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Seeds of the Kingdom


by Christel Baxter

Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them.
Ezekiel 47:12, NIV

Fruit is generally seasonal. Certain fruit are more readily available and cheaper in the different seasons of the year at my local grocer. I did a little research and found that some fruit thrive in really cold temperatures, while others do well in very hot climates. Figs, for example are one of the easiest fruit to grow in the desert, because they love the heat. Plum trees, on the other hand, need a winter chill period in order to produce abundant fruit.

I read something interesting about citrus fruit, and particularly oranges. It would seem that oranges are sweeter if you pick them after the first frost of winter has occurred. One article I read explained that it has to do with the seasoning of the fruit. It stated that, anytime you partially break down the structure of the fruit, you tend to sweeten it. The slight freeze elevates the sugar content, as long as the temperatures are not too severe and causes permanent damage to the fruit.

James 1:2-4 (Amplified) says, ‘Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations. Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience. But let endurance and steadfastness and patience…do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing’.

When we face some ‘frosty’ weather in our lives, God’s Word says that this testing and proving of our faith brings a greater sweetness (endurance, steadfastness, patience) to our character. In winter seasons, if we allow God to have His way in us, and to ‘break down’ some unhealthy structures within us, and deal with the things that hinder greater fruitfulness in us, we will be able to be ‘[people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing’.

God also promises that He’ll never allow the trials and temptations of life to be so severe as to cause permanent damage to us. His plans are always GOOD plans to prosper, and not to harm us. In 1 Corinthians 10:13 it says, ‘No temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance and that is not adjusted and adapted and belonging to human experience, and such as man can bear. But God is faithful to His Word and to His compassionate nature, and He can be trusted not to let you be tempted and tried…beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure…but He will always also provide the way out (the means of escape to a landing place), that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently’.

If you find yourself in a wintry season, or perhaps battling with a particular situation in your life where you’re not seeing breakthrough, hang in there. EXPECT the sweetness God is going to be adding to your walk with Him. Don’t let winter stop you! Bear fruit in EVERY season – ‘Bear fruit…more fruit…much fruit…’ (John 15:2 & 5).

Prayer: Father, thank You that You are ALWAYS good, and that Your mercies for us are new every morning. Thank You that You always work things together for our good. Please help me to remain tucked in under Your wing in the wintery seasons and to lean hard on you when it feels as if my strength to endure the tests of life is failing. I trust You, Lord, and I love You. Amen.

Christel Baxter joined the Associate prayer ministry team at Shere House, S.Africa in 2008 after attending the 20 day school. Besides serving together on the associate team at Shere House, Christel & her husband, Gary, pastor New Life Ministries, a congregation in Boksburg, Gauteng. Their children, Liezl and Wesley, are both married, and they adore their son-in-law and daughter-in-law and their little granddaughter, Hannah! Christel is passionate about seeing broken lives restored and especially loves ministering God`s love and healing to women of all ages.


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