Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
1 Cor. 13:4-7
Today we reach day 43 of our yearlong devotional on fruit of the spirit.
We spent the first three days of the year establishing the framework for the fruit and 40 subsequent days of devotions on cultivating the “love fruit” in our lives.
Tomorrow we count it all joy!
But today as we prepare to move from love to joy, I want to remind you that love is foundational to all of the other fruits.
I do not masquerade as a horticulturist, however, I like to think of the love fruit as that taproot for all of the other fruits. Taproots develop from the radicle of a seed, forming the primary root. It branches off to secondary roots, which in turn branch to form tertiary roots. These may further branch to form rootlets. For most plants species the radicle dies some time after seed germination, causing the development of a fibrous root system, which lacks a main downward-growing root. Most trees begin life with a taproot
If I was a talented illustrator, I would imagine a tree bearing all of the fruit of the spirit in the following way. (An illustration my come soon if I can find someone to do it)
In the meantime, I hope you can picture it in your mind:
First, imagine the tree itself set in a rich, lush, green grove garden. In the middle of the garden is our “fruit of the spirit tree.” It’s got abundant green leaves and fragrant colorful fruit (9 varieties to be exact). Each of the 9 fruits is a different and brilliant color.
Now that we can picture the tree, let’s step back and look at a diagram of the tree, including its root system under the ground. Imagine that the tree trunk, branches and tap root are “love”. Then we see 9 differently colored roots springing out from the tap root. Those are 8 other fruits.
So when you pick any one of the fruits, and take a bite, love is actually bred into ALL of the other fruits.
Imagine you are eating a hybrid fruit.
These actually exist and have names like nectoplum (nectarine and plum), grapple fruit (gala apples), aprium (apricot and plum) and limequat (kumquat and lime).
Have you ever eaten any of those fruits?
I cannot recall eating any but the gala apple, and the next time I do, I will taste it hard and carefully to see if I detect both apple and grape.
So going back to our spiritual fruit tree, we can choose to pick a love fruit, which I’ll imagine as an apple. But if I choose a “joy fruit” i will taste the love along with the joy! So if I picture joy as plum, when I eat the joy fruit I will taste both plum and apple! The name of the fruit would be “lovejoy!”
This concept is perfectly summarized in 1 Corinithians 13:1-3
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
Take a moment to visualize your own “fruit of the spirit tree” as you desire it to be! Compare it to how it might look now! Ask God to help you cultivate it, and realize that LOVE is the great tap root!
All the Best in 2013!