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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Abundance (06/08/06)

TITLE: Be the good fruit
By melissa buckley
06/14/06


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Jesus spoke about knowing a tree by its fruit. It is a very simple lesson yet a very significant one. Luke 6:43-45 says this, ‘For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. A good man out of the good treasures of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.’

Let me tell you a story. It is a true story about a young girl. This girl had been a Christian for a number of years. It was often said that she never stopped smiling. She was a blessing to her family, both at home and at church. I will not say she never did anything wrong because that would be an obvious lie. Still, she kept away from the common wrongs of teenage years such as drinking, smoking, sex etc. It made her stand out from those around her and her non-Christian friends respected her. Some of them even said they wanted to be like her.

Her life was an encouragement to struggling Christians- that it could be done. Do you know why she was such an encouragement and gained respect? It was because she treasured the things of God in her heart. The most important things in her life were pleasing God, living for Him. Since this was what was in her heart this is what she emitted. This is what people saw and what drew others to her. “A good man out of the good treasures of his heart brings forth good.’ This is what Jesus was talking about. Remember when Jesus said, ‘Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth… but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven… for where your treasure is there your heart will be also’?

Abundance, what does it mean? It means wealth, more than enough. More than enough, does that not mean overflowing? Therefore if your heart is full of goodness so much so that it is overflowing the goodness will have no choice but to flow right out of you. People will see it, they won’t be able to help but see it. Others will see that it is good like they see good fruit and desire it. In this way we can all be a light for God’s kingdom. We can all be a good example to those around us showing them that it is a good thing to be a Christian.

That explains the ‘good fruit’ Jesus was talking about but what of the bad? Well my story about the girl did not end there. She was growing up. She began to get interested more in guys and going out having 'fun'. She stopped reading the Bible. She no longer talked to God every day or went to church to spend time with her spiritual family. Suffice to say, she was no longer happy. She started to fill her heart with worldly things. She focused on herself not caring for others. As the media says, ‘Look after number one- yourself.’ She lost her morals and she lost respect. No one could look up to her in this state. She could not be a good example because she did things the same way the world does. The things she once treasured were now replaced with misery. That’s all she thought on and all she cared about. Her pain and addictions became all that was important. Abundance of the heart remember? She filled her heart so full with misery and anger and pain until that’s all that flowed. She was irritable and angry all the time, moping around.

Does this attract people? Are people attracted to bad fruit? No! The seeds that are sown inside are what will grow. Fill your heart abundantly with good things, with God’s love and promises and let these things spill out so that you can be the best example and encouragement and blessing to all those around you.

I am that girl. Praise God He turns no one away. Once again my heart is filled with his abundant love and peace. Do you know what I get as a result? An abundance of joy!


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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 06/19/06
How brave of you to tell this testimony! And how blessed you are!

I think this might be even more compelling if you just told the "girl's" story, without the sermonizing between paragraphs. Expand on her, let your readers get to know her, and the lessons will come through the testimony.

Very, very good.
Valerie Routhieaux06/21/06
Thank you for your testimony. It's not what we have, but what we do with what we have that matters. Good job. Keep writing.