We’ve all seen it - a perfectly formed pear, hanging on a tree. As the days go by, it becomes more juicy, ripe and colorful. One can just picture it’s usefulness…soon.
We’ve also seen fruit which drops to the ground, never to mature, never to be used.
One pear is plucked, ready to eat or to make into a pie, cobbler or sauce. The other is not even good enough, mature enough, to be of any use, ever.
Let’s look at our own pear-lives. Are we maturing in the Lord nicely for His special purposes? Or are we just barely hanging on, stuck in immaturity, dangling precariously, ready to tumble to the ground?
What will make a difference in our lives between going on to maturity in the Lord or becoming stuck in immaturity?
Just as the tree provides the pear with all it needs to continue to grow into a healthy fruit, so does God provide all we need. Yet, unlike the pear which benefits from just hanging in there, we humans are expected to DO something to keep God’s Life activated in us. To mature us.
For this very reason make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self control, and self control with steadfastness and steadfastness with godliness and godliness with brotherly affection and brotherly affection with love. For if these things are yours and abound, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful…. II Peter 1:5-8
We have our work cut out for us, don’t we? God does His part - we must do our part.
The result? Mature lives (beautiful fruit) in the sight of God.
Heavenly Father, thank You for providing all I need to grow unto maturity. Please give me the courage and stamina to go on…. To maturity in You. In Jesus name. Amen.
Recently the people of the world braced themselves for another computer virus which threatened to spread, contaminating operating systems as it spread from one computer to another.
Doesn’t this remind you of sin and how it spreads? Just think, sin is such a powerful ‘virus’ that it started with two people (Adam and Eve) and has spread from person to person, from generation to generation. That’s a powerful infection!
Jesus came into the world to stop sin's spread. He gave His own life to stop it. If we so choose, we can live in terms of the cure given but the only way to inoculate ourselves against further infection and spread of the ‘virus’ is to live in love and obedience to the King who died for us.
Actually, God gave us two things which we can do which makes the cure ‘ours’: 1. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
2. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:37-38
Certainly we can do those two things (by God’s enabling grace) so that He may give us Life every day into eternity, beginning now. The disease will be gone and we will be safe.
Heavenly Father, I do not want to be infected by sin which runs rampant through the human race. I am sorry that I have lived an infected life and now receive the cure from Your hand and promise to walk a life that is worthy of Your calling and death for me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
We are free - we are healthy - we have long life ahead of us (eternity in fact) as we stay within the boundaries of the cure provided.
Recently two people I know used the words “chewing on” to make the point that they were going to ponder, mull over, think deeply about, meditate on what it was they were searching out to find clarity of thought.
In our world today, there is an abundance of things which can fill up our brain space but most of which we don’t give a second thought to. Something happens or we hear something and it seems to barely touch us, bouncing right off again. We don’t seem, in our busy lives, to stop and ‘chew’ - ponder, mediate on, think about deeply. We are too busy and just go to the next thing…and then the next thing.
Maybe it’s time to learn to ‘chew’. Babies gulp down their milk but no chewing is involved. Even early toddlerhood means little or no chewing. But as we mature (in our spiritual lives), aren’t we expected to chew so that we can be nourished?
Let’s practice some chewing!
I remember the days of old, I meditate on all that Thou has done, I muse on what Thy hands have wrought. Psalm 143:5
I will meditate on Thy precepts, and fix my eyes on Thy ways. Psalm 119:15
But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their facilities trained by practice to distinguish between good from evil. Hebrews 5:12
Heavenly Father, please slow me down so that I CHEW on the things in my life I need to think about so I can learn more of You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Do you remember when you were little and your parents would take you into a store to go shopping? Do you remember that when there was a crush of people, you held on to their hand, stayed close and cried out if you and your parent became separated?
For most of us, our lives are a crush of busy-ness and people. We need to be very careful not to lose God in the crowd.
Sure, the things we do are important as are the people in our lives. But we must be careful not to lose sight of God…nor to let go of God.
If we sense something or someone has come between us and God, cry out to Him. He will hear. He will answer.
In my distress I called upon the Lord To my God I cried for help. From His temple He heard my voice And my cry to Him reached His ears.
He reached from on high, He took me, He delivered me from my strong enemy, And from those who hated me; For they were too mighty for me. They came upon me in the day of my calamity; But the Lord was my stay. He brought me forth into a broad place, He delivered me, because He delighted in me. Psalm 18:6, 16-19
Thank You, Heavenly Father, for drawing near every time I cry out to you. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.