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Posts tagged ‘Fruit’

{ Day 354 }.


But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. —Galatians 5:22-23

The various aspects of the fruit of the Spirit are important to consider as we allow the Holy Spirit to move us out to personally minister to others. Today’s devotional and the following eight daily devotional lessons will consider how each fruit of the Spirit applies to the prayer ministry of Spirit-filled individuals.

Love. Love can be viewed as the overarching characteristic from which the other aspects of the fruit of the Spirit flow. Really, the fruit of the Spirit is nothing less than the character of Jesus Christ being manifested in and through believers. As we pray for others, we must view ourselves as servants and not heroes. As we pray for others, we should be conscious that it’s much more their moment than ours. A spirit of love will help keep this in view.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Father, I know that love must begin, flow through, and permeate my entire life. Give me a spirit of love like Yours.

The spirit of servanthood is the most
outstanding sign of true love.

By MIKE BICKLE.

{ Day 354 }.


But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. —Galatians 5:22-23

The various aspects of the fruit of the Spirit are important to consider as we allow the Holy Spirit to move us out to personally minister to others. Today’s devotional and the following eight daily devotional lessons will consider how each fruit of the Spirit applies to the prayer ministry of Spirit-filled individuals.

Love. Love can be viewed as the overarching characteristic from which the other aspects of the fruit of the Spirit flow. Really, the fruit of the Spirit is nothing less than the character of Jesus Christ being manifested in and through believers. As we pray for others, we must view ourselves as servants and not heroes. As we pray for others, we should be conscious that it’s much more their moment than ours. A spirit of love will help keep this in view.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Father, I know that love must begin, flow through, and permeate my entire life. Give me a spirit of love like Yours.

The spirit of servanthood is the most 
outstanding sign of true love.

By MIKE BICKLE.

Be the Good Soil.


But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
Matthew 13:23

Recommended Reading
1 Corinthians 3:5-8 ( http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Corinthians%203:5-8&version=NKJV )

If you are a vegetable gardener, you have had the puzzling experience of different plants of the same variety producing different qualities of fruit when planted in the same soil. Perhaps a large rock is blocking the growth of the roots. Or perhaps a poisonous chemical substance was accidentally spilled on the ground. Lots of things can render soil unsuitable for seed.

Listen to Today’s Radio Message ( http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/radio.aspx?tid=email_listenedevo )

Jesus identified the soil of the heart as the primary variable in spiritual growth (Matthew 13:1-23). If the soil is rocky or filled with weeds and brambles, the seed of the Word of God cannot spring up and bear fruit. But if the soil is “good,” then we “hear and understand” it and bring forth an abundant crop of spiritual fruit. And whose job is it to make sure the soil of the heart is “good,” prepared to receive kingdom teaching? It is every Christian’s responsibility to prepare his or her heart — to be the good soil.

Whenever you are about to receive the Word — before Bible study or a sermon — ask God to give you a heart of good soil.

As seed is made for soil and soil for seed, so the heart is made for God’s truth and God’s truth for the heart.
Richard Glover

Read-Thru-the-Bible
Ezekiel 31-32

By David Jeremiah.

So, You Want to Marry a Man in the Ministry …


young couple
(http://www.stockfreeimages.com)
I have a theory about why many Christian women who married a “godly man” they met at Super Big Megachurch or Joe Christian College wake up one day actually married to a man with classic unhealthy, socially destructive self-absorption. Exciting churches and colleges are a draw to men with the seeds of such issues already growing in their hearts. (We all have those seeds based on our fallen nature, but based on their upbringing or other factors, some people are primed for full-blown issues in the future.)
At my Christian college, we called them the Big Men on Campus. They were the clear leaders on campus—groomed by older faculty, involved in most everything, people surrounding them and following them, with many young Christian women longing to be their wives.
Throughout my years in ministry, I have noted regularly that some Christians have a poor ability to distinguish between spiritual gifts and talents. Someone may be a motivating public speaker or incredible musician, and we think they are therefore especially gifted by the Holy Spirit for a great public ministry. No, those are talents. And they do not correspond one-to-one with true gifts of the Spirit for long-term, fruitful ministry.
Furthermore, the gifts of the Spirit work in conjunction with the fruits of the Spirit. Perhaps someone has the gift of prophecy or teaching, which is generally a publicly used gift. Uncoupled with the fruits of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23 (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control), they easily become egomaniacs set up for public destruction of others who get in their way.
Some men are gifted by the Spirit and then mistake the results of their giftedness (such as big numbers in their ministry) as fruit of the Spirit. But that’s not how the Bible talks about spiritual fruit at all. The fruit of a gifted man who leans into the Holy Spirit is growth—not in numbers in his ministry, but in his love for others, his peace when things go wrong, his patience with those who disagree with him, his kindness to all and his gentleness (or strength under control) when he is tempted to be harsh.
It would be very bad on my part if I didn’t say I know a number of those former Big Men on Campus who went on to humbly minister in churches in the middle of nowhere, and some that went on to minister in very public ministries without feeding their self-absorption in unhealthy ways. Often I note that God brought a serious trial into their lives to change their direction. Cancer. Personal failure in their family. Death of a loved one. Humiliating conflict in ministry. Loss of a child.
Suffering has an amazing way of destroying our naive notions of ministry and, more importantly, our naive notions of how we are going to do ministry right. They failed. They suffered. And then they emerged as humble servant leaders dependent on the Holy Spirit, ready to truly love and shepherd those God has called them to love and shepherd.
My advice to any woman who wants to marry a godly man is this:
You may be naturally attracted to the showman in your church or college. And he may be a great guy. But the things that will indicate his best character traits are his humility and ability to serve. Is he kind when no one is looking? Is he patient with those smaller or weaker than him? Would he rather die than work behind the scenes in the nursery? Have you ever known him to clean the bathroom at church when no one is looking? Is he gentle with you?
Furthermore, I strongly encourage you to consider and value the men with the gifts of serving, giving or mercy. Few notice these men. Some with an improper understanding of spiritual gifts, talents and fruits may dismiss such men as being poor Christians for only serving in the background. But those behind-the-scenes places in a church or school can hold the deepest treasures, in terms of men who will love and serve their wife and family faithfully.
I thank God regularly for all the men at my Christian college He kept me from for whom I had misguided desires. Then, one day, a quiet kid fixed my computer, and I fell in love. As Garth Brooks says, thank God for unanswered prayers.
Source: CHARISMA MAGAZINE/ Spiritled Woman.
Adapted from Wendy Alsup’s blog, theologyforwomen.org. Wendy has authored three books, includingThe Gospel-Centered Woman. She is also a wife, mom and college math teacher who loves ministering to women. 

How to Get Your Kids to Eat and Enjoy Fruits and Veggies.


Whitney Hopler

Many parents have served their children fruits and vegetables, only to then engage in frustrating battles trying to get their kids to actually eat those healthy foods. Natural goodies like fruits and vegetables just don’t seem appealing to many young people today who are accustomed to eating processed foods like chips, hot dogs, cookies, and snack bars that are heavily marketed as fun foods to eat.

Despite the fact that the fruits and vegetables God has designed contain a treasure trove of beneficial nutrients, American youth fall woefully short of the amount of fruits and vegetables they should eat for good health. A 2009 study from the American Dietetic Association showed that most American children don’t meet the United States Department of Agriculture’s MyPyramid recommendations for fruit and vegetable consumption, which is to eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Those who failed to meet the minimum amount of fruit consumption: 50.2 percent of kids ages 2 to 5, 74.1 percent of kids 6 to 11, and 80.5 percent of adolescents 12 to 18 years old. Those who failed to meet the minimum amount of vegetable consumption: 78.3 percent of kids ages 2 to 5, 83.8 percent of kids 6 to 11, and 89.5 percent of adolescents 12 to 18 years old. So the majority of U.S. kids don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables, and as kids get older, they tend to eat even fewer fruits and veggies than they did before.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control, which says that fruits and vegetables “provide essential vitamins and minerals, fiber, and other substances that are important for good health,” released a 2013 report that shows just how little produce American adolescents are actually eating. Many (36 percent) report consuming fruit less than one time daily, and 37.7 percent of adolescents report consuming vegetables less than once per day.

What’s a parent to do? How can you get your kids to starting eating and enjoying the fruits and vegetables that God created, proclaiming in Genesis 1:29 that they “…will be yours for food”?

The summer – when most fruits and vegetables are naturally in season – is a great time for you to help your children discover how delicious they are and how fun it can be to eat them every day. Here’s how:

Visit your local farmer’s markets together. Buy produce from farmer’s markets in your area this summer to give your family a taste of the freshest fruits and vegetables – ones that come straight to market after they’re harvested. Encourage your children to ask the farmers there questions about how they grew the food you’re buying. Then, at home, enjoy eating your delicious bounty together.

Grow food in a home garden. If you have a yard with enough space for a simple garden, consider growing some basic fruits and/or veggies so your kids can see how food grows from seed to harvest. The process of cultivating their own food can give children and teens a sense of wonder that will inspire them to appreciate fruits and vegetables more than they had before.

Try something new. Introduce your kids to some of the world’s unusual fruits and vegetables to give them a sampling of the wide variety of produce God has made and pique their curiosity to learn more. Rather than just eating fruits and vegetables that your family is familiar with, consider trying exotic fruits such as a kumquat, cherimoya, lychee, physalis, jabuticaba, durian, rambutan, pepino, star fruit, dragon fruit, and miracle fruit. Unusual vegetables your family may want to try include jicama, chard, fiddlehead fern, collard, acorn squash, sea bean, winged bean, chayote, kohlrabi, Roman cauliflower, and Jerusalem artichoke. If your regular grocery store doesn’t sell all of these exotic foods, you can find them by visiting a health food or ethnic food store in your area.

Invite your kids to help you prepare meals and snacks. Give your kids plenty of opportunities to join you as you prepare fruits and veggies for family meals and snacks. When they participate in work such as cleaning, cutting, and cooking your family’s food, they’ll become personally invested in each snack or meal they help with and will then naturally want to eat it.

Present foods creatively. Be fun and playful with the ways you serve fruits and vegetables to your kids. Consider presenting the food in ways such as: cut into artistic shapes (like stars or hearts), arranged to form pictures on plates (such as smiley faces or animals), colored (with food coloring) into unusual hues (like green pineapple or purple carrots) or simply arranged creatively according to their natural color (such as making a salad like a Christmas tree, with ornaments of red cherry tomatoes, white cauliflower, yellow squash or peppers, and black olives against a background of green lettuce or spinach).

Use dips. Most children and teens enjoy dipping fresh fruits and veggies into different types of sauces, and many who won’t eat plain produce will do so when they can dip their food into something. Offer your kids a variety of dipping options: from commonly used dips such as ranch dressing, melted cheese, or chocolate sauce, to more unusual choices like hummus, barbecue sauce, or sour cream. You can even give your kids a chance to mix their own custom dip to accompany their fruits and vegetables.

Plan biblical meals to enjoy together. The Bible mentions some fruits and vegetables by name, and you can reinforce the fact that they’re gifts from God by reading those verses with your children and working together to make family meals that include biblical fruits and veggies. Fruits specifically named in the Bible and some of the many references to them include: figs (Jeremiah 24:1-3 and Mark 11:13), grapes (Genesis 40:10 and Revelation 14:18-19), raisins (Numbers 6:3 and 2 Samuel 6:19), melons (Numbers 11:5 and Isaiah 1:8), apples (Proverbs 25:11 and Song of Solomon 2:5), dates (2 Samuel 6:19 and 1 Chronicles 16:3), and pomegranates (Numbers 20:5 and Deuteronomy 8:8). Vegetables that the Bible mentions by name and some references to them include: olives (Deuteronomy 24:20 and James 3:12), onions (Numbers 11:5), cucumbers (Numbers 11:5), beans (2 Samuel 17:28 and Ezekiel 4:9), leeks (Numbers 11:5), and gourds (2 Kings 4:39 and 1 Kings 6:18).

Once you’ve inspired your kids to eat and enjoy fruits and veggies this summer, they’ll likely continue their new habit of eating well throughout the year!

Whitney Hopler, who has served as a Crosswalk.com contributing writer for many years, is author of the new Christian novel Dream Factory, which is set during Hollywood’s golden age. Visit her website at: whitneyhopler.naiwe.com.

Publication date: July 19, 2013

Six Surefire Steps to a Joy-Filled Life.


[This post was written by my fellow pastor Bob Mundorff]

John 15:7-11 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

Step 1: Be a Christian.

  • “Abide in me…” If you trust in Jesus as Lord and Savior, you are “in Christ.”

Step 2: Read God’s Word.

  • “If you… and my words abide in you…” Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God, so take in more Bible than food.

Step 3: Pray answered prayers.

  • “If you… (do steps 1 and 2), ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” If God’s words abide in you, you’ll pray them. And he’ll answer them.

Step 4: Prove your faith by bearing much fruit.

  • “If you…  bear much fruit and so prove…” Fruitful work for Christ brings both glory to God and assurance of salvation.

Step 5: Abide in Jesus’ love.

  • “If you… Abide in my love…” How? See step 6.

Step 6: Keep Jesus’ Commandments.

  • “If you keep my commandments…” This fulfills step 5. Jesus said that we abide in his love by keeping his commands. A very necessary final ingredient in the recipe for joy.

Result – Guaranteed Joy.

Stephen Altrogge

God’s Pruning Shears.


I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. —John 15:1

God will put people in your life to perfect the fruit of His Spirit in you. But if you say, “We have a personality conflict, and I am just going to have to get away from that person,” you take the pruning shears of the Holy Spirit out of God’s hands.

When He wanted to cut that thing off that hindered your growth, you said, “No, God, I won’t change there. I like that fruit. Don’t change that, God. Get your pruning shears away from me.”

God brought that person or situation into your life, because there is an area of your life only that person, that relationship or that situation can perfect in you. They may be God’s sandpaper, smoothing out the rough edges in your life. They may be the irritation, like sand in an oyster, that produces a pearl in your life. Notice the people God brings into your life, and you will begin to see the kind of person you are with God. He says, “Show that person the same love, compassion, forgiveness, patience, and tolerance I have shown you.”

Lord, help me stop complaining about
irritating people in my life. Use them
to help me grow in faith, wisdom, and
maturity. Thank you, Lord, for pruning
the dead wood and rough areas out of
my life. Amen.

By ROD PARSLEY.

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