Love: If You're not Loving, You're not Living (1 of 9) by James Merritt

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Love: If You're Not Loving, You're Not Living (1 of 9)
Series: Fruit of the Spirit - Home Sweet Home
James Merritt
Galatians 5:22


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 branches.

11. The next morning they waited anxiously to see their father's response. He came and sat down at the table and said to his wife, ''Mary, I can ...

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