Called To Follow Jesus!, Follow Jesus, Galatians 5:16-26, Galatians 5:19-24, Hebrews 4:15, Isaiah 5:20, Jesus IS Lord, Matthew 11:15, Matthew 4:3-4, Matthew 7:15-20, Matthew 7:21-23, Redemption or Rebellion?, Revelation 3:6, Romans 12:1-2, Savior or Judge?, Soon-Coming-King!, What's On Your Tree?
Bible Ballistics: BBs #783??? What’s On Your Tree???
A word for this Wednesday which I pray will encourage you to press on with Jesus; no matter what the world is doing, saying, acting out or pushing in our faces, our Lord is still KING, and I do believe, a ‘soon coming King’! May we be found faithful and ready! But the conflict isn’t new, nor is it temporary, so God gives us good instruction to prepare our hearts, lives, and our walk to align to HIS Word not the world’s voice!
“I beseech you therefore, brethren,
by the mercies of God,
that ye present your bodies
a living sacrifice,
acceptable unto God,
which is your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed to this world:
but be ye transformed
by the renewing of your mind,
that ye may prove
what is that good,
will of God.” Romans 12:1-2
And to be transformed by the “renewing of your mind” begins with salvation/redemption and then being grounded in The Word of God; and to do that we must read it, study it, and make it our “daily bread”! Jesus not only faced the same temptations as we do, but HE answered Satan at every turn with The Word!
“And when the tempter came to him, he said,
If thou be the Son of God, command
that these stones be made bread.
4 But he answered and said,
It is written,
Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word
out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:3-4
“For we have not an high priest
which cannot be touched
with the feeling of our infirmities;
but was in all points tempted
like as we are,
yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15
Oh, what a Savior we have—HE met Satan face-to-face and stood His ground by The Word of God! Oh, that we would learn to do the same. I don’t have to rely on my own wisdom, intelligence, and ideas to face temptation but on the very same thing that Jesus prevailed with—by knowing The Word of God! And to help us with the things that we face continually in this fallen world, let’s look at the principles of discernment that Paul shares with us. I think we can find them a great help to prepare us for the days in which we live, which matches what Isaiah spoke of long ago (truth and mankind haven’t changed—see Ecclesiastes. 1:9)!
“Woe unto them
that call evil good,
and good evil;
that put darkness for light,
and light for darkness;
that put bitter for sweet,
and sweet for bitter!” Isaiah 5:20
The “woes” of God are nothing to be disregarded—they have come in the past, and The Word declares that they are coming again—and I can’t help but believe that those final “woes” are very near! Are you ready? Are you and I familiar enough with God’s Word that we know what HE has said? Are your eyes open and your ears attending to the things that God has and is saying? We need to tune in to God’s station!
“He that hath ears to hear,
let him hear.” Matthew 11:15
I find it most interesting that not only did Jesus say this to those who were opposing HIM, but He repeated the same call to the seven churches (full of real believers and not so real believers) to heed His call to righteousness for various reasons, but His call to each one was to hear and obey.
“He that hath an ear,
let him hear what the Spirit saith
unto the churches.” Revelation 3:6
As we continue, Paul gives a great lesson that we need (at least I do) to be reminded of often.
“This I say then,
Walk in the Spirit,
and ye shall not fulfil
the lust of the flesh…
…. 25 If we live in the Spirit,
let us also walk in the Spirit.
26 Let us not be desirous
of vain glory,
provoking one another,
envying one another.” Galatians 5:16 & 25-26
In this same chapter, Paul lays out the contrast of the “fruit of the spirit” and the “works of the flesh” (or fruit). I find it interesting that at this time of year as we prepare for celebrating The Resurrection, as I’ve often shared a good illustration from this time of spring; many of us like to decorate for the seasons, and you will often see yards with “egg trees”; a bare tree with plastic eggs tied on it in lovely colors of spring. But the truth IS that there is no such thing as an “egg tree”! And there are many around us today who profess the name of Jesus, but their lives make us wonder if they’re just “egg trees”; they have tied on some religion, some good deeds, some church attendance (maybe) yet there is no love for Jesus or regard for His Word—there is no desire for holiness—and there seems to be a lot of calling “evil good” and “good evil”! Jesus Himself addressed this issue. What are we known by—plastic eggs, or the true fruits of the Holy Spirit of God?
“Now the works of the flesh are manifest,
which are these;
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.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is
against such there is no law.
24 And they that are Christ’s
have crucified the flesh
with the affections
and lusts.” Galatians 5:19-24
And Jesus’ own warning (and for a most detailed description of ‘false’ teachers/prophets see 2 Peter chapter 2):
“Beware of false prophets,
which come to you in sheep’s clothing,
they are ravening wolves.
16 Ye shall know them
by their fruits.
Do men gather grapes
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 7:15-20
So, the question today is, “What’s on your tree?” Are you bearing the “fruit of the Spirit” (and that is “fruit” not “fruits”—God’s work is evident in His own in all of our ways, not just ‘one proof at a time’!) or are you trying to fool the world, yourself, and God by hanging plastic eggs (the works of the flesh) on your bare tree? It’s your choice, but choose wisely, there is a test. (I encourage you to read all of Matthew 7, and FYI the context is clearly talking about ‘living’ a life of redemption or of rebellion, not an isolated stumble or failure but a “lifestyle” that will reflect the work of God or the work of the devil/world!).
“Not every one that saith unto me,
shall enter into the kingdom of heaven;
but he that doeth the will of my Father
which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day,
have we not prophesied in thy name?
and in thy name have cast out devils?
and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them,
I never knew you:
depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Matthew 7:21-23
Jesus will be your Savior or your judge; the choice is yours. I’m praying that you will open your eyes to see truth, and your ears to hear the Holy Spirit speaking to your heart and respond appropriately! (See Revelation 3:20)
Amen and Amen!!!