Sunday, 13 August 2017

Philippians 1:11 by Susan L.

  Affirmation #99: I am filled with the fruit of righteousness.
  "Being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God." NKJV
  "May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation--the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ--for this will bring much glory and praise to God." JCB

  The tomatoes are coming along nicely. I've already been blessed with two, vine ripened, delicious fruit that tastes above and beyond anything bought in a produce department. There is one ready to pick, one that will be in a couple of days, and one with a slight rosy blush that means it, too, will soon be ready. The rest are green but growing in size every day.
  Most of the leaves have been removed to allow the plant to spend its energy on the fruit while leaving enough for the vine to survive. I've also stopped it from growing any taller than it is by nipping the new growth at the top because there are plenty of tomatoes on the vine for just one person. Pruning also lets the sun shine uninterrupted on the fruit to speed up the ripening process which begins at the bottom with the oldest fruit ripening first. The top of the plant has little, green, berry sized tomatoes that have a long way to go before they can be served at the table. I don't know if we'll have enough summer for that to happen.
  In years past, I've had to uproot a vine full of green tomatoes before the frost hits it. Hanging it upside down in the basement lets most of the larger fruit ripen, utilizing the last bits of energy from the vine.
  What are the fruits of righteousness?
  Salvation, love, knowledge, discernment, excellence, freedom, confidence, deliverance, abundance, unity, fearlessness, humility, generosity, service, peace, perseverance, determination, blameless, harmless, gladness, citizenship, and most of all, joy in the Lord.
  I might have missed some. The list came from a very quick read-through of Philippians. got missed. Living out the fruits of righteousness couldn't happen without it.
  Which leads me back to thinking about tomatoes and grace. I couldn't be a gardener without grace.
  I know the calling with which I've been called, to love others just as Jesus loves me. I know I fall short. Often. I also know the Lord has made a garden of my soul. He's done a lot of weeding and pruning. He's done a lot of sowing. He's done a lot of fertilizing by pouring His love over me.
  I fall short of being His image bearer often, but there's one thing for sure, the little fruits of righteousness growing within will ripen.
  If I let them. If I give them time. If I am patient.
  My part is to let go and let grow. My part is to allow the Son to shine in the deepest, darkest corners of my soul where undiscovered fruit lay hidden in the shadows.

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