Monday, June 04, 2007

The fruit of the month club

Grand Sweep Daily Reading: Ezra 9, 10; Psalm 93

Psalm 93:5 (NIV)
Your statutes stand firm; holiness adorns your house for endless days, O Lord.

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

Revelation 22:1-2 (NIV)
1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb, 2 down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.

Good morning!

I like living in Missouri! We have four distinct seasons in our state – spring, summer, fall and winter. The change of seasons and temperatures tend to play havoc on my sinuses. Even so, I enjoy experiencing the first greens of spring, the deep blue skies of summer, the radiant turning foliage of fall, and the icy cold blanket of winter white. We have it all here in the show-me state, and no matter what each season may bring, I enjoy every minute of every day. What a gift it is to live out our days in seasons of change.

One of our parishioners would give our family a subscription to the Fruit of the Month Club every Christmas. Have you ever been the recipient of such a wonderful gift? Each month, we would receive a shipment of the finest fruits from all over the United States. No matter what the weather was like in Missouri, we could count on a sweet, tropical treat arriving on our doorstep around the 5th day of every month. I looked forward to the boxes of large, lush grapefruit and oranges, and large walnuts just waiting to be cracked. Some months, we would receive passion fruit, kiwi, and melons. A delicious piece of fruit is a sweet treat, especially in the cold and snowy winter months when we are not producing much fruit in Missouri.

Last night as I left the Missouri Area United Methodist Church conference, I happened to look up at the trees that had taken root and were thriving just in front of the complex. The sky was a beautiful dark chocolate, and the green foliage glistened against its backdrop, highlighted by the light radiating from the main entrance to the auditorium. Every leaf was intricate and unique; yet firmly connected and growing together on the branches. As I admired the leaves, I couldn’t help but think about the beautiful sweet fruit gathered inside the Expo Center in Springfield, Missouri this weekend. United Methodists from all over the state were there to praise the giver of all good fruit! Every person is a rare and unique reflection of our Lord. We spring up in chorus, and celebrate our unique diversity. We are His living fruit! When the love of Christ takes root in our hearts, we cannot help but ripen into a sweet resounding chorus, worshiping and glorifying Him.

We are His body, the leaves sparkling on every branch, reaching out in love to a world who desperately needs to know Him. Like every single leaf hanging from the branches, our uniqueness is a sweet treat! We bring our gifts to the altar and lay them down before the Lord. He blesses our faithfulness and gives us a sweetness that perpetuates itself all over our world. Of the thousand or so gathered, there is not one of us who think or behave exactly alike. We offer a distinct flavor wherever He plants us. We pray our witness and love will grow disciples for Jesus Christ. We hold a membership to His living fruit of the month club.

Won’t you come join us in the sweetest adventure of life? You can receive a fully paid, twelve month membership to the fruit of the month club today! It is the gift that keeps on giving. His blood was shed for you and for me on the cross over 2,000 years ago. My Jesus can take the hardest heart, the poorest soul, and ripen it for kingdom work. Let Jesus bless you with the fruit of the spirit today. Ask Him to come inside and clean up the cobwebs in your heart.

This is truly a season of change. Isn’t it amazing how the Lord of life can transform a shriveled up prune like me and make me sweet and whole again! If He can do that for someone like me, I can only imagine what He will do for you.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Pray for: God to give you a fully paid subscription to the fruit of the month club. He is waiting with open arms to receive your soul today. If you want to experience the sweet peace of forgiveness and grace, simply get down on your knees and invite Jesus into your heart. His fruit is the sweetest treat you will ever know. The fruit of the spirit is ripe and ready to be picked. You can be a sweet reflection of Him every moment of every day, and especially in the seasons of change.

© Copyright 2007, Deb Spaulding
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