Written by His Grace,
Kevin K. OíConnor
Main thought: to examine what God and what we should be looking for in our lives
By their Fruit you will know them
Matthew 7:19-21 19Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. 21"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
Notice how God looks at us and how we can know who are His. Itís not by the multitude of our activities, words, or the amount of knowledge weíve accumulated that reflects our walk with Him, but itís the fruit. God is getting ready to bring in His harvest and He will only be harvesting those who are bearing the fruit of His Spirit. Not those who have become experts in the form of righteousness with the multitude of their religious words or works, but those who have grown in intimacy with Him. Notice Matthew 7:21 21"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Wait a minute!? Hereís someone that recognizes Christ as Lord and confesses Him as Lord so why donít all who do such things enter into Glory? You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe--and tremble! (Whole Chapter: In context: )
I believe some of the most miserable creatures in torment through all eternity will be those who knew of Him but did not know Him. How can anyone that has seen Christ and how He emptied Himself out for them not surrender their pride before Him? Is it any wonder that only eternal torment will be awaiting those who reject such Love and Mercy? Also, is it any wonder that there are going to be some hard words of correction to those who have heard His voice of Mercy and Forgiveness and then have covered it with a multitude of their own works of righteousness? We learn that through labor our lives become blessed, that through giving we feel blessed, that through denying ourselves over the needs of others we are blessed. But we need to realize that above all these things and greater than all these things is the need we have to know God.
Of course there is a high from doing things that result in a relationship with God even though we may not know Him. We must not numb our need to know God with the byproducts of the blessings that come from knowing Him. In other words, the truth of Godís Word that says itís more blessed to give than to receive is true. But if all we do is live that truth without knowing the One from which that truth springs, than we have cut ourselves short. If we hear the Truth of His Word that says donít forsake the assembling of ourselves together with other believers and donít go beyond that into relationship with Him than again weíre missing the mark.
It seems that we get so wrapped up in what we can see and understand that we miss out on a relationship with Christ. Of course, when we have a relationship with Christ there will be manifestations of that relationship, But, we must not allow our love to grow into a form or a ritual of those outward signs. Why is it that when Godís Incredible Mercy reaches into our hearts and we experience His deliverance from our blindness and then respond out of thankfulness for His Love and Grace that we begin to focus on our outward responses and not on Him?
The greatest lights for Christ will not be those who are gazing at the light Christ is producing in their lives but are those who are ever more intently focusing on Christís Beauty. Why do you think that Moses face shined so brilliantly? Because he had been gazing into the beauty of God. Every person can have that kind of Joy and Ecstasy flowing from their lives. It wasnít meant to be limited only to Moses but for everyone who will make (not take) the time to be with Him. Letís remember the days when we courted our spouse. Did we ďtakeĒ time to be with them, No! we ďmadeĒ time. And, the greater our fire to be with the one we loved, the more time we made.†
The kingdom of God, which is relationship with Him, is not to be had by the complacent or the couch potato Christians, but it is to be had by those who will learn how to press in and say I will not be denied.† The Fatherís desire is to see His Son and His Sonís Bride united in Joy and Ecstasy, do you really think that He will rapture those who are not awakening the flame of love and passion for His Son? I donít think so, but I do think those who will not awaken their heartís flame for Christ will have it made awake by the trials that are coming upon this world because of its rejection of Jesus as Lord of lords and King of kings.
Itís funny how satan is continually trying to imitate God. Is it any wonder why? What else can the creation do but try to imitate the One from which it came. He even tries to imitate the trinity in the book of Revelation; Then I saw three evil[ 16:13 Greek unclean] spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. (Whole Chapter: In context: ) Satan is not the Great I AM and so he is continually trying to imitate the One from which all things have their existence. He is even doing this in and around our lives today. One of the greatest ways to destroy an enemy is to join up with him so that you may destroy him from within. To do this, being a counterfeit is necessary. Satan is today trying to destroy Godís work in this world by appearing like one of His, when in fact heís only out to work against God and not for Him; "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. (Whole Chapter: In context: )
So, how do we avoid these counterfeits that are continually coming against those who desire to follow after God? God Himself tells us how to know those that are truly His and those who only appear to be, by their fruit. Notice God says by their fruit and not by their works or activities. Why? Because satan can imitate all of the outward actions of being a child of God, but he cannot ďBeĒ a child of God. In other words, satan tries to imitate every fruit of the Holy Spirit but just is unable to due to the ďnatureĒ of his heart. In every effort of satan to portray a fruit of the Holy Spirit you will see a selfish motivation. When satan tries to imitate love, it comes out as lust and greed.† Satan can imitate every gift of the Holy Spirit but he cannot imitate the Fruit because the fruit is from the heart and satanís heart is very corrupt and self-serving. Godís heart is self-sacrificing and giving and so the fruit of the Holy Spirit proclaims it. Satan can imitate many mighty miracles; speaking in tongues, prophesying, healing, etcÖ but he cannot imitate the heart of God. Is it any wonder then why God says what He does in 1 Corinthians 13 1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. 4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. Notice what He says here. He doesnít just say Love does kind things (which of course it does) but that Love ďisĒ kind. God goes beyond the outward action to the heart of the action from where the fruit of the Holy Spirit flows.
Satan cannot be who he is not. He is not God although he tries to imitate Him. When we come into contact with groups or individual people who confess Christ as Lord, we need to examine their motives for their actions before we entrust ourselves to them; Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. (Whole Chapter: In context: ). Satan knows that we need fellowship/interaction with others, but he is also a master at using our needs to get a foothold into our lives. We need to seek the Lord for those that have the Holy Spirit reigning in their hearts and not those who just have His words flowing from their mouths. We must not allow the needs we have to drown out that small still voice of where we are to walk; My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: (Whole Chapter: In context: .
So how do we become sensitive to His voice and not the voices of this world and old nature that continually cry out for attention? By getting real with Him (Jesus)! By learning how to press in as Jacob of old who wrestled with God and would not let go until He blessed him, by learning how to get desperate for the nearness of our hearts to Him. Look back again at He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. (Whole Chapter: In context: ). First of all notice where that tree is, ďplanted by streams of waterĒ. Notice that God says planted. That means those roots are not laying on top of the ground so that any big gust could just blow it over but they have gone deep to take a good hold that it will never be moved. We need to get our hearts away from feeding on the garbage that this world gives us to live off of and learn how to sit at His feet and listen to His Word, which is able to transform us into His image, not just listening to Him, but doing what He speaks to us. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing itĖhe will be blessed in what he does. (Whole Chapter: In context: ) Godís Word will not return to Him void but will accomplish His good work in us if we will hunger and thirst for Him; Isaiah 55 11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. I love that old Hymn ďStanding on the PromisesĒ. Thatís where we need to plant our hearts and our lives and not just our words or our actions so that when we breathe our final breath we may have much fruit of the Holy Spirit to lay at His feet with floods of Joy filling our hearts for all He did in our lives. Behold, Jesus is returning soon! May He receive all of the Glory, Honor and Praise for every fruit He has produced in our lives! And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. (Whole Chapter: In context: )
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