Originally published Monday, 09 September 2013.
Many of us want to stay connected to one another in some form or fashion, right? I mean, there’s text messaging, social media, emails, cell phones, lunch and dinner meetings, and even blogging; go figure! Face it. We simply have this immense hunger and desire to stay connected. Yet, in the midst of this busy cycle of our need to interact with one another, we have to be careful that we don’t miss our divine connection!
In this social media crazed society today, we can become so consumed and unfortunately obsessed with what’s happening in our newsfeed on Facebook, who’s following us on Twitter, who commented on our latest blog post, what cute pic hit Instagram, and who wants to connect on Google Hangout, that we can totally miss connecting with Jesus. Do we realize that we can do absolutely nothing without Him?
We can’t breathe, move, wake up, click a button, or be in good health without Him. And do you know what else we can’t possess without Him…godly character! That’s right, fruit. In these last days, Jesus is looking for lasting, delicious fruit ladies. It’s the fruit described in Galations 5:22-23 which states, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering (patience), gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness (humility), temperance: against such there is no law.” Okay, I don’t know about you, but I want it continually growing and flowing in my life.
Jesus wants us to have fruit that will remain and last. He says so in John 15:16, “You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name.” But can I tell you, that I had to learn this the hard way.
When I became pregnant with my third child, I began to experience complications in my first trimester. BUT not before I got into a huge altercation with one of the sisters in my church. Oh yeah, I was a hot mess before Jesus really got a hold of me. Sure, I went to church faithfully, sang in the choir, wrote for the church’s newsletter, and did all the works, but FRUIT…what was that?! I was taught to speak my mind, be independent, and don’t let anyone get over on you, sooooo…that’s what I did. Wrong!
Needless to say, the Lord literally laid me down for six months on complete bed-rest which was the remainder of my pregnancy. His purpose was to teach me a lesson on bearing fruit. Ouch! That was so hard for me. Naturally, I’m a very active person, but not at this time. He said in so many words, “I’ve got to teach you some things young lady. Lay down!” I’ll tell you, for the next six months, all I did was lie in bed each day and read my Bible (book to book). It was then, that God began to teach me about having godly character, fruit that remains, and so much more about His character and those who had gone before me. It was awesome!
Now that it’s been 7 years past, bearing fruit has become a part of my everyday life! And it’s a process. But the point here is that I desire with everything in me to have true godly character. I’ve learned that it just doesn’t make sense to have knowledge of God’s Word, beautiful gifts and talents, and have no fruit. God is looking for character. But if we are proclaiming to be Christians and have a consistent bad attitude, lack of patience, no joy, arrogant, mean, rude, and no self-control, then we also have to ask, “How will the world be able to tell us apart from them?” Not only that, but we have to show love to one another, while having the proper response and actions.
I will never forget the day when someone told me, “It’s sad when the world has more fruit than us.” Wow! Jesus said in John 15:8, “My true disciples produce much fruit. This brings great glory to my Father.”
Listen, I don’t know where you are as it relates to this topic today, but I hope that it sparks something fresh and life-changing inside of you. Having godly character is so BIG to God. So let me ask you a few questions. Are you walking in love? Are you joyful? Are you a peacemaker? The Bible says in Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.” What about patient? Can you wait quietly until God moves in your life (many of us struggle with this one)? Are you gentle or mean-spirited? Are you displaying God’s goodness in the earth by serving others around you? How about your faith walk? Are you wavering in your faith or displaying to others and God that you trust Him? Are you meek…meaning humble and not proud or arrogant? And last but certainly not least, do you practice self-control when things get tough or do you go off and respond like the world? Examine yourself, because this is something that we have to think about as Christians.
*I want to tell you something. We can have fruit that remains. I believe it! But it will take staying connected to the vine. Jesus is our divine connection! We simply cannot do this without Him. He tells us in John 15:4-5, “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 apart from me. Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” Don’t miss this! Let’s stay connected to Jesus…above all else, so we can be true lights to a dying world and to those around us.
Remember, Jesus is coming back soon! And those who endure unto the end shall be saved. So let’s get ready from the Inside Out!
*Thanks for reading! I hope and pray that you’ve been enlightened from this post. Feel absolutely free to ask a question or leave a comment. Tune in every Monday at 7:30am for new posts! And don’t forget to “Like” my Facebook page and share this blog with friends, family, co-workers, or your women’s group or ministry. I’d love to stay connected and help more women grow in the Lord! Thanks again and may God be with you!