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Daily Reading: Genesis 20:1-22:24 ESV, Matthew 7:15-29 ESV, Psalm 9:1-12 ESV, Proverbs 2:16-22 ESV

 Daily Verse: “You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes or figs from thistles?” (Matthew 7:16 ESV)

TRIBOLOS: “A crowed foot (three-pronged obstruction in war), i.e., by a thorny plant. Thistle is the plant which produces briers.”[i]

Fruit reveals truth.

What kind of fruit you produce tells who you are following. Thistles grow briers, prickly plants creating spiked fruit that causes pain. 

Some people are mean. My husband and I listened to “The Inn” by James Patterson and Candice Fox on a recent road trip. The criminal in the story thought the opposite of the heroes. He saw misery as pleasurable, loving to cause as much of it as possible. Being kind to another human being never entered his mind—a thistle producing briers intentionally.

Create a legacy.

Have you ever thought about how you want people to remember you when you’re gone? With a mortality rate of 100%, none of us will avoid the inevitable. But we can decide how we want people to think about us when we’re gone. 

If we want people to know us by the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, then we need to follow Jesus (Galatians 5:22-23 ESV). Only by giving Him our life can we begin to produce good fruit. When we do, people will know us by our crops.

Each morning, you get to choose what kind of fruit you produce. Act prickly; you’ll make prickles. Upheaval, distrust, and conflict will become your calling card. But if you choose Jesus, obeying His command to love God, love others, people will know you by your love.

God loves you; He wants you to love others. The fruit God wants you to produce can only happen when we follow Jesus. God’s Spirit within us will guide us through our days. When we are unsure of our direction, the Spirit prompts us which way to go. We don’t need to know the whole story, just the next step in our journey.

Decide the type of fruit you want to produce. Choose Jesus today. When faced with a difficult situation, ask God what you should do. Follow the promptings of God’s Spirit as you maneuver through your day.

[i] Strong, J., & Strong, J. (2010). The New Strong’s expanded exhaustive concordance of the Bible. (p. 253) Thomas Nelson

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