Fruit That Feeds The Soul

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)

Despite what has transpired over this past weekend, my family feels surrounded and upheld by the outpouring from family and friends, both near and far. We have been showered with love, kindness and gentleness. Such fruit nourishes our souls, and we find there is peace in the midst of heartache, joy in the return of our fur babies, and self-control, despite the desire to do unto those what was done by their hands. God is good and He continues to plant and grow good fruit as we seek and trust in Him. May we ever pursue a heart that produces good fruit as we willingly allow the Master gardener to plant, prune and water the garden of our heart.

With love and support,

Settling in where they know they are safe and loved.

True joy overflows;

Not by circumstance,

But through whom we know.

A heart that’s gentle,

Purposefully kind;

Extends grace and love,

Keeps others in mind.

To choose self-control,

An act of the will;

Allowing the Lord,

To bring justice still.

A heart deep rooted,

In God’s loving grace;

Is shown how to move,

To follow His ways.

Make us a garden,

That ever bears fruit;

Plant, prune and nourish,

Lead us to love true.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are loving and kind and full of grace. Thank You that Your will for us is to bear good fruit. Forgive us for attitudes and actions that are not fruitful. Teach us to turn to You to provide what we need to nourish those around us with the Spirit’s good fruit. Show us how to love those around us in ways that blesses, encourages and nourishes hungry souls. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek to soften the soil of our hearts and grant You room to prepare us to produce fruit that honors You. Amen. 

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

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. – Proverbs 3:3

The Purpose of Pruning

Last evening, as the temperature dipped down to a comfortable level, I decided to brave the overgrown brambles and branches that remained hidden on the side of our house.  Though this area can be clearly seen from out our kitchen window, I have long neglected the needed look to actually see the damage being done by the unattended, overgrown ivy.  As I ventured in with shears in hand, I began cutting away every branch that was choked out by the countless vines that had coiled around and killed the once fruitful branches.

My shears ceaselessly snipped away every vine and dead branch that I could reach.  In addition to the vines, there were also prickly blackberry branches that had found root amidst the once beautiful bushes and boughs.

image by Vidrio/Flickr.com

This morning, as I read John 15, which speaks of the Vine and the branches, the tangible illustration of last evenings imagery, quickly came to mind.  “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

The branches that survived the all-out assault of the advancing ivy, were those closest to the base, which is the main highway for needed nutrients.

In the midst of my cutting away of all that was entangling the once elegant branches, I imagined that this view was quite similar to what our Savior sees in the hearts of His kids.  Upon the initial encounter, much sin must be snipped away.  Fortunately, it is not in our own strength that this occurs, rather it is by the Master Gardener, who is able to breathe life back into even the driest of branches, if they are willing and ready to receive.

As we are able to allow exposure of all of ourselves to our Almighty, He tenderly begins to take away the branches that bear no fruit.  Like my now naked trees and shrubs that have had all that entangled cut away, lush life may again burst forth.  Fruit and flower will again grow in season.  Regular pruning will prevent the stuff that strangles from again taking over.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are the Vine and we are the branches.  Help us to remain in You, so that we are able to allow You to cut away all that chokes and everything that entangles.  May we be willing to allow Your constant care and cutting away to cover us, so that we may bear good fruit that nourishes those in need.  Amen.

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