Ginrich's Devotional Blog

March 20, 2020

Vine and Branches

Filed under: branches,fruit,Holy Spirit,Jesus,pruning,Tree,Uncategorized,vine — by ginrich @ 7:17 pm

John 15:1-2 1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruit (NIV)

I was sitting in the campground looking at the beautiful trees around me.  I noticed one that had unusual flowers all through it.  I’ve never seen a tree with that kind of flower so I went over for a closer inspection.  The flowers were from a beautiful vine that had wrapped itself around the trunk and all of the branches.  Jesus is the vine and we are the branches.  When we allow Him to wrap Himself around us with His Holy Spirit we become beautiful and will bear fruit.  I doubt that tree was aware of the flowers but it probably was aware of the vine wrapping tightly around It’s trunk.  We may not be aware of the fruit of the Holy Spirit within us (hopefully we have grown into it being natural to allow the fruit in us to work) but we should be aware of Jesus, the vine, tightly entwining us with His Holy Spirit.

 

January 24, 2020

Self-Control

Filed under: Bible,fruit,gifts,God,Holy Spirit,scriptures,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:17 pm

Matthew 16:24 24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.  (NIV)

Denying ourselves is another way of saying we need the discipline of self-control.  The first time we see someone lacking self-control is in the Garden of Eden.  Because the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge looked good and Satan encouraged Eve to try it, Eve and Adam gave into their lust of the eyes.  We humans have a hard time with the discipline of self-control.  God knows that and sent His Holy Spirit to dwell in each believer.  One of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is self-control.  The Holy Bible is full of examples of those who gave in to the temptation.  Read about King David.  Look how impetuous Peter was before he was filled with the Holy Spirit.  We all have areas in our lives were discipline and self-control seem to evade us.  These are areas we must give over to the Holy Spirit’s control.  We must remember we need small steps into this discipline.  If our area is lack of reading the Holy Bible we can start with reading just a verse or a paragraph every day and gradually, as the Holy Spirit works in us, we will desire to increase because we will grow to love the scriptures.  Let’s remember the verse in  Peter 1:5-6 5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 

January 23, 2020

Getting Old

Filed under: Bible,Father,fruit,God,Holy Spirit,meditation,prayer,Uncategorized,walk — by ginrich @ 7:14 pm

Psalms 92:14 14 They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green,

Today is my physical birthday.  I’m getting pretty old.  My body doesn’t respond they way it use to.  My memory escapes me at times.  My prayer is to continue to bear fruit for my God until the very moment He takes me home.  I stay fresh and green in my faith through study of the Holy Bible, meditation on what I read in those pages and continual conversation with My Father, God.  Bearing fruit is a double bearing.  Not only am I to bear fruit – helping others become more intimate with God, but also I am to bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit.  This fruit must be in continual growth.  Hopefully I bruise some of the Holy Spirit fruit less often than I did when I was younger.  There is a song I like to sing and pray it is always true for me.  “From glory to glory He changes me…..from earthly things to the heavenly…the love that God’s shown to the world.”  I pray God is able to show His love to the world through me each day I walk on this earth.  My body may not be fresh and green but I pray my thoughts, words and actions along with my spirit say fresh and green, blooming until my very last breath.

January 14, 2020

Don’t Know You

Filed under: fruit,God,heart,Holy Spirit,Lord,love,miracle,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:37 pm

Matthew 7:22-23 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!    (NIV)

Some will wonder how can someone who has performed many miracles in the name of Jesus possibly be unknown by our Lord.  God doesn’t look on the deeds we perform.  God also doesn’t let His name go out in vain.  He will do miracles and will allow demons to be driven out but He looks on the heart of the one who is involved in the action.  He judges and recognizes us by the fruits of His Holy Spirit.  Are those fruits really in our hearts?  Do we really let those fruits grow in us?  Do we display those fruits not only when others can see but also when we are alone?  We can find these fruits listed in Galatians 5:22-23 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control.  Do we love God more than our own reputation and more than any other person or thing or possession?  Why are we doing what appears to be good?  Is it so others will think good of us?  Do we think by doing good we earn points with God?  With God there is no such thing as earning points.  God is love.  God recognizes love and responds to love.  It is the love of God as it flows in and through us back to God that unites us with God.  If we don’t love all God created we cannot be loving God.  Let us be sure our hearts are right.  Let us think, speak and do all we do in love – the love God continually gives us and desires to flow through us to others.

January 10, 2020

Like a Tree

Filed under: fruit,God,Holy Spirit,scriptures,storms,Tree,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:47 pm

Psalms 1:3 3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.  (NIV)

Trees are a wonderful creation of God.  The put down roots.  The roots can be so deep that the tree can stand straight in the strongest of storms.  The deep roots go down enough to get nourishment needed for growth.  The tree grows up toward the light.  A healthy tree produces many leaves which draw their nourishment from the deep roots.  When we live a life in the realization of the presence of God within us, we are like a tree planted by streams of water.  This enables us to yield fruit (the fruit of the Holy Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. NIV)  The words tree or trees are used in the scripture 299 times.  We have a choice.  Will we be a healthy tree growing to the light of God and putting our roots deep into the Holy Bible through the Holy Spirit, prospering in His likeness or will we be like a tree planted in the dry desert soon to wither and be useless.  Let us be sure we allow our roots to go deep and shoot toward the light of God.

 

December 28, 2019

According to His Character

Filed under: fruit,God,Jesus,Lord,prayer,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:22 pm

John 16:23 23 In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you.  (NIV)

A lot of people end their prayers, “In the name of Jesus.” Without understanding what that means.  Some treat the phrase as the same as rubbing a genie bottle.  When using the name of someone in an authoritative way, either asking or giving instructions or orders, one is acting under the authority of the name, the authority of the person with that name.  In order to do this, one must be asking in agreement with the one whose name they are using and acting under.  When we ask God for something in the name of Jesus, we are to be asking according to the same things which Jesus agrees.  So often our prayers are about self-desires.   These desires may not be in line with the character of God.  We need to be sure we are asking with the right motive – to become more and more one in God – in line with His character which is described in the list of the fruits of the Spirit.  Whether we are asking for ourselves or for others, our requests and motives must match those of God’s character.  Let us not be flippant in using the name of our Lord, Jesus.  Let us ask all things according to His character.

December 2, 2019

Staying Attached

Filed under: Bible,Christ,fruit,God,Jesus,Lord,meditation,prayer,scriptures,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:36 pm

John 15:5-7 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.  (NIV)

Our full time job and priority is to stay attached to Jesus, the vine of life in God. Grape vines don’t labor to produce their fruit.  They naturally produce fruit as long as they’re attached to the vine.  We needn’t strive to produce fruit.  We will produce fruit naturally as long as we stay attached to Jesus, the vine of life with God.  What is the fruit we will produce?  The fruit is listed in Galatians 5:22-23 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (NIV)  Our question is how do we stay firmly attached to the vine (Jesus)?  We stay attached through reading, meditation and studying the scriptures (the Holy Bible), putting them in our hearts and minds and through 2-way conversation (prayer) with our Lord, Jesus.  Doing those things will not only keep us attached to the vine (Jesus) but will also produce growth in the branch (us).  Let us do more than stay attached.  Let us grow strong.  As we grow strong we will be able to bear more fruit.

October 8, 2019

Counterfeit Fruit

Filed under: believe,Bible,Christmas,fruit,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:02 pm

Galatians 5:22-23 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.  (NIV)

How do we know when the fruit of the Spirit is counterfeit?  I know quit a few people who are not believers in Jesus who exhibit more of the fruit of the Holy Spirit than many believers.  The difference is the non-believers only exhibit the fruit when they want to appear nice or it benefits them in some way.  They are not consistent in the fruits.  The fruit of the Spirit, when really a fruit and not a choice of behavior, the fruit comes from the Holy Spirit within the believer and grows within the believer over time, becoming more and more prevalent regardless of emotions or environmental circumstances.  The fruit of the Holy Spirit doesn’t turn on and of depending on who is present, how they act or any other circumstance.  There are a lot of “nice” people around, people we enjoy being with, but nice doesn’t substitute for believing and being filled with the Holy Spirit.  There are also, sorry to say, a lot of professing believers around who don’t exhibit some of the fruits in various circumstances.  Let’s be sure we allow the fruit of the Holy Spirit to grow in us, properly nourishing the fruit through Bible study, meditation and prayer.

October 7, 2019

Fruits or Gifts

Filed under: fruit,gifts,Holy Spirit,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:46 pm

Galatians 5:22-23 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (NIV)

1 Corinthians 12:4 4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. (NIV)

There is a big difference between the fruit of the Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit.  Many mistakenly judge spiritual maturity by how well someone exhibits one or more of the gifts of the Spirit.  The gifts can function either in the Spirit or even in someone’s natural talent, abilities and/or training.  The fruit of the Spirit is only evidenced by how much we allow the Holy Spirit to dwell and live in and through us.  It is important for us to do a self-check often with each of the 9 fruits of the Holy Spirit to see how we are growing spiritually.  We are to have all of the fruits of the Spirit.  Unlike the fruits of the Holy Spirit, we are not to have all of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  We may even find that we have different ones of the gifts at different times in our ministry.  Someone can be a really exhilarating evangelist leading many souls to Christ and yet not exhibit many or some of the fruits of the Holy Spirit.   Let us not judge each other by our works but by the fruits exhibited but by the fruits.

October 5, 2019

Being Fruitful

Filed under: fruit,God,Holy Spirit,Jesus,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:44 pm

John 15:5 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (NIV)

So many Christians struggle to live what they perceive as a Christian life.  Jesus said we are to be a branch attached to Him, the vine.  Consider a fruit tree.  It is attached to the main trunk.  The branch gets all its nourishment through the trunk for it is only the trunk that has roots into the soil to get nutrients and water.  The branch doesn’t produce fruit.  It is the trunk, through the nutrients it gets, that produces the fruit on the branches.  It is so with us.  It isn’t our efforts that produce fruit in our lives.  It is being attached to Jesus that produces fruit in our lives.  It doesn’t matter how much we struggle, how much we study, how hard we try, it is only through our surrender to maintain complete connection to Jesus that our lives can be fruitful.  So, relax Christian.  Keep all your faith in God, through His Son, Jesus.  Allow the Holy Spirit to have total control in and through you and you will be fruitful.

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