Thursday, August 19, 2010


Does your joy show?

I have a couple of friends who exude Jesus through joy, from every pore of their being. I love being around them, because they are so on fire!

On the other hand, whatever is going on in my head, shows on my face. I have always been this way (which is no excuse). I don't show the same joy they do.

One of these young women is the youngest of several children. She grew up in church, and gave her heart to Christ at an earl age. When she walks into a room, she elevates the enthusiasm level. Not because she is a cheerleader who runs from person to person inciting a response, but because the natural effervescence of being in love with Jesus, overflows.

The other young woman is a new believer. So much happiness comes from her countenance. She is in her mid twenties, has experienced the party life full on, and has recently become a believer. She knows the ugliness of life, and cannot stop telling people about the Savior who delivered her from drugs and more.

I want to be more like them, because they are more like Jesus.

I don't want to be one of those sour Christians you meet, who leave you wondering if they really know Christ. They go to church, but there is no evidence beyond that attendance that He is in the throne of their heart.

His word teaches us that we will know one another (as believers) by the fruit in our lives. There are way too many of us who never show any fruit. Are we really saved?

Jesus tells a parable in Luke 13 about a landowner who had a fig tree that had not borne fruit in three years. He had visited it repeatedly to eat from the tree. He finally told his servant to cut it down, as it was using soil needlessly. The patient vineyard-keeper plead with him for one more year, where he would fertilize it to prepare it for bearing fruit. If it did not bear then, it would be cut down.

Many of us have been "fertilized" for years now.

Where is the fruit?

We get fed weekly, but don't show any evidence.

My education is in horticulture. I know a bit about fruit trees and agricultural practices. It usually takes three to five years for a young fruit tree to reach the stage where it will bear.

My friend has been a believer for just a few months and has told more people about Jesus than some who've been believers for a lifetime. When you meet her, her joy begs the question, "why are you so happy?" She is quick to tell you!

What's our excuse? We have many lined up.

When a tree is mature, all the dead wood and crossing branches need to be pruned from it, to keep it at it's fullest potential.

As believers we need the same thing. The old dead wood needs to be cut from our experience, so that we can continue to grow.

Pruning spurs growth... in horticulture and in Christianity.

Often times, we build fences around our hearts to prevent any pruning. I find it interesting that there is one fruit that we still resemble when this has been our practice... the prune!

Even the word requires little assistance to convey its implication.

I want to be like my two friends... full of joy, bearing fruit, loving others!

Tear down the fences and let the pruning commence!



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