God's Word for Today: Rotten. What a word to have to face on a Tuesday. I don't know about you, but my Tuesday's usually hand out more difficulties than any Monday ever imagined. I suppose it is because on Monday, you expect to face the beginning of the week's challenges and you are prepared. But then, Tuesday sneaks up and delivers all the knockout punches. So, while we are getting beat up by Tuesday, we might as well face this rotten word.
Somewhere, somehow I read a quote, "Rotten fruit fall alone." Why I wrote that quote down, I don't know for sure. But here it sat this morning in my notes. I believe that is one of the reasons we are addressing rotten today. Let's get this word behind us. Let me draw a line through this quote. I just plain do not enjoy discussing negative things. It doesn't get much more negative that one someone or something being referred to as rotten. This might remind you of another saying, "rotten to the core". And then to go as far as making sure they are alone because they are judged as rotten. Rotten and alone? Come on, do we have to go there?
So, someone had decided that rotten fruit fall alone. Did the person who wrote this quote sit close to an fruit tree in his vicinity and observe the fruit and its falling habits? Or, is it just someone's opinion of judging other fruit because they themselves are considered sweet? Maybe the writer was picking a nice ripe apple from a tree and in doing so, nudged an apple that was perfectly ripe and it easily fell to the ground. Then, that person while he was consuming the apple he had yanked from the tree, looked down at the fruit that fell and determined that since is was down at his feet, it was either now rotten or soon to be rotten and looking straight down, it was all alone. I hope that person got a stomach ache from the not quite ripe apple he ate. Maybe he should have spent a little extra energy, bent over, and picked up the apple that had fell to the ground. I would bet, that apple was probably perfect to eat. Yes, if left lying on the ground, it would eventually rot, but just a little extra help, that apple could have been used to make the best award winning pie at the county fair. Instead, the writer left it lying at his feet, judged it as rotten and left it alone.
One quick note to add to this scenario. Even though the writer was destined for a stomach ache, he could have at least observed past his feet, and noticed all the other apples that were lying on the ground too, just waiting to be useful.
Galatians 5:22-26 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.
This is a two-fold Scripture. First, a very simple instruction. Let the Holy Spirit work in your life, and look at all the benefits. You say, but Terry, I don't want to be full of love,joy, peace, and all those things that some fruit eating hippy stuck in the 1970's is. I am strong, I am tough, no one pushes me around. How can I be a manly man, or an independent woman if I am full of kindness and goodness? How much softer can I get? Won't I just end up falling and rotting away as other tread over me? Well, no.
It takes more of a person. More hard work. More strength and character to want to be and to want to shar,e all the Holy Spirit has put inside you. This is really good stuff, but you have to work for it. All it takes is to have one child involved in your life. To see the joy and laughter come from that child because you shared your love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. It doesn't even have to be a child. Another person is also waiting for you to share all these things. How much better is life if instead of always looking for the perfect apple on the tree, you take a little effort and reach down and pick up the apple that just needs the dust brushed off it?
And second, you may be the apple that fell from the tree. You may feel like you are laying on the ground all alone and starting to rot. But look at the second part of that Scripture. Jesus is reaching down to pick you up. He has brushed off the dirt. He has taken care of the rotten spots in you. He took them and nailed them to the cross so you can realize the first part of that Scripture.
Today, quit judging other apples. Quit judging yourself. You are beautiful and perfectly made. No matter if you are still hanging on to the tree for dear life, or if you have been lying on the ground for a long time, or maybe you just feel like you have been falling for ever. God knows exactly where you are. You are ripe and perfect for God's use. Just ask Him to pick you, catch you, or pick you up.........................
Prayer: Dearest Lord, maker of all things good, I really need you today. Forgive me for leaving your tree because I thought my way was better. I am starting to see Lord that what you offer is so very much greater than what this world has handed to me. This world has caused some rotten spots in me Lord. I ask today that you help me get cleaned up and useful. Yes, I am going to have some scars. But Lord, with your help, I can share those scars with others to help get them off the ground. Thank you Lord for letting me know that I am never alone. In Jesus' who made my renewal and revival possible, name I pray. Amen.