19The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21and 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. 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
A Tree and Its Fruit
Mathew 7: 15"Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
21"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' 23Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'
The Wise and Foolish Builders
24"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."
28When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.
How do I really know what fruit my life is bearing? Who will hold me accountable and tell me what I am really like? How can I change? Do I want to change? How can I possibly let go of that? My wife (or my kids) will never understand? I cannot believe that I grew into the man that I said I would never be? Or you find yourself saying that it won't hurt anyone? How about, "No one will ever know"?
Here is the bitter pill to swallow: GOD KNOWS! GOD SEES EVERYTHING & GOD IS NOT MOCKED! God isn't just looking for you to say Lord, I am sorry please forgive me, BUT you still hold on to that which causes you to stumble. You won't let go? You won't fully repent of the heart. STOP BEING FOOLISH!
If you think for a moment that God will overlook this unrepentance in your life then read Judges 10:6-16. After you have read this then I implore you to grab a notebook and before you go into a quiet place take a deep look into the mirror and reflect on who you truly see. If things aren't adding up or you know you have to let go of some things in order to have God come closer to you, then write these things down that are causing you to stumble. Confess your sins to God and go and sin no more. As Jesus had the Pharisee bring a woman who was caught in the middle of committing adultery, the people were going to stone her and Jesus had asked whoever is without sin to cast the first stone. After a while only the woman and Jesus were left standing. He didn't say to her that's okay, go back and continue on your journey toward hell- NO! He said, Go and sin NO MORE! Flee from evil. Let go of that which causes you to stumble. Come closer to God and He will come closer to you.
What fruit do you see in your life? That of the sinful nature or that of the Fruit of the Spirit.