The Good Tree

The Good Tree
Clarkston United Methodist Church's Bridges Out of Poverty training

Matthew 12:33-37

Either consider the tree good and its fruit good, or consider the tree rotten and its fruit rotten. A tree is known by its fruit.” Matthew 12:33 (CBE)

In today’s society and/or community in which we live, there are many challenges and choices that confront us. Usually, we have control over how we respond to these situations and our response is affected by who we are as physical, mental, social and spiritual individuals and the relationships we have with others. During the Advent season, there is always an air of expectation for hope, peace, love and joy as I prepare to celebrate God’s precious gift to humanity…His son, who came to save a sinful humanity that we might be reconciled with God the Father. Jesus came as an example of a good tree that yielded good fruit. Jesus serves as an example of how we should live and be obedient to God’s commandments and His will for our lives. Jesus also taught us how to love God totally with our hearts, minds and bodies; and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Our neighbors make up our community and the success of this interactive relationship is based on “common unity.” As we interact with others daily, we have the choice of bearing good fruit based on selfless acts of love, kindness, patience and self-control, or we can bear rotten fruit based on selfish desires such as hate, envy, conflict, moral corruption and the exploitation of others for personal gain. How will you respond to God and your neighbors?

Prayer: Dear Lord, with a grateful heart we thank you for your precious gift to humanity…a light source for a dark world. Help us to stay connected to this light source by studying your word and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide our thoughts, words and deeds so that we can bear good fruit in our relationships. Amen.

Anita Hansberry is Baton Rouge District Treasurer, Louisiana Conference United Methodist Women.

Posted or updated: 12/7/2016 11:00:00 PM

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Thanks to the support of the faith community, each Christmas season, children in our centers receive a special gift chosen just for them. Joy and excitement fill the room as each child receives their gift. Every now and then, you notice a child who pauses – perhaps to reflect upon the blessedness of the holy season. -Dave Howery, InterServ-St. Joseph, Mo.
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