Faith’s Journey: From Seed to Shoot to Fruit

I. From Seed to Shoot to Fruit

Faith starts out as a seed that stretches to become a shoot.

That shoot is destined to eventually develop fruit.

 

Along the way faith learns to speak. It shall not remain mute,

Provided it receives good care and doesn’t “get the boot.”

 

Sometimes when Jesus puts a seed of faith in someone’s hand,

That person sees hard ground and simply cannot understand

 

How best to help that seed grow up into a miracle.

Faith is a substance which contains amazing potential

 

But if you wrap it up in rags of your own righteousness

Then you will surely find yourself engulfed by fierce distress.

 

For, like a buried talent, that poor seed of faith can’t grow

Through your own sin-stained toil. You must let God help you sow

 

The faith that works through love, made possible through his shed blood,

A perfect sacrifice for sin. Receive the cleansing flood!

 

Remember: Those who grew their talents did it through a trade,

Replacing their despair with joy for which their Savior paid.

 

His grace given so freely is the soil that will nourish.

Through the power of His Spirit, He enables faith to flourish.

II. Faith Produces Fruit Through Love

“For verily I say unto you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”

Miracles are a fruit of faith, but faith starts as a seed. The important thing here, however, isn’t the seed itself. It’s the  soil in which the seed is planted.

“But that (seed, of faith) on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.” – Luke 8:15

So then, must we strain to bring forth fruit?

“Faith . . . works by love.” – Galatians 5:6

“God is love.” – I John 4:8

“Love (charity). . . believes all things. . .” – I Corinthians 13:1-7

“I (Jesus) am the vine, you are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing.”

“Looking to Jesus,  the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” – Hebrews 12:2

“You shall know them by their fruits.” – Matthew 7:16

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” – John 3:16

 

 

 

 

Laughter: Best Tool for Digging Writing Wells

God gave Abraham, the faith man, and Sarah, the free woman, power to conceive a son named Isaac, whose name means laughter (see Galatians 4:21-31). This was an amazing miracle because Sarah was ninety at the time and way past child-bearing age. Abraham was one hundred. But all things are possible with God (Matthew 19:26). After Isaac was born, Sarah said “God has made me laugh, so that all who hear will laugh with me.” (Genesis 21:6).

To “laugh” in this case clearly doesn’t mean to mock. It is not a wicked sort of laughter. It is completely joyful. Joy that comes from God makes miracles happen. Keep in mind, it was God who told the faith man to call Isaac “laughter.” It is the sort of laughter that sets you free to be everything that you were meant to be.

The day Isaac was weaned, Abraham gave a great feast. Again there was laughter, but this laughter wasn’t good. Abraham’s son Ishmael, son of his slave woman Hagar, was mocking Isaac.

As a result, Abraham had to send them away. “For the son of this bondwoman (slave woman) shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac,” said the free woman (Genesis 21:10).

Now, here’s something worth noting when it comes to Isaac being heir to Abraham: Abraham (faith) gave Hagar and Ishmael (who represents bondage to law – see the passage in Galatians) water for their journey. But Isaac (laughter) inherited his wells. The Philistines stopped up those wells, but Isaac reopened them. (see Genesis 26:15).

Laughter – joyful laughter – born of faith digs wells like no one can. Isaac was really into digging wells. The Lord’s unspeakable joy must have been his strength (see Nehemiah 8:10).

Now, there are different kinds of wells: natural and spiritual. Writers create wells of “water” that can either sicken or refresh the ones who drink it. I personally happen to like pure water. I want my stories to refresh readers, not leave them languishing in the desert. But as I struggle to express deep truths I find inside God’s Word, my writings can get way too serious and bogged down (like the law that condemns me because I didn’t “word it perfectly”).

That’s when I need to close my eyes, praise God, and tap into the well of joy and laughter Jesus has placed in me. For those who drink this glorious water will never thirst again (John 4:14).

 

The Very Best Miracle Cure for Depression

Oh no, I can’t take one more depression session,

For when I dwell on failures, it’s like a recession.

What good is the power of a positive confession

If dwelling on pain has become an obsession?

 

I once thought it wise my mad feelings to vent

But that never caused my fierce pain to relent.

Nor did vengeance allot me a worthwhile cure,

Though it did feed my anger. Of that I am sure.

Through lava-like tears, all I saw was the blur

 

That my life had become, for I loved misery.

Taking comfort in sorrow, I could never get free.

Too depressed to seek counsel, I just didn’t see

Any way to escape my sad soul’s poverty

 

Because I desired manmade sympathy,

But man condemned me – to the umpteenth degree!

Christians bound to the law threw dirt on my distress.

“It’s your own fault you landed yourself in this mess!”

 

The depression ballooned because I couldn’t share

My heart’s deepest woes with those who did not care.

I beat myself to bring them to grief over their unbelief.

“I’m too hurt to be wounded more. What I need is relief!”

 

But it just made them mad. They looked down on my pain.

“Self-torture is stupid. You’ve nothing to gain.”

I didn’t know why they had zero compassion,

Or why they called me selfish, as if I’d no passion.

 

Like Job, I rubbed my “boils” raw with a shard

In a closet that felt like a cold prison yard.

Like a woman rejected, I lacked needed might

To forgive those in my life who caused the harsh blight

Of soul wounds that I had no more strength to fight.

 

But I cried out to God and the godly said, “Praise!”

Though I didn’t feel like it, I praised anyways,

And somehow that praise to God opened a door,

For next Sunday His presence I couldn’t ignore

 

And when prayer was offered, I rushed to the front,

Brushing past fears that God would say something so blunt

His reproof would condemn me and crush my lost soul.

But to my amazement, my soul was made whole.

 

He replaced my depression with joy that can’t speak.

I found myself laughing, released from the creek

Of despair I had sunk in so loud and so long.

Instead of “Poor Nancy,” I sang a new song.

 

Overcoming depression isn’t easy but giving God a sacrifice of praise can help you rise out of that pity party pit.

“The joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10

“For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves: It is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8

 

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