Galatians 5:22–23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”

March 13th, 2019 by Pastor Ed in devotional

The Apostle Paul does something interesting in this verse. He writes, “the fruit of the Spirit is love” (singular), and then lists 8 resulting attributes (plural) of love. It is clear from the rest of the letter that this list is not given as a set of goals to be pursued. Remember Paul was writing to correct a group of believers who were mistakenly trying to reduce salvation to a list of rules or things to do. No, this is a list of the fruit of the Spirit, not the fruit of us. The third person of the Godhead is active in this list. He alone can produce this fruit in its genuine form within a believer’s life.

A gifted pastor from the last century, Donald Grey Barnhouse, said it this way:

Love is the key. Joy is love singing. Peace is love resting. Long-suffering is love enduring. Kindness is love’s touch. Goodness is love’s character. Faithfulness is love’s habit. Gentleness is love’s self-forgetfulness. Self-control is love holding the reins.

The life of George Muller contains an amazing example of lasting faithfulness and longsuffering. Muller was best known for his work as an evangelist and director of the Ashley Down orphanage in Bristol, England, where he cared for 10,024 orphans over the course of his life. He also established 117 schools, which provided a Christian education to over 120,000 children, many of whom were orphans. But on a more private level, shortly after he became a believer, Muller began to pray for the salvation of 5 of his best friends. The first one came to know the Lord after Muller had been praying for 5 years; the second after 10 years; the third after 25 years; the fourth after 50 years; and the fifth came to the Lord at Muller’s funeral, after 52 years of prayer. The result of a Spirit-filled, empowered life is faithfulness in many areas, especially prayer.

“LORD, we are clinging to You so that Your life can flow through us and bring spiritual fruit for You today.”