Believers’ Natural Fruits

Ephesians 5:9   (KJV)   9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)

Ephesians 5.9 - Believers' Natural FruitsGod’s precious Holy Spirit living in us produces only good things—praise God for that. He efficiently bears in us what’s good, what’s right, and what’s true.

We willingly and humbly yield ourselves to the gentle leading and inner work of the Holy Spirit. Left to ourselves, we still have a strong tendency to listen to the destructive influence of our old way of living. But our loving God has lavishly given us wisdom; we quickly identify and resist what’s evil, wrong, and false. More so, we understand that ungodliness isn’t something to accommodate and excuse; it’s something to completely reject. Our sincere love for God and our proper understanding of God’s love don’t deny His anger—not only for disobedience but also for the disobedient: “Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience” (Ephesians 5:6).

We love God; He loves us infinitely more. We please the One we love, and we demonstrably do this by being Christ-like. This isn’t a laborious something we force ourselves to. We honestly enjoy living in unquestionable integrity and all-out faithfulness—in willing obedience to the Lord’s instructions. We’ve heard before: “Our lives are God’s gifts to us; what we do with our lives are our gifts to God.” Reality is: there’s nothing we can give God that He didn’t give us. Still, He kindly gives us the uplifting pleasure of choosing to thank Him by the way we live out this precious gift of life—both the physical and the eternal. It’s a deep joy yielding to the precious Holy Spirit—radiating goodness, righteousness, and truth. What an honor and privilege.

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We’re Alive!!!

Job 34:14-15   (KJV)   14 If he set his heart upon man, if he gather unto himself his spirit and his breath; 15 All flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again unto dust.

Job 34.14-15 - We're AlivePraise God, He keeps us alive. We’re absolutely dependent on God for our existence. Obviously, without His Spirit, and without breath, we can’t live. Not everyone recognizes this and admits to this. We do. Life wouldn’t be possible without Him. We’re totally and gratefully indebted to Him.

The very fact that we’re alive is more than enough reasons to acknowledge God’s greatness, His love, His grace. We didn’t ask for life; He just gave it, and oh what a precious gift it is. And He hasn’t stopped blessing us. We’re not only alive, but we keep on living. Moment after moment, He gives us all that’s needed to keep us so. Blessing upon blessing—that’s what He piles up on us.

We’re blessed beyond measure. We’ve probably heard: “What we do with His gifts to us is our gift to Him.” Taking the truth from it, it’s a joy for us to always “give” Him the best gift we can. We do well with the Spirit we’ve received. We do well with our every breath. We want to live life to its best because we want to offer Him the best. He deserves nothing less. Fact is: He deserves way much than our best.

As a father, I remember how touching it was when my daughter in her younger days would show me her drawings and give them to me. Some of them were hard to figure out, but she put her best efforts into them. I have way higher standards when it comes to art, but her gifts were way more than enough for me to be completely satisfied. I was always overjoyed. Now, think about our heavenly Father Who loves us way more and Who understands us way better.

Thank You Dad. Thank You for all Your gifts. We love You.

Boasting in Knowing Him

Jeremiah 9:24   (KJV)   24 But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.

Glorying or boasting is good if glorying is in the right thing. Having a true saving knowledge of, experience with, and understanding of God are right reasons to glory—Jeremiah 9.24 - Boasting in Knowing Himknowing His nature, His power, His ways, His will.

The more we know Him, the more we see how wonderful He really is. For Him to lovingly and graciously invite us to drink of the free Living Water, He knows that when we do, we get to taste and see how good He really is, that He really is the One we need and we’ve been looking for. He’s the only one Who really satisfies our deepest hunger and thirst. He really is the answer to the greatest longing of our souls.

Others run after this world and its seemingly grand offers. They pursue more and more money. They strive hard to share in the 15 minutes of fame—of increased power and influence. They continually look for new things that will satisfy the cravings of their tongues and stomachs, or other people and things that will satisfy their flesh. But those are not things we glory in—not temporal things that will eventually just get burned up.

What we have extends beyond the reaches of matter, time, and space. Who we have and what we have are infinitely worth more than anything and anyone. He’s incomparable, immeasurable, incalculable, and incomprehensible. That’s why we worship Him alone. No volumes of books are enough to accommodate everything that can be written about Him. No amount of words can be used to fully describe the joys and blessings of having a saving knowledge, personal relationship, and very close intimacy with such a magnificent Being.

 

Restoring the Soul

James 5:20   (KJV)   20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

To bring back a believer who wanders from the faith is to save a soul from death. There is a possibility for Christians to err in their ways, to wander from the truth, to come to a A Helping Handpoint where their souls are in the state of death.

It’s of paramount importance that we don’t leave them without any help and any hope of restoration. They can be restored; they can be saved; their multitude of sins can again be forgiven.

We don’t give up that easily on those who turn away from God. We run after them with all our love. There are those who are obstinate for just a short time; they repent when they’re confronted about their errors. Some may take more time and effort. But we give it our best. Souls are incalculably precious to God; we won’t allow the devil to have them in his grip just like that. Each one is worth fighting for, and fight for our brothers and sisters, we will.

Spiritually-Minded

Romans 8:6   (KJV)  6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

As God’s children, we think godly thoughts. We enjoy life and peace now, and we’re looking forward to life and peace with our Father for eternity. We understand we still have choices. We believers don’t lose our free will even after surrendering the throne of Competitionour lives to our Lord Jesus. We choose the focus of our thoughts. We’re also very much aware of the huge implications and repercussions of our choices. Our heavenly Father doesn’t spoil His children.

I pray that this won’t be an issue of intrigue; my prayer rather is that it will be a thought to at least ponder on. Jesus has already borne the penalty of our sins on the cross. In fact He Who knew no sin was made sin for us. That Jesus has taken the death penalty for us is an absolute truth. What is this death then that results from being carnally minded? It’s easy to choose one and reject the other. In doing so, others explain away whatever they prefer to reject.

Forbid the thought that they would question the efficacy of the Lord Jesus’ sacrifice, so the trend is to deal with the death that results from carnal-mindedness. We’ve heard others interpret and teach that as death of a physical kind. And there’s no doubt, some sinful or even wrong choices can reap physical death as a consequence. But although there’s truth in it, it also misses the fact that physical death also comes even to the spiritually-minded people.

On the other hand, if the consequence of our godly thinking is life of the physical kind, what’s the necessity since we’re already physically alive? Unless it simply means continuation of our physical existence in our present condition, the other and I believe the more logical conclusion is that it also refers to life of spiritual kind. This becomes obvious when looking at the context of the passage. The entire chapter deals very much with our spirits. Without disrespect or preference of any denominational distinctive, we can safely conclude: 1. It’s absolutely and undeniably true that Jesus paid the sin-penalty of death; 2. It is also absolutely true that to be carnally minded—having our sinful nature control our mind—is or leads to death.

Whatever each of us believe; we may not all agree on one line of understanding, but the non-negotiable mandate or exhortation we can all agree and focus on is this: shun sinful nature that produces sinful thoughts, and yield to the precious Holy Spirit Who produces good, spiritual, right, and godly thoughts.

We’ll be Prepared

1 Thessalonians 5:23   (KJV)   23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

It’s commonly known that we’re a tripartite being—consisting of three parts: body, soul, and spirit.  Our body is the material, tangible, and visible part; our soul is composed of our intellect, emotion, and volition (or will); our spirit is the part of our being that 1 Thessalonians 5.23-24 - We'll be Preparedconnects with God.  Prior to our salvation, our bodies and soul catered much to sin, and our spirits were dead; we were separated from God.

When we placed our faith in our Lord Jesus, when we placed our full dependence on Him for our forgiveness and salvation, when we surrendered the throne of our lives to Him, we were made alive; our spirits were reborn. We’re become new creations; the old “us” are gone; the new has come.  We’re now experiencing and enjoying eternal life, seated with our Lord in heavenly places (the full meaning and implications of which He alone knows).

This doesn’t mean we’re now in our full heavenly state—no, not yet. Our bodies and souls still show signs of many flaws and imperfections.  Although, we’re slowly changing even in these areas—from glory to glory, He’s changing us into the image of His Son—our dear Lord and Savior Jesus.  I’ve heard it often, “we’re not sinless; we just sin less.”  Not to be used as an excuse or in pride, but the statement is true.  We humbly admit: we’re not perfect—yet.  But we don’t fear.  We have different levels of maturity and different rates of growth, but when our Lord returns, we’ll all be made ready. We who despite our “working out of our salvation,” and despite our “striving” and wanting to be holy for our Father in heaven is holy, still mess up, will be “qualified” because: “Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it” (v.24).

Word, Power, and Character

1 Thessalonians 1:5   (KJV)   5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.

Words are innately powerful.  Combine that with the Holy Spirit, the power becomes infinitely multiplied (really hard to come up with the appropriate description because each of them is already infinite in their power).  Most probably, the context refers to a 1 Thessalonians 1.5 - Word, Power, and Charactermanifested and/or demonstrated and/or visible power.  Imagine the effectiveness and the credibility of a ministry that possesses both.

And even more, we have genuine lives—messengers who are full of integrity.  This shows us why a ministry becomes unquestionably effective, efficient, and expansive. These three powerful factors working together as we serve each other and reach out to the needy and “hopeless” is much better than missing even one of them.  God loves us greatly as His children that we are lavishly graced with all of them.  God loves those who we serve greatly that He wants them to have undeniable proofs of His reality so that they would turn to Him and also live the best life anyone can ever live—the life of a believer.