Category Archives: Thought for Today

Producing Fruit

A tree and garden grow out of the pages of the Bible

In Galatians 5:22-23, our Beloved LORD GOD tells us the fruit of The SPIRIT is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. For many years I tried to live this fruit in my life. But the more determined I became, the more I failed. Finally, in the midst of my failures, through tears and frustration, I cried out to my Beloved LORD GOD. HE graciously heard my cry and mercifully showed me:
1) Apart from HIM, I can do nothing (Jhn 15:5). I could not redeem myself, I could not save myself, and I cannot transform myself. Instead of seeking after fruit, seek after HIM (Psa 27:8, Isa 55:6, Luk 11:9-13).
2) The “fruit of The SPIRIT” is the visible expression of the invisible HOLY SPIRIT of GOD. Which means, spiritual fruit in my life, is the evidence of HIM living and working within me; HIS character is reflected in my behavior. As I continually abide in HIS WORD through study and obedience, living every day in trust and dependency on HIM, HE will transform me into HIS image (2 Cor 3:18).
3) We each have a job in our walk together, HIS is salvation, sanctification and transformation. Mine is listening, trusting and obeying. HE is so awesome! HE even helps me do my job! All I have to do is ask for obedience (Psa 19:13, Psa 119:133, Psa 119:66, Psa 143:8, Psa 143:10), and understanding (Psa 119:34, Psa 119:125).

So how a person both conducts them self and speaks is a reflection of the spirit that lives within them. (Luk 6:43-45, Jhn 8:44, 1 Jhn 2:3-6). It is so important to carefully note that the word “conduct” is used. For the assessment of the state of one’s spiritual life, is not in what one claims or professes, but in what they do, how they are.

Is your life fruitful? Are you filled with love, joy, and peace? Is your anger, irritation or tongue under control? Do those who live with you and those who know you best, feel you are loving, patient, kind, faithful and gentle? Do they see the goodness of The LORD in you?

If not, stop and take this moment to seek both HIS forgiveness and change (1 Jhn 1:9). And then both seek the forgiveness of those on the receiving end of your conduct (behavior); and commit to praying with and for them and yourself (Jam 5:16).

Humble yourselves in the presence of The LORD, and HE will exalt you.
James 4:10

Because Lawlessness is Increased

 

lawlessness increased 2As I reflected on Matthew 24:12, I wondered three things:
1) What is lawlessness?
2) Why would the increase of lawlessness cause most people’s love to grow cold?
3) Who specifically are these people who love less?

Lawlessness Defined
Lawlessness is sin (1 Jhn 3:4). It is intentional and deliberate disobedience to the known will of GOD (Jam 4:17, Num 15:30-31, Heb 6:4-6). It is a defiant response after receiving knowledge of the truth (Isa 22:12-14, Jer chptrs 42-44). It is a sin committed by one, who does not even struggle to do what is right or keep from doing wrong. With this sin there is no forgiveness only judgment (Heb 10:26-27), which leads to death (1 Jhn 5:16-17, Rev 20:11-15, Rev 21:8).

Reasons lawlessness affects the love of many
In these last days, the hearts of men will grow exceedingly wicked (2 Tim 3:1-7), just as they did in the days of Noah (Gen 6:5-6, Gen 6:11) and in the days of Lot (Gen 13:13, Gen 18:20, Gen 19:1-11). These men are comprised of unbelievers, outside the Church; and professing believers within the Church. These are men, who call good evil, and evil good (Isa 5:20); they defend the wicked and condemn the righteous (Pro 17:15); they tell wicked men “you are righteous” (Pro 24:24); for a bribe, they corroborate the wicked, and take away the rights of the innocent (Isa 5:23).

Wicked men outside the Church, openly hate GOD (Psa 68:1, Jhn 15:18, Jhn 15:24-25) and HIS people (Psa 37:32, Jhn 15:19, Jhn 17:14). These men have always caused GOD’s people to suffer, but in these last days, as the wickedness of men increase so will their hatred. They will cause the trials, tribulations and persecutions of GOD’s people to be more severe, and occur with greater frequency. Many who once followed after GOD, will openly desert the faith (Mat 24:9-10), rather than endure affliction (Job 36:21).

Wicked men inside the Church, will profess to know GOD, but their lifestyles will confirm they do not (Mat 7:15-20, Tit 1:16, 1 Jhn 2:3-6). Some of these false believers, will hold leadership positions within the Church, while others will be content to just be among the congregation. The false teachers and false prophets will mislead many by corrupting The WORD, with their false doctrines (Mat 24:11-12, 1 Tim 4:1), while others will continue in self-pleasing lifestyles rather than obedience to GOD (Eze 33:31-32, Mrk 6:17-20, 2 Ths 2:10-12).

People who love less
These are people who once loved our Beloved JESUS CHRIST and HIS WORD dearly, as demonstrated by their behavior (Jhn 14:15, Jhn 14:21, Jhn 14:23-24). They studied HIS WORD daily, being careful not to turn aside or stray from it (Deu 17:18-20, Jos 1:7-8, Pro 8:34, Mat 6:11). They gladly attended Church, always there when the doors opened (Psa 42:1-4, Psa 84:1-2, Psa 122:1) they were hungry for GOD and HIS WORD (Psa 119:131, Isa 2:3, Mat 5:6). That is until affliction, persecution, worries of this world, deceitfulness of money (Mat 13:20-22, 1 Tim 6:17) and the love of the things in this world (2 Tim 4:10, 1 Jhn 2:15-17), caused them to love HIM less (Rev 3:15-20). Some stopped loving HIM at all (Mat 24:12).

If you are reading this and alarms are going off in your heart, because you know you are willfully sinning (practicing lawlessness); or your love for HIM has declined in intensity. There is still hope, for your heart can still feel the alarms. It is no coincidence that this BIBLE study came to you at this time. It is HIS love for you (Jer 31:3), and HIS heart that does not desire for your soul to be forever lost (2 Pet 3:9). Please respond to HIS drawing you, by humbling yourself and accepting the fact, you are not your own boss (1 Cor 6:19-20). Talk to HIM, admitting your wrong doing (1 Jhn 1:9); seek HIS presence (Psa 63:1, Psa 143:6) through BIBLE study (Psa 119:20, Psa 119:30); worship (Psa 95:1-7); and assembling with godly people (Heb 10:25). Turn your back on your sinful lifestyle (Eze 18:30-32, Eze 33:11-13). HE longs to restore (Psa 19:7, Psa 23:3), refresh (Jer 31:25, Act 3:19), renew (Psa 51:10, Eph 4:23-24), and heal you (2 Chron 7:14).

For we will surely die
And are like water spilled on the ground which cannot be gathered up again
Yet GOD does not take away life
But plans ways so that the banished one will not be cast out from HIM
2 Samuel 14:14

Refreshed

Refresh my heart in CHRISTPreviously in Ezekiel 37:1-14, I shared how my Beloved LORD GOD miraculously restored dry bones to life. As I continued to meditate on that passage of Scripture, how my Beloved LORD GOD alone can restore hope and bring life forth from death, I began to reflect on HIS omnipotence. HE then spoke to me about another set of bones. The bones of Elisha (2 Kin 13:20-21).

Elisha died and his body was placed in a grave. All that remained of Elisha’s decayed body was bones at the time some Israelites were burying a dead man. However fear of a marauding band of Moabites, caused the burial team to hastily throw the dead man’s body into Elisha’s grave. When the body of the dead man touched Elisha’s bones, he came back to life and stood up on his feet.

One might be wondering, how a dead man could be thrown into the grave of Elisha and touch his bones. It is important to know that the graves of ancient Jews were not pits dug in the ground, like ours today. But their graves, were caves excavated in the side of a rock, with the opening of the cave shut by a heavy stone. During these times, when one died, their body was simply wrapped or swathed in grave-clothes, and placed within the cave (Jhn 11:44, Jhn 19:38-Jhn 20:1-7).

As I was pondering the fact, that even when only bones remained of Elisha’s body, the anointing of my Beloved LORD GOD’s Holy SPIRIT was still upon them; so much so, that the mere touch of them, brought a dead man back to life.

Wow, should not the omnipresence of our Beloved LORD GOD’s Holy SPIRIT within our lives have the same effect on others who come into contact with us (1 Jhn 2:27)? If HIS presence within us, is not reviving, refreshing, strengthening and encouraging the hearts and lives of all we interact with, we must examine ourselves (2 Cor 13:5). Please don’t let the enemy deceive you into thinking if it is not happening, it is no big deal. It is a very big deal! Because if The Holy SPIRIT of GOD is not abiding within you, you are walking in disobedience (Jhn 14:21, Jhn 14:23). And if you are walking in disobedience you are practicing lawlessness (1 Jhn 3:4). And if you are practicing lawlessness, your end is eternal separation from the very one you profess to know (Mat 7:21-23).

Breathe

Prophesy to the breath

As I reflected on Ezekiel 37:1-14, my Beloved LORD GOD showed me that it was not just the middle of any valley, HE brought HIS prophet Ezekiel to. This valley was quiet literally an open graveyard full of very dry, fragmented bones (Eze 37:7). These bones represented how the nation of Israel felt; empty, hopeless and helpless (Eze 37:11). But there is nothing impossible with HIM, even in death HE calls forth life. By HIS WORD a valley of fragmented, dry bones, came to life and became an exceedingly great army (Eze 37:10).

There are numerous examples throughout The BIBLE where HIS WORD brought forth life out of death. In Genesis the deadness of a 90 year old woman’s womb brought forth a son (Rom 4:19-20, Gen 17:15-17,Gen 21:1-7).  In Kings and Luke sons were returned to mothers (1 Kin 17:8-24, 2 Kin 4:8-37, Luk 7:12-15). In Mark a daughter was given back to her parents (Mrk 5:35-43). In John a brother was called from the tomb (Jhn 11:1-44). In Acts a kind and generous godly woman was restored to life (Act 9:36-42)…

HE is the same yesterday, today and forever! (Heb 13:8) When you trust in HIM, you will not be disappointed (Psa 22:4-5). HE can breathe life back into those dreams, hopes and promises that seem long dead.

Keep your eyes on HIM; from your innermost being, live a life that is pleasing to HIM; and trust HIM for HIS timing and outcome.

This I recall to my mind,
Therefore I have hope.
The LORD’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For HIS compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is YOUR faithfulness.
“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I have hope in HIM.”
The LORD is good to those who wait for HIM,
To the person who seeks HIM.
Lamentations 3:21-25

We Are All HIS CREATIONS

Created from DustIt is I who made the earth, and created man upon it

I stretched out the heavens with MY hands

And I ordained all their host

Deuteronomy 4:32

 


 

But We Are Not All HIS Children

I am a child of GOD 2

For all who are being led by The SPIRIT of GOD, these are sons of God

For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again

But you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”

The SPIRIT HIMSELF testifies with our spirit that we are children of GOD

Romans 8:14-16