Fruit of the Spirit: Sunday School Lesson Introduction
Bottom line: We need to live by the Fruit of the Spirit.
Objective: Kids will learn about the Fruit of the Spirit and why they are important.
Key passage: Galatians 5:22-26, Fruit of the Spirit
Cooking with Jesus: Fruit pizza
How many of you have ever heard of Fruit Pizza before today? If you haven’t, I bet some of you will make Fruit Pizza a regular snack treat. Fruit Pizza is easy to make and doesn’t require any baking (unless you decide to make the cookies at home!). You use a sugar cookie for your crust, and you pile on the toppings. You can use whipped topping as a sauce or an extra topping, or you can leave it off and just enjoy the fruit.
Pizza is a very versatile recipe, and the types of pizza you can make are only limited by your imagination. You can go traditional and make a pizza with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and pepperoni. You can get fancy and use an olive oil drizzle, buffalo sauce, barbecue sauce, or Alfredo sauce instead of tomato sauce. You can swap out mozzarella for another type of cheese, and you can get really wild with the toppings. You can make Hawaiian pizzas, barbecue pizzas, buffalo chicken pizzas, and breakfast pizzas. There’s even one restaurant in Iowa where you can get - are you ready for this? - a crab rangoon pizza!
So why did we choose fruit pizza for this lesson? Fruit is easy to find, and all kids love fruit. It’s also a pizza you don’t have to bake. And more importantly, the fruit on these pizzas remind us of a recipe that comes from God’s Word: the Fruit of the Spirit.
The Fruit of the Spirit is not actual fruit. Instead, they are “fruits” people can see in our lives when we give our hearts to Jesus. These fruits take time to cultivate and grow in our hearts, but when we learn to grow them, we become great witnesses for the way Jesus can change a person’s heart. Let’s take a look at Galatians and the Fruits of the Spirit.
Main point of the Fruit of the Spirit
The fruit we eat can grow on trees, vines, and other plants. Fruit only grows when a plant has been carefully watered, given lots of sunlight, and good fertilizer. It takes a lot of time and a lot of patience to grow fruit, but when we see the tiny flower buds close up and begin to bring forth fruit, it makes all our hard work in the garden worth it.
Paul laid out a challenge to the Galatians and to us. The Fruits of the Spirit are not things that come naturally to us but can only come from God’s Holy Spirit. When we give our hearts to Jesus, we can begin to grow these fruits in our heart, and when the fruit grows in our life, it makes us a witness to others of the changing power of Jesus.
Drive it home
The fruits of the world are nothing like the Fruits of the Spirit. We are all sinners and, as sinners, we are born selfish and self-centered. The way of the world is to put yourself first and look out for your own interests ahead of others. Worldly fruit is impatient, short-tempered, and unkind. It is quick to get angry and quick to be drug into an argument. The Fruits of the Spirit are all contrary to our sinful human nature. It does not come naturally for us to be loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, or self-controlled. If we want these fruits in our lives, we have to depend on God to grow them.
Fruit requires water, sunshine, and fertilizer. The Fruits of the Spirit require cultivation of a different kind. It requires us to pray daily, to read the Bible, to worship the Lord, and to serve others. The more time we spend with God, alone and with other believers, and the more we seek God’s will for our lives, the more these fruits will grow. At first we will look for opportunities to be loving and kind and gentle with others, but over time, these things will come naturally. We will become true witnesses for Jesus because the fruit will grow in our hearts.
Of course the real purpose of fruit is not simply to provide food but to create seeds to spread that fruit to other places. The Fruit of the Spirit spreads when people see the Fruit at work in our lives. When people see we have godly fruit and not worldly fruit, they will see the difference God can make in a person’s life. The Fruit of the Spirit can convince others that they need Jesus in their own hearts.
Fruit of the Spirit: Sunday School Lesson Conclusion
Fruit is healthy and gives our bodies the vitamins and nutrients it needs. The Fruit of the Spirit makes our hearts healthy. It sets us apart from the world, and it can make us a witness to others. It takes time and patience to cultivate these fruits, but when we let God grow these fruits in our hearts, God will use us to bring glory to his name.
Teach us to live by the Fruit of the Spirit so people will see Jesus in our lives.
In Jesus’ name,
Photo credit: Unsplash/Tyler Shaw
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