From love come joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. It is as one fruit of the Holy Spirit, and the fruit of the Holy Spirit lasts forever. In the book of Revelation there are twelve trees bearing all kinds of fruit (Revelation 22:2). The leaves on the fruit trees are for the healing of the nations. There’s no mention here of gifts, as they are temporary, but God’s healing love endures forever. However the fruit of the Holy Spirit should not be separated from the gifts of the Holy Spirit. They need to be as one.
Every spiritual gift must be operated under the love of Jesus and is for the benefit of all. In 1 Corinthians 12 we are told about the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, the gift of faith, the gift of healings, the working of miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, different kinds of tongues and interpretation of tongues (1 Corinthians 12:7–10). I have heard it explained this way; the gifts are like horses with the reins of love holding and controlling them, otherwise they could run wild and not achieve the purpose for which they were given.
The gifts of the Holy Spirit are given by the Spirit to equip the people of God. They are given for the benefit of the whole body of Christ, as and when they are needed. They are invaluable in ministering the truth. To those who are reaching out to the Saviour with all their deep needs and problems they bring the clear truth of Christ. They bring deep conviction of sin, the redeeming love of Jesus, and healing and restoration. They bring powerful encouragement by means of both the spoken and the written Word of God. The Apostle Paul says that we are to desire spiritual gifts but to pursue love as well. ‘Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy’ (1 Corinthians 14:1).
What an amazing God we have. How wonderful the promise of the Father is. How beautiful the fruit of the Spirit is in our lives, and how precious are the gifts He gives His children. Let us always be ready to share these treasures with those who want to receive.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for equipping Your children with everything that we need. Help us to use Your gifts with wisdom and humility, and always totally within the boundaries of Your love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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