“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. -Galatians 5:22-23
I love the beauty of the flowering fruit trees in the spring. (As I’m writing this article, the fruit trees are in full bloom.) I have four apples trees in my back yard and a crab apple tree in my front yard. They are beautiful, but they don’t have any fruit yet. Their flowering beauty will be short lived. Because an apple tree’s purpose is to produce…fruit…apples!! Apples trees were created to produce apples.
Did you know that as followers of Jesus, we were created to produce fruit? We were created to produce certain spiritual fruits or character traits in our lives. Here is a list of some of those character traits: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control…these are the very characteristics that describe Jesus Himself! Do these characteristics describe you and me?
Spiritual fruit is produced in our lives as we cooperate with the Holy Spirit who lives in us, and is at work in us, helping us to grow to become more like Jesus. Jesus told His followers “If you stay joined to Me, you will produce much fruit…”One way to stay connected to Jesus is to worship weekly, either here at Antigo United Methodist Church or wherever we happen to be on Sunday morning.
Recently in our worship service, we talked about 3 ways to take our worship beyond the church building into our everyday lives. Here are three practices that will help us stay connected to Jesus this summer.
- Spend 15 minutes with God each morning by reading a Psalm and praying.
- Set your watch to remind yourself to say a “breath” prayer at least once an hour throughout your day. (Breath prayers are one line prayers like: “God thank you for my job” or “Jesus, help me to know what to do next.”
- Pray at bedtime, reviewing your day and giving thanks to God.
Let’s make the choice to stay closely connected to Jesus this summer, so that God can keep producing the spiritual fruit in our lives, and we will grow to be more like Jesus in all we think, do, and say! See you in worship, 10:00 A.M. on Sundays!!
Grace and peace,