Growing Together in the Fruit of the Spirit.
I am the vine, you are the branches. If you stay joined to Me, and I stay joined to you, then you will produce lots of fruit. But you cannot do anything without Me. ~John 15:5 (CEV)
For several days, I have been pondering what it means to remain in God. I have been studying it in my Bible and on biblegateway, I have been praying about it and mulling it over, so that I can produce a meaningful blog post to introduce this series.
The fact is, while studying God's Word is a vital part of growing in knowledge and understanding, we are a visual people who learn best through the tangible. I believe we need to see what it might look like to abide in Christ in order to implement change in our own lives.
Who is the woman that abides?
- She is confident of her standing in God's family. She is a princess, daughter of the King, and she knows it.
- She believes God's Word to be absolutely true, and trusts in His faithfulness.
- She faces adversity with a sense of strength, hope, peace, and expectation.
- She is unaware of society's standards for beauty and success.
- She has joy in her heart and reflected on her face, at all times and in all circumstances.
- She knows when to speak and when to shut up.
- She has fun.
- She is liked by all simply because she likes them.
- She is not full of worry, fear, anxiety, or sorrow.
- She does the work that God has called her to with confidence and humility.
- She spends more time thinking about others than herself.
- She is generous with her time and resources.
The woman who stays joined to Christ doesn't just do good things. She doesn't check off spiritual disciplines from her "to do" list. The woman lives in Him (and He in her) is different on the inside. She has a heart attitude that reflects her relationship.
The secret to bearing good fruit is not praying 24/7, reading the Bible daily, memorizing Scripture, or doing good works. Those are all good things that we sure should aspire to do, but we can do all those things and still only produce fruit that withers and dies.
The secret to growing good fruit to full ripeness resides in our hearts - it is about having a love relationship with the One who nourishes our roots. When we are rooted in Christ and we allow our identity - our worth, our value, our calling - to be determined by nothing other than who He says we are, the branches of our lives will be weighed down by lush, fragrant fruit!
What would you say is the #1 characteristic of a woman who abides?