Archive for December, 2015

known-by-your-fruit

Every single day we get up and move out into this big world and be who we are…either in our own selves, or in God. You and I get to make that choice for ourselves and I don’t think anyone would dispute that statement.

My question is, “Who are YOU be-ing?”

If we simply go about our business each day without acknowledging God, then we are going to act in the same way. If God isn’t a part of your routine, then on the surface, He won’t exist in your life. When this happens, you become absorbed into this world and there is a great deal the Bible has to say about transformation (1 John 2:15). It is called “conforming to the world” but I wanted to focus on the verse I started with at the beginning.

The tree is known by its fruit. Matthew 12:33

Jesus said this in a tense conversation with some Pharisees who were out to prove Him wrong. My focus today however, is the simplicity of the statement and what it means for you and me. Here is what I mean; you and I recognize the fruit trees around us because of the kind of fruit they bear like oranges, plums, peaches etc. because they taste good. In contrast, it is probably true that we won’t head to the nearest lemon or a lime tree and peel and eat it like we would the fruits mentioned previously because we know what they taste like. Again, pretty simple stuff.

Look at this in a different way…you and I are recognized by our family, friends and coworkers in specific way for a reason. We might be a friendly person, or not. We might be a smart person, or not. We might be a great worker, or not. My point is, you are known for specific reasons and as a result, that is how people think of you. Sometimes our reputations precede us in a way we don’t like, or maybe we do? Bottom line, you are known for what you have accomplished, or not. For what you have said, or should have said. For what you have or haven’t believed.

Guys, simply put:

What are YOU known for in this world?

As I said earlier, who are YOU be-ing or representing?

What is the fruit that YOU are bringing to this world?

 

I am speaking to those of you who profess Christianity. If you say one thing and act out something else…well…that is what YOU will be known for. A tree is known for its fruit.

Ask yourself whom do YOU represent?

If you truly represent Christ, then represent Him in the manner that you know you should. The Bible tells us that we cannot serve two masters. In other words, you cannot be a lover of the world and of one of God’s children at the same time. Choose what you want to be known for and then stay the course. God will help you bear the fruit you were destined to bring forth.

 

Until next time guys…

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hope-hand

I am not sure if it’s just me, or is there a significant amount of difficulty, adversity and even downright despair in what I see around me right now? Life does tend to be ebb and flow most of the time whereby good and bad problems drift into our lives and then subside (yes, I believe there are good problems, like having so much work you don’t know where to put it all). But in my worldview, I see despair in both friends and family where there should be joy.

I believe that despair is one of Satan’s most powerful weapon because if he hits you at just the right moment, you literally feel no hope…or in other words, you feel despair. Do you remember when you were a kid and you wrestled with your siblings or your Dad and there was always the time when everyone “piled on” leaving the one on the bottom to scream in pain? That’s what Satan does when you are struggling with anything…he piles on driving you into despair.

Did you know that despair is the complete loss or absence of hope? I find that definition interesting because as a child of God, there is always hope…am I correct?

But yet honestly, who hasn’t felt despair even as a child of God? I think we all have, which tells me a couple things:

  1. Satan is alive and well on this earth and seeks to kick your butt anytime he can.
  2. How much are you actually trusting God during this difficult time?

Now, I completely understand that despair is an internal battle for control over what you are feeling inside. Satan is pouring every possible bad thing he can onto you and God is looking to you to reach out to Him and just hang on. That unseen battle is real and I know many of you have felt it before.

despair

I have a very good Christian friend right now in the midst of this type of despair. He is at that time in his life where his Mother requires an assisted living facility to help with her care but she doesn’t want to go and his fear is that she gets there, she will die. My friend is agonizing over this decision and it’s driving him into a bad place in his life. He feels there is no hope.

As is always true in this blog, I have a couple of verses I want to share with you and then some simple knowledge to pass your way. The first scripture is from Paul who frankly, lived a very hard life once he became a follower of Christ…NOT an easy one. Please note that this verse is clear about life…that he may have been down, but he was not crushed, or in despair. In other words, life is hard…but when you hang onto God, you can get through it.

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed

(2 Corinthians 4:8-9 NIV)

Secondly, here is word from my favorite Bible character, David.

May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope, Lord, is in you

(Psalms 25:21 NIV)

Simply put guys, despair is a bad place to be and it will take God to get you out of it. That means no only prayer on your own part, but prayers from family and friends. As mentioned, you are in a battle and Satan wants to be victorious over you. He knows that beating you will have the trickle down effect on both your wife and children. In other words, everyone will be miserable. THAT IS HIS GOAL…and you need to recognize that.

I challenge all of you today to hang onto God and to trust in Him for hope. If you recall the story of David, he was near death to many times to count, but as the verse above states, “his hope was in God”. He recognized that without Him, despair would soon come.

I further challenge you today to claim Gods hope for your own life and climb out of the depths of despair. I understand that right now, these may be just words to you, but know that GODS WORD DOES NOT RETURN VOID.

Cling to Christ and what His Word says and He will cling to you…

Until next time guys…