A Fruitful Harvest

Once we come to Christ for salvation from our sinful lifestyle and its consequences, God’s Holy Spirit gradually sanctifies us from one stage of glory to the next (2 Corinthians 3:18).

 

He replaces the carnal aspect of our soul – our thoughts, emotions and choices – with His spiritual fruit:

Hatred with love

Depression with true joy

Discontentment with peace

Irritation with patience

Criticism with gentleness

Backbiting with goodness

Pride with meekness

Excess with self-control

Worry with the faith of God

 

What do these spiritual fruit mean?

Love – affection for others

Joy – exuberance about life

Peace – serenity

Patience – willingness to stick with it

Gentleness – compassion from the heart

Goodness – kindness that pervades our entire being

Meekness – humility and service

Self-Control – guided by the Spirit

Faith – trust that God knows what He’s doing

 

As we view these traits filling our soul, we know that our spiritual maturity is increasing and our carnality is decreasing (John 3:30). Serving one another with God’s love enables us to meet each other’s needs more freely.

 

God’s Spirit teaches us to consider another’s feelings and needs before we make our decisions, and to work toward a compromise in every disagreement (Matthew 5:5, 9).

 

Changing to a positive focus allows us to minimize our destructive attitude toward another’s flaws, weaknesses and negative character. God replaces our pride with His humility (Matthew 5:3).

 

We have more mercy and compassion on others, because we see our own short-comings with clarity. If we allow Him to do so, the Holy Spirit will control and guide every moment of our life.

 

God’s fruit impacts every aspect of our life. We feel more peaceful, joyful and fulfilled within; and we get along better with our spouse, family, co-workers, associates, church members and community (Matthew 5:6).

 

Prayer:

Father God, please remind us that as we forgive the slights and meanness toward us (Matthew 5:7), encourage one another more, and show gratitude for even the smallest kindness, thoughtfulness or caring act, then we learn to cherish each other; and our intimacy between us and You, as well as with other people increases.

 

Serving one another with Your love enables us to meet each other’s needs more freely. You teach us to consider another’s feelings and needs before we make our decisions, and to work toward a compromise in every disagreement (Matthew 5:5, 9). We want to learn to support each other during periods of outward crisis and peril, lies and rejection, discouragement and defeat (Matthew 5:10).

 

Thought for the Day:

Many of the reactions we receive from others are caused by our own attitude or behavior toward them; we trigger or inflict a wound in their soul, and they defend their self or attack us in response; however, when we allow God’s Spirit to take the ascendency in our life and attitude, we are salt and light in this dark, hurting world (Matthew 5:13-14).

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We Live by Faith

No matter what we accomplish in this life, something is always lacking. We never feel totally fulfilled, because we have no competence without God (2 Corinthians 3:5-6).

 

Our power is limited in this earthly realm, unless we are endued with power from on high as Jesus was. This is possible for us, because as authentic Believers, Jesus abides in our spirit (Colossians 1:11).

 

By God’s grace, we excel in His calling for our life (1 Corinthians 15:10). Our faith is not based on human reasoning, but on the power of God through the faith of the Son of God who loves us and gave Himself for us (1 Corinthians 2:5; Galatians 2:20).

 

It is interesting that the more intimately we are acquainted with God, and the more our heart is centered on Him, the fewer friends we have, and the less fellowship we enjoy with people around us (2 Corinthians 12:15).

 

However, God gives us His patience and joy in every circumstance we experience. His character, mercy and grace is mightily worked into our personality (Colossians 1:29; 1 Timothy 1:14; Hebrews 4:16), and we live in total fulfillment because of Christ in us (Colossians 1:27).

 

Prayer:

Father God, You make us strong, so that we may face the fiery trials of life on this earth (Hebrews 11:34). Remind us that when we partake in Christ’s suffering, His glory is revealed in us, and this makes our joy complete (1 Peter 4:13-14).

 

Help us to rely on You each moment of our day, rather than to face the issues of life from our meager human resources. We depend on Your mercy and grace to see us through each day, and we resolve to do only Your will for us during every moment we live (Ephesians 2:10).

 

Thought for the Day:

As Jesus abides in our spirit, we can do anything, which He calls us to perform, because He gives us the wisdom, power and guidance we need to accomplish His will with our life.

We Live in Hope

As authentic Believers, we look forward to the revelation of the Sons of God. Even creation joins us in the hope that Jesus gives us of His return to earth to claim His throne (Romans 8:23).

 

When we see the fruition of our dreams, we no longer need hope, because we view the results of what we formerly hoped for. However, we do need hope to believe for those things which we do not see, and yet want them in our life.

 

The matters of life that we can actually see are temporary, but those issues that we do not see are eternal (2 Corinthians 4:18). That is why we walk by faith and do not rely on carnal dreams, hopes, and goals (2 Corinthians 5:7).

 

For instance, in his old age, Abraham hoped to have the son that God promised to him; and God fulfilled that promise (Romans 4:18). Even creation hopes in full restoration, in spite of the current futility of the curse caused by Adam’s sin (Romans 8:20).

 

Through our hope in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we are saved in spirit, and we wait patiently in hope for God’s culmination of all things, including the regeneration of our body and soul (Romans 8:24-25; 1 Thessalonians 5:8).

 

Through justification by the grace of God, we are God’s heirs, along with King Jesus, and our hope in the fulfillment of our eternal life is guaranteed (Titus 3:7).

 

Jesus’ faith, which abides within us, is our assurance that what we hope for, but do not yet see, is a certainty (Hebrews 11:1). Until God takes us home to our reward in Heaven (Matthew 5:12), we rejoice in our hope in Him, we draw strength from His patience during our tribulation, and we live in continual prayer each moment of the day (Romans 12:12).

 

Prayer:

Father God, we look forward to the unveiling of Your first fruits in Your perfect timing (Romans 8:23). We seek for Your glory in our every thought, word and deed (Romans 2:7). Remind us to patiently wait on You, to have courage because of Your faithfulness, and to receive Your strength to accomplish Your will for our life (Psalm 27:14).

 

Help us to enter into Your rest as we turn over to You every concern that plagues our mind. This will keep us from stress, fret or worry (Psalm 37:7-9). You are always good to us when we wait patiently on You, and when we seek You and Your ways with all of our heart (Lamentations 3:25-26; Proverbs 3:5-6).

 

Thought for the Day:

Truly our soul waits patiently on God, and we hope in Him and drench our soul with His Word, because He victoriously brings us His salvation through every trial that we ever experience.

– Psalm 130:5-7, 62:1 & 5-6; Luke 21:19

 

Life is Only About Jesus

Israel Houghton And Cindy Cruse Ratcliffe knew what they were talking about when they sang their song: “All About You”. These lyrics display exactly how God wants us to think and feel about Him.

 

Verse 1:
You are the holy one; You are the living word; You are the center of my focus, Jesus
You are the son of God; You are the solid rock; You are the center of my focus Jesus.

You’re the lover of my soul and I adore You only.
Verse 2:
You are miraculous; You are supernatural; You are the center of my focus, Jesus
You are all powerful; You are so wonderful; You are the center of my focus, Jesus

You’re the lover of my soul and I adore You only.

 

Chorus:
It’s all about You; All about You; It’s all about You, Jesus
It’s all about You; All about You; It’s all about You, Jesus

—–

 

Christ is our life (Colossians 3:3-4). We are not on this planet to fulfill our plans, passions and possibilities; but to fulfill God’s design and purpose for our life.

 

He calls us and uses the vocation, which He prepares for us to do. Regardless of whether our job is secular or religious, it is still spiritual when we are walking in the center of God’s will for our life.

 

God has people for us to meet, and His Gospel for us to share right where He plants us. He also uses our hobbies, interests and free time to introduce us to people who need Jesus in their life.

 

 

We make friends and speak to strangers in order to win a soul for God’s Kingdom – giving them an eternity, right along with us, in the arms of our loving Lord and Savior.

 

Prayer:

Father God, impress on our core values, our daily goals, our dreams and our aspirations that nothing in this world compares with You. Your plans for our life are higher than anything we could ever dream possible, and we find pure joy, peace, righteousness, and complete fulfillment in every moment of our time, which we center on You.

 

Our desires for aspects of this world wane once we come to the saving knowledge of Jesus. We realize what He did and is still doing on our behalf, and we fall on our face and worship Him. As our advocate, Jesus keeps our plight on this earth in the forefront of Your mind, and You work out everything for our eventual good (Romans 8:28). We praise You forever, with every fiber of our being.

 

Thought for the Day:

Israel & New Breed sing, “Jesus At The Center”. The words are extremely powerful and broadcasting the same message as “All About You,” which I quoted above.

 

”Jesus You’re the center, and everything revolves around You
So Jesus be the center of my life;

Nothing else matters, nothing in this world will do;

 

“Jesus You’re the center, and everything revolves around You, Jesus, around You;

 

“From my heart to the Heavens, Jesus be the center; It’s all about You; Yes it’s all about You; Nothing else matters, nothing in this world will do.”

Our Heavenly Father

The character of God is highlighted in all of His names given to us throughout the scriptures. The one I love the best is “Abba”, which means “Father”. Our Abba loves us and adopts us into His family for all of eternity (2 Corinthians 6:18).

 

Our earthly fathers are/were human, with all of the foibles and failings of any human being. Some were abusive, some absent, some negligent, some broke their promises to us, some deserted us, etc.

 

We grew up with holes in our soul – our mind, will and emotions — due to what we suffered from this dysfunctional relationship. Yet, our Heavenly Father loves us unconditionally – enough to lay down His life for us (John 3:16-18).

 

We can forgive our human father’s transgressions against us (Matthew 6:14), because they did their best with the finite resources and woundedness, which they lived with day in and day out.

 

Then, we can enjoy the complete fulfillment supplied to us by our Heavenly Father. He cares about every little and big thing that concerns us (1 Peter 5:7). He provides for us through His glorious riches (Philippians 4:19).

 

He also disciplines us in order to keep us away from destructive behavior. Abiding in His perfect plan for us is the happiest place on earth. His Spirit guides us through every moment of our day.

 

We are body, soul and spirit. Our spirit is dead in sin until we ask Jesus to allow us to be Born Again. With a regenerated spirit, we commune with God all day long, not acting until we hear the guidance from His Spirit on what activity to participate in next (Proverbs 3:5-6).

 

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You for providing for all of our needs, and for allowing Your love to flow over us like a perpetual waterfall. We are so grateful that Jesus earned Your love and accredited it to us along with His righteousness by His death on Calvary’s cross.

 

We savor every aspect of our relationship with You, as You heal our soul from the wounds of the past, and as You allow us to take flight like eagles as we wait on You (Isaiah 40:31). Thank You for taking on the form of a man and laying down Your life in our place.

 

Thought for the Day:
God cherishes His authentic Believers as His beloved children, and He loves us with His eternal love through every circumstance, which we encounter in this temporal life.

The Gates of Hell Shall Not Prevail

The only factor that determines our eternal destiny is our belief or our unbelief (Matthew 25:46). If we wholeheartedly believe and sincerely confess with our mouth that Jesus is the Christ and our Lord, we will be saved from eternal damnation (Romans 10:9-10).

 

If we hide behind hurt, pride, bitterness, anger, unbelief, etc. and refuse to confess Christ as our Lord, we condemn our self to eternal separation from God, His Bride and His family (John 3:18; John 3:16-17; Ephesians 1:5; 2 Thessalonians 1:9).

 

Eternity is a very long time. Every person ever conceived will spend it either in the everlasting presence of God, or in the nonstop flames and torment of hell (Luke 16:19-31; Revelation 21:8; Matthew 13:5, 42).

 

God created Paradise for us to live in and to dwell with Him forever. It was Adam’s and Eve’s pride and rebellion that lost it for us all, and gave us their sin as our inheritance (Romans 5:12).

 

Yet, the blood of Jesus will cleanse authentic Believers from all of our sin and restore us to Paradise in God’s good time. We can claim the redemption, which was earned for us through Jesus sacrifice on Calvary’s cross, by trusting and believing in Jesus as our Savior (Acts 2:27; Proverbs 15:24).

 

The Gates of Hell shall not prevail against God’s Church (Matthew 16:18). Satan and his emissaries will never have the victory over God’s Saints. We overcome them by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony of how Jesus eternally changed our life (Revelation 12:11).

 

It is important for us to use any means and opportunity available in order to give every person that we meet the opportunity to escape hell and to gain eternal life in God’s very presence both now and forevermore.

 

Prayer:

Father God, Your Gospel message of salvation is so simple; yet, we humans make it so impossible and some even view it as distasteful. Thank You for giving us the victory to prevail over Satan and his demons, and for guaranteeing us the eternal privilege of serving You forever. We will never experience the torment behind the gates of hell, nor even pass through that portal, because of Your everlasting work on our behalf (Revelation 2:11, 21:7).

 

Thank You that Jesus took back the keys for the gates of hell while His body lay in the tomb for three days, and He gives them to anyone in His Church who will believe in His power, wisdom and strength within us (Revelation 1:18). Satan is powerless against Your Church, and the Gates of Hell will never prevail against us at any time for any reason.

 

Thought for the Day:

Even when we pass from this life into eternity, the Church on earth still prevails; because Jesus is the head of the Church, the ruler of the universe, and the King of all kings.

– Revelation 17:12-14, 19:16; Hebrews 1:3; Colossians 1:18

 

 

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We can easily share our faith by preparing a simple three-minute testimony in four statements:

  1. How your life was before You came to trust in Jesus,
  2. How you came to understand your need for Jesus,
  3. How your life changed after your salvation through Jesus,
  4. And why you read His Word and share with others what Jesus did for you.

 

We can also use evangelism tools such as the Evangecube:

 

Or other tools and training:

https://www.christianwitnessingtools.com/

Rest for Our Weary Soul

When Christ moves into our spirit, we are weary and heavy laden; but He offers us rest for our soul (Matthew 11:28). His righteousness, peace and joy replace our worry and deprivation (Romans 14:17).

 

We live in ceaseless wonder at the sacrifice He made for us on Calvary’s cross (John 17:3). If we are in Christ, God gives us a new life (2 Corinthians 5:17), and provides for all of our needs according to His glorious riches (Philippians 4:19).

 

Like the children of Israel, we fail in our attempts to live for God (Hebrews 8:7-9). Therefore, we no longer seek to reach heaven by our own efforts through our good works (Ephesians 2:8-9).

 

Instead, we accept His eternal salvation and an intimate relationship with Him (John 17:30). We rely on our Father God as He sanctifies us through our union with Jesus (1 Corinthians 1:2, 30).

 

We walk by faith and submit to God’s Holy Spirit, as He crucifies the deeds of our flesh (Hebrews 7:22; Romans 15:16); and we look forward to our heavenly home as we abide in Him forevermore (Psalm 16:11).

 

His Word plays a huge part in our sanctification process. It washes us clean as we obey its precepts (Ephesians 5:26; Hebrews 12:14; 2 Timothy 2:21-22). God’s Spirit writes His laws on our heart (Hebrews 10:16).

 

As God’s children, and members of Christ’s Body, we are filled with the fruit of God’s Spirit (1 John 3:2; Romans 12:5; Galatians 5:22-23). We no longer work for God, but we totally surrender to His Lordship, so that He may work through us to accomplish all that He has planned for us (Colossians 1:27; Ephesians 2:10).

 

Prayer:

Father God, we have come to realize that the more we abide in Christ, the deeper we experience Your security and blessings through our position in You. Thank You for sanctifying us by the truth of Your Word (John 17:17). Helps us to walk in Your ways and to keep Your statutes (Ezekiel 36:7).

 

You give us Jesus as the fulfillment of Your covenant with us, and Your Spirit as our guarantee. We find our rest in Your everlasting arms, and we rejoice that we are now heirs of all of Your promises (Ephesians 3:6; Deuteronomy 33:27; 2 Corinthians 1:20). We constantly give You the praise that is due to Your name.

 

Thought for the Day:

Our justification in our spirit, sanctification in our soul, and our glorification in our body are not accomplished through our human resources, but by the work of the triune God within us.

-Titus 3:5; Ephesians 5:26; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Corinthians 3:18