The sundial marks only hours that shine,
The clouds make no shadow upon its face,
The night can never draw a single line,
Nor can the raging storm leave a trace.

Though trials and strains afflict a happy soul,
And make it stronger, as the work of God,
The worst can’t bend or bow the illumined goal
To live the heavenly joy by sorrow unflawed.

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Serving Jesus is the way to produce true fruit that glorifies God. Our own goodness — or our own ideas of goodness — are worthless for producing spiritual fruit. We must leave our own efforts at spiritual excellence — we must divorce ourselves from them — in order to join ourselves to the Resurrected One, in whom is the promise of life and vitality. In Christ we possess all possibility for effective service.

So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you could be joined to another, to the one who was raised from the dead, to bear fruit to God.
Rom 7.4

Our God and Father, reinforce in us the purpose to live in and for Christ and to glorify you by our fruit.

Where do I sense hope, encouragement, and growth areas in my life? By looking back over the last few months, I may be able to see which activities and occasions have produced rich fruit.  If I do notice such areas, I will determine to give those areas both time and space in the future.

This text appeared on a panel for a devotional thought. It suggests evaluating the last several months in one’s activities to see where fruit has been produced and focusing more on those areas. The exercise may not be as simple as it sounds, but is a worthy effort. The idea is to go where the results are. Continue reading

We criticize the health and wealth gospel, and rightly so. Such a false gospel distorts the truth of the Good News. The business of God is the eternal salvation of all, not their physical condition.

At the same time, we can sometimes be guilty, in our prayers and efforts, of promoting and seeking material gain and physical advantage. One of the saddest statements of Christ was made to the Samaritan woman, who had just asked for indoor running water. Continue reading