by David Brenneman
The "verse of the day" is John 15:5 and 15:8 NASB "I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, adn so prove to be My disciples."
My regular reading took me to Jude. In verse 5 he says he's reminding us of what the Lord did with those who didn't believe. He describes many in their unbelief...and actually are often found within the ranks of the professing Church. "These are men who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever."
What stood out to me was the part of "without fruit" and it's impact on the Father being glorified by those who are fruit bearing people.
So it remains to ask: Are you putting your walk with Jesus before your own desires? Is the Father glorified by what you're doing in this life? When our lives are examined by Jesus...and put to the test of the fire of His truth...what will remain that gives glory to God the Father? Anything?
Our world is a selfish driven world. Build yourself up. Go get what you want. Accumulate what money and possessions that you can. If anyone gets in your way, step on them, step over them, move them out of your way. It's supposed to be your will being done not theirs and they had better respect your will over their own.
That's the world in which we live, which is certainly contrary to the teachings of Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
We're invited to go along with them. We often invite them into Churches without any vetting of whether or not they actually are a Believer before putting them in positions of authority. Have seen this happen in my life in the various Churches I have attended in my life. Things being taught that shouldn't have been because they weren't Biblical.
There's warnings in Jude of what kind of people to be wary of for good reason. If Satan is known as the Deceiver...then we must be on the alert for deception.
We're told to be on the alert because the Devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour.
We're invited to join in, in the most subtle of ways. It's called entertainment. The avenue to which we're invited to use words and actions to destroy an opponent and do it all in the name of 'fun'. In these things I will not participate. Scriptures says we're to build people up not tear them down. We're to speak words that edify not those that berate, belittle and the like.
When you go out in the world today, stop and think of your interactions with it. Are you going with the flow or are you trying to be the light you are supposed to be in Christ? Do you tear people apart, showing blatant hatred when, Biblically speaking, none is called for? Do you make excuses to sin? In Romans that's called a practiced sin because you're willingly participating in it.
Choice is what came from the cross as well as salvation. The power to choose to live for Jesus when our sin nature does not want to. Power to resist evil. Power to show the love of Christ to a lost world.
So, if you are in Christ, if you are a Believer...what are you doing that glorifies the Father? If you indeed are in Christ, and are abiding in Jesus, are you bearing fruit? Are you putting true effort into your walk with Jesus? Are you going to have anything left after your life is examined? Has repentance even occurred in your life towards the bearing of fruit?
Our lives are to be lived to the glory of God the Father, not in anything else, we're not to give that glory to another. "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind and all your strength" Mark 12:30 NASB.
We're going to be tempted to waste our time. We're going to be tempted with the seductive words of "oh come on! you DESERVE this! you DESERVE to...." That's how we find ourselves in places and thoughts we shouldn't be or shouldn't have. Sin and temptation are often referred to as chains for good reason. Temptation will happen but we must recognize it and run the other way or it becomes sin.
Look at your thoughts...you DO realize that the Scriptures say that the Lord knows them before you do right? You can tell yourself what you say you meant by a thought, Jesus knows WHY you thought that thought. You may try to excuse those thoughts, but He knows the truth behind your intentions. "There's nothing hidden that will not be revealed." Mark 4:22 NASB.
Do you spend time with Jesus on a regular basis? Do you lift others up or do you spend a few hours in judgment of others over non-eternity related things tearing people apart? What fruit does that show of you? Do you live for your job more than you live for Jesus? Is your work more important to you than what fruit you bear in the name of Jesus?
To sum it up: Are you glorifying God the Father in your life?
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