If You're Not Loving, You're Not Living (LOVE) 1 Of 9 by James Merritt

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FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT SERIES "HOME SWEET HOME" (1 OF 9) GALATIANS 5:22
DR JAMES MERRITT

“IF YOU’RE NOT LOVING, YOU’RE NOT
LIVING” (LOVE)

INTRODUCTION

1. I AM BEGINNING A SERIES OF MESSAGES THAT I HAVE
ENTITLED: “HOME SWEET HOME.” THESE MESSAGES ARE
GOING TO DEAL WITH THE FRUIT THAT EVERY FAMILY TREE
OUGHT TO BEAR. I WANT YOU TO IMAGINE WHAT YOUR
MARRIAGE WOULD BE LIKE, WHAT YOUR KIDS WOULD BE
LIKE, WHAT YOUR SPOUSE WOULD BE LIKE, WHAT YOU
WOULD BE LIKE, IF THE TREE OF YOUR HOME AND YOUR
HEART BORE THE FRUIT OF LOVE, JOY, PEACE,
LONGSUFFERING, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS,
GENTLENESS, AND SELF -CONTROL.

2. NOW QUITE FRANKLY, IF A LOT OF US STARTED BEARING
THAT KIND OF FRUIT IN OUR LIVES, IT WOULD MAKE US A
STRANGER IN OUR OWN HOME!

3. THE BIBLE COMPARES EVERY CHRISTIAN TO A TREE. IT
IS A TREE THAT IS TO BEAR FRUIT. WE HAVE BEEN GIVEN
TWO FRUIT-PRODUCING AGENTS IN OUR LIVES. ONE IS THE
SCRIPTURE. PS. 1:2-3 SAYS: “BUT HIS DELIGHT IS IN THE
LAW OF THE LORD, AND IN HIS LAW HE MEDITATES DAY AND
NIGHT. HE SHALL BE LIKE A TREE PLANTED BY THE RIVERS
OF WATER, THAT BRINGS FORTH ITS FRUIT IN ITS SEASON,
WHOSE LEAF ALSO SHALL NOT WITHER; AND WHATEVER HE
DOES SHALL PROSPER.” THAT IS, IF WE WILL READ, STUDY,
AND MEDITATE ON THE WORD OF GOD, THE WORD OF GOD
WILL BRING FORTH FRUIT IN OUR LIVES.

4. BUT THE OTHER FRUIT-PRODUCING AGENT IS THE SPIRIT.
GAL. 5:22 SPEAKS OF THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT. NOW
THERE IS A LOT OF INTEREST TODAY IN THE GIFT OF THE
SPIRIT. YOU’VE GOT AN ELEMENT THAT ALWAYS WANTS TO
KNOW IF YOU’VE RECEIVED “THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY
SPIRIT.”

5. THERE IS A LOT OF EMPHASIS ON THE GIFTS OF THE
SPIRIT. PEOPLE WANT TO KNOW WHAT YOUR PARTICULAR
SPIRITUAL GIFT MIGHT BE. BUT THERE IS NOT ENOUGH
EMPHASIS ON THE GRACES OF THE SPIRIT, WHICH IS THE
FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT.

6. NOW I FIND IT BOTH INTERESTING AND INFORMATIVE
THAT THE METAPHOR THAT IS USED TO DESCRIBE THE
CHARACTER THAT THE HOLY SPIRIT PRODUCES THROUGH
US, IS FRUIT. I BELIEVE I KNOW WHY.

7. FIRST OF ALL, FRUIT IS VISIBLE. FRUIT CAN BE SEEN.
FRUIT CAN BE SMELLED. FRUIT CAN BE SAMPLED. IT IS
VISIBLE, IT IS TANGIBLE.

8. FRUIT IS ALSO VIABLE. A TREE IS KNOW BY ITS WHAT?--
BY ITS FRUIT. FRUIT REFLECTS THE CHARACTER OF THE
TREE THAT PRODUCES IT.

9. I HEARD ABOUT A LITTLE BOY WHO USED TO GET OUT OF
HIS BEDROOM ANY TIME HE WANTED TO, BY CLIMBING DOWN
AN OLD FRUIT TREE THAT STOOD RIGHT OUTSIDE HIS
BEDROOM WINDOW. MANY TIMES HE WOULD BE BANISHED
TO HIS ROOM TO BE PUNISHED, AND HE WOULD ESCAPE BY
CLIMBING DOWN THAT TREE TO GO PLAY.

10. WELL, ONE DAY HIS FATHER SAID THAT HE WAS GOING
TO CUT DOWN THAT TREE BECAUSE IT HAD NOT BORN FRUIT
FOR YEARS. WELL, THAT NIGHT THAT BOY AND HIS
BROTHERS WENT OUT AND GOT A BASKET OF APPLES, AND,
UNDER THE COVER OF DARKNESS, CLIMBED INTO THAT TREE
AND TIED FRUIT ON THOSE UNPRODUCTIVE BRA ...


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