“The extract of this fruit has nutritional properties that far exceed all others. If you take it daily, your life will never be the same!” So go the claims on just about every natural supplement website. But would you be surprised to know that there really is an ultimate super fruit?
I’ve spent the past several weeks posting about the various dimensions of grace and the way in which it impacts our lives. There’s at least one more element to grace, however, that warrants significant attention—its transformational power in the human heart.
In many ways, grace is like the sap that flows through a grape vine as it brings life and nutrition to the branches. As long as the branch stays properly connected to the vine, the end result will be a bountiful harvest of sweet, delicious grapes.
Jesus once likened our walk with Him to the connectedness between a vine and its branches.
I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser . . . Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing . . . My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. John 15:1-8 (NASB)
What fruit, we must ask, was Jesus talking about? The fruit of the Holy Spirit.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 (NASB)
The inherent message is powerful—as we abide in a grace-filled relationship with God, He will transform the very fabric of our hearts. This is not necessarily a quick or easy process, but it is a very real one nonetheless. The outcome of this transformational process then indicates the depth of our personal relationship with our Creator. If the fruit isn’t growing, something in my walk with God is out of whack.
There are a lot of people who profess a lot of things in our religious circles, but the state of our hearts does more to reveal the true nature of our faith (or lack thereof) than do all of the words that we speak. If we as Christians want to make a significant impact in our world, the fruit of our hearts must be congruent with our gifts, words, and actions.
The love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control that the Holy Spirit of grace produces in our hearts have the potential to impact an untold number of lives. The ultimate super fruit, you see, isn’t one which we consume, but rather one that is grown in the inner depths of our being.