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Juicy Fruit Sermon Series // Part 1

Fruit of the Spirit // Love

Galatians 5:16-26 NLT
So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. 17 The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. 18 But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses. 19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. 22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. 26 Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.

As we follow Christ and submit to Him, certain character traits begin to develop in us. These are the Fruit of the Spirit.

  • Fruit is defined as anything produced or accruing product. The Greek word for fruit in our text is “Karpos”. It means that which originates or comes from something, an effect, a result of.
  • We certainly are familiar with fruit around here. The apple trees are gorgeous. So many of us love the fruit produced by our farmers and delivered by our businesses.
  • Here’s a few things to note about fruit.

    • It is inherent with the species.
    • Apple trees produce apples, nothing more and nothing less.
    • When we are connected to Christ, we will produce fruit. We can do no less.
    • Fruit develops over time.

You can’t just plant a tree and it starts producing. And there is no such thing as instant maturity or instant Spiritual growth. Time is essential. When you try to rush fruit, it doesn’t taste as good.

Have you ever eaten gassed tomatoes? That is what you purchase at the grocery store. If farmers picked ripe tomatoes and shipped them, they would get smashed on the way to the market, so the farmers pick them green and spray carbon dioxide on them just before they go to the market. That gas ripens green tomatoes into red very quickly. Now, there is nothing wrong with those tomatoes. But if you have ever eaten a vine-ripened tomato, there is no comparison. It takes time for fruit to ripen. And God is going to need time to ripen the spiritual fruit in your life.

  • Love- “For the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in us… love.”

Essentials of the Fruit of Love

A. As in all the fruit we will talk about the Holy Spirit develops the characteristics within us. And for the most part, here’s how He does it.

  • God produces the Fruit of the Spirit in us by allowing us to encounter situations and people with characteristics that are exactly the opposite of the Fruit of the Spirit. 
  • Lady Astor, the first female member of the British House of Commons, did not like Winston Churchill. One time she told him, “Winston, if you were my husband, I’d put poison in your coffee.”
    Churchill replied, “Madam, if you were my wife, I’d drink it!”

  • If you were to think about it for sixty seconds, you could probably come up with a list of people you do not like. They would probably be people whom you have trouble getting along with. Everyone is hard to love some of the time – even you – but some people are hard to love at any time.

B. As in love, loving lovely people is easy. To teach us real love, God often puts unlovely people around us. We learn real love by loving the cantankerous guy at work or the neighbor who gets on your nerves all the time. God teaches us love by letting us practice on the unlovely.

Listen to what Paul said in Colossians 3:12-14 (NLT):

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.

C. We all know that love isn’t a feeling – a knot in the stomach, a quiver in the liver or a rush of emotion. It is more than a feeling.

  • I love the story about the guy who was getting ready to propose to his girlfriend. He had the ring in his hand, was holding her hand, and the moon was just right. He said, “Sweetheart, I want you to marry me.” He said, “I don’t have a car like Johnny Green and I don’t have a yacht like him and I don’t have a house his size and I don’t have the money of Johnny Green, but I want you to know that I love you with all of my heart.” And she looked into his eyes and said, “I want you to know that I love you too, sweetheart, but could you tell me a little bit more about Johnny Green?”

  • In a “Peanuts” cartoon, Charlie Brown and Linus are talking, and Linus says, “She was so cute. I used to see her in Sunday School every week. I used to just sit there and stare at her, and sometimes she’d smile at me. Now I hear she’s switched churches.” Charlie Brown looks up and says, “That’ll change your theology in a hurry.”

The Bible says in 1 John 4:7-8 (KJV):

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

  • Love comes from God. Love develops in our hearts as we learn to love God and follow His Word.

D. That brings me to say that love requires action. I can’t love God or I can’t love you without some show of or demonstration of that love.

1 John 3:16-19 says (NLT):

We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person? 18 Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. 19 Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God.

  • Let me tell you I saw love last week:
  • Volunteer teams
  • Yard work
  • Office volunteers
  • Cleaning teams
  • Greeters and ushers and safety teams welcoming, shaking hands, hugging and laughing with old and new friends.
  • I saw love in musicians and singers who came at 7, prayed and warmed up and then played and sang their hearts out for 5.5 hours, all in hopes to see one life changed.
  • I saw love in kids’ ministry teams here early loving on kids, laughing, singing, crying, hugging and praying with our kids.
  • Food servers
  • I saw love in our students hiding eggs for the kids so they could have a special 10 minutes.
  • I saw love last Sunday in Larry the go-cart guy lapping the parking lot driving us to the door.
  • I saw love in our altar teams praying for people they did not know and introducing them to Jesus.
  • I saw love. I saw love in so many of you walking proudly in with your friends and family you invited to one of our services.
  • I saw love in the Gum family loaning their building to our Afresh congregation and they were beside themselves when 185 people showed up for worship.
  • And I saw love at the Royal Oak campus as they had 3 services and were so thrilled that 165 people showed up!
  • And of course, the best staff ever!
  • And once again I saw the love of God touch us again and visit with us as we gave Him the best we had on that special day.
  • You see, that is the fruit of the Spirit called love. It is more than words; it is deeds flowing from a caring heart.
  • And it is this fruit that will change a child’s heart – restore a marriage – and change the culture of our community.

E. And here is the ultimate test of love, forgiving those who have hurt us.

  • I know this isn’t easy or even something we want to do. Our resentment rises up within us and we want vengeance, not forgiveness.

  • Many people have a just cause for their anger. For example, I heard of a news report on the radio that one out of every three women and one out of every seven men will be abused during their lifetime. But we have to let go of the past to get on with the present.

  • To begin loving people today, we must close the door on the past. And that cannot happen without forgiveness!

  • Forgive those who have hurt you – for your sake, not because they deserve it. Do it so your heart can be whole again.

  • The people from your past cannot continue to hurt you today unless you allow them to hurt you by holding on to resentment against them.

  • Anytime you resent someone, you give that person a piece of your heart, a piece of your attention, a piece of your mind.

  • Do you want that person to have that?

  • No. So take it back by forgiving. Forgive those who hurt you. Instead of rehearsing that hurt over and over, release it.

Worship Set

Every Praise 

- John David Bratton and Hezekiah Walker

Chorus 1

Every praise is to our God
Every word of worship with one accord
Every praise, every praise is to our God
Sing hallelujah to our God
Glory hallelujah is due our God
Every praise, every praise is to our God

Misc 1 (Bridge)

God my Savior
God my Healer
God my Deliverer
Yes He is, yes He is
(Yes He is, yes He is)

Misc 2 (Ending)

Every praise is to our God
Every word of worship with one accord
Every praise, every praise
Every praise, every praise
Every praise, every praise
Every praise, every praise
Every praise, every praise
Every praise, every praise
Every praise, every praise is to our God

Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) 

- Matt Crocker, Joel Houston, and Salomon Ligthelm

Verse 1

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep my faith will stand

Chorus 1

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Verse 2

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sov'reign hand will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and You won't start now

Misc 1 (Interlude)

Oh and You are mine oh

Misc 2 (Bridge)

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Saviour

Misc 3 (Interlude)

Yeah yeah yeah yeah
Oh Jesus yeah my God

Chorus 2

I will call upon Your name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine