Friday, September 7th
Scripture: John 12:24, John 15: 8-11, Galatians 5: 18-25
Read, meditate, and write in your journal any thoughts/phrases that speak to you personally.
Our Soul Sisters have outdone themselves this week. The pictures have been thought provoking, and the writing has been encouraging as well as convicting. As we've looked the planting, watering, growing, and pruning of the tree, I've been able to give thanks for Almighty God's activity in my life. He is the initiator of life. But, He doesn't stop there! He sees the good plans He has for us (Jeremiah 29:11), and He remains active and involved in the process. He is forever faithful and never fails.
Today, we have the opportunity to focus on the end result of all of these processes -- fruit bearing. I am not much of a gardener. Well, let me be perfectly clear, I am NOT a gardener at all. However, my grandfather was. Growing up, I loved the season when we visited his garden with baskets to carry fruits and vegetables ready to be picked. Fruit trees lined the edge, so when plums began to fall we also enjoyed eating fruit right off the ground.
This morning, I wanted to research fruit bearing a little, and I found a few interesting facts that I believe we can all apply to life.
1. Trees need full sunlight in order to produce the best fruit. To His disciples, Jesus said, "Remain in Me." Honestly, girls, that is our only hope of living lives full of fruit. He is the Light of the world, and He's inviting us to live fully in His light. We have the choice every, single day whether or not we will live in the Light of God's Word revealed to us through His Son, Jesus.
2. Trees grow more vigorously and bear more fruit with adequate space to live. That's pretty obvious, right? In my own life, though, I'm realizing how important it is to create space to grow and ensure fruit bearing. Schedules get crazy. But, even Jesus took time to get away, create space, and sit with His Father. Let's make that a priority.
3. Trees must be healthy in order to bear much fruit. Ouch! Is anyone else finding it harder and harder to live a healthy life; physically, emotionally, and spiritually? The further we get from the Garden of Eden, the more sin affects every area of life, and good health becomes harder to achieve. It's worth striving for, though. And, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self control will not be consistently produced in unhealthy conditions. (Galatians 5)
4. Sometimes, fruit trees will bear fruit heavily in one season and sparse in the next. And, isn't that just life! :) Some seasons are just harder than other seasons. In those times, I believe it's most beneficial to circle back to our lessons on watering, growing, and pruning. Our God who is always faithful WILL produce a harvest if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9)
Sisters, I pray these simple points with many Biblical applications will draw you back to God's Word today. Let's all allow Him to lead and guide us back to the scripture that He wants to use for THIS season. I'm comforted by the fact that our Heavenly Father is the gardener, and He is able to meet each one of us exactly where we are. When we cooperate, fruit is always the outcome.
Father God, I'm praising You this morning, because we are all Yours. We are fearfully and wonderfully made, in Your image, and with the capacity to grow and change in ways that benefit the world around us. I confess that we don't see as You see; therefore, we often lose focus in the harder seasons. When we can't see the possibility of fruit, our tendency is to give up. Today, I ask You for vision. Help us to see even the slightest possibility of fruit growing from the most difficult areas of our lives. Please allow that vision to draw us back to You. You are the author and perfecter of our faith, so we submit to Your process of growth.