Flowing Faith

Upright Living Yields Fruit

| 16 Comments

Upright-living is not uptight-living
Do you think upright-living is uptight-living? Did you know that upright-living does not mean joy-less living? It means joy-filled living instead. Because upright-living is God-honoring and God is joy.

But, sure, we do need to stick to Jesus with patient endurance. We do need to seize the word of God and hold on no matter of what. We do need to be sincere and honest in our beliefs until the end.

Because if we don’t, we don’t mature. If we don’t, we spend our lives worrying about tomorrow, chasing after money and entertainment….and then we wonder why we don’t have any spiritual crop.

As for the seed that fell among thorny plants, these are the ones who, as they go about their lives, are choked by the concerns, riches, and pleasures of life, and their fruit never matures. The seed that fell on good soil are those who hear the word and commit themselves to it with a good and upright heart. Through their resolve, they bear fruit. (Luke 8:14-15, CEB, emphasis added)

Yesterday, when I read the parable of the Sower on a bus, I felt like it was the first time I read it. Like I had never read these words “their fruit never matures” before.

Maybe it took a cooler than normal summer to open my eyes. Sometime during the summer we did worry if we get much harvest. That would have been terrible. But just think, it’d be so much more devastating if our spiritual fruit never matured.

Seriously, what if our spiritual fruit never ripens? Lord, have mercy!

Sure, it is the Holy Spirit who produces the fruit in us. But not if don’t stick to the vine.

Do we let the latest sales or the next top box-office movie take the central stage of our lives? Or do we let the worries of the world steal us away from upright-living? Do we let suffering take our eyes off the Lord?

Because it is much better to suffer in the will of the Lord than have fun outside of God’s will. It might sound absurd but it’s true. God can give us so much more than all the riches of the world. Not just at the harvest time but right where we are, right now.

And here’s why: God gives out Wisdom free,
    is plainspoken in Knowledge and Understanding.
He’s a rich mine of Common Sense for those who live well,
    a personal bodyguard to the candid and sincere.
He keeps his eye on all who live honestly,
    and pays special attention to his loyally committed ones.
(Proverbs 2:6-8, MSG)

Following Christ does not mean uptight-living. It’s not about rules and regulations. Following Christ is upright-living instead. It’s about honoring God in everything we do. It’s about embracing God’s love and grace and living in joy and hope no matter what. It’s about holding the word of God fast in a sincere and upright heart and sticking with it until the harvest. It’s about resolving to abide in Christ through thick and thin and, by the grace of God, maturing and bearing fruit.

 

Gracious God,
Strengthen our resolve to stick to Jesus no matter of what.
Grant us patient endurance to steadily hold on to You.
Pour our grace upon grace…
…so we can rejoice in the midst of hardships.
…so we can bear fruit according to your plan.
…so we can live uprightly with great joy.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: What are the dangers that tempt you to turn your attention away from God?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you stick to Jesus no matter what! And share the bounty of spiritual fruit!

P.S. I promised to let you know when there are some deals if you pre-order Mary DeMuth’s new book Everything. Today is the day! If you pre-order it on Wednesday or Thursday, you can get a PDF of it right away plus some other cool extra stuff. Check out the great deal here! There is only 26 days left before the book release! More fun stuff and great deals to come then, too!

Giving thanks today for
#731 the Holy Spirit reminding us to hold fast
#732 the Holy Spirit speaking to us in most unexpected places
#733 upright-living has most benefits
#734 uptight-living is not what God has planned for us
#735 God’s blessings are real
#736 God’s promises are real
#737  God’s help is real
#738 God’s guidance is real
#739 God’s strength is real
#740 God’s grace is real

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Image courtesy of Joel Joseph.  Linking up today with Linking up today with What’s on Your Heart Tuesdays Wordfilled Wednesday, All Things Heart & Home , God-Bumps and God-incidences , Work in Progress, One Word at a Time: Sincere, and

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  • http://susanstilwell.com/ Susan Rinehart Stilwell

    Hi Mari-Anna,
    Thanks for that sweet encouragement and prayer. Yes – blameless and upright and walking in His grace. That’s my prayer, and I’m with you about wanting spiritually ripe fruit!

    Linking up from WIP Wednesday,
    Susan

    • http://www.flowingfaith.com Mari-Anna Frangén Stålnacke

      Great to meet you, Susan! Thank you for your comment love! May God bless you abundantly!

  • http://www.gettingdownwithjesus.com/ dukeslee

    A great distinction here, Mari-Anna, between up-right and up-tight. Thank you for your wise words. I’m always inspired here.

    • http://www.flowingfaith.com Mari-Anna Frangén Stålnacke

      Thanks so much, Jennifer! Sweet and precious blessings to you!

  • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

    Amen!
    Yesterday I was reading about the vine, how if we abide in Him and His words abide in us. We can’t just expect fruit to grow because we are Christian, we must read the word in order to know it and follow it.
    I love that you emphasize it’s not about laws and regulations. When we have a relationship with Christ, the laws don’t feel like laws, we just naturally follow them and the commandments aren’t a burden because we love following after our Savior and imitating Him!
    Great post.

    • http://www.flowingfaith.com Mari-Anna Frangén Stålnacke

      Thank you, TC, for your thoughtful comment! Following Christ takes all but gives all, too. We will never be short-changed! Bountiful blessings to you!

  • Denise Oldham

    Enjoyed this.

    • http://www.flowingfaith.com Mari-Anna Frangén Stålnacke

      That’s great! Thank you, Denise! May God bless you richly!

  • http://newlifesteward.com/ Mary Beth

    The dangers that tempt me are seeking man’s approval and success in my own and other’s eyes rather than seeking to uplift and honor the name of the Lord first and foremost.

    • http://www.flowingfaith.com Mari-Anna Frangén Stålnacke

      Yeah, Mary Beth, I hear you. Sometimes it’s so hard to discern God’s will among all these other voices in our lives. Thank you for sharing! May God guide you clearly and bless you dearly!

      • http://newlifesteward.com/ Mary Beth

        Thanks for your encouragement! And for linking up with WIP!

        • http://www.flowingfaith.com Mari-Anna Frangén Stålnacke

          Thank you, Mary Beth, for hosting, taking time to hop over here and leave some comment love! May God bless you richly!

  • http://lisanotes.blogspot.com Lisa notes…

    Things that tempt me to turn my attention away from God aren’t necessarily bad things at times, but just TOO MANY things. I’m often at my weakest when I feel too busy, so I have to learn to pare back activity to maintain my delight in the Lord.

    Love this!:
    “Following Christ does not mean uptight-living. It’s not about rules and
    regulations. Following Christ is upright-living instead. It’s about
    honoring God in everything we do.”

    Amen, Mari-Anna. May God bless you.

    • http://www.flowingfaith.com Mari-Anna Frangén Stålnacke

      Yes, Lisa! I’m with you. Getting too busy and frazzled is a sure way to become spiritually weak and vulnerable. Thank you for your thoughts. May God continue to bless you and keep you!

  • Hazel Moon

    Praise God as he gives us joy even through sad times. The joy of the Lord is our strength.
    I sincerely believe that, because at times I feel weak and must rely on HIM.

    • http://www.flowingfaith.com Mari-Anna Frangén Stålnacke

      Praise God indeed! We do need to rely on Him. But when we do, we are truly blessed. Thank you, sis! BLESSINGS!

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