good in me apart from what the Lord does in my life, which is a comforting thing when I look how far I fall short in light of God's Word. Praise the Lord for His continual work in me

    Also, today the passages in 2 Corinthans is what recently what I've been reading through with the SRT Bible in a year. It's amazing how God was using those passages in my life while we were doing this study; God works all things together!

  • MNmomma (heather)

    anyone know if there will be any sort of study for the next week? :)

  • MNmomma (heather)

    I have absolutely been challenged and grown so much thru this study. Absolutely. Positively. 1,000,000%! My eyes have been opened to areas where I have tried to self-produce (goodness, self-control) and areas where being grafted to my True Vine has changed my life a million percent and I didn't even fully realize that it was a fruit of His spirit in me (peace)…..(I knew it was from Him….just hadn't connected the dots – the result of much pruning)….awesome study, awesome ladies…..THANK YOU!!!

  • Kelly_Smith

    I answered the first question yesterday in my comment that was held hostage for most of the day: "Self-control, more than any other fruit, feels like it is more my responsibility than God's. I try to sprinkle self-control over my fruit basket. If I were more self-controlled, I would be kinder. If I had more self-control, gentleness would not be such a struggle. And so on, and so on. It is difficult for me to release my responsibility to allow the Spirit to do the work."

    As for the second question, YES! Every.single.day I was challenged with my propensity to try to will the fruit to bloom instead of simply abiding. Every day I saw how the Spirit wants me to stop trying so darn hard and, instead, focus my energies on abiding. It is not so much about spending more time in His word each morning, but more about taking it with me when I push away from the table.

    Thank you, SRT Team, for the time you invested in being the Gardener's tools. And to my SRT sisters, I am so thankful to have you lovely branches around me!

  • Missy C.

    I think reading about peace hit me in a big way. Rebecca wrote, "True peace is a soul rightly aligned with the way of Christ."

    I often try to think of how turbulent my life is and any given moment and measure how much peace I need to manufacture to feel like I´m breaking even. How off is that?!

    When you really think about that phrase as Christ-followers we should be at peace at all times. Even scarier is when I think about the times I pray for peace for others in tough situations or for peace around the world. Wow… what would it take for a family suffering a huge loss to become souls rightly aligned with Christ? Or for leaders of nations to rightly align their souls with Christ?

    I think I´ve been too glib with my use of "peace".

  • This whole study goes back to one simple truth… “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” Matt. 6:33 NASB. Thank You Lord, for a study that reminds us and brings us back to the simplicity of simply abiding in You every day. Help us to be those women that seek You first. In Jesus name!

  • Have loved this study!! I think throughout it has been The concept of faithfulness that has most changed me. his and mine. I have been changed by realizing that I have spent so much time striving… Trying so hard to 'produce' this fruit, when it's Him who produces the fruit. I just need to be faithful… Surrendering each day to Him and His will and he will produce in and through me.

  • Rachel Michelle

    In the past I worked so hard to bear fruit that I’d lost meaning of having the Spirit dwell in me. The fruits of the Spirit had become a checklist in many ways; I felt like my hands were tied- always trying to be good for & to the people in my life. Now I realize that the fruits of the Spirit bring freedom, not bondage, and the fruits are as much for me as they are for those I meet and interact with daily. We don’t bear it, we just wear it!

  • I was struck hard this morning by John 15:2. When I got to verse 5-7, I had to go back and reread verse 2 realizing He was talking about me being the branch. It was like a WOW moment. If Jesus is the Vine and I the branch, then God will remove me from the vine if I don't bear fruit and cast me into the fire. However, if I bear fruit He will lovingly prune me and give me the desires of my heart as I abide in the True Vine, Jesus Christ. And of course as we have learned this entire study, we can only bear fruit with the help of the Holy Spirit.

    • Sandy

      I think the point of that passage about being a branch is that that's what branches do! They bear fruit. They don't just hang there, barren. If we are truly in Christ then we will be bearing fruit. If no fruit is evident, we must search our hearts to see if we have given ourselves to Him, fully trusting Him for our salvation and not in our own good works.

  • drshanwalks

    This study has changed my mindset so much. I have always strived to show the fruits of the Spirit not realizing that I have been praying for them in the wrong way. I now realize that these fruits come through surrendering my will to God and allowing the Spirit to flow them through me. The other big revelation I had was on gentleness. As I stated on that day with my daily Instagram post I never associated that fruit with myself, but learning that it actually means "strength under control" I realized that the Spirit has given me that throughout my life without me realizing it. Who would have thought the name Shandra is associated with gentleness? My daily prayer now includes surrendering to God’s will, allowing the fruits of the Spirit to flow through me, and asking for wisdom to deal with the situations of the day.

  • We don’t bear it – we just wear it. LOVE it – and this whole study. THANK YOU!

  • I have loved this study and I have studied fruits of the Spirit before but God truly spoke to me through this! I think the fruit I have the hardest time not working towards on my own is self-control. I think I can control myself into doing what I want to do and when I don't have that self-control I feel defeated and like I should just give up in whatever area it is (food, exercise, patience – which is also a fruit, etc)…What I love is that freedom truly comes when we relinquish the control and it is a true freedom because it is from the Spirit and it is defined by God not "freedom" that the world offers. I am learning to be led by the Spirit, recognizing His leading daily and even in the moment by moment decisions. When I see myself "failing" at self control because I am striving then I have got to stop thinking I should just give up but instead knowing that God does desire us to live lives of self-control but that it is a Spirit-Controlled life.

    • MNmomma (heather)

      Yes! Yes! Yes! Not self-controlled, but Spirit Controlled life! AMEN!

  • Which fruit of the Spirit are you most tempted to produce on your own, apart from the Vine?

    How has the Scripture you’ve read over the last 12 days changed the way you think of fruit-bearing? And abiding?

    I’m always trying to muster up kindness and self control. I totally forgot that the fruit is His and I must cling to him for others to see His fruit. When I abide in Jesus, His fruit flows through me. I don’t even have to think about it.

    • SandyR

      Self control has definitely been the toughest one for me. I thought it had to come from mySELF!! Phew, what a relief!
      This study has been wonderful!!!

    • Stephanie

      That is exactly what I was thinking as I read that first question–kindness and self-control. Those are the things that I feel I have the most control over, the ones that I feel like I need to produce and nurture in myself.

  • carlybenson

    This whole study has been amazing and has definitely helped me understand the fruit of the Spirit more. It has come through time and time again that it is not about us doing the work but about abiding in God and this is something I really need to be reminded of. Peace is the one I struggle with. I tend to seek peace by planning and attempting to control situations rather than trusting God. I think this fruit is growing in me though, even in the last week. The study on peace really challenged me and people commented with some really helpful suggestions. I am facing a particularly stressful situation right now and though it is hard I am trying to see it as an opportunity for God to grow peace in me and I think he is. I think it's like the"pruning" in John 15- it's not exactly pleasant when it's happening but hopefully will ultimately lead to growth.

    • MNmomma (heather)

      The pruning can be excruciating, but the growth is absolutely amazing :) Love and hugs to you this morning!

  • If I were honest, I think I am more the tip of the branch, that is me..newly forming, still soft with delicate leaves, tender stalk/stem/branch…I am a branch, not as thick and sturdy as some, but none the less, …..finding my way, with the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit..to being strong in holding the Fruit growing inside of me…I AM grafted to the True vine…for sure…and although not perfect, whilst attached…and ..remaining in the True vine, I have the hope of producing much fruit, because, and this is a BIG because….'apart from ( the main) and True Vine… I, no matter how hard I try to grow in my own strength, my own fruit, and perhaps for good, can do nothing without His power, His feeding, His word…Him…Without His roots, rooting of the Holy Spirit, I cannot grow or claim I bear fruit…I will not receive the water needed,,or the nutrients to grow, I need His water of life, I need … the Holy Spirit…..to guide me, to lead me…

    So in answer to your question….if I were to choose 1, it would probably have to be… goodness….it is easy to manufacture my own goodness, for the wrong reasons, so Holy Spirit come, come Holy Spirit, lead me, teach the way I should go, that I do not grow my own kind of goodness, but your fruit of goodness, which comes from abiding in the Lord Jesus…Thank you Holy Spirit, thank you Jesus. Thank you..

    Thank you SRT, all you beautiful ladies for your time and input into making this, my second home, a place of growing and leaning in to the love and presence of God in my life….I totally admire and am really grateful for your devotions, of which, I look forward to each morning, as I would my children, waking up and snuggling into my bed for the first of many hugs throughout the day,…it sets me up …your words set me up…So…Thank you…with love..Thank you..

    My Sisters, what a journey….to use the words of the two on the Emmaus walk…Did our hearts not burn…..through this study…conviction is a good thing….Right?
    Praying we all walk closely and with the Holy Spirit as we realign our way of thinking…not in our own strength…but abiding in…Love you guys…and thank you for walking alongside and the encouragement, and words of love along the way…Bless you….xxx

    • Candacejo

      Did not our hearts burn? Yes, dear friend, beautiful. Be blessed today! ♥

    • Kelly_Smith

      So thankful to have you beside me on the journey!

    • MNmomma (heather)

      Oh Tina~ Your words once again hit home….and summed up so much of what I have been feeling! THANK YOU!!!!! Love and hugs to you!

    • Lynda

      Did our hearts not burn……great question! So happy to be part of this community.

    • ClaireB

      Tina, I like your thought…I may be a stem

  • That saying is catchy! But the Bible says we do bear it. We can't do it apart from Him, but we're still responsible for whether we do it or not. The passage from John 15 explains that we abide in Him by keeping his commandments, so it's a very active process. The Spirit empowers us, but we choose to abide and act on that decision.
    This study has been a great opportunity to look at relevant passages throughout the whole Bible. I really appreciate looking at the context for the verses on the fruit of the Spirit!

    • JamiB

      Agreed! There's a balance there for sure.

    • Hesaved83

      Right on! Amen, Hannah!

    • Rachel

      Your comments are always so insightful! Thank you for saying this – bearing fruit isn't a mystical thing that happens, but requires our intentional participation. We don't produce it by our own efforts… but if we don't submit to the Spirit leading us, no fruit!

      • Hannah

        Thank you so much Rachel! I loved your point about submitting to the Spirit!

    • shereadstruth

      Thanks for chiming in, Hannah! Totally agree that abiding is an action – it is a verb! The Holy Spirit is the fruit producer, the author of all goodness in us. But we can absolutely choose NOT to "wear it." May we actively choose to abide in God's love and truth.

  • It's interesting, in this passage we've been studying, fruit is singular. The fruit of the Spirit IS love. All the other attributes listed are almost like fruits of that fruit, since none can be present apart from love.
    This one is the hardest one for me. I find it so hard to truly love with no conditions, no selfish motives. I John 4:18 says the opposite of love isn't hate, it's fear. And I find fear at the root of all the ways my love falls short. I'm convinced that perfect love really does cast out fear. The more His perfect love casts out my fear, the more I can love like Him

    • Jes1215

      I wrote down in my journal this morning when reading that you can do nothing without love or it is worthless. (1 cor 13:1-3). And when you think of today's readings and devotional it says we cannot bear fruit without abiding in Him "apart from me you can do nothing" (john 15:5). We also know that God is love and we love only because he first loved us (1 john) so when we are abiding and allowing the spirit to work in and through us we have love in us and it is working through us to we are bearing fruit in love and through love so I live (haha) that you made that point about love! My flesh naturally does not want to love people because I naturally gravitate towards selfishness and me focused life. Therefore I have to rely on the Spirit to not make judgments and live a selfless loving life with a pure heart! Thank you for sharing!

      • jes1215

        Sorry I meant love not live before the "haha"…I wrote that on my iPad so there are probably some more mistakes in that!

      • hannah

        I love the way you fleshed out the connection between love and abiding! In our John 15 reading for today it struck me that Jesus tells us how to abide in Him, and it's different from the way we usually talk about abiding. His words in this passage really helped me connect the dits between love, abiding, and obedience.

      • Hesaved83

        Jes1215,

        I agree same thoughts, blessing!

    • Hesaved83

      Hannah,

      Yes love is the basis and 1 Corinthians 13 pairs well with John 15. Thanks for your Spirit-filled insights! :)

  • Candacejo

    I will take an XL in that t-shirt please! :) Awesome.

    I think the Goodness fruit is the one I try to succeed at by myself the most. Even though I quote all the time, "You can't get GOOD to get God", in the back of my mind I continually think all the GOOD that I DO makes me more like Him. When if fact, it is all of HIS GOOD IN ME that would ever make me GOOD!

    If I stay attached to the Vine, let His GOODNESS flow through me every single day then I will become more and more like Him and a fruit-bearing branch!

    Wonderful study on the Fruit of the Spirit. Today is our last day in the country of Malta. God has been so good to touch hearts, including ours! Thank you for your prayers. God's abundant blessings on you all ♥

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