The Word: Fruitful
Happy New Year!
I always appreciate the start of a new year because it is a concrete time, a new start, a chance to evaluate and plan ahead. As an Army wife, I have learned to be much more flexible in my planning, but it is good to have some fluid goals to pursue.
Each year I have a focal verse to meditate on and hopefully embody. I pray for guidance for the coming year and pray for direction when choosing a verse. I have decided this year to join the camp of having a word for the year as well. I didn’t officially choose a word last year, but “abide” resonated with me throughout 2017. It is no surprise, then, that “fruitful” is the word the Spirit laid on my heart for 2018.
I have been on such a journey of learning about the Holy Spirit and becoming mindful of His work in my life. If I am truly one with Christ, then there is no option except to be fruitful in His good works. His fruit should overflow from me and should be increasingly evident in my life. Especially in my home with my family.
My focal verse for 2018 is Colossians 1:10
… walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.
Do my boys see the love of God displayed in my life? Do they observe my joy in all circumstances? Do they feel the peace that passes all understanding in our home? Patience? Kindness? Goodness? Faithfulness? Gentleness? Or Self-control? I want to live a fruitful life that points to the work of my Savior. I want this fruit to grow and blossom in my home so that it becomes natural in all other arenas.
How can I grow in fruitfulness?
His delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. Psalm 1:2-3
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and it is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit. Jeremiah 17: 7-8 (my life verse)
Do you see the connection for last year to this for me? To be fruitful you must abide. To be like a well-watered tree you must be filling up from the living water, the Word. By abiding with God you learn who He is and you have confidence in Him, regardless of external circumstance. If I keep in step with the Spirit then the fruit of the Spirit will overflow from me (Galatians 5:22-23, 25).
Living a fruitful life is the best witness of my relationship with Christ. By truly living out the fruit of the Spirit day-by-day, moment-by-moment I will appear different than the chaos of the world. I will love and not hate, I will be joyful and not despairing, I will be at peace and not in turmoil. Because my God is. The world will see that and the world will know.
By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. John 15:8