31 Days to Fruitful Living — Day 26

Fruitful Living

Do you ever feel like a piece of fruit on a juicer?   Do you feel manhandled, squeezed, and pushed in opposing directions?

Some days, I just want to say “enough.”  No more.  Stop.

But, I am reminded that my Savior endured much — He endured much more than I ever will.

Jesus was a finisher, and as His disciple, I am called to be faithful until the end.

The fruit of faithfulness helps one to remain.  A faithful person understands that the present suffering will result in a greater glory ahead.

The faithful are willing to be squeezed and poured out.

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“But I will rejoice even if I lose my life,

pouring it out like a liquid offering to God,

just like your faithful service is an offering to God.

And I want all of you to share that joy.”

Philippians 2:17, NLT

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Q4U:  Are you willing to be squeezed and poured out?

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Come back tomorrow for Day 27 of “31 Days to Fruitful Living.” We will chat about sowing gentleness. I may have a black thumb, but I am determined to learn how to cultivate my spiritual life.
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Photo Credit:  Peter Kortleve

31 Days to Fruitful Living — Day 25

faithfulness

All right, I know that this picture is of a potato.  A potato is definitely not a fruit, and we are talking about fruitful living.  But, the more I delved into the word “faithfulness,” the more I realized that faithfulness is a rare fruit.  I am reminded of Proverbs 20:6 (NIV):

“Many claim to have unfailing love,

but a faithful person who can find?”

It’s hard to be faithful.  Being faithful is kind of like “eating your veggies.”  Sometimes, you have to do what’s good for you, rather than what you like.  And nowadays, this world is all about instant gratification — we leave behind our jobs, our marriages, our churches, and sometimes even our faith because we grow tired of “eating our veggies.”  We’d rather eat candy.

A faithful person is dependable, reliable, sincere, loyal.  A faithful person keeps promises.  A faithful person is trustworthy and true.  A faithful person stands on principle.

The fruit of faithfulness springs from faith in a God who is unchanging.  Because a faithful person is firmly persuaded that God is Sovereign, this fruitilicious individual will stay the course — even if the road ahead is filled with potholes and hazardous turns.

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  Dear brothers and sisters,

we can’t help but thank God for you,

because your faith is flourishing

and your love for one another is growing.

We proudly tell God’s other churches

about your endurance and faithfulness

in all the persecutions and hardships you are suffering.

 And God will use this persecution to show his justice

and to make you worthy of his Kingdom,

for which you are suffering.

II Thessalonians 1:3-5

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Q4U:  Do you agree that a faithful man is hard to find? How do you cultivate faithfulness?

Come back tomorrow for Day 26 of “31 Days to Fruitful Living.” We will chat about the characteristics of faithfulness. I may have a black thumb, but I am determined to learn how to cultivate my spiritual life.
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Photo Credit:  Nick Ballesteros

31 Days to Fruitful Living — Day 24

giving fruit

Can I be honest?  I don’t like to be good.  The fruit of goodness requires me to extend myself to others — and sometimes I find that uncomfortable.   I know that the Bible says I am supposed to meet the needs of the poor and hurting and the downtrodden, but some times I don’t want to.  I’d rather sit on my couch and watch HGTV.  I’d rather go to Starbucks with my friends.  Id’ rather take a nap.

Cultivating this fruit will require sacrifice.  I am going to have to say no to myself — to my selfishness, to my pride, to my prejudice, to my needs.  Goodness puts others first, regardless of whether they are “nice” or “pretty” or “deserving.”  Jesus didn’t come to meet the needs of people who had no needs.  He came to save the lost and heal the brokenhearted.  This is messy business.

Today, I read Emily’s story.  She let a homeless woman take a nap in her car.  I found myself wondering if I would have looked the other way.

Lord, help me see people the way that You do.  Cultivate goodness in my selfish heart.

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“Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone.

If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody.

Don’t insist on getting even;

that’s not for you to do.

‘I’ll do the judging,’ says God. ‘I’ll take care of it.’

Our Scriptures tell us

that if you see your enemy hungry,

go buy that person lunch,

or if he’s thirsty,

get him a drink.

Your generosity will surprise him with goodness.

Don’t let evil get the best of you;

get the best of evil by doing good.

Romans 12:17-21, MSG

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Q4U:  Is this an area you struggle in?  How do you intentionally cultivate the fruit of goodness?

Come back tomorrow for Day 25 of “31 Days to Fruitful Living.” We will chat about sowing faithfulness. I may have a black thumb, but I am determined to learn how to cultivate my spiritual life.
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31 Days to Fruitful Living — Day 23

apple

Sow goodness.  This fruit is benevolent love in action.  A good person is zealous for truth and is energized by serving.   Goodness is enthusiastically useful and extends grace to others.

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“I myself am convinced,

my brothers and sisters,

that you yourselves are full of goodness,

filled with knowledge

and competent to instruct one another.”

Romans 15:14, NLT

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Q4U:  What are some ways that we can be intentional about “loving in action”?

Come back tomorrow for Day 24 of “31 Days to Fruitful Living.” We will chat about cultivating goodness. I may have a black thumb, but I am determined to learn how to cultivate my spiritual life.
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31 Days to Fruitful Living — Day 22

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

A juicy piece of watermelon on a hot, blistering day is perfectly refreshing.  If you read up online on the benefits of this fruit as I did, you will discover that some consider watermelon to be a “miracle recovery fruit” after a workout.

Kindness is also a “miracle recovery fruit”  — When life gets “hot,” a serving of kindness will refresh your neighbor’s spirit.  For those who are spiritually dehydrated, this fruit will help quench the thirst.

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“Your love

has given me much joy

and comfort, my brother,

for your kindness

has often refreshed the hearts

of God’s people.”

Philemon 1:7, NLT

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Q4U:  How has the kindness of another refreshed your soul when you were spiritually dehydrated?

Come back tomorrow for Day 23 of “31 Days to Fruitful Living.” We will chat about sowing goodness.  I may have a black thumb, but I am determined to learn how to cultivate my spiritual life.
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Thanks for stopping by! I would love to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

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I am joining The Nester and like-minded sisters for this crazy challenge:

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Photo Credit:  Zsolt Zatrok