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The Fruit of the Spirit 

Prayer: "What, Lord, with you have me do to further your kingdom on earth? I ask this in Jesus' name. Amen."

John 15: 16-17

16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other. 

“And God saw that it was good.”  These words from the creation story (Gen. 1) are slightly altered in Genesis 1, verse 31: “And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good.”  It became very good after the creation of man and woman, because now man and woman can go and bear the fruit of love that God desires for the earth.  

Jesus explains, “I and the Father are One,” (John 10:30) referring to his words when the Pharisees asked him who he was: “Before Abraham was, I am.” (John 8:58) We, as creations that came later in the creation story, could not possibly have chosen God, but God has invited us to participate with Him in bearing fruit.  The fact that God is on our minds and in our hearts serves as an invitation to us to be in daily and constant prayer (2 Thessalonians 1:3) with Him. Through this action the fruit that we are asked to bear, will last.  

We have the opportunity to share the fruits of the Spirit with others so that they too might go and bear fruit.  In this way we can see the majesty of God’s creation of the world and our place in it.  God created the trees and the birds and the fish and the animals and made it so that they would replenish themselves.  And God saw that it was good.  In the same way He planted the fruits of his goodness in us so that we may replenish it in others, and while being in constant prayer with Him, he will replenish it in us.  Very simply, love each other.  

Have you ever driven down the road on a nice sunny day, and noticed the trees gently swaying in the wind? They seem to be smiling because they are part of God’s creation.  They seem to be happy to be swaying, even dancing with each other.  Bathed in the glory of God’s sunlight, the trees convey a message to the rest of creation, including us, that God is with us and we are with Him.  The trees bear fruit for others in creation, and they seem to exude happiness in so doing.  And God saw that it was good.  

It is our responsibility to love each other, even in the face of troubles; to joyfully bear fruit, because God chose us to do this on earth.  And God saw that it was very good!

As you consider the following questions, I suggest you listen to this RIGHT HERE to feel how deeply God moves within you.  May you always be a blessing to others in all you do!

Questions for reflection: 

 Have you seen others bearing fruit, and can you identify it as such? Who are they? 
God will place you in situations to love others.  How will you prepare yourself to show his love in those times?

Living with God - yes, identifying with God! 

I am currently in the music ministry full time.  Consequently, I want my music to be a blessing to others.  That's the music aspect of the music ministry.  The ministry aspect sometimes gets lost in the shuffle.  Some of my blog posts deal just with the music, but I thought it would be a good idea to include some ministry posts as well.  Here is the first one: 

From John 14: 18-24 NIV

18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” 

22 Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?” 

23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. (John 14: 18-24) 

The words of Jesus reassure us that we are not alone, and we will not be alone.  Because we have been born into new life with Christ, we can believe his promise.  Picture this scenario: a child loses both of his parents, and feels empty and alone in the world.  Without the knowledge that Jesus is with him and in him, he will most certainly feel alone, and many times resentful.  This resent is manifested when the child goes to school and appears angry all of the time.  The child sees other children in the school with two loving parents, a nice home, and a stable life.  It is manifested also in his actions.  The child gets in trouble when his anger, resentment, and depression result in aggressive behavior that hurts others.  Without someone to love him and for him to love, the child has an emptiness that God wants to fill.  

Consider also the elderly person who is placed in a nursing home to live out her final days.  Because she has no more living friends, and her family is too busy to see her, she also feels alone and desolate.  The nursing home employees do not care for her as needed.  She is left in a room alone, often without basic necessities.  And yet her faith gives her comfort that God is with her.  Peter teaches us to rejoice in our suffering so that we may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.  (1 Peter 4:13) 

In the passage above Jesus shows us the importance of allowing Him to be one with us.  We were made in God’s image (Gen. 1:26), and that should be the catalyst for our invitation to be one with Him.  God is so good, and when others see us, Jesus wants us to see Him.  There is a magnificent joy when we are LIVING WITH GOD! (Please click on the link to feel the joy.) When we are one with him, we are true disciples, following and obeying his teaching, and sharing with others to good news and the goodness that comes from not just having His outward identity, but his identity within. 

Questions for reflection: 

What are ways that you sense that you have an identity with God that tells you that you have achieved true discipleship? 
What are ways that you could help others who may be feeling alone and desolate, like an orphan, to experience the joy of living in oneness with Jesus?