Fruit For Thought

Yeah, I know, that title! I have a category on my website that most of you who follow me is called “Food For Thought” where I post usually shorter articles, not always mine, that cause a person reading them to think about something. I thought in this article I would play with that a bit! You have to forgive me, sometimes my mind just goes where it wants.

But I do want to talk about fruit. And, I want you to think about it in maybe just a little bit of a new way. As a Christian, a follower of the example of Christ Jesus, we talk a lot about the Fruit of the Spirit and it’s a common theme in preaching and teaching. The Apostle Paul wrote this to the Galatians:

“I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.”

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” – Galatians 5:16-18, 22-25.

Almost everyone is familiar with verses 22 and 23 describing what the Fruit of the Spirit is. As Christians, at one point in our spiritual journey we have heard this Scripture. But have you given any thought to what fruit is? Most take fruit for granted in the natural. You either like fruit of some kind or, believe it or not, there are those who do not.

Let’s consider fruit in the natural for a moment. Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia says this:

Fruits are the means by which the seed-bearing structure in flowering plants disseminate seeds. Edible fruits, in particular, have propagated with the movements of humans and animals in a symbiotic relationship as a means for seed dispersal and nutrition; in fact, humans and many animals have become dependent on fruits as a source of food. Accordingly, fruits account for a substantial fraction of the world’s agricultural output, and some (such as the apple and the pomegranate) have acquired extensive cultural and symbolic meanings.

In common language usage, “fruit” normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of a plant that are sweet or sour, and edible in the raw state, such as apples, bananas, grapes, lemons, oranges, and strawberries. On the other hand, in botanical usage, “fruit” includes many structures that are not commonly called “fruits,” such as bean pods, corn kernels, tomatoes, and wheat grains.[1]

Now of course, here we are describing what many in the world associate with food. But did you read the above part about the dissemination of seeds; in other words, the spreading of the seeds? As the online encyclopedia states, the seeds are propagated, spread around due to humans and animals. Mankind actually goes to great lengths to cultivate different types of fruit for human consumption.

We all know what kind of goodness is found in perfectly harvested just-ripe fruit whether it be apples, citrus, berries or something like grapes. They can be the most satisfying thing that you can eat!

But, I want you to now think of something else. What do you do with fruit that is bad? How many have bitten into an apple only to find a large, brown bruise or even burrow. Talk about losing the desire for the fruit at that particular moment. Or what about citrus when it has lost its sweetness or sourness and all you taste is an off-putting acrid “wrongness!” Nope, fruit that has gone from ripe to rotten isn’t good for anything but the trash and that’s usually where it goes.

Well, I want to give you another take on fruit in the spiritual sense that we RARELY hear taught on except in passing. Jesus, Himself was the one that used the analogy of fruit as a parable to the disciples that followed Him over two thousand years ago and those who would follow Him in this day and age. Now I’m going to give you the shortened version that the Apostle Luke wrote before I ask you to consider the parallel version that the Apostle Matthew wrote:

“For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” – Luke 6:43-45.

Many of you who follow my teaching will notice verse 45. I use it a lot and not just in teaching. It is a benchmark as it were into a person’s heart. As an Evangelist, Pastor or Teacher you have to be discerning (which I will presently get into) to protect the flock that Christ Jesus has charged you to care for. It is not just a matter of feeding the sheep, you have to be aware of dangers that are out to destroy them also, and many of my “fellow sheep” who operate in other gifts do not always recognize or realize this aspect of caring and loving one another.

We have to be able to identify “BAD” fruit and those who are spreading the seed! The thing most people do not consider often, is that the kind of fruit you display upon your “branches” also tells others what “vine” you come from. And if the fruit is not acceptable, the seeds are not what others need either. The WHOLE fruit should be trashed, as it were.

I know, I know; some of you are already going to THAT place. But, Brother Roland that sounds an awful lot like judging someone else and we CAN’T do that! Again, we can’t judge in the sense of condemning or sentencing someone to “eternal darkness.” Only Christ Jesus through the authority of the Father will have that right. BUT, and I know I say it a lot, we DO have the right AND the authority from Christ Jesus to tell whether someone is teaching false and leading His sheep astray! We CAN discern whether they are producing AND spreading bad fruit as opposed to the Fruit of the Spirit!

Think about it in the natural. Would you as a loving parent give your kids a bowl of strawberries that were starting to rot and show signs of major bruising or that were worm-ridden. I don’t know of any parent that would. That fruit would be thrown in the trash before the kids even saw it!

Well, so it is with certain ministries or servants called to do certain things. If we have been appointed to “feed” the flock for instance. We AREN’T going to feed them rotten food and we certainly aren’t going to let someone else rotten food if we see that those someone’s are irresponsible AND bearers of bad “food” or fruit! For the Church, the Body of Christ to grow strong in the Lord, the individual members have to get away from this earthly “bad” fruit called political correctness and start being more willing to feed the truth to the sheep!

Here, now is what Jesus said as recorded in Matthew and you will see the same principle, just expounded on more extensively:

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.” – Matthew 7:15-20.

Right from the start, the Lord Jesus is identifying the reason for this awareness and discernment; false prophets. What is a modern-day prophet? It’s not someone who predicts the future despite how many believe. A “prophet” is a messenger, supposedly of God’s Word(s). I say supposedly, because just like in the Old Testament, many God-ordained prophets had to speak out to the people against the false prophets they were listening too and as a result of the people listening, they turned and rebelled against God. Thus judgement and discipline and even punishment ensued.

False prophets are NOT a new thing. People listening to false prophets are not a new thing. But, they can be identified by the fruit and the seeds from that fruit that they are spreading around. False prophets don’t just spread the bad seeds by their deeds, no many times the motives behind their deeds are hidden, but what is buried deep within your heart CANNOT be hidden. This is one of the reasons why God Himself, looks not so much on a man’s deeds, though they can be important, but God looks upon a man’s heart. The motives, the reasons FOR a person’s deeds are hidden in the heart. The thing is, what a man truly and fervently loves also resides there and man cannot keep from speaking those things that are most desirable to him.

If a man loves sports, the majority of his conversation will either be about sports or will always come back to sports. If a person loves the gathering of wealth, either their conversations will be based mostly on that OR they will bring the conversation back to that topic. Why? Because what a person loves, what they know intimately is what they enjoy and desire to speak of. Human nature in that regard does not change and anyone who has been attempting to SERVE God and His children for any amount of time will know that to be true.

Again, here is what Jesus Christ stated about this very fact, very emphatically I might add:

“Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come. Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.” – Matthew 12:32-35.

Again, do you see what Jesus is stating? “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” You can apply that to ANY form of modern-day communication. I like to joke that nowadays, “For out of the abundance of the heart, the fingers strike the keys!” Or, the author writes!

It is from the abundance of the heart, or the spirit within, that the seeds from the inner fruit will be dispensed to others. If bitterness, anger and discord, fear, worry, doubt and anxiety, are being spread around by the tongue, then you can know what is in the heart. It is not judging, it is being evidently and demonstrably expressed and the Bible is clear about it.

If however, you are getting a steady stream of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control and the like from a person’s heart, you cannot mistake the stamp or the imprint of the Holy Spirit upon that person’s life.

Yes, it is true that you cannot base everything on one conversation. But you can base your concerns upon a pattern of different conversations. The TRUTH will ALWAYS win out and especially if you are a humble servant of the Lord and your Brothers and Sisters. In your humility is not weakness, but rather your strength comes from you overriding concern and compassion for others. You care about them not JUST in the here and now, but in the eternal scheme of things. This can ONLY come from walking in the Spirit and the anointing of the Holy Spirit over time. That time is dependent upon the Lord’s equipping His servant and their yielding to His yoke.

I truly love my Brothers and Sisters in Christ and that is BECAUSE of the Holy Spirit. I feel exceptionally blessed in that even though many I have not met face to face, I know them in the spirit because of the blessing of modern technology. As Christians, we have been blessed to be born for a time like this! The TRUE Church, the Body of Christ can truly find unity in the Spirit because of our ability to commune over distances. I feel akin to them because of their written comments and the strength of joy, love and faith that comes from the things they write.

So in closing, and especially in this time we are in awaiting the Lord’s direction and His glory to be shown and demonstrated, when we do commune, step out in faith and encourage one another in the Lord. If you are anxious, try not to feed that fear, doubt and anxiety into another and especially those you love, for those seeds can and DO take root and it is harder to dig them out, once they have found fertile ground. Determine within yourself and ask the Lord through His Holy Spirit to help you be only a sower of good seeds from good fruit!

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Prayer For The Nations

March 29, 2020 has been designated a day of prayer and fasting for the Nations and for the situation concerning the Coronavirus.

Heavenly Father;

Lord we come to You today in meekness and humility. We acknowledge, as Your children, Your Sovereignty and we sincerely Magnify and Exalt You above all things. We recognize AND know that You alone are worthy of our Praise and our Worship. We are in agreement with our Brothers and Sisters throughout the world in lifting our voices and our hearts to You, in one accord.

Lord, we have seen Your Hand on the world in the past and we also know that many in the world who should know better have rejected You and Your principles, Your Holiness and Purity and Your desire for uprightness in a person’s heart is well known. We may not know whether this situation with the Coronavirus that the world is facing is directly from You, but we DO know that You in Your power and authority can use ANY situation to cause people to turn their faces and thoughts to You, even situations that mankind themselves initiated!

Your children have been acknowledging that Your judgement upon the unrighteous and blatantly sinful is long overdue, yet Lord we also recognize and acknowledge Your longsuffering and compassion on Your creation so that man has a chance to repent and turn to You. We DO pray that Your Holy Spirit would move upon the heart of man so that their blinded eyes might be opened to the TRUTH of Your Presence and Your Hand. At least allow them to see the truth so that they are without excuse when the day of judgement does come.

Father in Heaven, we lift up to You, here in the U.S. our President, Donald Trump, the man that You in Your plans and wisdom has appointed for this time we are living in. We ask that You protect Him, circle him with Your Guardian Angels that he and his family might be protected while his enemies want to see him destroyed. Lord, we’ve seen Your protection to Your appointed leaders of the past and we pray that You in Your Authority do the same for him and his whole family.

We pray also for Your servant Vice-President Mike Pence and his family and Father, please supply him and his the same protections as he tries to be a support to the President and a service to You and Your children. Bless him as his soul continues to seek You. Bless him for his inspiration upon the President.

Father, we also pray for the other righteous leaders You have placed into positions of authority and ask that You protect them as well. We are aware that not everyone around the President and Vice-President have the best motives, but we do trust whole-heartedly in Your ability to protect the leaders You have placed and appointed. We thank You so much for Your wisdom that is beyond our understanding and the plans that You have for the benefit in the long-run for Your children.

Dearest Lord, that includes whatever plans You have for the situation with the Coronavirus. More than anything Lord, we desire to see Your perfect plans and will unfold and that as they do unfold, Your Glory WILL be demonstrated throughout the world! Lord, we recognize we NEED revival and not a showy demonstration meant to satisfy people’s emotions, but something that truly changes people’s spirits from deep within. We need a reawakening in this world, for we know that according to Your Word, it is Your will for revival right before You send Your Son back to us!

Revival Lord, is probably the greatest need this world has right now! Things are moving along as You have revealed to us in Your written Word and the signs of the seasons are obvious to see to those who truly are Yours! Send us revival, oh Lord and prepare our hearts for the duties You have appointed and called us to fulfill.

Father, there is a spirit of fear and panic that has even been tempting some of Your children and we who are a bit more mature know that it is because of where they are in their faith. We truly pray for our young Brothers and Sisters in the Lord, realizing that natural age has nothing to do with their spiritual maturity. We pray that You Holy Spirit would touch them mightily in situations where they start to second-guess the circumstances and are tempted to fear. Let them know, in their hearts and spirit that You will NEVER leave them nor forsake them just as Your Word emphatically states more than once. Allow them that supernatural strength that is promised in Your joy for them being Your children!

Dearest Father, forgive us for falling into doubt and fear. We KNOW better that it does not come from You. We also know that we are not pleasing You when we are tempted and fall into doubt, panic and fear. Heal us of those doubts Lord and as Your Word states, “Create in me a clean heart, oh God and renew a right spirit within me!”

Help us who have been serving You longer to be patient with our younger Brothers and Sisters in Christ. Forgive us for our impatience and Lord anoint us to be an encouragement and inspiration to them and a strength in times of doubt.

Dear Lord, more than anything we want Your most PERFECT WILL to be accomplished in our lives and in the world! We WANT and desire that Your Glory and Your Glory alone be manifested among the nations. Our pray and desire that those who choose to reject You and Your precepts will KNOW, beyond a reasonable doubt that You and You alone are sovereign and if they choose to remain hard-hearted, stubborn and rebellious, then Your never-changing Word will apply to them as well. Lord, do NOT let Your Name and Character continue to be slandered.

Father, we know that one of the most precious treasures that we have from You is the ability to choose our destiny in You from a free will. We know that You desire none to perish, but we also know with all the LOVE that You have manifested and demonstrated in the world that there will always be those who choose to exercise that free will to reject You. Help us to pray for them, and thus demonstrate Your love in our prayers, but help us also to comprehend how something like that can be.

Father, again we acknowledge Your power, authority and above all else Your Sovereignty in Your Creation! We pray again, Your will be done in all things. Help Your children to understand, help those who are tempted to doubt and Father in Heaven, help us by Your Holy Spirit to ever please You by continuing to walk in faith, not relying on our emotions or what we see, but rather believing everything You have left us in Your written Word.

Lord, we humbly ask that You hear us and answer these prayers prayed in the authority and the Name of Your only begotten Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen and AMEN!

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Rise Up, O God, and Judge The Earth

I absolutely LOVE the Word of God! Those of you who know me, either personally or online know this to be true. Some of you online have known me for twenty plus years! I also love to encourage people, God’s children, my Brothers and Sisters. I love to teach and instruct and especially when it is inspiring. I have been blessed immensely by the Holy Spirit through the years.

But –

Part of my “service to the Word” is to also correct and warn and I will be honest, I am not one of those who takes particular delight in that aspect of service (ministry) to my Brothers and Sisters or to those in the world. There is a very, very heavy responsibility AND accountability for anyone who answers this particular calling from the Lord, for it is to Him we will ultimately be judged by for the very words we deliver in His name to others!

It just seems lately I have had to take part in that role a little bit more than I ever have in the past. I truly believe it is because Christ Jesus, our Redeemer is standing on the threshold of His imminent return to gather His Body, the True Church.

Lately I have been spending a lot of time in Psalms, along with some other books of the Bible, but Psalms is a literal treasure trove of Scriptural Principles about our relationship with the Father and with one another. Today, I read Psalm 82 and I couldn’t go on. You can ask my wife, it hit me like an arrow hitting a bullseye in a big circle target! As soon as I read it, and it’s not long, I had to reread it to my wife. It strikes right on dead-center with what is going on in the world today.

First, I cannot tell you if this Coronavirus flu is judgement from the Lord. I don’t know for sure. BUT – I can tell you that the panic AND fear displayed throughout the world by it IS! You may be asking how can I say that so emphatically. I have to tell you it is because we are LONG overdue for judgement for the sins we have condoned and the fact that we have rejected the very ideals that allowed our many nations to prosper and be blessed and with so many living under the “banner” of being “Christian,” it is long past time for God to say, “fine, then as My children, you shall be made to answer for your folly!”

I believe, and especially in the Nation of the U.S. that for a little while now, especially with Trump as the leader appointed by God, Himself for this time in America, that the Lord has decided to stand back and let those in leadership who have rejected Him deal with what is called in our Nation “Trump Derangement Syndrome” because it seems to be striking a lot of people and I believe the Lord has allowed this to confound their minds because of their abject refusal to accept God’s standards and to continue to blatantly lead this Nation into sinful behavior. Even psychologists today cannot fully explain what is happening and now, since this flu virus has hit, it is as though our leaders, not just here, but all over the world have walked off the tallest cliff into the deepest abyss! There is world-wide fear and panic and even though this flu is severe, it is not as severe as some in the past, yet all over the world, leaders are bringing everything to a standstill and actually causing more catastrophic results than the flu virus could!

This is MAN’S assumed wisdom at work and those who are abiding in Christ Jesus can see it unfolding before our very eyes!! Which leads me to ANOTHER aspect of this situation. Many, so-called “Christian” churches all over the world and particularly here in the U.S. have chosen in their vast wisdom to justify rampant and blatant sinfulness and to state with their own justification why God “will” accept it; thus misleading thousands if not millions!

God does not change! I do not know how many times, Godly and anointed ministers of the Word have to repeat that fact. God’s Word does not change either, for it has stood AND withstood the test of time for millennia and it is STILL relevant (much more so) today! Yet even though this flu virus is not affecting as many and in such a way as the media would like you to believe, the panic and fear sweeping the world most assuredly has!

So why do I think that it is the panic and fear that is the judgement? Because as every born-again Christian knows, almost by heart, God is NOT the source of panic and fear, but rather just the opposite. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” – 2 Timothy 1:7. All over the world, my Brothers and Sisters in Christ are repeating this awesome verse to comfort and assure one another.

So then, you may ask, why is everyone panicking and so fearful? Because sin and the tool of the enemy “guilt” will do that in a person who has not given their lives over to Christ Jesus and been reborn and spiritually renewed! Plain and simple. I have said it for so long now, God, our Heavenly Father takes care of His own. Those who are not His, suffer the consequences of sin and what it does to the natural man even without the hand of God judging! See guilt is a tool of the enemy, the devil. The Lord has given His children the Holy Spirit to abide within and the Holy Spirit doesn’t have to use guilt in a “new creation.” Instead, He uses counsel and conviction, in other words, CONVINCING, so the spiritually reborn will walk uprightly! That is what true discipline, discipleship is all about. NOT putting one down for doing wrong, but convincing them to do what is right! This is why God’s TRUE children have no reason to fear. We don’t fear death or punishment for God IS love. Only rejecting God and thus true AGAPE (love) leads to fear and panic for a person who does not understand love if fearful of punishment. (1 John 4:17-18).

So now I want to share with you what I have read and just so you know, I have been reading the Psalms in the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, the NLT, just for the ease of reading. You can read Psalm 82 in whatever version you are comfortable with, but I want you to see the parallel, (especially those of you in the U.S.) to what Asaph, the psalmist wrote. You decide whether it can apply to today as I have already come to a very solid and apparent conclusion!

Before the verses, just one question to many of you. Can you see in this and other Scriptures why I believe the Holy Spirit is STILL inspiring and working in the hearts of TRUE believers today? There is too much evidence to support His inspiration and illumination has never ceased!

Psalm 82

A psalm of Asaph.

1 God presides over heaven’s court;
      he pronounces judgment on the judges:
2 “How long will you judges hand down unjust decisions?
      How long will you shower special favors on the wicked? Interlude

3 “Give fair judgment to the poor and the orphan;
      uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute.
4 Rescue the poor and helpless;
      deliver them from the grasp of evil people.
5 But these oppressors know nothing;
      they are so ignorant!
And because they are in darkness,
      the whole world is shaken to the core.
6 I say, ‘You are gods
      and children of the Most High.
7 But in death you are mere men.
      You will fall as any prince,
      for all must die.’”

8 Rise up, O God, and judge the earth,
      for all the nations belong to you.

Today it seems the whole world IS in darkness for it has most certainly been shaken to the core! Remember verse 8, THE NATIONS BELONG TO YOU (GOD ALMIGHTY).

Something to definitely think about!

New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
*Pastor’s note: I am using one of the first editions of the NLT so those of you following online with Bible Gateway or Bible Hub may notice a few differences with the wording in the newer versions.
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The Rock Eternal!

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Trust In The Lord

“Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; But he who trusts in the LORD, mercy shall surround him. Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous; And shout for joy, all you upright in heart!” – Psalm 32:10-11.

“And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD; It shall rejoice in His salvation. All my bones shall say, “LORD, who is like You, Delivering the poor from him who is too strong for him, Yes, the poor and the needy from him who plunders him?” – Psalm 35:9-10.

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Power To Understand

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We Trust In The Name of The Lord Our God

Here’s a great prayer I ran across a couple of weeks ago and was saving for a day like today. Brother Charlie over at “Learning From God’s Word” has a lot of prayers based on Scriptures, plus a lot of articles, devotional and instructional. He also has many more than one website in which to access a vast store of great reading. Be blessed as you pray and meditate on this word!

*Picture was added to my post.

Learning From God's Word

“We trust in the Name of the Lord our God…Through the unfailing love of the Most High’ we ‘shall not be moved” (Psalms 20:7; 21:7). Lord, we thank You that You are a solid rock for our faith. You are the only solid rock for our faith. Without You, Lord, the foundations are shaking. We’re about to collapse. You pick us up. we’re broken in pieces. You put us together again. Our life is going nowhere. You give us a new sense of direction. Without this input from You, our lives are empty. Everything we do is futile. When You are there with us, everything changes. It’s Your love that makes the difference. It’s Your love

When our future seems so uncertain, help us, Lord, to put our trust in You. Help us to remember Your Son, Jesus. Help us to remember that He is our Saviour. When we fear the…

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Love According to God-Love, If You Have it You Probably Are His!

My Brother-in-Christ, Wally Fry started a new devotional/study series for his church website based on God’s Love called “Love According To God,” and His command to us to love as well.

Those of you who know me and have known me, know how much I love to teach on Love, unconditional Godly Love, so this is a joy for me to see someone else take up this subject in this way. Besides, Brother Wally isn’t as “wordy” as me and comes right to the point! 😉

Here’s the last installment of his devotional series. Enjoy this SERIES and God bless you all, abundantly!

Holly Springs Missionary Baptist Church

1 John 4:15,16

Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

Since yesterday’s devotion might not have been particularly uplifting, we are heading a different direction this morning. In case readers did not read yesterday’s, we discussed the possibility that a lack of expressed love in one’s life and conduct might be a warning sign that a person might question their actual personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Today, we are going to briefly discuss the opposite condition. Let’s review love again very briefly. We have talked about love as a feeling we have towards particular people. In other words, there is “love” as expressed towards those we like, those we might be…

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I John 5:9-11

1 John 5:9-11, “If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son. He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.”

The Apostle John has been talking about the witnesses or the testimony that verifies and acknowledges Jesus Christ, not just as the Son of God, but the true Anointed of God, to be Savior and Redeemer.

John continues on with this line of thought concerning the true witness concerning Christ Jesus. He uses a hard to argue with statement in that, “If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater.” This is an easy statement for anyone to relate too. After all, this is a part of our lives, not just in the social arenas but also in the affairs of dealings with various businesses. We trust the words of our friends and those we have dealings with and we HOPE that they are honest and above board, yet we know that very often there are those who wish to deceive for monetary gain or for various other reasons. Sometimes it is just a matter of mistaken testimony and not always just outright deceit. Nonetheless, the Apostle is telling us that in comparison to our everyday dealings with our fellow man, the greater testimony belongs to God Almighty.

God does not and cannot lie. His testimony and His witness to anything is beyond reproach, so if we are willing to accept the testimony of mankind in our everyday dealings, all the more reason we SHOULD accept God’s witness concerning His Son! In other words, even common sense would tell you that it would be unreasonable NOT to believe God, for His testimony and witness are absolutely credible.

Remember, John tells us that the witness is from and of God and even if you discount the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit from the previous verse 7 as we have discussed in our previous study, here we can see that God Almighty, the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit are all encompassed as witnesses in God Himself! So there can be and there should be no doubt whatsoever concerning Christ Jesus as the Son of God! Again, within God Himself, these three Characters of the Triune God are three that testify to the truth of Christ Jesus as the Son!

Now continuing on with John’s theme of witness and testimony, he goes on to write about the evidence of even ANOTHER witness. When a person accepts Christ Jesus’ gift of Salvation through Him and the sacrifice He made, God, our Heavenly Father seals the truth WITHIN that person by the very witness of the abiding Holy Spirit. So, those who believe God’s witness and testimony have the TRUTH of that witness within themselves!

So now, a man who accepts Jesus Christ within himself has not just the outward testimony as described before, but now has an inner testimony to the truth as well! Remember the words of the Apostle Paul, “Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” – 2 Corinthians 5:16-17.

Most everyone remembers verse 17 of Paul’s statement but look at how verse 16 confirms what the Apostle John is also saying; “now, we regard no one according to the flesh, even Christ Jesus whom we’ve known according to the flesh.” So the testimony, the witness of the three that agree, though obvious to all according to the flesh, their witness is infallible, yet now because we are a NEW creation, a spiritual creation, now we recognize the witness of the Holy Spirit within!

In our lives, the ways we have thought of things, the way we have analyzed different things was all done according to the natural and according to the flesh, the carnal. Now, however because with Christ Jesus, the Son abiding in us by His Holy Spirit, we have a NEW dimension as it were, to our thinking and to the way we see and perceive things. NOW we look at things not just in a temporary natural way, but now we see things and think on things with an eternal, an infinite scheme of things. Our minds as well as our spirits are renewed AND reborn! All because of Christ Jesus to those who believe!

This is a new addition for those who believe in the witness of those things that lead them to Christ. Now those witnesses actually have the “stamp of approval” of the very Spirit of Christ abiding within. But, and I’m sorry there always has to be a but, if we accept the testimony and allow it to become a living part of our lives, abiding within us as a living witness, then those who choose to NOT believe in the witness and testimony of God, aren’t just rejecting Him and His Word, which we know to be infallible and without reproach, but they are actually accusing Him of being a liar, a deceiver! John is making the point, rather emphatically that it is not just a matter of rejecting God Himself, but a person who rejects God’s Word and His witness concerning His Son is accusing Him of outright dishonesty.

Those who reject the Son of God, as the Christ, the Savior and Redeemer, sent to pay for OUR debts with His own blood and life are saying that God’s witness, His testimony does not matter! In all of my years of trying to serve the Lord and with all the missteps and stumbles I have taken, some of which were temporarily rebellious, even during those times, I NEVER once thought of calling God Almighty a liar! In fact during one particular bad time when I was outright sinning, I stood on the ramp of a warehouse dock and cried out for God to save me, cause I KNEW I couldn’t do it myself! Yet, because His testimony is ALWAYS true, He reached down and spared me through His grace and instead of discarding me for my rebellion, He actually TAUGHT me through this situation the DEPTH of His unconditional love and I no longer just had an intellectual assessment of what God’s love was, I had a deeply personal and spiritual experience of God’s Agape (love). That experience changed my life forever and when I teach on God’s love it is no longer on an intellectual basis only, but from deep spiritual experience. My life became a witness then to the truth of God’s witness and testimony concerning His Son!

Now I read this in Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible[1] and I hope I give it justice because I’m not quoting the whole thing (only the italicized part), but paraphrasing it; if a person denies God’s witness about His Son and rejects the truth of Christ Jesus, then He not only believes God is a deceiver, but that the “religion” or spiritual lifestyle that evolved from Christ’s teachings and that of the disciples who followed must also most certainly be a lie and a falsehood and though it is based on “a pure, holy, heavenly, undefiled institution, and so worthy to be embraced by the reason of mankind, and yet is but a delusion and a lie.” Then to top that off, the Lord sent His Holy Spirit with power and anointing to further spread this new lifestyle, so those rejecting God’s truth are saying these are all deceitful lies authored by the God they supposedly don’t even believe in. To me, it doesn’t even stand up to “common” sense!

The Apostle Paul demonstrates this foolishness in mankind when he wrote, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, . . .” – Romans 1:20-22a.

A person who rejects God CHOOSES to have his heart and mind blinded by the god of this world, and thus becomes as confounded and foolish as the rest of the world system to which he becomes an integral part!

But the Beloved Apostle sums up the theme of the witness and testimony of God with verse 11. “And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.” This is the summation of the Gospel, the Good News and of the Christian message as a whole!

All that has been laid out as a foundation before has led up to this very message; “God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.” It is God, our Heavenly Father’s Gift to mankind and it is the Son’s voluntary Gift to us as well by His willingness to pay for our sins and debts by His Sacrifice. All the testimony, all the witnesses that we have before us, has been to lead us to this AWESOME and AMAZING truth; God desires us, His creation, to have eternal life. This has been His eternal plan all along.

I love the well-know verse by the Apostle Peter; “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” – 2 Peter 3:9. This is an avenue into the Heart of God, Himself. His desire for mankind is that ALL should come to repentance. As we know from the rest of Scripture and what we have just discussed from the Apostle John, there are those who will deny and reject God’s truth, but that doesn’t change God’s desire, or His love for mankind and His creation!

This verse doesn’t just sum up the Gospel most appropriately but simply as well and yet there is so much depth to it. Our eternal life is found ONLY in Christ Jesus. Yet, it is a Gift also from God Almighty to those who choose and desire it. “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” – John 14:6. Jesus came to give us eternal life but you have to follow through with that train of thought. Why does He want us to have eternal life?

So many think that Salvation and Redemption is the main reason for being born-again, saved. But that is a narrow train of thought. There is a REASON why we are saved and redeemed. Jesus followed through after stating that He was the way, the truth and the life by stating the purpose for it. The ONLY way to the Father is THROUGH Christ Jesus! We are quick to tell people and to evangelize with the thought of being born-again, just as Jesus instructed the teacher Nicodemus. But we do not always and in fact very seldom teach those we are evangelizing WHY they need to be born-again. It’s NOT just to go to Heaven! Remember, Heaven is ONLY a dwelling place and I am not belittling it when I say that. It is the place of God’s Throne and it will be our abode forever, but that which I just stated is the reason why we NEED to be born-again; to be in the PRESENCE of our Heavenly Father Who GAVE us eternal life through His Son! We were SAVED to have that spiritual unity with our Heavenly Father and to be ONE with the Son!

We are born-again to have a spiritually renewed and reborn life with our Heavenly Father through Christ Jesus as empowered by the Holy Spirit. Jesus told His disciples He was going ahead to prepare a place for all of His disciples. Why? So that we have an abode, a place to be with Him, and the Father. When we are in the presence of Christ Jesus, we WILL be in the presence of the Father for we know and go to the Father THROUGH Christ Jesus! I can’t seem to stress this enough. I am not an Evangelist per se, but I evangelize as the doors open and when I do, I ALWAYS give people a REASON why salvation is so important. Heaven is an awesome reason, but an even GREATER reason, is the Person of our Heavenly Father, God Almighty and the relationship we will have eternally with Him through Jesus Christ!

THIS is God’s testimony: He has given us eternal life and that LIFE is IN Christ Jesus, the Son! Have YOU availed yourself of this FREE gift? I pray and hope so, for your eternal well-being depends on your answer!

God loves you and He will ALWAYS love you and that is based on what He has already done for you and all of His creation. If you do nothing else, think upon that for in that is eternal HOPE!

Next post we will begin with 1 John chapter 5 verse 12.

*Unless otherwise noted, Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
[1] Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible. Public Domain.
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Church, Rise Up and Walk!

“And the LORD, He is the one who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.” – Deuteronomy 31:8.

“Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid nor dismayed before the king of Assyria, nor before all the multitude that is with him; for there are more with us than with him. With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the LORD our God, to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people were strengthened by the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.” – 2 Chronicles 32:7-8.

“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.'” – Isaiah 41:10.

Christ Jesus IS the Head of the Church! The Same whom Isaiah is calling too in the next verses. Today we ARE His arms and legs, His Body! The Head is commanding, is directing, where is the ACTION? Is Christ’s Church, His Body asleep from inactivity? Awake, Awake and shake off the weariness. The time is short and there is a harvest awaiting!

“Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD! Awake as in the ancient days, In the generations of old. Are You not the arm that cut Rahab apart, And wounded the serpent? Are You not the One who dried up the sea, The waters of the great deep; That made the depths of the sea a road For the redeemed to cross over? So the ransomed of the LORD shall return, And come to Zion with singing, With everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness; Sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” – Isaiah 51:9-11.

If you want to know what you can do and how the Lord can use you, in whatever way, great or small, seek Him NOW while He can be found and I guarantee you, He WILL find you and answer you! Be His vessel today. Show His love while it IS still day! Church, it is time to awake from our sleep! To use an example of the Apostle Peter, I am saying to the Church today and Church, remember it:

“Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” – Acts 3:6. Church, children of God, co-heirs with Christ Jesus, it is time to get up and start doing, start walking in the Power and Authority of Jesus Christ!

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