"May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation - the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ - for this will bring much glory and praise to God" -Philippians 1:11 NLT

Do you really know what a fruit is? A fruit is the mature and ripened ovary of a flower. Familiar trees like oaks are actually flowering plants with acorns being the dry fruits they produce. Red, ripe, juicy strawberries are dry fruits as well because the specks on the outside are the parts of the flower that produce the fleshy, edible portion. Some produce that are called vegetables - like peppers, cucumbers, and tomatoes - are actually fleshy fruits! (Source: Frontiers for Young Minds)

This information regarding what a fruit really is came from a website for kids! It is great that children are learning the true identity of fruit. But it also raises a point of interest - how many adults know this information?

This example of the true definition of fruit is a great one. It shows what we say places a label on that which we are describing - whether it be a person, place or thing - that may not be accurate.

If we only say what society tells us, we can be greatly misinformed and negatively impact the identity of the recipient of our words by imposing self-limiting beliefs, whether we intend to or not. This is the importance of knowing the Word - Jesus Christ (John 1:1-5)!

Jesus Himself has prayed to God for us: "Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth" (John 17:17 NLT). 

There has been a misconception regarding what it is to be holy. To be holy is set apart for God's purpose (Colossians 3), not patterning after the world (Romans 12:1-2). It is a false narrative to equate being holy with perfectionism.

Understand this, in Christ alone we are made right with God - by believing in our hearts God raised Jesus from the dead and openly declaring our faith that Jesus is Lord with our mouths (Romans 10:9-10).

"God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God's masterpiece. He created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago" (Ephesians 2:8-10).

What has been spoken to us that is not in line with God's Word can distort our ability to see our true identity in Christ. But the truth is we are His masterpieces; by knowing the Word, we are able to affirm this truth to ourselves. This will equip us to go into the world and make disciples of all the nations as Jesus commissioned us (Matthew 28:16-20) and prayed for us to be able to do (John 17:18-25).

Through our salvation, we have the new covenant that gives us the ability to see how we are made more and more like Jesus as we turn from the world and draw nearer to Him, freeing us from what has been said from the hardened hearts of people (2 Corinthians 3:7-18).

As we turn from the world and draw nearer to Jesus, we become like little children - humble enough to be great in the Kingdom (Matthew 18:1-4); we recognize God's forgiveness of our sins has made us innocent. In our rebirth, we are able to stop evaluating others from a human point of view (2 Corinthians 5:14-17). 

As we grow in our faith, we become mature enough to forgive others for the wrong things they have said and its impact on us so we have the ability to reconcile them back to God; we are able to be Christ's ambassadors for God to make His appeal through us. “…We speak for Christ when we plead, "Come back to God.” For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ" (2 Corinthians 5:18-21 NLT). 

As we grow up in Christ, we can truly accept this gift of salvation and allow His unique expression of Himself through us come to fruition as He planned long ago - not like how someone else told us it should look. We are not ashamed to share our testimonies to spread the message of the Good News (Romans 10:11-17). We overcome the accusations against us by the blood of Jesus and the power of our testimonies (Revelation 12:11)!

Jesus said, "Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father" (John 15:5-8 NLT).

Is what you believe what God told you? It will be evident in what you produce. Stay connected to Jesus to recognize how God wants to produce uniquely through YOU!

Authentic Existence® Affirmation: I am the righteousness of God!

Heavenly Father, thank You for choosing us as Your children, calling us to produce in Your Kingdom the way You planned it to look and be! Thank You Jesus for praying for us, helping us to see who God designed us to be, for us to live our Authentic Existence®. May we be answers to Your prayer, understanding the truth by God's Word that we are holy and created to do His work in the world, in our own unique way! In Jesus' Name, Amen! So be it!

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