Tuesday, August 14, 2018

"Be Fruitful" Bible Journaling

Hellooooo Friends!

Hope you're finding blessing and inspiration in the pages you've seen - and the CARDS being made!  Oh my goodness - the August release from Sweet 'n' Sassy Stamps is all too good!
Here's the link to get your hands on some of what you're seeing; you really don't want to miss out!

"Fruit of the Spirit" & "Chunky Lower Case Alpha" Stamps used.

My journaling is in John 15 today.  Like so many entries, I usually don't know what I’m doing when I start, but after I lay some acrylic paint down, I'm ready to go!  Acrylic and I are tight when it comes to documenting in my Bible :D
So really, it's simple: I put down a few layers of white, then some smoky grey.  The reason for the basic coloring is to contrast the very colorful fruit images I put down later.  I definitely want them to stand out! 

Oh, friends, bearing fruit, according to Jesus, is much harder than we think; doable, but hard. 
There are a couple things that I learned while going through commentaries and studies of this passage.  My flesh would like to ignore certain areas of this passage, but I also know that ignoring this passage equates to mishandling the Word of Truth - this God-breathed book of Life!
  1. Bearing Fruit is a product of abiding in Christ, and is only possible when we are "in the vine."
  2. Bearing Fruit is a product of God's faithful and loving process called, "pruning."

Abiding in Christ (by using practical methods of staying close to Him, like bible study, prayer and Sunday services) is okey dokey with me!  I love gaining knowledge about my Savior and Friend.  I look forward to God's fashioning my heart in the mornings, or times when I can sit and rest in His Word with the added bonus of caffeine stimulant.
The part I want to ignore?  The pruning.  Honestly, who wants that??  I've seen pruning shears and they're wickedly sharp, even when dull!  Not to mention the sinister shape of their jaws.  Yikes! 
But, I think I have it backwards where I believe that in some way God is going to produce much fruit through me if I am comfortable, stationary, and basically sedentary.  Would my husband feel honored and respected by my complacency in our marriage.  What about my kids?  Are they going to understand the love of God through my over/under reactions to difficult situations?  Similarly, God requires action on my part to deepen and nurture our relationship.  I not only need to meet with Him for devotions during quiet times; I need to meet Him in the difficulties He uses to shape my character and walk.
My husband longs to be pursued regardless of ahem…hormones or "moods."  And for my kids, seeing mommy handle a situation with grace and dignity - abiding in the promises of God - will bring them a lot closer to knowing the beautiful heart of Jesus, than would if I never went through trials.  And trust me, we've had some doozies.
Used Arteza Watercolor Brush Markers to achieve this blended look.

In my core, I WANT to bear fruit for Jesus.  I long to be a bearer of His image and torch of His gospel.  But the one way to doing that is to remain in His word, regardless of the present circumstances.  It's E.S.S.E.N.T.I.A.L.  Though we want to resist hurts to my heart, or problems in my family, or issues in relationships, they certainly aid in becoming a light, even if a small one.  Even while I write this, I'm smiling because it's something that I ask for with eyes squeezed shut and fingers practically crossed.  Hard times are, well, HARD!  The God-breathed book accounts for this, and says, "Brothers, consider it all joy when you encounter various trials…" (James 1:2-3)  Trials produce some of the most heavenly-imfused fruit we could ever imagine!  Part of the "fruit" is just being known and identified as a true disciple of God. (John 15:8)  

Then later in James we are encouraged to suffer with patience.  "Be patient…until the coming of the Lord.  See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains.  You also, be patient." (5:7-8)
Is bearing fruit easy?  In no way.  In every sense, bearing fruit takes action.  It takes work.  It takes intentionality and it takes time.  BUT GOD is faithful in His working to produce in me - in you - the fruit of His Spirit.  

Love.  Joy.  Peace.  Patience.  Kindness, and you know the rest. 
Spend time in God's inspired Word to us.  Spend time praying, meditating, and reflecting.  Spend time coming to understand who He says He is, so that when the trials, tribulations, and temptations come, you are ready, and you will be fruitful!
Much love,

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