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Thursday, September 6, 2007

Photo of Tomato basket
Brooksyne's Tomato Basket
(click to enlarge)

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"Fruit That Will Last"

"You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit-fruit that will last" (John 15:16).

Fresh home-grown tomatoesOur tomatoes are producing abundantly right now. There's just nothing like the taste of fresh, home-grown tomatoes along with little sprigs of basil. I'm enjoying a plate of them even as I prepare this message! I also had a couple for supper last night as Brooksyne reminded me of the temporary aspect of such a fresh homegrown delicacy.  Within weeks the plants will cease their production. The freshness of fruit is short-lived.

It's interesting that one of the common words used in the Bible to describe the healthy life of a faithful believer is "fruitfulness."

There are basically two senses of fruitfulness in the New Testament:

1) One is the sense of impacting others to follow Christ and discipling them, which we might speak of as being "the fruit of our ministry." One of the great joys of ministry is the observation of seeing healthy fruit in lives that we have sought to serve over the years. Brooksyne and I regularly hear from folks who have been a part of our ministry over the past 30 years and what a joy to hear reports of fruitfulness in their walk with Christ.  An additional blessing we especially enjoy is seeing the next generation serving the Lord as well. Just this morning we received an email from Sharon, a young lady who grew up in our church, who would like to visit us along with her sister.  How we delight in these visits.

2) The other in the sense of fruitfulness are the Christ-like characteristics that are developing in our lives such as those taught in the Fruit of the Spirit passage in Galatians 5:22 & 23: (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.) 

But a particular phrase in the daily verse especially ministers to my heart today.  It speaks of a special quality of fruitfulness for Christ that is part of His will for us.  His purpose is that we "go and bear fruit -- fruit that will last." 

Frankly throughout my life of service for Christ I've seen fruit that does not last.  There are those I have impacted who appear to make a commitment to Christ and are initially very enthused about their new walk with Him, but fall away after a short time. Others begin to develop Christ-like characteristics but over a period of time fall back into their old way of life, most painfully are those that do so after years of service to Christ.  Thankfully, there are very few in the latter category that come to mind.

Today let me ask you several questions for self-examination. 

1) In your life are you bearing fruit that will last? 
2) Are there those you've impacted who are staying true to the Lord and bearing fruit? 
3) Is the Fruit of the Spirit progressively developing in your life today?

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, You who began a good work in me will carry it on to completion until You call me heavenward or until the day of Christ's return.  May I willingly submit and quickly obey Your voice so that I will bring forth much spiritual fruit.  I pray that the Fruit of the Spirit will characterize my life as I faithfully yield to the work of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Saint Bernard puppy
Our neighbors have three Saint Bernard puppies for sale and yesterday asked us to assist them in sending some photos out.
We thought viewers might enjoy this cute photo as well.

Today's suggested music:
"All Creation Worships You" (Listen) This song is great!
"I Build My Life On You" (Listen)
"Be The One" (Listen)
"Be Thou My Vision" (Listen to instrumental)

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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