Radically Rooted

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. – (Galatians 5:22-23, NIV)

But the fruit that the Spirit produces in a person’s life is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these kinds of things. – (Galatians 5:22-23, ERV)

But the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions: joy that overflows, peace that subdues, patience that endures, kindness in action, a life full of virtue, faith that prevails, gentleness of heart, and strength of spirit. Never set the law above these qualities, for they are meant to be limitless. – (Galatians 5:22-23, TPT)

 

Yesterday’s message at church was about living a “radical” life for Christ. Pastor Omar did not just present that term and continue forward, as if everyone had a shared understanding of the word and the way in which he intended its use, but rather he unpacked its Latin origin and the intent of what he was conveying. Radical, from its Latin origin, means to be rooted in. As people who are seeking to follow after Christ and do His will, it is critical that we are rooted in Him, in order to do His will and walk in His way. We are only able to walk forward in a willingness to experience discomfort when we know who we are in Christ, and who He is to us. As we surrender to Christ and continue to allow Him room to challenge and grow us, we begin to bear His fruit that lasts. The fruit that makes a heart after His known, is the very fruit that Galatians 5:22-23 unpacks. May we ever seek to deepen our roots and nurture our relationship with the Father, so that our lives may readily extend love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control towards all whom we encounter.

When I called to talk to mom yesterday, I was greeted by the voice of my eldest nephew. It was a treat to catch up with him, and know that the family was all enjoying time together with mom. Mom and the family had just returned from church for the second week in a row, and I know that the opportunity to do so, creates a bit more normalcy for her. In the evening, she and my sister and brother-in-love escaped for time out together, and appeared to have had a wonderful time. It is so good to see the smiles and know that mom is finding the courage to get out and go places. She is in great company, and good fruit is being extended between each of them, one to another.

 

Choose to be rooted, Radically Rooted

Established in Christ;

Surrendered to God,

Let Him lead our lives.

As we choose follow,

Willingly obey;

He stretches and grows,

Leads us in His way.

As we are willing,

He grows within us;

Fruit of the Spirit,

That mirror Jesus.

Love, peace and patience,

And gentleness too;

Kindness, faithfulness,

Care in all we do.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we invest our hearts, minds and time into relationship with You, we become rooted and established in a right relationship that bears fruit that lasts. Thank You that the fruit You have for us is good fruit to give away. Forgive us for the times that we have set aside our roots and operated in our own ugliness. Teach us to trust and rely on You more, so that we would bear Your fruit wherever we go and whatever we are doing. Show us how to love those around us in a way that demonstrates Your joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we ever pursue a heart after You, and choose to be willing to be uncomfortable so that we can grow. Amen.

 

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

 

The earth is filled with Your love, Lord; teach me Your decrees. – Psalm 119:64

 

 

Remaining in the Vine

Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me. – (John 15:4)

If we are in Christ – seeking Him, trusting Him, worshiping Him, and spending time making requests and listening in prayer, His word and our intentional time before Him help us become increasingly aware that He is present, and has come to stay. We can only do the good that He calls us to do, when we are invested in time spent with Him. To know His will, we must know Him. Bearing fruit is a matter of allowing others to see His goodness through the grace that we are able to extend to others, through the love that He has established within us. May we spend time each day seeking Him, so that we may remain in Christ, and go forth bearing good fruit to all whom we encounter.

Oh God, You’re the vine,Becoming Branches

and we must remain;

deep rooted in You,

so good is made plain.

Without Your great grace,

and Your tender love;

we can do nothing,

that points to above.

Help us to bear fruit,

so others may see;

Your goodness and grace,

as truth sets all free.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are the vine and we are Your branches. Thank You that when we are rooted and established in You, we can bear fruit that brings others to You. Forgive us for resisting the pruning process that is required to make us more fruitful, or for not fully investing ourselves in You, so that we may be deeply rooted in You and the truth. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will seek You with all that we are, and will hear Your voice clearly, each time You speak to our hearts. Lead us to love others well, so that they too, may come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we remain in You, and bear the fruit that You so graciously grow within us. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

The joy of the Lord is your strength. – Nehemiah 8:10

To Bear Fruit

Early in the morning, as He was on His way back to the city, He was hungry. Seeing a fig tree by the road, He went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then He said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered. – (Matthew 21:18-19)

 

Why would Jesus curse a fig tree? He, who was without sin, would not simply act out in anger. Instead, Jesus was showing an illustration to His disciples as to how He viewed religion without substance. Though the fig tree had looked good from a distance, upon closer inspection, it was found to bear no fruit. Similarly, if our lives appear to be aligned just so at first glance, yet have no genuine investment in our relationship with our Redeemer, we cannot simply settle. How is our heart behind what we do? Are we seeking to serve out of faith, as an act of worship; or are we trying to jump through hoops to be enough? “If you only appear to have faith without putting it to work in your life, you are like the fig tree that withered and died because it bore no fruit. Genuine faith means bearing fruit for God’s kingdom.” – (NIV footnotes)

 

Let our lives speak,To Bear Fruit

may we each be found;

bearing good fruit,

with a faith that’s sound.

Our hearts ready,

to seek and to serve;

to give God’s grace,

when it’s undeserved.

May love be shown,

to the lonely, lost;

joy to lowly,

Christ covered the cost.

Peace to chaos,

kindness to the gruff;

goodness to worn,

He’s faithful enough.

Be gentle still,

when violence erupts;

use self-control,

let Christ lift us up.

It’s by our love,

that others might know;

that God is good,

so let His light show.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are much more interested in our hearts, than how things appear. Thank You that You want all of us, not just our time or our sense of duty. Thank You that as we whole-heartedly bring You our lives, You cultivate good fruit that helps nourish others. Forgive us for not exposing every branch and root, and help us to allow You to trim away, anything that prevents good fruit from growing in our lives. May we bear fruit that lasts, and may hearts turn toward You as we seek to serve You with our whole heart. Be glorified as we go forth in genuine faith. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. – Job 8:21

 

Friends of Our Father

illustration by S. Moreno

illustration by S. Moreno

No longer called servants,

instead, we’re called His friends.

He grants to us knowledge,

of how our story ends.

Yes, we have been chosen,

appointed by the Lord;

to go and bear good fruit,

function in one accord.

The Father will give us,

what we ask in His Name;

not for our own power,

but for His righteous reign.

The thing He commands us,

is to love each other;

treat fellow believers,

as sisters and brothers.

By His grace, may it be,

that we’re known for our love;

so the lost may be found,

as our hearts fix above.

“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father, I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in My Name. This is my command: Love each other.” – (John 15:15-17)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You no longer see us as servants, but rather You call us friends. Thank You that You reveal Yourself to us when we earnestly seek You. Forgive us for the times that we try to find solutions to our struggles on our own, and help us to always seek You first. Teach us to not only seek You, but to listen and obey whatever it is that You ask. Above all, help us to love one another as You love us. May many come to know You as a result of our obedience. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

The Way of Wisdom

The Way of WisdomWho has wisdom among us?

Has understanding that’s seen?

Make it known by a good life,

through humble deeds to esteem.

Wisdom harbors no envy,

nor selfishness in one’s heart;

for where such ugliness dwells,

evil is granted a start.

But wisdom comes from heaven,

it’s pure and loving of peace;

considerate, bows to God,

full of mercy and at ease.

His wisdom is impartial,

it forever is sincere;

produces good fruit always,

demonstrates that He is near.

Peacemakers who sow in peace,

raise harvest of righteousness;

let His love be evident,

so all turn from sinfulness.

(Responding to James 3:13-18)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that true wisdom and understanding come from You. Thank You that not only did You make a way for us to come into relationship with You through the sacrifice of Your Son, but You sent Your Spirit to guide and teach us in Your way that is wise. Forgive us for our envy and selfishness, and teach us to be pure and loving of peace. Grant us the strength to extend mercy, as You have extended it unto us. May we be impartial and sincere, producing good fruit that demonstrates who You are to all who need to know You. Use us as Your instruments, to provide peace in places where there is none. May many come to know You through Your Spirit that dwells within us. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

The Gift of Godly Wisdom

photo from Creswell Nazarene

“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.” – James 3:17

“Real wisdom, God’s wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others.  It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced.” (The Message)

God’s wisdom is pure.  Purity is defined as free from contamination and free from blemish.  In other words, God’s wisdom is not tainted by the misguided musings of mankind.

The wisdom from heaven is peace-loving.  God’s intent is that we live free from strife and remain without hostility toward anyone.

Godly wisdom is considerate.  We need only to look to Jesus to see just how we are meant to carefully consider others and to have regard for who they are and where they are coming from.

Submission to God is to show wisdom through compliance to Christ and His call on our lives.

Again, Jesus modeled mercy for all mankind, as He drew near to those considered detestable, and demonstrated His deep love for all.

Good fruit is the evidence granted by God when we rely on His wisdom to walk in His way.

To be impartial is to be just.  We are not to favor one over another, rather we are to love others, just as He has loved us.

Sincerity is seen as we whole-heartedly pursue our Heavenly Father.  It is only through the cleansing of Christ that we might be seen as genuine and pure; free from deceit, hypocrisy, or falseness.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our Source of true wisdom.  Teach us Father, to turn to You for all wisdom, so that we may walk in purity, promote peace, be considerate and merciful toward one another, and that through our submission to You, our Savior, we might be the bearers of good fruit that is sown in sincerity.  Make us wise in Your ways, so that we may serve You all of our days.  Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present