Have you ever considered how difficult it is to master the English language as a second language? There was a time in my life when I thought that whoever invented this language was really bright and creative. I mean, creating a language–that takes some serious moxie. It takes a lot of imagination and creativity. Doesn’t it? That’s what I’m thinking about this morning. And as I am thinking, I have drawn a different conclusion about whoever invented the English language. Would you like to know what it is? Well, I’m going to tell you anyway!
Whoever invented the English language was lazy and had little to no imagination! There! I said it and now just think about it. There are words spelled identical but have completely different meanings. R-E-A-D is an example. It can be used this way: “I need to READ this book.” OK? Or it can be used this way: “I READ the entire book and didn’t like it.” Oh, and there’s another word that sounds like READ but has another different meaning–R-E-D–which is a color. Oh, and for the other READ, there’s REED which had nothing to do with books or colors. See? No imagination or creativity–just laziness in my opinion.
Then there’s today’s two words: P-R-O-D-U-C-E and P-R-O-D-U-C-E. Two identical words, that sounds almost identical, but each with its own uniquely different meaning. As a verb it means in the simplest of terms–to make something happen! As a noun it means in the simplest of terms–the result of something happening! Are you with me so far? Good! Let’s apply the results of those uninspired and unimaginative creators words. When it comes to the life of Grace, we don’t PRODUCE, we are the PRODUCE! And I daresay with the utmost confidence that any mess in churches in any place and at any time is the result of Tenured Pew Sitters thinking they are the verb and not the noun–that they are to produce rather than be the produce!
In other words, we are to be the results of a the processes done by an outside Source! That Source is the Holy Spirit. When we try to be the verb rather than the noun–the results are catastrophic and cataclysmic. We use up too much energy and time when we attempt to be the verb; which is a waste of both. Being the noun is–well, it’s a whole lot easier and a heck of a lot more enjoyable. What did someone just think? Did someone really say, “Show me in the Bible where it says that!” OK, dunderhead, you asked for it!
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!Galatians Chapter 5, Verses 22 and 23 (NLT)
And please note that the word “fruit” is singular! I see way too often the plural form: “fruits”! This isn’t the produce section at the grocery store where you are free (provided you have enough money) to pick and choose what you want. We are to be the result, the product if you would, of the work of The Holy Spirit. The Spirit is the verb–the forces acting upon us–to PRODUCE the PRODUCE that this world and culture urgently and desperately needs. But for The Spirit to Produce the Produce we have to be yielded and surrendered to God. Don’t make it happen in your life! (Produce) Allow it to happen–the Produce of the Holy Spirit–which is always a Single FRUIT! Who said the English language is easy?