Friday Focus

Today we are starting our series on the Fruits of the Spirit that are mentioned in Paul’s letter to the Galatians.  Each week we will be thinking about a different fruit.  For the first couple of weeks, I will be sharing with you, but then after that, we will have speakers from both Tonbridge and Sevenoaks.  So I hope you will enjoy exploring this topic with us.

Today I am reading from the book of Galatians, in chapter 5, starting with verse 22 .

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.  Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” (NIV)

The Jesus followers in Galatia were disagreeing about the best ways to be Christians. Should we be circumcised or not? Should we meticulously follow Torah laws or not? Where does salvation come from? When the Apostle Paul writes about these fruits of the Spirit, he is encouraging them to think beyond these issues and to focus on living their new lives in Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.

People following the Holy Spirit’s leading will have these attributes- these fruit – as evidence in their lives. However people are not meant to create these fruits themselves. I know that in my own strength it is impossible.  Typically when I say to myself that I must have more patience, I suddenly find myself getting impatient with myself.  We need the Holy Spirit.

People living by the Holy Spirit will just see these fruits appear in their lives.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a Lutheran pastor who resisted the Nazis in the 1930s.  Writing about the fruits of the spirit, he wrote: 

“Fruit is always the miraculous, the created; it is never the result of willing, but always a growth.  The fruit of the Spirit is a gift from God, and only God can produce it.  They who bear it know as little about it as the tree knows of its fruit.  They know only the power of God on whom their life depends.”

So as we start this series and think of these attributes- love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control  – let us remember that these fruits of the Spirit are the creative work of God that appear in our lives, as we follow the Holy Spirit.  So, let us keep our eyes on Jesus and seek to follow where the Holy Spirit leads.

Let us pray.

Come Holy Spirit.  Fill us afresh, we pray.

Help us to listen to your promptings and follow your lead.

Nurture and grow these fruits in our lives.

In Jesus name we pray,


Thank you for listening and for praying with me.  I hope you will join us again next Friday, when we look at the first fruit – love.

Written by Rev Angela Rigby