Acquire and develop fruit??? to further build our legacy.??? Cold, dark, and dormant. This is winter in Michigan. Yesterday, I wore leggings and jeans. Yes, you read that right. Two pairs of pants at once. It was that cold. Why then write about cultivating when the ground is frozen? Now, in the quiet season, this is when we prepare for the next step. The New Year holds promises of new life. Although, the earth is suspended in rest, we are not. Now is the time to review, refresh and move forward. We need to cultivate the soil of our soul. Cultivating prepares the soil to bear fruit in the coming season. It loosens the ground where it has become hard. It delivers much needed air to the life that lives deep in it. It allows the soil to percolate water where it is needed to aid in growth of the plants for the new season. Cultivate is my word for 2018. When we cultivate we acquire and develop what God planted in us. It allows us to acquire and develop skills to further build our legacy.
Oh how I want to bear the fruit God is calling me to develop. Psalm 1:3 defines this goal. “They are like trees planted along the riverbanks, bearing fruit in each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.” I wrote this verse in my journal in mid-December. Unaware of this, my son included it in his Christmas present to me. I’m pretty sure that is confirmation for my 2018 Scripture verse. How do we cultivate so that we bear fruit in all seasons? Remove spiritual weeds from my gardens. This includes letting go of the heavy cares of this world, avoiding deceitfulness that comes with comfort and power, and distractions from the pleasures of life. (Matthew 13) For me this is a daily process. Give up worrying. Put my faith fully in God, not my stuff. Balance my time. Loosen the soil of my spiritual garden. Meditate on His word. I’m not going to read it alone but I’m going to chew on it. Digest it and let it become part of who I am.
Challenge my opinions by comparing them to God’s word. I am often surprised by what I learn about myself. (Matthew 13) You probably will as well. Cultivate to make sure my roots are feeding and drinking from God’s living water. (John 4:10) Drink deep through worship and prayer. This brings strength, empowerment, and resolve. A cultivated garden of my heart allows me to grow toward God and follow God where He leads. This one is scary but I will tell you it is so worth it. It may not be easy but He will take you places you never dreamed and the results will overwhelm you with joy. (Ephesians 4:15) Cultivate to bear fruit that shows I delight in God’s way of living. Each day I will choose live that way.
This is simple if we focus on bearing His fruit (see Galatians 5:22-23). Don’t worry about how others are living, their fruit isn’t my responsibility. This soil needs to stay rich with the nutrients God provides. We need to cultivate it so that these nutrients penetrate deep into us so that mere opinion is replaced with steadfast truth. “Oh but I know the truth!” Don’t we all think that? Honestly, we are only grasping the edge of it. A wisp of knowledge is in me. God is so great, so vast, we must continue to expose ourselves to Him in order to know Him. There is so much more to know, so much more to understand. Psalm 90:12 says “So teach us to number our days, that we may cultivate and bring to You a heart of wisdom.” Grow our knowledge Lord, and help us to apply it wisely in order to build the Kingdom of God.
Oh Lord, penetrate the deepest part of me. Help me to know you better. Teach me to live a life that reflects you, my beloved Lord and dearest friend. In Jesus Name, AMEN Are you willing to cultivate with me this year? I’d love for you to join us in our Facebook study of the Legacy workbook. You will receive a downloadable preview of the workbook that is designed to go with the Legacy book. The workbook is free for this focus group only but you will need your own copy of the Legacy book to participate. Space is limited so please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, January 5, 2018.
She thought she could so she did. But it was harder than she thought. Who does she think she is? She tried, so why keep trying? Did she hear God correctly? Was it even God? Or was it some silly dream not work her time? There is fruit but not what she was expecting. Could she have misunderstood? Then quietly she hears the whisper. “Dear one, true it is not way you saw it. But I did implant the dream. Let it play out the way I want it. Don’t force it. You will impact others to grow my Kingdom.” As she walks down the path Jesus has set before her she sees the seeds He has asked her to scatter. She misses sometimes. Some days her imperfections seem larger than the talents He has clothed her in.
Still she walks. She doesn’t know what opportunities or barriers are before her. She just knows the goal. One day she will be with her Savior and each step will make sense. Until then, She will serve because He served. She will sacrifice because He sacrificed. She loves because He loved. She thought she could but she couldn’t. However, Jesus knew she could. He restores her unbelief with faith.
He fills her with joy. He extends His gentleness through her. He supplies her with self-control. He pours out patience so she too can give it. His peace overwhelms her. His kindness emanates from her. His goodness directs her. His love propels her to love like Him. He supplied the power she needs and through Him she will. This is each of our stories. Yes, that is right, this is each of us. We cannot forget we are His workmanship. Keep walking.