Thursday, July 31, 2014

Just Be Fruity!

"I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me." - Jesus, John 5:30

The problem with judging anyone is that we seek our own will and not the will of the Father.  Think about that. 
We want to judge those that we think are in the wrong because we want to see them "fixed".  Yet, when Paul talked about the thorn in his side, which was something he wanted changed, that's when he found the grace of God, and was able to find that to be sufficient.  Trust me, if God Almighty wanted someone “fixed” I do believe He alone has all the power needed to do that.  If you want proof, talk to anyone who has received His grace.  We’ve all been “fixed” to some degree. 

But if God “fixed” them all, then where would we be?  What is best for us is often learning how to live with those that we find difficult, our own “thorn in the side”. 
God grants us the Spiritual gifts as we grow in Him (Galatians 5:16-26).  We grow more love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.  But a tree doesn’t eat its own fruit!  The fruits aren’t for our enjoyment, but for those we encounter in life that need us to be loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, gentle, faithful, and in control of ourselves and our attitudes. 

If we walk in the Spirit, we don’t have to seek our will and pronounce it on everyone in judgment.  We can offer up our fruits and show them the Christ in us.  Transformation NEVER will happen due to our passed judgment.  It will happen as God draws them to Himself, and they are changed through His salvation and sanctification. 
So be fruity! Offer up your Spiritual fruits to those that need to know Christ, and resist the urge to judge.  “Oh taste and see that the Lord is good!” (Psalms 34:8)       

Friday, July 18, 2014



"So Jesus came again to Cana of Galilee where He had made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman whose son was sick at Capernaum.  When he heard that Jesus had come out of Judea into Galilee, he went to Him and implored Him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. Then Jesus said to him, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe.”The nobleman said to Him, “Sir, come down before my child dies!” 
Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your son lives.” So the man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and he went his way.  And as he was now going down, his servants met him and told him, saying, “Your son lives!”

Then he inquired of them the hour when he got better. And they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.”  So the father knew that it was at the same hour in which Jesus said to him, “Your son lives.” And he himself believed, and his whole household." - John 4:46-53

Jesus knew that our faith was weak, and had said earlier that unless we see the signs and wonders that He does, we cannot believe Him.  So did Jesus get angry and say "Sorry! The show is over! No more miracles you faithless bunches of flesh!"?  No! He continued to work miracle after miracle, following every command that God gave to help us believe.
Even after the son in the above passage was healed, the Father had to ask when the healing had occurred, to see if it lined up with when Jesus declared him healed.  He needed to know to believe.  Jesus had already planned the servants to meet him so he could know and not doubt. 

Not much has changed in our hearts over these hundreds of years.  We're still the same doubters today.  We pray to Jesus, who is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow (Hebrews 13:8), and when healing comes we doubt.  Was it the medication instead?  Was it just going to happen anyway?  Maybe the cancer wasn't there as they diagnosed? Friends, we have to believe based on what God's word says or not at all.  You can't take a knife and cut out the parts that are difficult to believe.  You either believe God or you don't.

Thank God that our doubting and lack of faith does not change who He is, who Jesus is, or the power of the Holy Spirit in us! 
"But to you who fear My name The Sun of Righteousness shall arise With HEALING in His wings (wings = his righteousness); And you shall go out And grow fat like stall-fed calves." - Malachi 4:2

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Look and Live

"And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life." - John 3:14-15

In Numbers 21 it talks about the serpent in the wilderness.  The people had become bitter against God because they didn't like the wilderness, and started to complaint that even the captivity and slavery of Egypt was better.  For their complaining, God sent fiery snakes that would bite them, and when they were bitten they would die.  (Why a serpent?  Go back to Genesis and you'll see the serpent lead to sin.) Finally the people repented, and God gave Moses a cure.
The cure was for Moses to make a snake and put it on a pole and lift it up.  Whenever anyone was bitten, all they had to do was look to the snake that Moses had raised, and they would live.

Look and live.  It's simple.  But that look was one of faith - knowing that God would do what God said He would do.  Those that looked weren't gazing at the pole in doubt.  They weren't admiring the color of the pole and the artistry of the snake Moses made.  They were looking knowing that it would save them.
Jesus said that just as the serpent was raised in the wilderness, He would be lifted up as well.  Later on, he was nailed to the cross, and the cross was raised to stand tall on Mt. Calvary.  Those of us who look to Him to take away our death sentence (Romans 6:23) are given eternal life, and the death sentence is revoke.  But just looking to Jesus in doubt doesn't do it.  Admiring the church for the way it looks, the artistry of the building, the fellowship of the people, the potluck dinners - that doesn't do it.  To look to Jesus, we have to do what the Israelites first did - before Moses was given the cure.  We have to repent from the cause of our death sentence.

The wages of sin (anything that displeases God is sin), is death (Romans 6:23).  A repentant heart is one that desires change, one that is broken over the things done that were wrong.  It doesn't mean we are perfect, but it means we desire to be better. 

Look to Him and live.  It's not complicated.


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

From the Inside Out

“Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name when they saw the signs which He did. But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man.” – John 2:23-25

The whole point of Jesus’ earthly ministry was to create believers through His life, death, and resurrection – bringing us back to God.  Yet even when those that saw Him believed, He knew He could not trust them.  Why?  Because “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” (John 1:3)  He knew man from the inside out – from the heart.  He knew their thoughts (Mark 2:8, Matthew 22:18, Luke 11:17), and though they believed Him for the miracles they saw Him perform to be the Messiah, He knew that they could not be trusted.

He still sees the heart and knows the thoughts we think today.  He knows if we are being hypocritical, carrying pride and sin in our lives.  He knows when our thoughts are evil, and our intentions impure.

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.” – Psalms 19:14




Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Trust and Wait

"Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”  Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?”  But He was speaking of the temple of His body.  Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said." - John 2:19-22

Some of the things the disciples saw and heard from Jesus they didn't immediately understand.  His words regarding rebuilding the temple in three days are an example.  Yet, they continued to follow.  Why?  Because they had built a relationship with Him in which they understood that He had integrity, was honest, could be trusted, and that they had a true friend in Him. 
We disciples today sometimes encounter the same thing.  We don't understand what Jesus does, plans, or allows into our life.  Yet, because of our intimate relationship, we know we don't have to understand it all.  We just have to trust Him, and wait.