The FRUIT of PEACE is Ripe; Ready for the Pickin!

Quality of the FRUIT
We all know the physical benefits to eating selected fruits.  They say that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but many of us still don’t eat them.  That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be eating them, however. 
“Pound for pound, FRUITS are among the healthiest foods a person can consume offering numerous benefits (from antioxidants to vitamin C to potassium to fiber) in huge quantities that other foods don’t come close to.  But what fruits offer which specific benefits?  That’s the question of the day, so lets dive in” [quoted from DocShop by Neil Smith.
When I was 17 and just graduated from high school, my dad sat me down at the kitchen table one evening and gave me some shocking news:  “Since you are attending college in the fall, your mom and I have decided that the ‘gravy train’ has come to the end of the line.  You need to find a job, pay rent to live here and help with college expenses.  Any questions?”
So in September, the day I registered for college classes, I started my first real job at a grocery store as a “box boy” ; now referred to as “courtesy clerks”.  I ended this journey some 5 1/2 years later with experiences as daytime grocery shelf- stocker,  night time shelf- stocker, and night crew manager.  I even worked in the produce section of the store for a few months. 
I would notice people examining the fruit qualities to the extreme at times.  They would pick up the fruit, feel the fruit, smell the fruit and if there were cut samples, they would taste the fruit; to pick the best apple or banana or any of the nine listed fruit that was mentioned. They didn’t want to purchase un-ripened fruit; they wanted what was ready to eat right now; “ready for the pickin!”
“…the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within you accomplishes] is LOVE, JOY (gladness), PEACE, PATIENCE (an even temper), KINDNESS, GOODNESS (benevolence), FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS (meekness, humility), SELF-CONTROL (self-restraint, continence).  Against such things there is no law [that can bring charge].”
I have selected only one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit in this blog which is the fruit of PEACE.  I chose that particular fruit because of all the bad news around us today. The debt crisis in congress, home mortgages in default, broken relationships; divorce rate still at fifty percent in the U.S., gas prices, job security…  It’s hard to have the FRUIT OF PEACE in our lives in today’s world except for the fruit of the Holy Spirit living inside of us.  REMEMBER, it’s “the fruit of the Holy Spirit” living in us and not the fruit of ourselves. The world has that confused.
A little bit of trivia to begin with concerning “The FRUIT of PEACE” blog.  The word PEACE occurs in each of the books of the New Testament except 1 John.
In my story of working in the produce department observing customers in their fruit selection, let’s examine “The FRUIT of PEACE” in God’s grocery store, the Gospel of the Lord; His Word store.
1.  Harmonious relationships between man:
Matthew 10:34  “Do not think that I have come to bring PEACE upon the earth…but a sword.”
Mark 9:50  “Salt is good, but if salt has lost its saltness, how will you restore [the saltness to] it? Have salt within yourselves, and be at PEACE and live in harmony with one another.”
Romans 14:19  “So then let us pursue the things which make for PEACE and the building up of one another” (NAS).
2.  PEACE between nations:
Luke 14:31, 32  “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king.  Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand?  If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of PEACE” (NIV).
Acts 12:20  “And Herod was highly displeased with them of Tyre and Sidon; but they came with one accord to him, and having made Blastus the king’s chamberlain their friend, desired PEACE; because their country was nourished by the king’s country” (KJV).
Revelations 6:4  “And another horse came out, flaming red. And its rider was empowered to take the PEACE from the earth, so that men slaughtered one another, and he was given a huge sword”  (AMPLIFIED).
3.  Friendliness of PEACE:
Acts 15:33  “And after spending some time there, they (Judas and Silas) were sent back by the brethren with [the greeting] PEACE to those who had sent them.”
1 Corinthians 16:11  “So [see to it that] no one despises him (Timothy) or treat him (Timothy) as if he were of no account or slights him. But send him off [cordially, speed him on his way] in PEACE…”
Hebrews 11:31  “[Prompted] by faith Rahab the prostitute was not destroyed along with those who refused to believe and obey, because she had received the spies in PEACE [without enmity]”  (AMPLIFIED).
4.  Order in the state or PEACE in the churches:
1 Corinthians 14:33  “For He [Who is the source of their prophesying] is not a God of confusion and disorder but of PEACE and order. As [is the practice] in all the churches of the saints (God’s people).”
2 timothy 2:22  “Shun youthful lusts and flee from them, and aim at and pursue righteousness (all that is virtuous and good, right living, conformity to the will of god in thought, word, and deed); [and aim at and pursue] faith, love, [and] PEACE (harmony and concord with others) in fellowship with all [Christians], who call upon the Lord out of a pure heart.”
1.  The harmonized relationship between God and man; the color and the content in the gospel:
Acts 10:36  “And you know the CONTENTS of the message which He sent to Israel, announcing the good news (GOSPEL) of PEACE by Jesus Christ, Who is Lord of all—“
Ephesians 2:17  “And He came and preached the glad tidings of PEACE to you who were afar off and [PEACE] to those who were near.”
2.  There’s the TASTE of the fruit of PEACE! The grocery store “sample”; The sense of rest and contentment:
Matthew 10:13  “Then if indeed that house is deserving, let come upon it your PEACE [that is, freedom from all the distresses that are experienced as the result of sin]. But if it is not deserving, let your PEACE return to you.”
Mark 5:34  “And He said to her, Daughter, your faith has restored you to health. Go (into) PEACE and be continually healed and freed from your [distressing bodily] disease.”
Luke 1:79  “To shine upon and give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to direct and guide your feet in a straight line into the way of PEACE.”
John 14:27  “PEACE I leave with you; My [own] PEACE I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled].”
Other Scriptural References:  Lk, 2:29; Rom. 1:7, 3:17, 8:6.
Whatever you choose, it’s all the same produce; Holy Spirits presence from within gives.  And what does that accomplish?
FRUIT PRODUCTION at a high quality:
1.   NO FEAR.
“NONE?  But what if I do experience those ‘blemishes’?  Here comes a promise from the Orchard Manager:
“[Yes] I will grant [I Myself will do for you] whatever you shall ask in My Name [as presenting all that I AM].  If you really love Me, you will keep (obey) My commands.  And I will ask the Father and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever—The Spirit of Truth…”  (John 14:14-17).
WOW!  Now that’s what I call ORGANIC FRUIT!!
NEXT BLOG:  PEACE; The Hybrid By-Product IN the Genetic Order of LOVE

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