When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. ACTS 4:13 NIV 

It’s uncanny how some families share such strong resemblance. Over the phone, sometimes their voices are indistinguishable. Or in person, the daughter laughs, gestures with her hands, and emotes with facial expressions in a way exactly like her parent. “You are just like your mother,” or “I see your father in you so much,” we’ll say—implying that the impression the older has made on the younger is undeniable, both physically and emotionally. 

We see a similar phenomenon in Scripture, concerning Jesus’s disciples. As He worked out His ministry to others, Jesus spent intentional, personal, intimate time with his hand-chosen Twelve, showing and telling them the ways of the Father. Yet Jesus’s calling was so countercultural, His disciples could barely grasp it. They were impatient, self-serving, and worldly, even as Jesus patiently redirected their thinking toward a kingdom mindset. 

But a dramatic transformation occurred upon the descent of the Holy Spirit on the disciples of Jesus after His Ascension. Suddenly, the disciples who had faltered in their faith and speech spoke up boldly, proclaiming the gospel message. At long last, the men who had been with Jesus now looked and lived like Jesus. The resemblance was striking, and everyone took notice. 

What made the difference? In a word, God—but God in a form they had not formerly known as a permanent resident inside them: the Holy Spirit. The triune God of all creation not only reigned in heaven as God the Father and walked beside them as Jesus the Son, but now He also lived within them as the Holy Spirit, bringing levels of understanding, power, and purpose they had never dreamed possible. 

It is this same Holy Spirit, the third person of our triune God, who promises to bear His fruit in us if we receive Jesus into our lives. We, too, can have deep intimacy with God. We, too, can have the power to experience His love, guidance, and transformative presence in our lives. All this, along with the blessed hope of eternity in heaven, is possible through the power of the Holy Spirit. 

Over the next five weeks, we will be digging into excerpts of True Sweetness: The Fruit of the Spirit, a simple devotional book to direct your attention to the only One able to produce the kind of fruit that makes us resemble Jesus. It is not a self-help manual or a list of to-dos, but rather an invitation to know the Holy Spirit, and to surrender to His ways through time spent in His presence. Our prayer is that you will create space and time in your day to be still before the Lord. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Hold to His teachings, and the truth will set you free. Just like Jesus’s disciples, over time you will see the growth of His fruit in your life.  

This is an excerpt from True Sweetness: Growing in the Fruits of the Spirit – a devotional now available for pre-order on DaySpring.com. Shop all books, journals, and devotions from DaySpring here.