Cover Image: A Fruitful Life Journaling Devotional

A Fruitful Life Journaling Devotional

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This was an excellent journaling devotional. I loved the ability to study and journal right along with my studies. It helped me so much to have that space for my thoughts.

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I was able to review A Fruitful Life Journaling Devotional: A 45-Day Journey through the Fruit of the Spirit by Yahaira Ramos and B&H Publishing Group for providing me with an advanced ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Christian life is about being fruitful. We learn to not rush things, learn to reflect upon our own behavior and use this devotional to learn spiritual discipline. We are drawn closer to God and learn that Christian life is not instant gratification, God will do his work on his own time for our own good.

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This could be a really good tool for someone no matter where they are in their faith has it has questions each day to answer and not just readings to do.

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What does a fruitful life look like? A successful career? A large and growing family? A successful project? These might be the criteria according to the world. Rather than simply flowing along with what the world tells us, it is important for believers to understand what the Bible is showing them about fruitfulness. This journal cum devotional helps us to keep our understanding of what fruitful means in the light of Galatians 5:22-23, or the passage that we often call, "Fruit of the Spirit." Author Yahaira Ramos leads us through the nine attributes over a period of nine weeks. For each week, we can read reflections about the particular fruit in question, meditate on each of them, and write down our thoughts and learning. The pattern is similar for each week.
Day 1: How God demonstrates the attribute
Day 2-5: Ways in which we could manifest the fruit
Day 6-7: Days of Personal Reflection
Written like a devotional, readers are encouraged to take time to read, reflect, and record their thoughts and insights into this book itself. By repeating the same theme each day for a week, one allows the teachings on the fruit in question to sink in. In our modern world of haste and rush, it is not easy to be still and recognize the presence of God in our lives. People rush in such a way that sometimes they rush God. A key understanding is that fruits take time to grow. They need to be cultivated. They need to be watered. The Holy Spirit will give the increase.

The key message in this book is this: The Christian life is not about being successful. It is about being fruitful. Through the author's stories, illustrations, and guides, readers are encouraged to offer their own stories, illustrations, and prayers to grow the fruit of the Spirit in their lives. Forty-Five days might seem a long time, but we ought to remember that things of the Spirit cannot be rushed. Let me offer three reflections. The first is to reflect on the person of God. Each attribute of the fruit of the Spirit essentially points us to the perfect manifestation of that fruit: God Himself. Take patience for instance. Whenever we feel impatient, think back on the character of God, about His boundless patience for us. We might ignore Him, but He never ignores us. Each day, the author ends with a prayer to bring all of our thoughts back to Him. This is important because things of the Spirit need to be accomplished by the Holy Spirit. As we exercise our spiritual disciplines to constantly bring our thoughts back to God, we will be less vulnerable to the temptations of the world, which include the 15 vices that Paul described in Galatians prior to the passage on the fruit of the Spirit. Secondly, we learn to reflect upon our own behavior. How have we manifested the fruit of the Spirit in our lives? Have we tried to be good on our own strength? Chances are, we all have tried. We can say that "God is good all the time; and all the time, God is good." However, how do we manifest God's goodness? As we reflect on God's goodness, we are reminded of how much we need God. No matter how hard we try, we can never attain the perfection that meets God's standards. Rather than pout and complain, why not be humble and learn of God. Knowing the depths of our limitation, God even in the highest heavens reaches down to us in the Person of Jesus Christ. He loves us and desires us to be close to Him. Finally, going through this devotional in itself is a spiritual discipline. Journaling is a spiritual discipline. It facilitates not only our knowledge of ourselves and our relationships, God uses it to draw us closer to Him. Once again, I draw us back to the point of waiting on God. The fruit is never an instant accomplishment. It is the work and timing of the Holy Spirit. The parable of the growing seed is instructive. As the farmer plants the seed in the garden, nothing seems to happen immediately. We cannot see it grow like a fast-forward video clip. Neither can we see instant movements. The seed will grow on its own, at its own time, and at its own pace. This is the point about the fruit of the Spirit. God will give the increase according to His own time and purpose. All we can do is to be a willing channel to be blessed by God, and in turn, to bless others.
Yahaira F. Ramos was born in Sonora, Mexico, and at the age of twelve she relocated to Southern California where God gave her a new gospel purpose—to walk in obedience and bear fruit in His name. An entrepreneur at heart, Yahaira co-founded the brand Risen Apparel alongside her husband, and also founded the online community known as Fruitful Girl, where she makes God known and builds up others in the faith so that they might be fruitful in the Lord. She is blessed to be a wife, a mom of three, and a leader at her church.

Rating: 4 stars of 5.

This book has been provided courtesy of B and H Publishing and NetGalley without requiring a positive review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

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