The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225


Church of Christ




Growing The Fruit

"Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells, and cockle shells,
And pretty maids all in a row. (alt. And so my garden grows)

Traditional English

There are a few explanations about this short poem. One has it having religious connotations, with the bells referring to church bells. Another thinks that it is about Mary, Queen of Scots. No doubt, Mary has some strange things growing in her garden. As I complete my thoughts about that wonderful and perfect fruit of Galatians 5:22, we come to our own private garden. There can be no doubt that possessing that wonderful nine-fold fruit will make us better people. Better people in the eyes of God, others and even ourselves. In the matter of this fruit, we are the garden. So....Just how do we grow this spiritual fruit that will make us better? First I would maintain that like a gardener, we must have patience. This Fruit of the Spirit is just what it says....SPIRITUAL!! It's origin is from God and not man. For the fruit to flourish the right conditions must be there so that the growth is a natural. Then comes the patience of the farmer...We need to realize that the fruit will not spring up over night. There is a gradual maturity that cannot be rushed. We live in such an "instant oriented" society, that we have been spoiled by the speed at which things happen..I remember fondly, trying to explain the instant money ATM to my mother...This is a gradual fruit, and instant growth cannot be expected. And finally we arrive at the "big three." The gardener wants good soil, enough water and abundant sunlight. To have our fruit reach it's peak of maturity we must have: 1. The soil of Humility. 2. The water of Faith. 3. The sunlight of discipline. If we can make the application of the big three, our fruit should always be at peak, and never spoil...If someone asks; Christian, Christian, how does your garden grow? With confidence (no rhyming necessary) we should respond; With LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS and SELF-CONTROL.....And so my garden grows...

Have a great day....Go about doing good... Love mark Phil. 4:11

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