October 31, 2010

Fruitful Living

Written by Wisdom Hunters

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- October 31, 2010

“When you enter the land and plant any kind of fruit tree, regard its fruit as forbidden. For three years you are to consider it forbidden; it must not be eaten. In the fourth year all its fruit will be holy, an offering of praise to the Lord. But in the fifth year you may eat its fruit. In this way your harvest will be increased. I am the Lord your God.” Leviticus 19:23-25

Good things take time. It is through the process of maturation that fruit is produced. Fruit comes over time. The fruit of profitability takes time when you are growing a business. The fruit of trust grows over time as you develop relationships. The fruit of life change eventually takes root when a ministry is just getting started.

The fruit of a family’s love and loyalty takes root in the fertile soil of acceptance and forgiveness. The fruit of the Spirit is a lifelong process of sanctification and growth in the human character. Financial fruit compounds with time as proper care and attention is applied to giving, saving and wise spending.

There is a process of fruitful living that God has put into place that benefits us all. But, fruitful living requires patience and trust in the Lord. It is a long-term perspective, with focused steps along the way that builds a fruitful life and a fruitful way of thinking. If you are just a consumer of life’s fruit, you are missing the fulfilling opportunity of fruitful living.

Fruitful living means that you are a part of the process of preparation, care and the harvesting of fruit. Your investment in your family is an example of this fruitful process. You may not see fruit for years, or the fruit may be green, sour or bruised. Nevertheless, you remain faithful to invest in your marriage and children, realizing the fruits of your labor are not in vain.

One day your child will thank you for taking time to meet his friends and getting to know his friends’ parents. This is part of helping children develop a vineyard of healthy relationships. This simple process of investigation and accountability will serve them well the rest of their lives.

In the same way, God is growing a strong taproot of trust in your life. You may not see much evidence of His fruit today, but remain faithful and one day you will. This level of long-term maturation with Jesus will bear fruit beyond your wildest dreams. Be patient with God. He is working in and through you.

You want the fruit to explode in outward results, but He is still doing an inward work of grace in your heart and mind. External fruit follows internal fruit. The fruit of the heart and mind produce fruit both in quality and quantity. Do not fall into the trap of comparison to others. You may not understand totally their circumstances, or God may have chosen to bless them in a unique way.

We are all a work in progress. My fruit-bearing preparation and experience will probably look different than yours. However, God can be trusted. He is in control. What you desired yesterday may not happen until tomorrow.

So, don’t give up on God, or His process of fruitful living. Poor is the individual that lacks fruit. Rich are the ones who have persevered in the process and now experience spiritual fruit, relational fruit, financial fruit and physical fruit beyond measure. One who just consumes the fruit of others is in danger of ingratitude and discontentment.

But, those who stay engaged in the fruit-bearing process of waiting and trusting remain joyful in Jesus. Today’s patience leads to tomorrow’s productivity. If you live in the past, you live in regret. If you live in the future, you live in fear. If you live in the present, you live in peace. This is fruitful living!

Taken from the Dose 25 reading in Boyd Bailey’s Infusion. This 90-day devotional book is a compilation of the reader’s favorites from Wisdom Hunters daily devotional. Andy Stanley says, “I have walked with Boyd for over 20 years and I am definitely wiser for it. You are going to love this book!”


Comments

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