Friday, September 21, 2012

Three Bags of Apples

Fall is my favorite time of the year for a variety of reasons. After the heat of summer it is energizing to feel the temperature begin to drop at night. Ok, you are right it is a bit depressing seeing the days shorten with the coming of fall. But then lets not forget that it is harvest time. Fresh vegetables, and fruit...come on you have to love fall.

The thought of what I am going to do with all the apples that Sharon and I have been picking has been on my mind. I have eaten lots of apples and now the second stage of fall is kicking in. What are we going to do with the fruit? Good question, well Sharon has started with apple sauce...soon there will be apple crisp and then a couple of pies. Yes, you are right, Kurt, will be back to counting every calorie and making sure I spend them just the right way. I know thinking of food as if I am going to spend them is twisted...but it helps me. Did I mention applesauce cake?

So the point is we don't let the fruit rot do we? We find creative, helpful and ultimately examples of good stewardship in action for every fruit picked and given by God. Now you may have already guessed where I am headed with this...a gold star for you if you have!

Why do we get angry with God when He finds creative uses for our fruits of the Spirit which he has form and germinated in our hearts?

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

I love that the fruit of the Spirit is really just one quality. Love...all the other great qualities are really just unpacking what love is in real life.

Do we just let the fruit rot on the tree? NO! God wants us to help us use the love that gets expressed in joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in the situations we find ourselves.  If in this coming day you find yourself, like I am sure I will, in places that are joyless...we are there for a reason! Show the joy that only comes from the Spirit's maturing work in our hearts.

I feel the Spirit nudging me to remember this in the day that is coming down the tracks at me..."Kurt, Allow me to use the fruit that has grown in your heart to nurture those who need what the I can not yet grow in them. Kurt, Will you let me use your fruit in this day?"

Yes, Lord, I will allow you to use whatever you need to use...even when it pulls at my soul. After all that is why the fruit is there in the first place...not for blue ribbons at the county fair but to be in pies and cobblers. So maybe God has a love pie that he wants to make with the fruit that he has grown in my heart...or a joy :cobbler. So I hope that our collective answer is"Yes".

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