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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Loot or Fruit?

Thieves are jealous of each other’s loot, but the godly are well rooted and bear their own fruit. (Proverbs 12:12 NLT)

Stop for a moment to consider this: Would others be MORE jealous of your loot, or your fruit? If it is your loot, maybe it is time for a little change in focus! What should make others sit up and take notice of our lives isn't the loot - it is the fruit of the Spirit resident in us and lived out through our life choices. 

"Often when He comes, He finds the soul occupied. Other guests are there, and He has to turn away. He cannot gain entry, for we love and desire other things; therefore, His gifts, which He is offering to everyone unceasingly, must remain outside." (Johannes Tauler) It is quite true - our souls can become a little to "preoccupied" and eventually they will become "occupied" by the things we pursue other than God's grace!


The heart can conceive many a dream or aspiration.  The spirit of man can drive him to attempt to realize what he has conceived. Yet, only God can bring forth that which is eternal - man can merely bring forth what will eventually wither and fail. So, why do we spend more time getting the "loot" and so painfully neglect to invest the time into allowing the "fruit" to develop within us?

When the loot becomes our focus, our eyes are not directed toward God - they behold the loot. If you have ever watched a slot machine player who is intent on winning that next "big jackpot", you will notice one thing about them - their concentration on the spinning wheels. Their focus is toward each dropping wheel, spinning and spinning until it eventually drops into place. Their hope is not so much placed in what could be planned or "worked out" - it is in what might come if one "hopes hard enough".

Unfortunately, when it comes to God's fruit developing in our lives, it isn't because we hope hard enough. In fact, God's fruit doesn't come by chance - it is developed because their is fertile ground into which the seeds of that fruit are cast and cultivated. Loot can be incidental - it comes and it goes, is based upon a "calculated chance", and is very fleeting. Loot can also be very purposeful - consuming our focus and eliminating all other "distraction" while in pursuit of whatever it may be.

Fruit is gained not in the moment, but in the repeated moments with God. It is "cultivated" - it develops because of what it absorbs not once, but in repeated exposure to the richness it takes in. Fruit involves a process - not just a focused determination or a wishful hope. The "yield" of the fruit is based more on what "gets into" the plant than what the plant does. The more of the "right stuff" which is absorbed (sun, nutrients, etc.), the richer the fruit. The same is true in our Christian walk.

We can always seek the loot, but we will miss out on the fruit. Just sayin!