Ditch the Rotten Fruit

 

Ditch the Rotten Fruit

young person getting fruit from a basket

Have you ever gone to the refrigerator or the fruit bowl to find that the fruit you recently bought has begun to perish? At that time, you can choose to remove the perishing item or leave it to decay, causing the other fruit around it to decompose. There is much about rotten fruit that is unappealing; unless dealt with appropriately, the smell will linger, the fruit will decay, and spread decay to other fruit.

The Bible talks about the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23:

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (NLT)

These fruits are cultivated by the Holy Spirit in our lives. In verses 19-21 we read about “bad and rotten fruit,” which is the result of the works of “the sinful nature.”

When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarrelling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these.

It’s unpleasant to deal with the rotten fruit of the sin nature. However, left unchecked, the consequences have serious repercussions.

Like literal rotten fruit, the acts of the sin nature begin to affect our lives and negatively influence those around us. Daily, we must choose to either continue following the desires of the flesh—or we decide to get rid of the rotten fruit and allow the fruit of the Spirit to be evident in our lives.

The choices we make ultimately determine whether we walk in peace or discord. Each choice positively or negatively affects us not only individually, but equally impacts those around us.

In Luke 6:43-45, Jesus says:

“A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. A tree is identified by its fruit. Figs are never gathered from thornbushes, and grapes are not picked from bramble bushes. A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.”

From these verses, we see that our speech is an indicator of the condition of the heart. For out of the abundance (the overflow) of the heart, the mouth speaks. The words that we speak have creative power. They can build up or tear down; they can be life-giving or words of death that destroy.

Let’s pray:
Father, thank You for Your Spirit that produces good fruit in our lives—for our own benefit, and for the benefit of others. Let our attitudes and speech overflow with Your goodness, that You may be glorified. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Streams in the Desert – September 26

  • 202226 Sep

We walk by faith, not by appearance (2 Cor. 5:7, RV).

By faith, not appearance; God never wants us to look at our feelings. Self may want us to; and Satan may want us to. But God wants us to face facts, not feelings; the facts of Christ and of His finished and perfect work for us.

When we face these precious facts, and believe them because God says they are facts, God will take care of our feelings.

God never gives feeling to enable us to trust Him; God never gives feeling to encourage us to trust Him; God never gives feeling to show that we have already and utterly trusted Him. God gives feeling only when He sees that we trust Him apart from all feeling, resting on His own Word, and on His own faithfulness to His promise. Never until then can the feeling (which is from God) possibly come; and God will give the feeling in such a measure and at such a time as His love sees best for the individual case.

We must choose between facing toward our feelings and facing toward God’s facts. Our feelings may be as uncertain as the sea or the shifting sands. God’s facts are as certain as the Rock of Ages, even Christ Himself, who is the same yesterday, today and forever.

“When darkness veils His lovely face
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.”

Today’s Devotions

Morning

September 26

Psalms 2:6-8 6“I have installed my King on Zion, my holy hill.” 7I will proclaim the decree of the LORD: He said to me, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father. 8Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.

Many of the psalms look forward in time to the first and second coming of Jesus. Because Jesus is referred to as ‘the son of David’, there are verses written about Solomon that are ultimately fulfilled in Jesus.

In the second psalm God is speaking to the nations of the world that refuse God’s instruction. They rebel against His loving decrees. But God is not threatened at all. In fact, He laughs. If all the nations of the earth were to join together to fight against Him, it would not disturb His peace one bit. Then God declares where His sovereign will has placed all authority to rule, in His Son.

The Son was with God from the beginning, but there is a point in human history when he is born of a woman. The birth in Bethlehem was one of the most amazing and supernatural events to ever take place. God stepped into a human body. The Son was willing to set an example for mankind and redeem us through His own obedient death on the cross. God has given Him the right to rule the kingdoms of the earth. One day He will no longer allow man to rebel. The freedom to mock God and His laws and cause the people to suffer will no longer be allowed. Those rulers who would rebel will face the rod of iron. Man keeps trying to make the perfect government and failing. The perfect government is coming.

Meditation: The King of kings will be installed on Zion, God’s holy hill, and will reign in righteousness. Are you letting Him rule in your heart today?

They Broke Bread in their Homes

 Julia Prins Vanderveen, author, Today Devotiona

  ACTS 2:36-47

Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts. . . .

—  Acts 2:46

For a time, our church received donations of day-old bread from a bakery nearby. An elderly man from a neighboring church would pick up the bread and bring it to us on Sunday mornings. Some of it, however, was too tough for his church members to eat, he said, because many of them couldn’t afford dental care and were missing teeth. They could enjoy soft breads, but not the bagels, artisan loaves, and so on. So I suggested that some members in our church might like the breads that their members couldn’t use, and the elder thought that would make a great arrangement.

Early each Sunday morning, he dropped off a few gigantic bags of bagels and seedy artisan loaves, joking each time that this was his gift for “the church of the strong teeth”—and every week without fail we laughed about it. He saved the soft bread for his congregation, and our young people ate bagels after the morning service—and then also each morning throughout the week. This became a regular part of our Sunday gatherings. Our churches became closer because of it, and in a very real way we “ate together with glad and sincere hearts.”

Acts 2 gives a glimpse of the early church and how they gathered for worship and ate bread together. When we break bread together with glad hearts, we remember Jesus and take part in the joy shared by those early followers.

Jesus, by your Spirit be present among us as we break bread together. Amen.

 

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