This week I want to start off with some verses, “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. Luke 6:43-45 In this passage Jesus uses an example of fruit for those who are saved and those who are not, that we will know them by their fruit which are their actions and their words. It is not the fruit that controls whether you are saved or not, it is the heart that makes the fruit the way it is. A person who is not of God can only make bad fruit, they can only mask the bad fruit to look like good fruit for so long. This week I want everyone who reads or listens to examine their words and actions to determine what kind of fruit they are producing. We can think our fruits are good, but we need to examine the heart to determine why we are doing what we are doing and saying. Is it to put on a persona to make ourselves feel good or is it to bless other people because we are over flowing with the Holy Spirit. So this week examine not only the action and the words you say, but also the root of why you are doing them. And let’s pray for the Holy Spirit to overflow in our lives not that we may have the glory, but that others may see our actions and glorify Jesus.
This week I want to start off with some verses, He went away from there and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. And on the Sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get these things? What is the wisdom given to him? How are such mighty works done by his hands? Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.” And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. And he marveled because of their unbelief. And he went about among the villages teaching. Mark 6:1-6 In this passage Jesus goes back to His hometown not just to visit His family, but also to teach them and show them that He was the Son of God. He taught in the synagogues. They marveled at His wisdom, saying is this not Joseph’s Son who used to help him around the carpenter shop. They also marveled at the miracles He had done in their midst. It says they took offense to Him, so that He could not do any mighty works, except that he healed a few that were sick. It also says that He marveled because of their unbelief. I think so often in the church and our society today we put Jesus in a box and say He can do this, but don’t touch this. We limit God to what He can do and forget that He is God. He can move in miraculous ways, but because we have preconceived notions about what God can and cannot do, that we limit His power in our lives based on what He has done in the past. And we miss the blessing of seeing Him move in our lives, because we limit God. It is not that God could not move, it is that He wants you to believe and then see, not to see and then believe. He could have moved in miraculous ways, but they already had Him in a box. He was a carpenter’s son and that was all they could see. I think a lot of us treat God like a genie, we call on Him when we need something, but the rest of the time we keep Him in a bottle and we don’t let Him come out to move in our lives during the good times. So this week let’s tear down our preconceived beliefs about God and allow Him to move in the good and bad times. Let’s get to know Him for who He is and seek Him in prayer and through His word.
This week I want to start off with some verses, But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. John 17:13-21 In these verses Jesus is praying to His Heavenly Father about us and I think every christian should read the entire chapter of John 17, it is amazing what Jesus says about us in this prayer He prayed on our behalf. He says that we need to be sanctified by His word and that He does not want to take us out of this world, but that He wants to keep us from the evil one. This is the verse I am going to focus on for the rest of this blog. He does not want us to be separate from the culture (the world), but for us to be kept from the evil one who influences culture and yes the world may hate you, but He will be with you. An example I thought of was being in a boat on the river surrounded by boats, this is a huge river with lots of branches. The boaters choose their paths by what influential people say they should do, they are ahead of everybody else, so others watch to see what they do and copy them. The river is the culture and as christians God did not call us to get out of the river and set ourselves apart from the people in the river. He wants us to think differently instead of racing to the front and trying to be a cultural influencer, instead He called us to see the people who are around us in the river. It is not wrong to be in the front if God placed you there. Instead of trying to impose the gospel on them, we should let them see the way we live out the gospel. Just like the old saying, we might be the only Bible they ever read. One reason I chose a river for this illustration is that it is always moving just like our culture. We don’t have to follow culture but as Christian we should try to be cultural guardians. Make sure that if something the culture says is right and it is not right in God’s eyes, then we should speak out about it. So this week remember to show the light of Jesus to others, instead of trying to reach your corporate or social goals, see who you can reach right where you are. No matter how small it feels, it still makes an impact. If every christian lives their lives like that, then imagine what our world would look like if we lived by Jesus’s prayer.