I love passion fruit.

Although it is a little shriveled on the outside, it holds a delightful, tart-sweet flavor within.

I had my first passion fruit at a local buffet in China. Nestled among the bananas and mangos, the dark purple passion fruit had been sliced open to reveal the edible, bright-orange seed-sacs. It was like nothing I had ever seen in Texas, and I was hesitant to put it on my plate. After one bite of the pulpy tang, though, I was hooked.

Various roadside vendors sell passion-fruit juice, where you can buy a cupful already prepared for you. I am not sure how many fruit are in one portion, but trust me—it is pure deliciousness.

When I returned to the United States on furlough, I was excited to find passion-fruit juice sold at our local grocery store. I snatched it up and headed home, thrilled with my find.

As I poured my first glassful, I became immediately suspicious as the juice streamed out of the carton a pale peach color. My first sip was equally disappointing, and I turned the container around to inspect the contents.

“2% juice.”

This weakened-down version was a far cry from the vibrant crispness of the real thing. I let the carton sit in my fridge until expiration, then sadly glubbed it down the sink—I guessed I would await return to Asia before tasting real passion fruit again.

Have you ever wondered if you are living the 2% version of the Christian life? The Truth of the Gospel is not just an influence, but rather the reality of God’s very own Son living among and within us (Luke 17:21).

His purpose was not just to make us act a little differently; it was to completely trade out our old nature with One radically different (2 Corinthians 5:17, 21). He is the Real Deal—vibrant, crisp, and straight off the Vine.

When we invite Him into our heart, He does not just pour into the existing emptiness. He brings a whole new Container and fills it with 100% God Essence (Luke 5:37-38).

Somehow, even as a called-out one, I can be guilty of watering down His Truth and offering a version that is barely distinguishable from my reality within. Maybe in peddling the Gospel, I feel that He would sell better if I weakened down the tang.

As with the passion fruit, much more so with the Truth: the Real Deal is way better.

Father, am I representing Your true essence? Do I depict Your purity, or do I water You down so that Your true flavor is unrecognizable? Some days, I get so bogged down with the stressors of foreign living that weeks can pass without my accomplishing anything for Your Kingdom. Sometimes my fear of a security breech acts like a strainer, removing much of Your true power. I want my life to be 100% Jesus. Grant me as much boldness in my living as I have in my praying. Fill me with Your concentrate that I may flavor my part of the world with You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


©2014 Thrive.


Question to consider:  How do you respond to Kandy’s question: “Do I depict Your purity, or do I water You down so that Your true flavor is unrecognizable?”