Tag Archives: fruit

A Gift

What a wonderful day You gave us yesterday, Father! It was so nice having a day together without a lot “scheduled” on our plate. What a blessing to have time to just enjoy each other’s company. Thank You for the wonderful gift!

Revelation 2:7 (<<click green)

Reading ahead just a bit, Lord, I never realized that each of the seven churches is promised a gift if they are victorious in standing with You. (It is totally awesome how regardless of how many times we read and hear Your Word that there is always something that we can learn! Great is [Your] faithfulness; [Your] mercies begin afresh each morning. Lamentations 3:23)

The gift extended to the Ephesians (and to us!) is “fruit from the tree of life in the paradise of God.” Of course, the “tree of life” stood in the Garden of Eden at the very beginning but when we chose to disobey – to sin – we forfeited that gift of living forever in Your presence. But when we repent of our sin and accept another marvelous gift from Your hand – salvation and the forgiveness of our sin! – we will once again be able to partake of “fruit from the tree of life”.

Lord, it just baffles me that people avoid a relationship with You. We have in our very small view of things that You are a cosmic killjoy, that all that You want to do is to burden us down with an impossible list of rules and regulations. We just want to have “fun” and You just want to take that away.

But in reality that is a total bald-faced lie! You alone are the source of true joy and fulfillment. Everything we cling to in this world will only let us down – it will leave us, it will fall apart, it the long run it will only bring tears and sorrow. But not You, Lord!

I love the way the Amplified Bible translates James 1:17,

“Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above; it comes down from the Father of lights [the Creator and Sustainer of the heavens], in whom there is no variation [no rising or setting] or shadow cast by His turning [for He is perfect and never changes].”

Lord, may we accept all the wonderful gifts from Your bounteous provision! Amen.

June 30th, Fri, 6:26 am

Wasted Fruit

Father, with Your grace and wisdom and by Your direction things are in place for worship today. Yes, the “things” are ready – bulletins, sermon, PowerPoint – but without Your infilling, Your presence, they will remain “things”. Fill me. Use me. May my heart and the hearts of those present be receptive for the in-planting of Your word. May it not just impact during our time together but may it take root deep within our souls so that it might grow and bear fruit in our lives.

And, Lord, may the fruit that it yields not just sit in a bowl on the shelf of my life – of our lives – but may we share liberally with all those around. May we not allow our society or preconceived mindsets hinder us from sharing with all, regardless of race or creed or religious background or upbringing. You, Lord, let nothing stop You from sharing Your love. May we do likewise. Fill us with Your love and compassion. Strengthen us. Embolden us. Enable us to partake of Your wisdom and power. May our efforts for Your kingdom not be full of us but full of You. Use me do Your will.

(Today’s writing came out of my time reading through my sermon for today. If you would like to read it, here is a link. I would like to acknowledge that due to my bi-vocational status I quite often use other pastors’ sermons and after some personal adjustments use them with my congregations. Credit is always given to the original authors.)

17-03-26 03 – Knowing Christ – A MINISTERING Heart – Humble (2)

Mar 26th, Sun, 6:33 am

God’s Word Produces Fruit – Always!

Father, what a blessing to come together with Your family yesterday for worship. I am humbled to think that You use me to communicate Your word. It was a blessing to see the expressions on the faces of Your people as they were taking in the truth found in Your word. I love the verses in Isaiah 55 where You say,

“The rain and snow come down from the heavens
      and stay on the ground to water the earth.
They cause the grain to grow,
      producing seed for the farmer
      and bread for the hungry.
It is the same with my word.
      I send it out, and it always produces fruit,
It will accomplish all I want it to,
      and it will prosper everywhere I send it.” vs.10-11
                                                                                 (emphasis mine)

Lord, to think that I can be used as a mouthpiece for Your word is almost beyond comprehension. But I guess You used Balaam’s donkey as well! lol (Numbers 22:21-39) Truly, Lord, all the praise, and the glory go to You and You alone. It is an honor to be used for Your purposes.

As this day begins, Lord, I would pray that the word sown in the hearts of believers across the world would even more firmly take root and grow and bear much fruit. I claim the truth of Your word that “It will accomplish all You want it to, and it will prosper everywhere You send it.” Amen.

December 5th, Mon, 5:38 am

Zombies, Weeds and Illness

Zombie

Father, thinking over yesterday, I want to thank You for being with me throughout the day. Holy Spirit I know Your presence is with me 24/7, but there were several instances yesterday where I felt You were guiding and directing me. My response to one particular incident set the tone for the day, and because I prayed and followed You, You were glorified. I in my selfishness could have hindered Your kingdom, but because I was obedient, Your kingdom was lifted up. Thank You for working in me and through me. Thank you for patiently working with me, for chiseling away at my hard heart, for molding me more and more into Your likeness.

Colossians 3:5-11 (<<click here)

Lord, reading this passage brings so many visual images to mind – “zombies”, gardening and disease (illness) to name a few.

I’m really not a fan of anything “zombie”, but putting “to death” “sinful, earthly…lurking” things bring them to mind. We are called to “strip off [our] old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds”, but the undead regularly come back and want to eat my brain. I know this is a weird train of thought, Lord, but without You working in my life “sexual immorality, impurity, lust,…evil desires…greed…anger, rage, malicious behavior and dirty language“ don’t want to stay dead. Those things, and more, rear their ugly heads and want to destroy me!

Vegetable gardens come to mind too. We clear off a plot and work up the soil. We rid the area of rocks and debris then plant seeds in anticipation of a good harvest. But inevitably weeds show up and if we are not diligent they can overtake the good we have sewn. Evil sprouts up everywhere. We must regularly go to the Master Gardener, for help – to rid ourselves of the “weeds”, to learn how to keep disease from destroying the harvest, to discover how best to ward off critters that would eliminate the fruit of our labors.

Sometimes things can pop up that look “good” and our curiosity allows them to continue growing, but they take our time and energy from the important tasks at hand and we end up with problems. Lord, help me to fastidiously maintain my plot and to come to You at every opportunity for guidance.

Disease and illness are things we are always on guard against. Some things are easy to avoid for we know they are not good for us, but sometimes we like things that are detrimental to our health and well-being. We may love peanut butter, but if it causes an allergic reaction it could kill us.

Sometimes we come in contact with things that have never bothered us before, but You call us to let them go. Help us to be obedient or our “spiritual” health will suffer. They may even be things that we didn’t realize were hurting us, but we will need to be wary and avoid them.

Lord, You want us to keep ourselves pure and free from sin. Help me to listen to You and obey You even when it doesn’t make sense to me. Help me to continue to rid myself of my old sinful nature and to wrap myself up in my “new nature and be renewed as [I] learn to know [my] creator and become like [You].”

June 18th, Thurs, 6:21 am