Who ... bear fruit with patience.

As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart,
and bear fruit with patience.

Most of us are familiar with the parable of the sower and the seed but if you are not you can read it in Luke 8:4-15. Today I would like to consider the seed that "fell into good soil and grew and yielded a hundredfold". Unlike the seed and soil previously mentioned this account speaks of the fruit produced from good soil and a good heart.

When I consider spiritual maturity I think of the fruit of the Spirit mentioned in Paul's letter to the Galatians. In these nine aspects of spiritual fruit we see what it means to mature in faith. Unlike much of the self-help books we read about these days, the spiritual fruit that Paul speaks of has little to do with our mental capabilities and fleshly pursuits.

Spiritual maturity begins when we receive the gift of a new heart. This new heart is different from the old unregenerate heart because it is good and has the ability to love like God loves. When we live from it, rather than from our own understanding, we produce spiritual fruit. We are kind, patient, controlled and caring when we live from our heart.

Thank you Lord for the gift of my new heart and the promise of spiritual growth when I embrace that gift.

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