Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Fruitful living

Word of the day: fructuous\FRUK-chuh-wus\ adjective = fruitful

Example Sentence: "The parents in our 1924 drama, like most parents past and forevermore, are praying mainly for a sound baby, with all the stuff for a long, fructuous life." (Ed Hayes, Orlando Sentinel, May 11, 2008)
Jesus talked about the naturalness of spiritual fruit. He said our connection to the vine of spiritual nourishment, God himself, brings about abundance that would feed and nurture others. Paul wrote to the churches that the Holy Spirit's fruit would be qualities we all long for: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, etc. (Galatians 5:22-23)

I'm wondering why so many of us (myself included) struggle with these characteristics. Why is it unnatural and difficult for us to realize wholesome traits, when living as a believer is supposed to result in maturity and character development? I've never seen an apple tree groaning, "Oh, if I could only figure out how to develop apples!" or a pear tree grunting, "Ah, it's so hard to make a pear." Somehow, the process of sunshine, water, air, soil, and pollination comes together: in due season fruit appears and is plucked and enjoyed.

I want God to work in me day by day, season after season, so that Jesus' words come true for the benefit of others. Let's ask for the grace and willingness to surrender to the process of fruitfulness, not for our own sakes, but for those who are starving for spiritual food.

"Oh God, let the fruit of the Spirit grow and bless those who need spiritual food and sustenance. Help us to be willing participants as you develop spiritual fruit in us, whether by sunshine or rain, by continuing in your presence. Amen."

Read more:
*Finishing is better than starting. Patience is better than pride. Ecclesiastes 7:8 NLT

*We faithfully preach the truth. God's power is working in us. We use the weapons of righteousness in the right hand for attack and the left hand for defense. . . . Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything." 2 Corinthians 6:7, 10 NEV

*And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another. And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love. 2 John 5-6 NIV

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