Holiness

"Be holy, because I am holy" (1 Peter 1.16)

Holiness.  What do think of when you hear the word "holiness"?

Women in dresses, conservatively dressed, little or no jewelry?  List no’s: no movie theatres; no dancing, etc.

Last week we talked about “Boundaries.” God places boundaries that are “good and pleasant,” so that we prosper, so that we can be content, so that we can live a full life. But we have to trust his boundaries.

Several weeks ago, on Pentecost Sunday, we talked about the symbol of fire as the Holy Spirit looked like fire and came to rest on those gathered together. We talked about that fire being a fiery zeal leading them to be bold witnesses of the Gospel and for the Lord and a consuming fire that refines or burns away those things the impurities of our lives or those things that stand between us and God.

Holiness is too often misunderstood as a list that someone sometime drew  up and some churches enforce. If you are Christian you are going to look a particular way. Mostly this comes from an interpretation of “be not conformed to the world” (Romans 12.2).

Conservative Amish and Mennonite sects live by that rule. Clothing has always been a big part of that. Recently there was an article in the Huntingdon Daily News regarding a website that sold “plain clothes.” Website for Amish!!!

Holiness is far more than this and it boils down to one verse; one/two command: Read Luke 10.25-27.

Holiness is loving God and loving neighbor. Holiness is loving God with all of our being. Seeking to love God more than anything or anyone.

Read Matthew 19.16-22. This story always makes my heart sad. I always wonder how could anyone  turn and walk away from God and here is God in human flesh, and this young man just turns and walks away. The price of following Christ was just too much. This young man knew God’s Word. He probably like all good Jewish boys sat under a Rabbi and studied the laws and commands of Scriptures. He had all the right answers. But it wasn’t about giving the right intellectual answer; it  was about his heart.

This young man yearned for something more. There was something missing in his life. He sought Jesus out; he approached Jesus. He’s keeping the commands, but says, “What do I still lack?”

“We who see ourselves as lacking are the most hopeful of people.” (Jim and Molly Davis Scott)

Perfect. If you want to be holy. If you want to go to the next step with me, this is what you need to do. Holiness is about growing. Holiness is about becoming more and more in the image of Christ. It’s about having the heart of God. Loving the things that God loves.

The young man decides he’d rather live with that empty feeling in his life than become more like Christ. He wasn’t willing to take the next step of transformation.

Holiness is not about law. It’s not about a manmade list of things we must do or must not do. It is a matter of the heart. It is God guiding each of us in our walk, knowing where each of us is and guiding us according to where we are.

“God doesn’t care where we are; as long as we are on the journey.”

God is involved. It is both God and us that walk this road. None of us are able to make the right decisions, none are willing to pay the cost of discipleship, without God empowering us to do so.

Matthew 19.25-26

"But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen." (2 Peter 3.18)

2 Thessalonians 2.14; Romans 5.5; Matthew 10.39; 16.25

“When you’re through changing, you’re through.” (Bruce Barton)

"The Spirit of truth has come, He will guide you into all truth" (John 15.13)

As you have seen and heard God’s Word, go forth as witnesses of Jesus Christ, living lives that proclaim his presence in you. Being filled with the Holy Spirit, go forth with the Spirit’s blessing. Amen.

Fruit of the Spirit 3: Holiness

What do you think about when you hear the word “holiness”? If you’re like many people, words like rules, judgmental, “holier than thou,” may come to mind. Holiness has gotten a bad wrap in recent years (some of it perhaps justified).

Holiness is necessary to talk about because sin entered into the world. My favorite re-telling of the Adam and Eve debacle goes like this …

After creating heaven and earth, God created Adam and Eve. And the first thing he said was:

"Don’t."

"Don’t what?" Adam replied

"Don’t eat the forbidden fruit." God said.

"Forbidden fruit? We got forbidden fruit?

Hey Eve! We got forbidden fruit!"

"No way!"

"Yes way!"

"DON’T EAT THAT FRUIT!" Said God.

"Why?"

"Because I am your Father and I said so!" said God, wondering why he hadn’t stopped after making elephants. A few minutes later God saw his kids having an apple break and was angry.

"Didn’t I tell you not to the fruit?" the First Parent asked.

"Uh huh," Adam replied.

"Then why did you?"

"I dunno," Eve answered.

"She started it!" Adam said.

"Did not!"

"Did too!"

"Did NOT!"

Having had it with the two of them, God’s punishment was that Adam and Eve should have children of their own! Thus, the pattern was set and it has never been changed.

The Holiness Movement grew out of Methodism and the Wesleyan movement. In 1784, at the famous Christmas Conference in Baltimore, they opened with the question, “For what are we here?” And the answer was proclaimed, “To reform the continent and spread scriptural holiness throughout the land.”

Matthew 19.16-26
The rich young man in this story was doing just enough to get by (if that’s possible). In this conversation with Jesus, he discovers something about himself that was keeping him from being perfect, complete, or whole in his relationship with God. How do you respond when God shows you things that need to change in your life?

“Sin to a believer is horrible, because it crucified the Savior; he sees in every iniquity the nails and spear.” (Charles Spurgeon)

In a cartoon that appeared in Leadership magazine, two couples are seated in a living room engaged in Bible study. One of the women is speaking. "Well," she says, "I haven’t actually died to sin, but I did feel kind of faint once."

A couple of great passages of Scripture to read about sin include: Romans 6 and 1 John 3

Holiness of Heart & Life
1 Peter 1.13-16; 1 Thessalonians 4.1-3a; Hebrews 12.14; Matthew 5.43-48

Walk in the Spirit
Amos 5.14-15a; Galatians 5.16-18; Philippians 2.12-13

The way toward holiness of heart and life is to walk in the Spirit (which we’ll talk more about next week). But for now, I think two of the questions that women and men, who are being ordained in the United Methodist Church, are asked, are fitting for us today …

  • “Are you going on to perfection?” (With the help of God, I am!)
  • “Do you expect to be made perfect in this life?” (Yes)

Grace
Of course, whenever we talk about sin and holiness, we must talk about grace. The Scriptures inform us that "Sin is no longer your master, for you are no longer subject to the law, which enslaves you to sin. Instead, you are free by God’s grace. So since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does this mean we can go on sinning? Of course not!" (Romans 6.14-15)

“God has one destined end for mankind — holiness! His one aim is the production of saints. God is not an eternal blessing-machine for men. He did not come to save men out of pity. He came to save men because He had created them to be holy.” (Oswald Chambers)

My prayer for you and me today is found in Psalm 51.10: "Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a right spirit within me."

Ephesians: Mastering the Art of Community

During the summer of 2004 (before I began posting sermons here), I did a series on the book of Ephesians called, “Mastering the Art of Community.” If you’d like more info, or to request a copy of the PDFs, leave a comment or email me (see About page for address).

Boundaries

Psalm 16

Don’t Eat the Forbidden Fruit (by Rev. Morgan Murray)
Whenever your kids are out of control, you can take comfort from the thought that even God’s omnipotence didn’t extend to God’s kids. After creating  heaven and earth, God created Adam and Eve. And the first thing he said was:

"Don’t."

"Don’t what?" Adam replied

"Don’t eat the forbidden fruit." God said.

"Forbidden fruit? We got forbidden fruit? Hey Eve! We got forbidden fruit!"

"No way!"

"Yes way!"

"DON’T EAT THAT FRUIT!" Said God.

"Why?"

"Because I am your Father and I said so!" said God, wondering why he hadn’t stopped after making elephants.

A few minutes later God saw his kids having an apple break and was  angry.

Didn’t I tell you not to the fruit?" the First Parent asked.

"Uh huh," Adam replied.

"Then why did you?"

"I dunno," Eve answered.

"She started it!" Adam said.

"Did not!"

"Did too!"

"Did NOT!"

Having had it with the two of them, God’s punishment was that Adam and Eve should have children of their own. Thus, the pattern was set and it has never been changed. Sound a bit familiar?

We expect our children to obey, because we are looking out for their  best interest. But then we turn around to our loving Heavenly Parent and act the same way as our kids. We wrestle with God. We question God and his wisdom. We question his loving care for us. We question the God who has chosen us; who has adopted us and grafted us into his family. We question the God who gave his only Son to die on a cross for us. We question the God who created us and knows us better than ourselves. We question the God all-knowing, all-powerful, always present.

But this is the God who gave us free will that we might choose to obey, choose to follow, and choose to love him.

Teach your children
Ephesians 6.1-4; Proverbs 22.6; Proverbs 23.13-14

As you teach your children, you give them more and more freedom. It is your goal to raise them to one day be independent.

Trust God
At the same time God teaches us more and more and so that we can trust him more and more and depend on him more and more.

One of my favorite passages is Psalm 16.6: "The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places." That’s a reassuring passage to me. It tells me God is watching over me.  That he has a hedge of protection around me. That he is guiding me.

Families with small children who live near a road sometimes put a fence up: to protect their children; so that when they don’t know any better they don’t wander out onto the street. As children get a little older they may figure out how to open the gate. And they test the boundaries.

And we do the same with God. Sometimes we bump into God’s boundaries and we think, I’m older now. I know a little more now. I think these boundary lines need moved out a little bit. Or we need to test the boundaries to see if God really does know what is best.

Adam and Eve were given boundaries, “Don’t eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” They began to wonder, “But why?” “I wonder what it tastes like?” And Satan comes and after questioning Adam and Eve, says, “Surely you will not die.”

None of us likes to feel “boxed in.” But sometimes, we feel God’s boundaries and we feel boxed in. We see other people doing other things and we wonder, “Why can’t I do that?” “It doesn’t seem to be hurting them.”

God’s Boundaries

Sabbath Boundaries
Even a lot of people who are not Christians are good at taking a day of rest. Putter around the house. Have brunch guests over. Spend time with the family. And this is Father’s Day today, so what about the priority of family?

Read Matthew 10.37-39. This is a more specific paraphrase of the first commandment. “Have no other god’s before me.” Put nothing before me, not even family.

God’s boundaries help us prioritize. Love God and he will teach you to  love one another. Discover God’s love and you will discover how to truly love your family.

The charge of Ephesians 6.4 4 is, "Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord." Caution: Love of God is not equated to church work. If you live at the church and are consumed with the work of the church, your family can suffer. God first; family second; then the work of the church. A good guideline is one hour of worship, one hour of ministry, one hour of Bible Study each week.

“Work smarter; not harder.” Invisible line, the harder you work the less effective your work is.

Financial Boundaries
"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money." (Matthew 6.24)

This is another specific example of the first commandment. “Have no other god’s before me.”  Are you going to trust God’s boundaries? Or rely on self? Are you going to give to God what is his?

Malachi 3.8-11

Another family application: Where do you balance family and work? Is providing financially for your family the same as spending time with them? Does financial provision equate with love? Where are the boundaries?

Sexual Boundaries
One message from the Song of Solomon: "never awaken love before it is ready." Sex is a gift of God to a man and woman who covenant together in marriage. The world, however, shows us a different picture. Our young people are pressured by other voices.

Statitistics indicate that those who live together are twice as likely to get divorced after they do marry. Studies show that the more premarital sex you have, the less likely you’ll be happy in your future marriage and the more likely that you or your spouse will cheat after you’re wed. Married couples are less likely to have a satisfactory sex life if they live together first. Married couples reported being the most physically pleased and emotionally satisfied. Physical and emotional satisfaction started to decline when people had more than one sex partner.

TV/movies do not show the consequences: teenage pregnancy, 1.2 million children born each year without fathers (disadvantage socially, financially, emotionally, behaviorally, academically, and even
physically), 1 out of 7 high school students graduate with STD, AIDS.

1 Corinthians 6.16-19

Will we trust God? Will we trust his boundaries? That they are for our good.

Test them and see if you can say, "The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places" (Psalm 16.6).

Fruit of the Spirit 2: Mission Passion

As we continue our look at some aspects of the fruit of the Spirit,
today we look at mission passion. Passion is a deep, yearning desire in
your heart, and mission passion is a passion for God’s mission.

We’re going to look at an event that took place early in David’s life, and is one of the greatest Bible stories. (Read 1 Samuel 17). David was a man after God’s own heart; he was a man of great passion and courage, and we certainly see that in this story.

The Philistine and Israeli armies gathered on opposing hills 15 miles
west of Bethlehem overlooking the Elah Valley. Each army waited for
the other army to take the offensive and go down into the valley. But
instead, the giant named Goliath, the champion warrior of the Philistine surprised the
Israelite army by challenging them to send their best warrior for
single, hand-to-hand combat to settle the dispute. Goliath said, "I defy the armies of
Israel! Send me a man who will fight with me!"

Goliath, in a full suit of armor (weighing at least 125 pounds), and
carrying extremely heavy weapons put fear in Saul and his army. In fact,
Scripture says, “When Saul and the Israelites heard this, they were
terrified and deeply shaken.” For 40 days, Goliath terrorizes the
Israelites, taunting them morning and evening.

Finally, a young guy, named David, comes along and overhears Goliath’s
threats and challenges.  David’s father, Jesse, had sent him to
take supplies to his three brothers who were members of Saul’s army.
David observes what’s going on, and he wonders why no one is doing anything
about it!

David’s passion for God gives him courage
After a brief squabble with his older brothers on the frontlines, David convinces Saul to
let him go up against Goliath, saying, "Don’t worry about a thing. I’ll
go fight this Philistine!" Even though Saul thought that was
ridiculous at first, David convinces him to give him a chance noting
how God has used him in the past when taking care of his father’s
sheep, protecting them lions and bears. Saul consents, "All right, go
ahead. And may the LORD be with you!"

Wear your own armor
David learned a valuable lesson, and teaches us one as well. Saul gave
David his armor to fight Goliath, but it didn’t fit and David was
unfamiliar with it. So David stuck with his own set-up, and chose to rely on the way God had
shaped him. We, too, we need to wear our own armor, living the way God has shaped us.

Rick Warren talks about the importance of knowing your SHAPE: Spiritual gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality, and Experience. Just as each of our sets of DNA and fingerprints are different, so is our shape.

David takes a risk
Goliath walked toward David with his shield bearer ahead of him,
sneering at him. But David, unfazed, says, "You come to me with sword,
spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD
Almighty—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. Today
the LORD will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head.
And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild
animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel!
And everyone will know that the LORD does not need weapons to rescue
his people. It is his battle, not ours. The LORD will give you to us!"

As Goliath moved closer to attack, David ran toward Goliath! David’s
passion gave him courage, which led him to take a risk for God. There’s
a great line in the movie, "Princess Diaries 2," in which
Princess Mia is being trained to become queen as her grandmother
prepares to retire. Mia is struggling with the whole process, but the
turning point comes with words of wisdom from her father,
"Courage isn’t the absence of fear, but the judgment that there
is something more important than  fear." She makes her choice to
follow her calling rather than her fears, and so does David.

David was a catalyst
After David conquers Goliath, the whole army of Israel is filled with
courage and they charge the Philistine army in what becomes a great victory for the Israelites, but it all started when
one passionate person took a risk!

What is God calling you to do? What is God calling you to risk?
I can’t think of anywhere in Scripture where God asked someone to do
something easy. God always, it seems, calls us to do something that is
bigger than ourselves. What is God calling you to do?

Quotes & Resources

Quotes from Bishop Dan Solomon at the 2005 CPC Annual Conference …

     

  • “I’ve never seen a mission statement yet that came with the batteries included.”
  •  

  • “God is a missionary God, and God is asking what happened to the missionary church?”
  •  

  • “Mission is not an add-on; it’s at the very heart of who we are!”
  •  

  • “Has anyone asked you lately about the hope you have? If not, why not?”

“The core problem is not that we are too passionate about bad things,
but that we are not passionate enough about good things.” (Larry Crabb)

“The world is full of the walking weary. Yet that is not the life that Jesus called us to live.” (A Passionate Life, Mike Breen & Walt Kallestad; lifeshapes.com)

SoulSalsa: 17 Surprising Steps for Godly Living in the 21st Century (Leonard Sweet)

     

  • “I must learn to count on one thing: life never turns out as you
    expect it will. In other words, I must learn how to play. Life is about
    playing.”
  •  

  • “A whole-soul existence is not an ‘in-control’ life; it’s an
    out-of-control life. Disciples of Jesus don’t want the upper hand. God
    gets the upper hand. All of life is placed with God’s control.”
  •  

  • “Start each day with these words: ‘Today, in every action I take,
    in every word I say, I am going to love God with everything in my
    soul.’”

“I believe that one of life’s greatest risks is never daring to risk.” (Oprah Winfrey)

“Wherever there is fear, there is opportunity. Wherever there is great fear, there is great opportunity.” (Andy Stanley)

CPC 2005 Annual Conference

Today, the lay member from our charge and I, shared our thoughts
and reflections on Annual Conference, which took place during the last
three days.

This year’s theme is "Claiming God’s frontiers across central
Pennsylvania … and beyond!" It builds on the theme from the last few
years of "building bridges." Now that we have built bridges, it’s time
to move to the other side and claim God’s frontiers!

This was, by far, the best Annual Conference I have ever been to. I
left saying, "Wow!" It felt like campmeeting, to use an old Methodist
term. God’s presence was evident, and I left spiritually renewed and
impassioned!

What I like most about the theme is that it is highly missional. It’s
about taking risks, and getting out of the confines of our buildings,
and out into the streets (or the frontier) and doing ministry there.

This leads well into next week’s message on "passion and purpose,"
although I am going to adopt Bishop Dan Solomon’s title, "mission
passion," from his message at Annual Conference.

Waiting with Purpose

Acts 1.1-5

I’ve never heard anyone say, "Oh goodie, we get to wait in line at
Wal-Mart!" or "Oh look, there’s road construction signs ahead. I wonder
if we’ll get to wait!"
Waiting is probably one of our least favorite things to do. It’s a
waste of time. We want to be doing something. We want to at least make
it look like we are making something happen.
We would rather travel 20 miles out of our way, than wait 20 minutes in
a line of traffic. At least we would be doing something.

But Jesus tells the disciples to wait.
I wonder if after Jesus appeared to them many times and he convincingly
proved that he was alive, if they were excited to tell others he was
alive? But Jesus said wait. Don’t go yet. Don’t leave yet.

Acts 2 talks of the Spirit coming into the “whole house where they were
sitting.” I’ve always imagined the disciples still hid away, in a room
together. Still fearful. Still avoiding the people of Jerusalem. Maybe
even gathered in the room where they had shared the Last Supper with
Jesus.
However, "house" was a common term for the temple. It could have been a
room in the temple area.

The Feast of Pentecost was an Old Testament Jewish worship gathering.
Disciples did not neglect worship in the temple following Jesus’ death.
Jesus continued to worship in the temple, there was no reason to
believe the disciples did not. The epistles reveal house churches where
Christians worshiped and studied together about the things of Christ
and the Holy Spirit, but this does not mean they did not meet to
worship in the temples. We do not know when they discontinued this
practiced.

John Wesley did not break off from the church to form the UMC. He was a
part of the Church of England and wished to remain a part of the Church
of England. He wished to bring renewal to the Church. Members of the
Holy Clubs at Oxford fasted until 3:00 pm on Wednesdays and Fridays,
received holy communion once each week, studied and discussed the Greek
New Testament and the classics each evening in a member’s room, and the
next year visited prisoners and the sick, they systematically brought
their lives under strict review.

These meetings continued as Methodist Societies and they continued to
study the Scriptures and review one another’s walk, holding one another
accountable. Those involved with these societies were to meet with the
societies during the week and then worship at the Church of England on
Sundays.

Today we worship on Sunday. Do you know why the Seventh Day Adventists
are called what they are? When do they worship? Saturday.
What is the Jewish Sabbath? Saturday.
The early church continued to worship in the temple on Saturday,
gathering together in their house churches as follower of Christ, the
next day, on Sunday.
Another reason, I now believe the disciples were not hid away in a
private room somewhere is that when the Holy Spirit descended upon them
and they began to speak in other languages. There were people there to
hear them speaking.

Acts 2.5-13

Waiting
When I think of waiting I think of doing nothing, like sitting in a
line of traffic. Although, I prepare ahead for times like those any
more. I have teaching tapes, book on tape, praise & worship tapes.
I can pray.
I believe that the disciples waited in a similar fashion. I cannot
believe that in their excitement of everything that happened, all that
they had seen and witnessed, that they were not awestruck at God’s
activity and continually worshiped.

After all, Acts 2 goes on to say that after the coming of the Holy
Spirit, "Every day they continued to meet together in the temple
courts."

Acts 16.6-10

"… those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God" (Romans 8.14).

Go forth waiting and being led by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Fruit of the Spirit 1: Have You Good Fruit?

There are all kinds of tests that we encounter in life: tests at school, job tests, vision tests, cholesterol tests (and other physical tests), driver’s tests.

Speaking of driver’s tests, there was a study released in recent weeks which reported nearly 20 million Americans (about 1 in 10 drivers) would fail a state driver’s test if they had to take one today. GMAC Insurance gave a 20-question test to more than 5,000 licensed drivers between the ages of 16 and 65 in order to measure basic knowledge about traffic laws and safety. BTW, drivers in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic states did worst. Twenty percent of test-takers failed here.

Sadly, though, many people go through their lives testing all kinds of different things, but never assessing one’s spiritual condition. For Christ-followers in the Wesleyan tradition, the question Wesley would ask is, "Have you good fruit?" Wesley believed that if you are a follower of Jesus Christ, your life will naturally bear good fruit.

So, let’s begin this series with a little test. In the next few weeks we’re going to look at some different qualities. In each of the following categories assess yourself in that particular area: Passion & Purpose, Holiness, Joy, Compassion, and Perseverance.

Fruitfulness, for a Christ-follower, is directly connected to spiritual maturity! We all bear fruit naturally — but the kind of fruit we bear, and how much, depends on what we allow God to do in our lives!

“Spiritual maturity—or spiritual formation—is defined at its core not by being busy with a lot of Christian activities, or knowing a lot about the Bible, or piling up spiritual accomplishments. The Pharisees did all of these things, and Jesus said they were the least fruitful of anybody. To grow in authentic Biblical love and joy and peace and patience …” (John Ortberg)

Questions …

  • What kind of fruit are you bearing in your life right now?
  • What kind of fruit do you want to bear in the future?

Just as there are so many kinds of different fruit in the world today, there are also so many different ways we could describe the fruit of the Spirit. (See Galatians 5.19-26 for a description of both good and bad kinds of fruit.)

This list in Galatians 5 is not a complete list. And I don’t believe we will all look the same or bear the same kinds or amounts of fruit. But what I do believe is that, when we allow God’s Spirit to control us, we will produce good fruit, and the more we yield to God’s leadership in our lives, the more good fruit we will produce!

So, as we talk about qualities of the fruit of the Spirit that I believe we need to experience here in our context, my hope and prayer is that we won’t just learn new information, but that we will be transformed and be filled with a desire to bear more good fruit!

“We are to fulfill God’s dream — that we will bring him glory through a remarkably abundant life.” (Bruce Wilkinson)

I believe that it begins with right perspective and priorities. Jesus said, “But seek first the kingdom of God …” (Matthew 6.33). Earlier he had said, "Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where they can be eaten by moths and get rusty, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where they will never become moth-eaten or rusty and where they will be safe from thieves. Wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will also be" (Matthew 6.19-21). We will be passionate about the things we focus on, and as Christ-followers we need to focus on the things of God!

Jesus talked a lot about growing character from the inside out. Read Matthew 12.33-37; Matthew 15.17-20; Matthew 23.27-28.

Jesus, wrapping up the sermon on the mount, said "A healthy tree produces good fruit, and an unhealthy tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Yes, the way to identify a tree or a person is by the kind of fruit that is produced." (Matthew 7.17-20)

What kind of seeds are you planting?
It seems to me that kind of fruit we bear depends on what kind of seeds we are planting, in our own lives and in the world around us!

How many seeds are you planting?
If you want to produce much fruit, you must plant lots of seeds!

“The Father wants more fruit from us so much that he actually tends our lives so we will keep moving up – from a barren to a productive branch, from an empty to an overflowing basket. And more is always possible. Why? Because we were created to bear fruit, more fruit, and still more fruit!” (Bruce Wilkinson)

You reap what you sow!
Scripture says, in Galatians 6.7-10: "You cannot fool God, so don’t make a fool of yourself! You will harvest what you plant. If you follow your selfish desires, you will harvest destruction, but if you follow the Spirit, you will harvest eternal life. Don’t get tired of helping others. You will be rewarded when the time is right, if you don’t give up. We should help people whenever we can, especially if they are followers of the Lord."

So, have you good fruit?
Some of my favorite words by Jesus are found in john 15 where Jesus says, "You did not choose me. I chose you and sent you out to produce fruit, the kind of fruit that will last" (See
entire passage John 15.1-17). As you build your life on Christ, may you bear more and more fruit for God’s kingdom!