Editor’s note: Bananas, apples, and oranges? No, that’s not the fruit of the spirit! Teach children about the real Fruit of the Spirit with this new theme from CTA. Today’s devotion is slightly adapted from this theme’s Ministry Message and you can find even more FREE downloadables in CTA’s Resource & Idea Center!
Before you begin, find a dead tree branch, if possible, one with enough branches so that it resembles a small tree. You will also need a fresh orange or apple.
As the children gather, show the branch and ask volunteers what it is. Then show the orange and ask if fruit like it could grow on the branch. What if you dug a hole and planted the branch in the ground? What if you watered and fertilized it?
No matter how hard we try, this branch is dead. It can’t produce apples or oranges. We might use it to build a campfire and make s’mores. But no matter what we do, we won’t get oranges from this branch. We won’t get pineapples, either. Or pears. Or plums. Or peaches. Not even pomegranates!
Dead branches don’t grow fruit. Only living branches do that!
When we believe in Jesus, he makes us “living branches.” Here’s what the Bible says about that. (Read John 15:5.) Jesus says we bear fruit. So do apples or oranges or pears or pineapples grow out of our ears or toes?
No, that’s just silly. The Bible tells us, instead, that the Holy Spirit works faith-fruit in us. Listen!
The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22–23 NLT).
Which is your favorite faith-fruit? Why? (Let volunteers comment. Elaborate as time will allow, using
remarks like these.)
- Oh, yes, love is a favorite faith-fruit of mine, too.
- It pleases our heavenly Father so much when we show kindness to others.
- It’s hard sometimes to show patience, but we can ask the Holy Spirit to make it possible for us to bear more of this faith-fruit when we need it.
Here’s my problem, though. This past week, I had an opportunity to show love. But I didn’t. I was cross and stubborn instead. I wasn’t always joyful or peaceful. I was unkind. And I lost my temper, so I didn’t show self-control.
Am I the only one? Or did some of you sin in these ways, too? (Encourage volunteers to admit the same kinds of sins.)
So does Jesus get mad at us then? Does he give up on us? He does not! He is our kind, good Savior. He’s the one who died to take away our sins. Because of Jesus, we can say, “Dear Father, please forgive me.” And he does! All our sins are gone!
Then, because of Jesus, we can say, “Dear Father, please send the Holy Spirit so I can grow more faith-fruit - love, joy, peace, patience, and all the rest.” And he does! The Holy Spirit goes to work in our hearts and lives, making us more like Jesus. Isn’t that wonderful! It makes me so very glad!
Let’s pray: Dear Father, thank you for washing away all our sins because of Jesus. Thank you for sending the Holy Spirit to make us alive in faith so our lives are full of faith-fruit: love, joy, peace, patience, and the rest. Help us grow more and more faith-fruit every day! We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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