First of all, I want to send a BIG shout-out to all of my fellow teachers in Texas who are FINALLY receiving STAAR scores today. This is what I’ve been picturing in my head for the past few weeks for this day…
No matter what your computer says, please remember you are so much more than a number, and your students are more than numbers. You know the blood, sweat, and buckets of tears you put into teaching this past year. You are treasured, and you change lives. The end.
Now let’s talk about fruit for a minute. No, this is not going to be a post about fiber-packed, naturally sweet nuggets of yumiliciousness. This is not a recipe post sharing my five favorite fig recipes (woah, that’s a genius idea…I’ll come back to that one soon). Nor is it a nutrition post discussing which fruits are the most beneficial for fat-loss, which fruits are low-carb, or which fruits have the most fiber (ok, that would be a solid post as well…sorry to keep teasing you with these ideas). Nor have I embraced my Tennessee-heritage, dawned overalls, and started an organic orchard. This is about spiritual fruit. No golden berries or acai for us today, though these fruits are still super.
We’ve all heard the Sunday school lesson; we all have spiritual gifts that God has bestowed upon us. Yes, yes, we’ve heard that one a thousand time. We must use our spiritual gifts. Got it. What else you got?
Well, I want to challenge you all today to look a little closer at Hebrews 6: 7-8, 12. I know a lot of people debate this chapter over whether it proves we can lose our salvation…I’m not going there right now. Let’s go somewhere else, shall we? The scripture states:
Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and in danger of being cursed…we do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.
Worthless. Cursed. Lazy. Hold the phone, that’s harsh. To put it into context (quick history dork time), the Hebrews were going back and forth between their previous Jewish traditions (salvation through sacrifices in the temple with high priests, pomp, and circumstance) and new Christian traditions (salvation by faith in Jesus). They had been growing in their faith, maturing and ready to start teaching others (Hebrews 5). Yet, they still did not want to commit to the Christianity thing. God recognized the potential in them, pouring into them. Yet, they were not willing to bear fruit for Him.
Backing up to the 21st century, land of emojiis, fro-yo, and You-Tube, this still applies to us today. My pastor taught a rather challenging lesson on this text a few weeks ago, and it has been a huge motivation for me to start this blog (as well as volunteer more at my church). God has been pouring blessings and gifts into my life – passion for health, fitness, food, writing, teaching – yet I had not been wanting to bear fruit. I wanted to remain in my ways. I didn’t want to trust that there could be more for me, better things for me, if I shared more for Him. I looked at my own gifts, how God had been pouring into me for twenty-seven years, cultivating me to be a foodie, fitness instructor, writer, teacher... I have so much to offer others, yet I am often so tempted to remain closed up safely away from rejection, fear, and failure. Yet my pastor challenged me to accept the spiritual maturing that God had worked in me and start opening myself up to more.
We can see very clearly how God isn’t crazy about us holding our spiritual gifts back, keeping them in a neat, labeled box tucked at the top of our closet. He warns very clearly that doing this can lead to our own demise. At the same time, as His beloved people, He reminds us how much better our lives are with Jesus; trusting completely in Him means our lives, our peace, our faith, and our fruit will be all the better. So I trust in Him. Through Him, I am nourished, cultivated, and can bear fruit.
What about you?
Today’s Challenge: Take a moment to examine your own life. Make a list of the gifts God has given you. With the skills you possess, how are you using them? Are you even using all of them on a regular basis? Are you using them all to the fullest, or are you keeping some wrapped away in your spiritual closet? Now have a chat with God about it and see where it takes you. I pray that the fruit of His joy for your life may distinguish you, so people may see the difference in you.
Healthy Happy Texan
I'm a Foodie, Fitness Instructor, and Follower of Christ. Add a passion for teaching others, dark chocolate, bacon, and dogs -- and that's me in a box.
Come on, let's live a little!