Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Fruit (10/10/05)
TITLE: Are you sticky yet?
By Jan Warrick
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Every year, the tree was laden with big, juicy nectarines. Their smell was so tantalizing; an acidic sweet aroma that drifted on the breeze through our yard. It called me and invited me to partake of the sweet fruit.
The nectarines were the size of softballs. When they were really ripe, all I had to do was touch them for them to fall off the tree into my hand. Even when it was hot outside, the nectarines always felt cool to the touch. Eagerly I would take the fruit to the garden hose and wash it.
I would make myself comfortable under the tree anticipating the treat I was about to eat. That first bite was always my favorite. The nectarines were so big and ripe that they would explode in my mouth. The juice ran down my hands, arms and face. It was impossible to stay clean when eating one of the fruits from this tree. Slurping the juice that poured from the fruit may have been socially unacceptable, but the only way to not miss the wonderful tangy sweetness.
After I finished eating, it was necessary to go into my house and wash up. The problem was that everything I touched got sticky from the juice that was all over my hands. The doorknobs were a sticky mess and anyone who touched them after I had handled them got to share the juice I left behind.
Isnít that the way it should be with the fruit of the spirit? Galatians 5:22 in the New American Standard Bible says, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.Ē
Do we bear this fruit? Jesus did. What happened when He walked this earth? People couldnít get enough of Him. They followed Him around and hungered for the lessons He taught. He wasnít stingy with sharing His fruit with others. All they had to do was ask and He gladly shared what He had. The fruit He offered was so satisfying, that people were unwilling to go home, they only wanted to be with Him. To this day, we are still affected by the sticky handprints He left on this world.
Are we leaving sticky handprints too? Do the people around us see and hunger for the fruit our lives bear? If not, maybe it is time to stick our roots in the living water God provides and let Him nourish us. It is time to become mature, fruit bearing trees so that the starving masses can partake of Godís sweetness. Let the fruit God grows on us explode in their lives, run down their hands and arms and allow them to leave sticky handprints for others to see too.
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