Did you know that many of our children participated in the AC Community Vacation Bible School? Did you know that many Pleasant Dale Adults and Teens served as teachers and leaders at VBS? Did you know that we are sending over 50 children and teens to either Camp Mack or Camp Cotubic for a Christian summer camp experience? Did you know that 11 different Pleasant Dale adults are serving as volunteers at Camp Mack this summer? Did you know that the children and teens from three years old to 12th grade are learning about the Fruit of the Spirit this summer during Sunday School?
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23
As the children in particular are learning about each one of those nine characteristics and are having opportunities to put them into practice, I am reminded of my first summer as a camp counselor. As an 18 year old who had just completed my first year of college, I was excited and a bit apprehensive of living with 7 or 8 girls for 7 full days before a new group of girls arrived. I wasn't sure how living in a cabin together, sharing meals, spending time in Bible study and devotions along with sharing activities, resting and general camp life would work. During our pre-camp training the director asked us as a group to, “Please, don't pray for patience this summer. You know that you get patience by trial and tribulation.” Patience, or any of the other fruit of the Spirit, doesn't come when things are going well. It is developed when things are difficult, when you have to wait, when it isn't necessarily your plan.
An apple tree has no value if it doesn't bear apples. A peach tree has value only if peaches grow and mature. Melon vines that are green and lush without buds and ultimately melons will be worthless. So, as followers of Jesus our lives should produce fruit. Technically we should bear love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. As one of them matures in your life the others will grow more too. None of them grows in isolation. I can't say that I have met anyone who has great joy who doesn't show at least a measure of self-control in their life. What grows best in your life? What needs to grow more?
Each one of us who has asked Jesus to forgive our sins should be a fruit bearer. It should be the fruit that the Holy Spirit grows within us. It should be the fruit of love, the fruit of joy, the fruit of peace, the fruit of patience, the fruit of kindness, the fruit of goodness, the fruit of faithfulness, the fruit of gentleness, the fruit of self-control. And there aren't any laws prohibiting those things. During this summer season, keep growing the fruit of the Spirit in your life.