This has been a great summer for fruit! This past summer, dry and hot has been good to the fruit growers, producing a bumper harvest and low prices for good quality fruit! Love it!
A mentor of mine always said that the quality of a Christian’s life is not his education, gifting or talents; not even his Bible knowledge. It is the quality of the fruit of his life. Jesus talked about a good tree bringing good fruit and a bad tree bad fruit. “Thus, by their fruit, you will recognize them.”
A fruit generally consists of three parts. The stem, the seeds and the fruit flesh.
The life from the tree flows through the stem, reproducing what is in the tree. So, if we are attached to the tree of life, which is Jesus himself, we bring forth fruit which corresponds to his life. The fleshy part of the fruit is good to eat, and sustains life, giving necessary nutrients to others. Then the fruit develops seeds which can be sown again to multiply the life of the tree.
I was thinking, what fruit am I bearing in my financial life? Managing money well, in accordance to what God wants, can be a struggle and tough; but it doesn’t need to be!
The apostle Paul described nine characteristics of spiritual life which brings forth spiritual fruit, and this applies well to my money management.
“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22)
Lovemeans to use money to build up meaningful relationships.Joy is thanking God that he knows what I need and will provide all I need. Peaceis learning to be content in whatever circumstances I find myself. Patiencemeans to be think twice before buying something and saving slowly to build up assets. Kindnessis helping the poor and excellent in good deeds. Goodnessis being morally upright and honest in all my financial dealings. Faithfulnessis learning to use money in a way which honors God and his purposes for my finances. Gentlenessis a humility and meekness which is not boastful or proud. Self-controlis being disciplined in spending, saving and giving.
When fruit with these characteristics is eaten – it tastes really good! Such fruit contains seeds which will be multiplied to grow again.
What really excites me is that fruit does not have to sweat or work hard at all these things. All fruit needs to do is remained attached to the right tree, accept the dynamic life which is coming out of the tree and allow itself to grow. The kind of fruit which comes out of a Jesus tree will almost automatically bear all these nine characteristics.
Meditate on this! Choose one word a day for the next nine days and see how the life of Christ can work this out in your life! Enjoy the fruit!
"You cannot serve both God and mammon."
The so-called 'parable of the unrighteous steward is tough to understand. In this book, Peter describes how mammon is the chief player in Jesus' parable. The monkey is mammon, up to all sorts of tricks, tempting us to use money unrighteously.
How can we recognise what mammon is doing and how can mammon be overcome?
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