What’s in Your Garden?

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 King James Version

My parents had a vegetable garden many years ago when I was a teenager living in Texas. They planted tomatoes, bell peppers, green onions, and other things that I can’t remember in the garden. It seemed like they were always watering the garden. Nothing tasted as good to me as the tomatoes that I picked out of their garden. I would wash them under cold water and they were delicious. I have never tasted any tomatoes as good as the ones that I picked out of my parent’s garden.

We have another garden and it is the garden of the fruits of the Spirit. It has been planted in our hearts by our precious Saviour. He planted this garden of fruits but it is up to us to allow the fruits of His Spirit to grow in our hearts. There are times that we quench the Spirit from working in our hearts. When we do this, we are hurting God and disobeying Him. The Bible tells us “Quench not the Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 5: 19).

One of the definitions in Webster’s Dictionary for the word quench is “to put out the light or fire of.” If we are honest with ourselves, all of us will have to admit that there are times when we put out the light of Jesus in our hearts by not loving one another unconditionally as He has commanded us to do. I think that we sometimes forgot that loving one another is a commandment; it is not an option.

We read in the Bible, the love letter from God to us “Therefore if any man be in Christ: he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:17-19).

One of the definitions in Webster’s Dictionary for the word reconciled is “to restore to friendship or harmony.” Many times we refuse to forgive people who have hurt us and the fruits that Jesus has planted in our hearts start to wither and die. If we have accepted Jesus in our hearts as our personal Saviour, God has given to us the ministry of reconciliation. When we refuse to forgive people, not only do we hurt them, we also are disobeying God and hurting Him.

If God doesn’t hold our sins and failures against us, how dare you and I continue to harbor jealousy, hatred, unforgiveness, resentment and bitterness in our hearts! Sometimes we are an arrogant people. We expect God to forgive us but we aren’t willing to forgive the ones who hurt us. Are you allowing the fruits of the Spirit to grow in your heart or are you deliberately quenching the Spirit and living in disobedience to our Heavenly Father?

JoanneCopyright 2008 by Joanne Lowe, all rights reserved.
Used by permission. http://www.heavenwardbound.com

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