Thursday, October 19, 2017

Good Fruit, Bad Fruit

For decades, my husband's family operated a pick-your-own strawberry business covering acres of their family farm.  After we married, I had occasion to go out and pick my own strawberries too.  I'd never done that before and as silly as it may seem, it was a spiritual experience.  As I combed through the fruit bearing plants I looked for the choicest of berries.  I was looking for lusciously ripe, beautifully red berries and the bigger the better.  I was seized by the miraculous nature of this fruit and contemplated how God created strawberries just for our delight and pleasure.  I remember also being totally put off when my fingers would happen upon an already decaying berry.  It was simply repulsive to me.

As long as the farm was maintained it produced healthy plants that bore gorgeous fruit.  As believers we have everything we need from Christ to consistently bear good fruit.  We have been remade, renewed, reborn and we have the capacity to bear the fruit of the Spirit consistently.  It's good to take stock from time to time and check the fruit we are bearing.  Does it please God, or would he be repulsed by its rottenness?  We can't claim to be Christ's and consistently bear bad fruit.  That is incongruous with being reborn.  Likewise, those without the saving power of the Holy Spirit cannot bear the true fruit of the Spirit.  Their hearts don't contain the right soil.  My prayer is that others will see the fruit of God's Spirit in me so much that there is no shadow of doubt that I am fully Christ's own.

Sometimes I make it a personal creative challenge to use stamps in ways that offer a new perspective. I was looking through my stash for a small tree. When I saw this branch, I immediately thought I'd just turn it up on end and voila! a tree!  Necessity can be the mother of invention AND creativity!


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