1 Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.
4 Not so the wicked!
They are like chaff
that the wind blows away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
6 For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.
The first Psalm kicks off this great Book of praise, worship, and prayers with a look at what makes a person happy. A happy person avoids the path of wickedness, delights in God’s instruction, and takes pleasure in meditating on His Word.
These are still good principles to live by even today. If we do these things, then we’re like the man described in Psalm 1: planted by a spiritual stream of water that assures us that we can grow deep roots, healthy foliage, strong branches, and a great harvest of fruit.
When we consider living a life with fruit, we see, from this passage that there are 3 keys to a faith that bears fruit:
- Avoid evil.
- Don’t scoff at godly things.
- Learn to enjoy studying and meditating on the Word of God.
In Old Testament times, living by those truths presumed that a person already had a relationship with God based on the Law, so they were well on their way to producing mature fruit in their lives.
Let’s take a look from a passage from the New Testament that talks about producing fruit in your life:
Galatians 5:16-25 (NIV)
16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
In the New Testament, our relationship with God is based on our acceptance of Christ as our Savior. In Galatians 5:22-23, the apostle Paul gave a perfect description of the fruit we should bear as a result of our decision to believe in and trust Jesus. He mentions the fruits of the Spirit as love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. We should take aim at producing these fruits by planting our lives near the stream of the living water that can only be found in Jesus Christ. Bearing fruit brings blessings to us and to all of those around us.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer once wrote, “The fruit of the Spirit is a gift of God, and only He can produce it. They who bear it know as little about it as the tree knows of its fruit. They only know the power of Him on whom their life depends.”
As we reflect on the various fruits of the Spirit discussed in this passage in Galatians, I challenge us to ask ourselves 2 very important questions:
- Which specific fruit or fruits of the Spirit would you like to ask God to grow in you?
- What changes would you make in your daily life in order to bear more spiritual fruit?
I think that with a little self-examination, prayer, and intentionality, each of us could live a life that bears an abundance of fruit. In doing so, those around us will notice and be moved by how we live our lives. We don’t need to wait until we get to heaven to start living a full and abundant life. Let’s start today!