Courtnaye Richard

How to Live a Fruitful Life in Our Day

 

(Image Credit: Canva)

www.courtnayerichard.com

In these turbulent times, it’s time for the body of Christ to shine brighter in our homes, jobs, communities, churches, and online circles like never before! The world is getting darker and darker, and the Bible forewarned us that in the last days, there would be difficult times. We’re seeing it. Would you agree? I see it. So, as Christians, in order to shine even brighter in this dark and difficult world, we’re going to need to live fruitful lives in our day.

So how do we accomplish this in our daily lives and in this critical hour? The simple answer – action.

Yep! Jesus tells us in Matthew 7:20, “Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you identify people by their actions.” In Jesus’ own words, He tells us through John 15:8, “When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.” Sis, the Father is glorified when we produce fruitful lives.

But what is fruit and how is it produced in our lives?

Galatians 5:22-23 explains it well, “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control…” As Christians, we have the Holy Spirit living and dwelling within us to help us live out fruitful lives. It’s a great partnership!

With that being said, I want to share a few helpful action steps to living a fruitful life practically:

Love – Show love with a simple smile, gift, gesture, and by Holy Spirit-led action. First John 3:18 says, “Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. Our actions will show that we belong to the truth.” #truthinlove

Joy – Be joyful. Even in the midst of hardship, allow the Holy Spirit to exude supernatural joy that flows from within. I echo the words of the Apostle Paul in Romans 15:13, “I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Peace – Live in peace with people as much as possible. Romans 12:18 encourages, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Jesus also taught us through the Gospels in Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.” When you and I are peacemakers, it shows that we truly are children of God.

Patience – Be patient and wait. Wait in the grocery store checkout line. Wait your turn. Wait on God in every situation. Psalm 27:14 says, “Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.”

Kindness – Be kind. Did you know that when we are kind, we are actually showing love? Yep! First Corinthians 13:4 starts off with, “Love is patient and kind.” Also, Proverbs 3:3 says, “Do not let kindness and truth leave you.”

Goodness – Show the goodness of God by doing good deeds. James 2:18 tells us, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by good deeds.” When we do good deeds, people will praise and glorify the Father in heaven.

Faithfulness – Remain faithful to God and remain faithful to others (i.e., in marriage, ministry, friendships, and on the job), and trust in the Lord always. The Apostle Paul teaches in 2 Timothy 3:14, “But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught.” Know the Word, live the Word.

Gentleness/Meekness – Be gentle in touch and with your words. Proverbs 15:1 tells us, “A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.” Also, be meek (humble). Jesus said in Luke 14:11, “For the proud will be humbled, but the humble will be honored.”

Self-Control – This is a big one! I tend to say, this is all about “controlling yourself.” It’s all about us controlling our thoughts, words, attitudes, temptations, and actions. Proverbs 25:28 says, “A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls.” Imagine that! In the Old Testament, walls protected the people. Yikes!

Jesus tell us in John 15:16, “You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit.” He is coming back, and we want to be found in faithful, in fellowship with one another, and fruitful in every way, sis. Again, it’s time to live fruitfully as we shine brighter than ever before in our homes, churches, and world.

In closing, I want to share two verses with you from Jesus in Matthew 5:14-16 and John 15:4, “You are the light of the world – like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father…Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.” Stay connected and stay fruitful.

Remember, Jesus is coming back soon. And those who endure unto the end shall be saved. So, let’s be ready from the Inside Out!

~Courtnaye

Questions: Are you living a fruitful life? What area of the fruit of the Spirit do you feel you need more spiritual growth? Share it in the comments or you can email me directly as insideoutwithcourtnaye@gmail.com. 

Also if you need prayer, you can email me directly at insideoutwithcourtnaye@gmail.com and I will pray for you.

For more resources or to book me for your next LIVE or virtual women's conference, visit www.courtnayerichard.com TODAY! 

*If this post has blessed you or ministered to you, please leave a comment below and feel free to share it with others. Thanks so much! And if you haven't subscribed to my email list to receive my blog posts on Mondays, please subscribe below. ;-)

SUBSCRIBE HERE TO RECEIVE MY BLOG EVERY MONDAY! 

*ORDER YOUR COPY OF MY NEW 52 WEEK DEVOTIONAL 

WITH STUDY GUIDE TODAY!

*Grab my latest book today! Visit www.courtnayerichard.com or Amazon to order! Thanks!

Courtnaye Richard is the founder of Inside Out with Courtnaye, a ministry that helps women grow in their walk with Christ from the heart and equips them to fulfill their God-given purpose. She is also the author of the book, IDENTIFIED: Knowing Who You Are in Christ and Moving Forward in Your Purpose. Courtnaye is married with three beautiful children and is a contributing writer for ibelieve.com, Women’s Ministry Tools, speaker of a host of women’s conferences, and her blog reaches thousands of women across the globe. She resides in the beautiful Texas Hill Country (outside of Austin, Texas).

 


Planning a Getaway with God

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Do you ever feel like you just need to get away from the demands of work, home-life chores, ministry, or your family for a bit to connect with God? I mean, be honest. You may feel this urgency or strong desire to pull away from all of the busyness to simply spend some unhurried or uninterrupted time alone with your Heavenly Father. If so, I get it!
 
I’m there now. 
 
I am quite ready to pack up a bag and head out of town! Life is busy. Life is full. But life is GREAT! Yet, this sister-girl wants to have a getaway with God. 
 
Maybe you’re there now or maybe you know this sounds like a great idea for you, too. That’s probably why you clicked onto this post. If that’s the case, let’s talk about how to Plan Your Getaway with God
 
For starters, check your current life status. Do you feel like you’re becoming too busy to sit quietly with the Lord? Do you feel like you’re either too distracted with your kids, hubby, responsibilities whether at work or your own ministry or business, or social media alerts? Maybe you’re trying to build your ministry, brand, or business platform and all of the ideas are crowding out your space for devotional time with God. Lastly, maybe the test and trials of life are weighing you down and you just need a break away to be alone with the One who knows how to comfort and strengthen you like no one else can.
 
Wherever you are, let’s work together on planning your weekend getaway with God.
 
Step 1 – Again, assess where you are in this season of life. Busy? Overwhelmed? Jam-packed work days? Stressed? Trials? Need a break away with God? Assess and prepare to plan. 
 
Step 2 – Check your schedule to see what weekend you are free to getaway. Make sure that you don’t have any upcoming engagements (i.e., speaking, coffee or tea chats, lunches, or meetings), extracurricular activities happening with your kids or grandkids. If you’re married, make sure that your hubby is in full agreement with you heading off for the weekend. Once you have all of this squared away, you’re ready for the next step. 
 
Step 3 – Tie up any loose ends with work, church, or your own ministry or business tasks or responsibilities for your clients, congregants, or customers. Trust me. I recently took a girls’ getaway and I STILL had to pull out my laptop way too many times to take care of business. I won’t ever do that again! Why? Because it nearly defeated the very purpose for why I got away in the first place, which was to simply relax, unwind, and enjoy the time away with my friends. So, my encouragement to you dear sister, would be to tie up every loose end (and I do mean “every” loose end) before you drive or fly out.
 
Step 4 – Next up is to break out a clean sheet of paper in a notebook, grab a good pen, and begin to pray and ponder what your getaway with God is going to look like. Here are a few helpful ideas on what it could consist of…

- Planning to wake up early or whenever you rise to either go downstairs for coffee or tea or make it in your room or bed and breakfast. Mmm…can you imagine the goodness?

- Don’t forget to bring your Bible, new journal, pens, highlighters, or color pencils. Don't forget to bring books that you've been wanting to read.

- Maybe you might want to go and sit by the pool or fireplace downstairs or in your room if it’s winter (granted you have a fireplace in your room or cabin) for meditation of Scripture, dreaming of the next steps in life or just reflecting or resting.

- Think about ordering room service (which is a personal favorite of mine), Uber Eats, DoorDash, or Dominos. If not, head out to lunch or dinner alone either in your hotel restaurant or a nearby spot. And don't forget to make room for dessert! (strawberry cheesecake anyone?)

- Consider sitting outside on the balcony or prop up the pillows in your bed at some point of the day and read a good book or study a book of the Bible. 

- Relax and watch a good movie to unwind once the day is done or take a relaxing bubble bath or long hot shower.

- Take time to pray (maybe longer than you normally would since there are no interruptions or tasks)

- Silence your phone. Better yet, change your phone settings to Do-Not-Disturb for a while (but don’t forget to let your hubby, kids, or grandkids know that you’ll be out of pocket during that allotted time). This will help you to stay focused with no phone calls, text messages, email, or social media alerts.   

Step 5 – Lastly, research your lodging, schedule it, and prepare to pack it up! That’s right. Prepare to pack up everything that you’re going to need for your getaway. Shopping for it can be fun and invigorating, too! 
 
Planning a getaway with God is all about slowing down and being very intentional about your time alone and away with Him. Sometimes I’ll find myself saying, “Lord, I need time with you like the earth needs rain!” I’m also reminded of what Psalm 42:1 says, “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.” Amen! Do you ever feel like this? 
 
If you know you're in need of going the extra mile as it relates to spending time alone with the Lord, do it, my sister. Take some time to prepare yourself, your household, your job, and your church for this creative moment. Because at the end of the day, God longs for a deeper relationship with you. He longs to spend unhurried time with you. He longs for your focused attention. And sometimes this calls for drastic measures on our part. So go for it. Plan your Getaway with God. I will. 
 
Remember, Jesus is coming back soon. And those who endure unto the end shall be saved. So, let’s be ready from the Inside Out

~Courtnaye
 
Question: If you could plan a getaway with God, what would your weekend look like? Share it in the comments or you can email me directly as insideoutwithcourtnaye@gmail.com. 

Also if you need prayer, you can email me directly at insideoutwithcourtnaye@gmail.com and I will pray for you. 

For more resources or to book me for your next LIVE or virtual women's conference, visit www.courtnayerichard.comTODAY!

*If this post has blessed you or ministered to you, please leave a comment below and feel free to share it with others. Thanks so much! And if you haven't subscribed to my email list to receive my blog posts on Mondays, please subscribe below. ;-)

SUBSCRIBE HERE TO RECEIVE MY BLOG EVERY MONDAY! 

*ORDER YOUR COPY OF MY NEW 52 WEEK DEVOTIONAL 

WITH STUDY GUIDE TODAY!

*Grab my latest book today! Visit www.courtnayerichard.com or Amazon to order! Thanks!

Courtnaye Richard is the founder of Inside Out with Courtnaye, a ministry that helps women grow in their walk with Christ from the heart and equips them to fulfill their God-given purpose. She is also the author of the book, IDENTIFIED: Knowing Who You Are in Christ and Moving Forward in Your Purpose. Courtnaye is married with three beautiful children and is a contributing writer for ibelieve.com, Women’s Ministry Tools, speaker of a host of women’s conferences, and her blog reaches thousands of women across the globe. She resides in the beautiful Texas Hill Country (outside of Austin, Texas).


Staying Connected to God When Life Gets Busy

 

(Photo Credit: Canva)

www.courtnayerichard.com

I know that with the rat race of life, sometimes it can be tough to stay connected to God’s Word on a consistent basis. With the demands of work, trainings, family, chores, church responsibilities, issues of life, and the overload of online information these days, it’s easy to unintentionally begin placing God on the back burner of our busy lives.

I know this from experience because I’ve had times when I have been so engulfed with my work or a special project, that I literally asked God for a “rain check” on spending time with Him. I know that sounds crazy! Right?! But it happened and I'm not proud of it.

I mean think about it. Putting the God of our universe on hold while I’m trying to fulfill His purpose for my life? It's insane! I know. But sis, think again. Have you ever done this before? Have you ever been too busy for God?

If so, thank God He’s a loving and forgiving Father. But guess what? We have to know that this type of attitude (i.e., “mindset”) does not sit well with Him. And why? Because He longs to spend time with us. I think it's fair to say that His love language is definitely "quality time."

So if we're allowing our busy lives to crowd out this precious time with our heavenly Father, we really need to reassess our lives and realign it with what's most important. And that's spending time with Him in prayer and in His Word. That's how we get to know Him better, be instructed and encouraged, and learn how to serve, evangelize, disciple, and live.

We simply cannot afford not to be in God's Word today. With everything happening in our world around us and even in our churches (the decline, tolerance, and growing apostasy), we have to fight to stay connected to the Vine to stand strong, persevere, and continue maturing in our faith until Christ returns for us or calls us home.

For me personally, there is no way I could do what I do or handle the trials of my life without the Lord or without having a consistent diet of prayer and His Word. I talk to Him everyday. Honestly, I wouldn’t be able to respond the right way, live in a way that pleases Him, nor minister (serve) effectively without Him. I love what King David said in Psalm 119:11, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” (NLT) Amen!

Now, with all of this being said, before I close this post, I would like to share a few quick tips that can help you stay connected to God’s Word daily:

- Download a Bible App on your phone (i.e., YouVersion, etc.).

- Purchase or bring a small Bible with you wherever you go (keep one in your car, by your bedside, or in your purse).

- Type up or purchase some Scripture cards to keep around you (intentionally read them before you start your day, during lunch or break time, or before going to bed).

- Research or Google search a list of Bible verses in the area and in this season, where you feel the need for personal growth (i.e., overcoming fear or anxiety, sexually immoral thoughts, gossip, servant leadership, giving, controlling anger, etc.).

- Watch Christian films or YouTube videos to teach and encourage you.

- Screenshot encouraging or life-changing Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter quotes or verses that stand out to you and either write them out in your personal journal or go back to them later when you need them.

We need the Word, sis.

I want to encourage you that anything that we face today, there is an answer for it in the Bible. We just have to search the Scriptures and trust that God will give us the answers for our circumstances or needs (read Philippians 4:19). The next step would be to follow through on its instruction. Joshua 1:8 says, “Study this Book of instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.” (NLT) This Word still holds true today. Obedience is key.

Another verse that I love that helps me in keeping God first in my day and life is Matthew 6:33 and it says, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

If you already have time carved out in your day for spending time in God’s Word, that's awesome! I love it! Continue in His Word and stand firm at all costs until the end. However, if you find yourself struggling in this area by being too busy to spend unhurried time with the Lord, examine your life and schedule, and begin making this time a new priority in your life. I know you can do it! ;-)

If you do this, I strongly believe that it will not only change your life, but others around you. Connect to God today, sis. Trust me. You'll be so glad that you did!

Remember, Jesus is coming back soon! And those who endure unto the end shall be saved. So let’s be ready from the Inside Out!

~Courtnaye

QUESTION: Are you struggling to stay connected to God's Word in today's busy culture? Let me know. Also if you need prayer, email me directly at insideoutwithcourtnaye@gmail.com.

Check out my audio message on "3 Strategies for Studying God's Word" here. For more resources or to book me for your next LIVE or virtual women's conference, visit www.courtnayerichard.com TODAY!

*If this post has blessed you or ministered to you, please leave a comment below and feel free to share it with others. Thanks so much! And if you haven't subscribed to my email list to receive my blog posts on Mondays, please subscribe below. ;-)

SUBSCRIBE HERE TO RECEIVE MY BLOG EVERY MONDAY!

*ORDER YOUR COPY OF MY NEW 52 WEEK DEVOTIONAL

WITH STUDY GUIDE TODAY!

*Grab my latest book today! Visit www.courtnayerichard.com or Amazon to order! Thanks!

Courtnaye Richard is the founder of Inside Out with Courtnaye, a ministry that helps women grow in their walk with Christ from the heart and equips them to fulfill their God-given purpose. She is also the author of the book, IDENTIFIED: Knowing Who You Are in Christ and Moving Forward in Your Purpose. Courtnaye is married with three beautiful children and is a contributing writer for ibelieve.com, Women’s Ministry Tools, speaker of a host of women’s conferences, and her blog reaches thousands of women across the globe. She resides in the beautiful Texas Hill Country (outside of Austin, Texas).