Planting, Cultivating and Harvesting Our Fruits of the Spirit

christina lyons cultivating and harvesting our fruits of the spirit galatians 5:22-23 matthew 17:20 planting Jun 25, 2019

Planting, Cultivating and Harvesting Our Fruits of the Spirit

Until a few years ago, I had never taken into account the faith that is a part of farming. 

My family, and every farmer that I know, plants tiny seeds every spring in hopes that it will produce a harvest in the fall.  Corn, beans, milo and sometimes sunflowers. The crops produce feed for our cattle or finances to provide for the family.  

When we plant these little seeds we know that there is a possibility that the seeds may never come up out of the ground.  Maybe the plants will be harmed or destroyed by hail, insects, flooding or drought. But we have faith that God will provide if He has called us to be farmers.   

Farmers don’t stop caring for the seed after it’s planted. We prepare the land and cultivate the soil to help the seed grow.  

Our gardens are the same.  If we stopped caring for our plants, our space would become overwhelmed with weeds.  

Spiritual Farming

Our spiritual development is not much different.  After we become Christians we will only grow if we cultivate our faith.  

That looks different for everyone.  Maybe it’s taking the time to read and pray.  Possibly you are encouraged through worship with other believers at church.  Some believers grow through listening to books and podcasts or maybe you belong to a community of believers that focuses on spiritual growth.  

Maybe it’s planting seeds in others by mentoring or being a leader.

Fruits of the Spirit

As a Christian and as a farmer, I have always found some comfort in Galatians 5:22-23.  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”

I had to stop and consider if I was cultivating the seeds that my Fruits of the Spirit grow?

  • Love:  Do I seek the highest good of others?
  • Joy:  Do I possess a gladness that is not based on circumstances?
  • Peace:  Is there contentment in my heart and unity between people? Do other people ask “What do you have that I don’t?” 
  • Patience:  Am I slow to speak and slow to anger?
  • Kindness:  Am I merciful, sweet and tender?
  • Goodness:  Am I generous and open hearted?
  • Faithfulness:  Am I dependable, loyal and full of trust? In Luke 17:10, it says “What we were told to do, we did.”  Faith is doing what God has told you to do. Have I?
  • Gentleness:  Am I humble, calm and non-threatening?
  • Self-control:  Do I behave well?

Avoid Stinky Fruit

Fruit of the Spirit is perishable.  It must be shared with others or it will spoil.  

I find myself thinking about those fruit of the month clubs.  Thankfully, no one has ever gifted me with a subscription, but I’ve heard there is a lot of fruit and if you don’t share it with your neighbors, it becomes a box of stinky, rotten fruit.

Seasons

God says in Ecclesiastes 3:1-2: “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:  A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted.”

I don’t know what season you are experiencing right now.  Are you planting seeds or harvesting fruits? Maybe both.  

I am in a season of growth largely because of my work with the Women of Faith Ambassadors.  You can learn more at https://www.womenoffaith.com/ambassadors .  I hope you will consider becoming an Ambassador.  We are growing in spiritual strength, life leadership and real relationships.  

Even if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, God will produce fruit in your life. 

Matthew 17:20 “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

 Christina

 

Christina Lyons grew up and has lived in Southeast Nebraska the majority of her life.  With a Bachelor's Degree in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a Master's Degree in Counseling from Doane University - Lincoln, she has worked in Criminal Justice as a Tracker, Probation Officer, Drug Court Coordinator and a Diversion Coordinator.  Christina has also worked in Human Services as a Shelter Director for Abused and Neglected Children, daycare and as a Community Coalition Director.

She writes grants, newspaper stories, a column in the local newspaper and recently began focusing on a blog. (Alliswellwithmysoul.com) It focuses on the three areas of her life that are most important to her - Faith, Family and Farm. 

Christina lives in Beatrice, NE with her husband of 24 years, Dave, and their son, Luke.  Elyse, their adult daughter, resides in Lincoln, NE.  

She is also a farmer.  The farm has been in the family for approximately 70 years. Christina and her brother have a small cow-calf operation.  They rent out row crop acres, but put up about 1,500 small square bales of alfalfa and brome every summer.  

Christina enjoys doing whatever she can to build on the Kingdom of God.  She loves and cares for all living creatures. She is living victoriously in Christ by being her most authentic self.  

 

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