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Bible Ballistics: BBs #721  What’s On Your Tree???

 

Jesus gives us a great measuring tool for our lives, and I’d like us to consider what kind of “fruit” we are exhibiting before the world.  As I’ve talked about before, we can be like the “egg trees” that we see all around us at this spring season—where people will hang plastic-colored eggs on their bare tree and call it an “egg tree”; but we all know there is no such thing as an “egg tree”!  Yet many people who claim the name of Jesus have no fruit, just plastic eggs hanging on their tree/lives.  What about you and me?

May we ponder the words of our Lord Jesus Christ and measure our lives by what HE has to say rather than using popular standards—even the standards of many churches.  After all—there is only one “right” way and that is Jesus, and God’s Word will stand as the measuring stick/plumb line!

Enter ye in at the strait gate:

for wide is the gate,

and broad is the way,

that leadeth to destruction,

and many there be

which go in thereat:

14 Because strait is the gate,

and narrow is the way,

which leadeth unto life,

and few there be

that find it.

15 Beware of false prophets,

which come to you in sheep’s clothing,

but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

16 Ye shall know them

by their fruits.

Do men gather grapes of thorns,

or figs of thistles?

17 Even so every good tree

bringeth forth good fruit;

but a corrupt tree

bringeth forth evil fruit.

18 A good tree

cannot bring forth evil fruit,

neither can a corrupt tree

bring forth good fruit.

19 Every tree that bringeth not forth

good fruit

is hewn down,

and cast into the fire.

20 Wherefore by their fruits

ye shall know them.  Matthew 7:13-20

There is only one thing that makes a “good tree”—being born again of The Spirit of God—born again through the blood of Jesus, by repentance and faith in Jesus’ substitutionary, atoning, sacrifice for our sin.  Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection for sin IS the “strait gate”—the only “gate” to God!  (See John 1:11-13)

Jesus saith unto him,

I am the way,

the truth,

and the life:

no man cometh unto the Father,

but by me.”  John 14:6

Jesus IS the only way to have a relationship with God, and when we receive HIS salvation, we are being made like HIM (see Romans 8:28-29)!

Hereby perceive we the love of God,

because he laid down his life

for us:

and we ought to lay down our lives

for the brethren.”  1 John 3:16

John used a different example of darkness and evil in contrast to The Light of God!

If we say that we have fellowship with him,

and walk in darkness,

we lie,

and do not the truth:

7 But if we walk in the light,

as he is in the light,

we have fellowship one with another,

and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son

cleanseth us from all sin.

8 If we say that we have no sin,

we deceive ourselves,

and the truth is not in us.”  1 John 1:6-8

Paul paints one of the most profound pictures of the difference between what Jesus does to make the flesh able to produce good fruit, and the corrupt fruit of the flesh—and there is a difference!  (Also see 2 Corinthians 5:21)

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these;

Adultery,

fornication,

uncleanness,

lasciviousness,

20 Idolatry,

witchcraft,

hatred,

variance,

emulations,

wrath,

strife,

seditions,

heresies,

21 Envyings,

murders,

drunkenness,

revellings, and such like:

of the which I tell you before,

as I have also told you in time past,

that they which do such things

shall not inherit

the kingdom of God.”  Galatians 5:19-21

And the contrast—which we should all take note of–(I would encourage you to put this fruit of The Spirit to memory!):

But the fruit of the Spirit is

love,

joy,

peace,

longsuffering,

gentleness,

goodness,

faith,

23 Meekness,

temperance:

against such there is no law.

24 And they that are Christ’s

have crucified the flesh

with the affections and lusts.

25 If we live in the Spirit,

let us also walk in the Spirit.”   Galatians 5:22-25

What’s on your tree?  Spiritual gifts or fleshly lusts?  Is Jesus IN you?

Ye are of God, little children,

and have overcome them:

because greater is he that is in you,

than he that is in the world.” 1 John 4:4

It’s your choice, but choose wisely, there is a test!  Amen!!!