On one side stands the crowd.
On the other stands
Lumpy eye. Lofty promise.
One promises acceptance,
the other a cross.
One offers flesh
The other offers
The crowd challenges,
"Follow us and fit in."
"Follow me and stand out."
They promise to
God promises to
God looks at you
What will be your
*THANK YOU FOR SETTING US FREE. MAY
WE BE SPURRED ON BY YOUR LOVE TO DO GREAT WORKS, YET NEVER SUBSTITUTING
THOSE WORKS FOR YOUR GREAT GRACE, KEEP US AMAZED AND MESMERIZED
BY WHAT YOU HAVE DONE FOR US.
Taken from "God's Inspirational
Promise Book, Max Lucado, 1996
Do we serve God to the very best
of our ability? Do we know what spiritual gifts/talents God has
given us to help Him finish His great work? Sometimes our talents
are clearly defined to others and blinded from ourselves.
If you don't
know, don't despair. You're among friends who may also question
what God has given them. God says, by their fruits, ye shall know
them (Matthew 7:16). In my life Application Translation this verse
can detect them by the way they act, just as you can identify
a tree by its fruit.
John 15:5_8 also
Yes, I am the
Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in me and I in him shall
produce a large crop of fruit. For apart from me you can't do
a thing. If anyone separates from me, he is thrown away like a
useless branch, withers and is gathered into a pile with all the
others and burned. But if you stay in me and obey my commands,
you may ask any request you like, and it will be granted! My true
disciples produce bountiful harvests. This brings great glory
to my Father.
This verse shows
Jesus making a distinction between two types of pruning; separating,
and the cutting back of unproductive branches. Branches that do
not produce fruit are of no value and need to be "pruned" or cut
back at the trunk to keep the disease or worthlessness from spreading
and infecting the whole tree. Those who do not bear fruit for
God or who try to block or slow the efforts of Gods followers
will be cut off from the divine flow of life. (Life Application
subject has been of interest to me and I know that in the past,
women's roles have been defined in quiet, traditional, supportive
tasks. While there is certainly nothing wrong with this role,
God expects us to use our talents He has given us for His glory.
Just what are the fruits we must produce?
Fruit is not
limited to soul-winning. Prayer, love and joy are mentioned in
John 15 as fruit. Galations 5 and II Peter1 mention additional
fruits that can be used to glorify God, such as patience, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
If we want the
fruit of the Spirit to develop in our lives, we must recognize
that all of these characteristics are found in Christ. We must
know Him, love Him, remember Him and imitate Him.
If we do these
important things, the end result will be the fulfillment of Christ's
intended purpose--loving God and man. A person who is rich in
the fruit of the Spirit fulfills the law far better than a person
who observes the rituals but has little love in his heart.
Which of these
qualities most needs further development in your life?
I know I have
several areas to improve upon. God wants me to be the best can
possibly be for His glory, not my own. Let's all read and take
heart. We can produce fruit, with help from God and from each
*Taken from Life Application Bible