But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Have you ever seen those “hybrid” trees that produce apples, pears, peaches, etc., all at the same time? That is amazing. I have never grown them myself… in fact, I am a little bit of a skeptic. But I am still amazed at how they can get a tree to produce something it is not normally supposed to produce. Ultimately, the “laws of nature” rule the day… an apple tree produces apples and a pear tree produces pears. The pear tree does not say ‘Oh my, I produced a pear! AHHHH!’ The apple tree does not produce bananas in frustration! At their core, a pear tree is a pear tree and an apple tree is an apple tree! This is not very profound, but why do we as Christians seem to struggle in producing the fruit of the Spirit when it should start at our very core?
Lesson #1 is this…. Be who God has planted you to be. This means putting off the “old man” and taking on the new. Walk in the Spirit – which is to say – walk in who you have been created to be in Christ.
Lesson #2… Being more loving, joyful, peaceful, etc., is less about trying harder and more about connecting with the source of all life… Jesus Christ. That is not to say that we need to “work out our salvation”, but we should rest in His sustaining power and stop striving.
Like an onion, there are many more layers to this. Maybe the simple lesson for today is to allow fruit to grow out of your core. If you do not like the type of fruit your life is producing, allow the Holy Spirit to renew your core.
Have a fruitful day!
Friday, August 13, 2010
Psalm 46:10 (New International Version)
10 "Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth."
I wanted to share with you my second favorite part of my vacation to Arizona. The first of course was when Andrew proposed! But before that, my future Mother and Father-in-law took us to one of the smallest churches in the United States. Along US 95 there is a tiny church built by a farmer in honor of his wife. The sign on the outside of the church reads “Stop, Rest, Worship”. The church was about 7’ by 12’ with pews and a small pulpit. On the pulpit was a sign-in book. People from all over had written in prayers for healing and words of encouragement for weary travelers.
God’s presence was in this tiny church. As you enter, you can almost feel the stories of the people who wrote in the sign-in book and the prayers that had been lifted up there. I was encouraged by the simplicity of this church. There wasn’t a great deal of detail put into the construction of this building, but God showed up there!
Where is your Tiny Church? Is there a sacred place you have set aside to reconnect with God on a daily basis? I encourage you this week to find a quiet place where you can be still and listen to the whisper of the Heart of God.