Wednesday, July 09, 2008

What kind of fruit are you bearing?

Good morning. This is a devotional for single adults from Parenting Solo, but the message also applies to single adults without children who may one day marry a single parent and be a step-parent. Feel Free to forward it to a friend.

Scripture: Matthew 12:33 (The Message) (Jesus said:) “If you grow a healthy tree, you’ll pick healthy fruit. If you grow a diseased tree, you’ll pick worm-eaten fruit. The fruit tells you about the tree.”

When my wife and I were hiking in Park City, Utah, last week, we went through a grove of Aspens. At one point, someone had carved their initials in the bark. Consequently, the tree was dying. It wasn’t healthy looking. Its leaves weren’t bright green like the others. They didn’t realize that when you damage the bark of an Aspen, that it can be fatal. It may take years for the trees to die.

That’s how our lives are, too. We do something without thinking, and suddenly, our bark is turning colors. Take getting pregnant as a teenager. No matter what you do, your life will never be the same. We can choose to get an abortion, give the baby up for adoption or have the baby on our own. Perhaps our family will help us, perhaps they won’t. College may have been in our future, but it has to be put on hold to have the baby, perhaps forever. Our financial future will never be the same. Our insides change, too, in a way we can’t predict. We may not trust the opposite sex the way we once did.

What does your tree look like today? Is it healthy and bearing fruit, or are there worms coming out of your fruit? Unlike the two scenarios above, Jesus can heal any tree, either on the exterior or the interior. He specializes in mending broken hearts. It takes faith and time to see God’s finished work. Sometimes, he isn’t in a hurry, because he wants us to realize the error of our ways. When we were children, our parents spanked us immediately when we acted out; they didn’t wait a week before doling out the spanking. We learn our lesson when justice is handed out right away.

People can see what kind of fruit our lives are producing. People know immediately whether our fruit is sweet or sour. The choices we make on a daily basis may determine what your fruit tastes like. For us to go from rotten fruit to sweet fruit in just a few days is unrealistic. We may have to forsake this year’s crop and start working on next year’s crop. We need to give ourselves time, in order to feel the effects of God’s healing hand. Don’t rush it; God is in no hurry. He patiently waits and watches our actions before helping us. He’s looking at our hearts. Only when our hearts want real change does God step in with his healing touch. It is our choice what kind of fruit our tree bears. It’s a growth partnership with God.

How does this apply to my life?

Today’s prayer: Lord, help me to bear sweet fruit for your kingdom. Let my fruit be bold and filled with robust flavors, because you are the great farmer of the universe. Amen

Doug Mead

Parenting Solo

Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.

Vol. 3, No. 84

This week’s reading plan can be found at http:/

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