by: Dr. Bob Gray Sr.
Galatians 5:22, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.”
Unfortunately, we know absolutely nothing about most of the ingredients of the fruit of the Spirit. If it appeals to our senses we will indulge in it or give it a chance, but if it requires sacrifice on our part then forget it! This is an “instant coffee” kind of generation. This is an “instant tea” kind of generation. Most Christians do not know what real love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness or temperance is!
1 John 3:17, “But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?” God is saying here the love of God does not “dwell” in this man. If you have goods and see that your brother hath need and you do not do anything about it, even though you say you have love, the truth is you do not!
1 John 4:9, “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.” Love is a fruit and not a root! 1 John 4:10, “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
1 John 5:3, “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” It does not say that we should tingle on the inside, it says, “…keep his commandments…” Love is a fruit and not a root! Love that is not seen is not love.
One year, for Christmas, I bought Mrs. Gray a bread maker. During the Christmas holidays, I had a bronchial infection and the doctor gave me a shot, some pills and sent me to bed. That was hard to do! So, I read my Bible, ate, read my Bible, ate, read my Bible and ate. You get the picture. One morning I was sitting at the table reading Galatians chapter five, and watching Mrs. Gray put together a gooey looking mixture. I asked her what it was and she said, “It will be a loaf of bread when it comes out of the new bread maker.” I thought to myself, “Wow, that’s it!” It is not really bread until it comes out and that is why God calls it the fruit of the Spirit. It is not really “love” until it comes out. It is not really love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness or temperance until it comes out.
That is what 1 John 3:17; 4:9-10; 5:3 is saying! Bread is not bread until it comes out of the bread maker. When it comes out of the bread maker then you can enjoy the loaf of bread. Someone says, “Down inside he has a heart of love!” NO! He may have the ingredients of love, but it is not love until it comes out!
Love is a verb! Love cannot dwell! Love only becomes a noun, after it has first become a verb. You love and then you can have love. You do not have love and then love. Love cannot dwell! To be love, it must have an object. Love, joy, peace, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, is not love until it is expressed.
A husband says, “I think she loves me but she doesn’t express it.” No, she does not love you until she expresses it! You say, “Preacher I love him. I just don’t tell him.” No, you don’t love him until you tell him that you love him. “But I have love for him!” No, you cannot HAVE love, you can only GIVE love! Again it is not bread until it comes out of the bread maker and it is not love until it comes out. It is a fruit and not a root!
Some husband thinks he has merit because he has love in his heart for his wife. No! You cannot HAVE love; it is not love until it comes out of the love maker. It was not bread in that machine. It was bread when it came out of the bread maker and coming out of the machine is what made it bread! It is not love until it comes out! You cannot HAVE love in your heart. You can have the ingredients, but that is not love.
When you were a child, did you ever talk your mama into letting you eat the cake batter? Nothing tastes any better or will make you sicker any quicker than cake batter or cookie dough. Vanilla extract smells so good, but when you taste it the extract tastes horrible. It is what comes out that is good for you and what is good for others. Love is not love until it is told! If you don’t say, “I love you,” it is not really love. It is not love until it comes out. It becomes love when it is expressed!
In my 42 years of ministry, as of this writing, I have counseled thousands of people. In my counseling, it always amazed me that people would brag about being an icebox in their marriage. One person said, “Well I’m just not the affectionate type!” If that were true, I dead sure wouldn’t brag about being backslidden! But preacher, I’m a real he-man and he-men don’t get emotional!” Oh yes, real men do become emotional! Real men do show love! Real men do express love! Real men tell of their love!
It is absolutely impossible for one to possess love and not want to express it. It is only love when it is professed, and not possessed, and that happens when it comes out of the love maker! “Preacher my mind is filled with love!” No, it isn’t! Pay attention to this; “I love you” is impossible. Loving you is possible! It is not love until it comes out of the love maker. “But preacher that is mushy stuff!” WOW, now you are catching on! There is no such thing as an “un-mushy” love! It should be “gooey” like the bread dough. The expressing of it, and the telling of it, is what makes it so special, just like a hot loaf of bread!
Love cannot become a noun, until it first becomes a verb! It must come out of the machine before it is bread! It is not bread in the machine and it is not love in the heart. It is bread when it comes out of the machine and it is love when it comes out of the heart! The coming out is what makes it bread and the coming out is what makes it love! “But preacher I’m not the affectionate type.” There is another option here. You could get right with God and become the affectionate type!
One lady said to me, “I’m sorry, but I don’t feel it down inside.” Quit making excuses, you simply do not want to express it! If you really felt love on the inside, it would soon pop out on the outside. It is too powerful of an emotion to be kept inside! The expressing of it is the loving. It is the fruit, not a root!
Another person said, “Well my mother wasn’t very loving and never showed much affection!” That is nothing more than a cop-out for you not to express your love. Let me see if I understand what you are saying. If your mother or daddy did, or did not show affection, then you are supposed to do the same. That is insane! You have been listening to Oprah, Dr. Phil, and Dr. Laura too much. You ought to spend more time listening to Dr. Jesus and realize you are accountable for yourself. Your father is not accountable for you. Your mother is not accountable for you. Your grandparents are not accountable for you. You will give an account of yourself to God! (Romans 14:12)
If you are not loving, it is because you have chosen not to be loving. The ingredients are there, but it is not love until it comes out of the love-maker. Love is an expression! Love is a verb! 1 John 4:10, “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” The Scripture does not say that God felt love toward us. It says that He “sent” his Son. God gave His only begotten Son for payment of our sins. The giving of His Son was not an expression of His love, it WAS love.
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, etc. That which comes out of the ground is fruit. It is not fruit when it is in the ground. Love is a fruit not a root! Joy is a fruit not a root! Peace is a fruit not a root! This is a deep statement. Read it carefully! If you cannot see it, it is not there! You don’t go root picking! You go fruit picking! The fruit of the Spirit is that which is seen and not that which is unseen. From the root comes the sprout, from the sprout comes the fruit, and it is the fruit that is life giving and not the root.
It does not matter if you think you have love down in your heart. It is not love until it comes out of your heart. It matters not if you have peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, or temperance because it is a fruit not a root! “But preacher, I do feel love for my wife!” (No, love is the loving because love is a verb!) The wife in defense of her husband said, “He loves me, but he just doesn’t show it.” No, he doesn’t love until it comes out. Love is the showing! When I talk about love, I am not talking about hugging only. I am talking about expressing it!
· You do not have the fruit you give the fruit.
· Fruit is meant to be consumed by others.
· Fruit is for others and not the tree.
· The tree is at its healthiest when giving fruit.
Dr. Bob Gray Sr.