Discipleship

Pomegranates and the Christian

It is pomegranate season, or at least the tail end of it. When the trees are full and the fruit falls easily and the red, juicy flesh is ripe for the enjoying.

Our back yard has one such tree and it has been a delight for these six years (and no small amount of work for our harvester Stacy!) This year the kids were creative and decided to sell the pomegranates to raise money for Buddy Break, a respite program for families with kids with special needs.

As the harvest has come though, I can’t help but see the Christian in the pomegranate. And as I study the Sermon on the Mount I see it all the more.

You see, pomegranates grow from a bright pinkish red flower in the spring to the hardened dusty colored ball in September. You know the pomegranates are ready when you see them begin to break open under the force of the fruit inside. The bright purple proves them.

Now, bear with the illustration, the believer is formed and grows under the stress of life. The seasons of heat, and little water. Avoiding, if we can, the ‘birds’ or ‘rats’ that might try to pluck and harm us. As we persevere, something is happening inside. There is fruit welling up, getting strong and ready to be seen.

Then we are broken open and what is inside is bare for all to see. We don’t prefer the brokenness, but it is the way. And if we have found our source in Christ and his life, then the fruit is sweet and draws others to glorify our Father who is in heaven.

I am praying that this is a fruitful season for you as you trust in Jesus, and let the light of Christ shine in you.

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To Really Trust

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It is an interesting time of life. As a family we are coming close to “gotcha day” for our daughter Adia. The process has been an expensive one and without the generosity of others there is no way we could have made it happen. As a result I hind myself contemplating ways of saving, paying off debt or winning big by putting it all on black! So at home, and specifically when it comes to the family checkbook, I am learning more than ever to trust in Christ’s provision to keep us and make us to flourish as he has determined.

Then there is church life. Nearly two years into pastoring a wonderful group of people we see finances stable and direction more clear everyday. But this summer we have three key families that are moving out of San Diego (for a church of 100 people, three families is huge!) and I have been finding myself wondering where to put my trust. It is so easy to fall into strategy mode and come up with solutions or think that we need to do “this” or “that” different or better. But then I step back and realize the Lord is teaching me to trust. To really trust him.

As I study the letter to the church in Laodicea in Revelation 3:14-22, I recognize myself in that church. Self-sufficient, resourced and in my own mind without need. As if I can handle it all! Then I hear Jesus say, be zealous and repent! “Trust in me and I will give you what you need.”

This is really the Christian life friends. The life of trust. We truly are economically and physically affluent. Let’s not kid ourselves about the extravagance in our lives just because our neighbor has a different kind of extravagance. But we are deeply and truly spiritually needy. The cars I own, the degree I paid for, the dashing good looks that I am a proud owner of won’t win for me squat when it comes to the perfect standard of standing before God. But alas, there is One who has sees us in our need and pays the debt, he covers us and gives us fine garments of his righteousness. And because of that truth, we can trust in him to care for us, give us purpose and a path.

Where are you needing to trust today? Start from the place of trusting that when Jesus said it is finished, it really was, then let the trustworthy king take care of the rest for you. Lean in. Believe, ask, and abide in his goodness for you. Have hope in him alone.

I think that I what I want, how I want to live. Maybe you do too. Let’s go!

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Rise to Fight

“Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” (1 Timothy 6:12 ESV)

Paul’s words to Timothy the young pastor are words for us as well. Rise to fight the good fight of faith. Stick to the gospel of grace that has been proclaimed to you and ward off attempts to water down or hamper the truth of Jesus.

This is the fight that the Spirit of God empowers us to fight. We get ammunition for the battle in the Word and fuel for the challenge in worship.

Then as we cling all the more tightly to the goodness of the gospel, we take hold of the life we have been secured in Jesus. This is the life of purpose and faith. Running the race looking to our Savior.

How can you fight today? By being reminded of your good confession in Scripture? By speaking words of of worship in the course of the day? Live from the gift of grace you have been given. Look to Jesus, and fully take hold of this new life.