100% Juice

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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 Taiwan. Nestled among the bananas and mango, the dark purple passion fruit had been sliced open to reveal the edible bright orange seed sacs. Like nothing I’d ever seen in Texas, I was hesitant to put it on my plate. But after one bite of the pulpy tang, I was hooked. 


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


When I returned to the states, I was excited to find a passion fruit juice sold at our local grocery store. I snatched it up and headed home, excited with my find. 


After the first pour, I was suspicious as the juice streamed out of the carton a pale peach color. My first sip was equally disappointing and I turned the carton 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. Guess I would await another trip to Asia before tasting real passion fruit again.


I wonder sometimes if we are living the 2% version of our Christian life. The Truth of the Gospel isn’t just an influence but the reality of God’s very own Son living among us. 


His purpose wasn’t just to make us act a little different, but to completely trade out our old nature with One radically different. He is the real deal – vibrant, crisp, and straight off the Vine. 


When we invite Him into our hearts, He doesn’t just pour into the existing emptiness. He brings whole new containers then fills them with 100% God Essence.


But somehow, when we turn to speak this Truth to our neighbor, we water it down, and offer a barely distinguishable version to our reality within. Maybe in peddling the Gospel, we feel that it would sell better if we weakened down the tang. 


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


“Father, how often I’ve prayed for missionaries and smugly assumed that I’ve completed my duty toward the sent-out ones. Yet, I too am to be Your Hands and Your Feet, huh? My very presence in my neighborhood or in my office is a fragrance of Who You are within me. Do I depict You in the brightness of Your purity or do I water You down so that Your true flavor is unrecognizable? Spill forth from me at 100%, O Lord. May my prayers for You to speak Truth be always backed by a life that does Truth. Fill me with Your concentrate that I may flavor my part of the world with You.”