The Voice Of Truth: 1-15-18

FRUITFUL

“When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.” — John‬ ‭15:8‬ ‭NLT‬‬

The Bible teaches us that a tree is known by our fruit (Matthew 7:17, 20). What kind of fruit are you producing? We must produce fruit in keeping with our salvation, which is the Character of Christ (Galatians 5:11).

As followers of Christ, we are known by our actions—the fruit we produce. It’s easy to say that we love God and love people, isn’t it? After all, we are commanded to do so (Matthew 22:37-39). But actions, my friends, always speak louder than words. It’s not enough to say that we love God. We must provide it by serving Him. Nor is it enough to say that we love people. We must prove it by serving them. Easier said than done, right?

For too long, we have been known for what we don’t do, rather than for what we should do. What I mean is, we criticize instead of encourage; judge instead of extend mercy; express bitterness instead of joy; anxiety instead of peace; are selfish instead of generous. My friends, this should not be the case. Jesus said, “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples”
— John 13:34-35 NLT. If you want the world to see Christ in you, then ask God to produce the Fruit of the Spirit in you: love, joy, peace, patient, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). When we exhibit these characteristics in our lives, then we will be able to extend the love God to others through word and deed.

Prayer: LORD, fill me with Your great love so that I can love others in a genuine and practical way. Produce the fruit of the Spirit in my life, so that others will be nourished by it. Let the character of Christ Jesus shine brightly in my life for the world to see, and let others be changed as a result. Let everything I do, be done, for the glory of God and the good of the people. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

-championrm

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Pray Hard. . .Work Hard

The New Year is upon us!  It is a year of New Beginnings.  The time has come to say goodbye to the past and hello to the future.  God has given us dreams and visions for the future, and now is the time to pursue them.  There is much to be done—places to go, people to see, and things to do.  It will require hard work and great faith to get it done.

The Scriptures teach us the following: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the LORD, not for human masters” (Col. 3:23 NIV).  It doesn’t matter what you feel called by God to do, you can be sure that hard work will be at the heart of it. According to Mark Batterson, if we are to accomplish our God-given dreams, we must “Pray like it depends on God and Work like it depends on Us.”

+ If we are going to honor The Lord, then we must work very hard to do so in every area of our lives – home, school, work, family and community.
+ As followers of Jesus Christ, we have been set apart. We are no longer who we once were, but different-NEW. We don’t think the same or talk the same or even act the same. Therefore, our lives are to reflect the image and influence of The Lord Jesus Christ, so that the world around us can see the difference that only The Lord can make when one chooses to follow Him.
+ If you want to honor God and be the man or woman that He has created and called you to be, then follow the example that Jesus Christ has set for you. Love God, love people and work hard in every area of life. In doing so, you will continue to be shaped and molded into His image and become better prepared to do all that He has called you to do.

Prayer: Lord, help me to be the the person that you have created and called me to be. Help me to live a life that brings honor to You. Help me to understand the importance of working hard in all aspects of life: home, family, school and work, so that I can set an example for those around me, and show the world the difference that You can make in the lives of Your followers. Let everything that I do be done for the glory of God and for the good of the people. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

championrm