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Thursday, August 11, 2005

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT THURSDAY - TRANSFORMERS. The Conclusion.

"If you stop and ask yourself why you are not so devoted as the (early) Christians, your own heart will tell you that it is neither through ignorance nor inability, but purely because you never thoroughly intended it." - William Law.

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. - Phil 1:6.

I met a young man not long ago who dives for exotic fish for aquariums. He said one of the most popular aquarium fish is the shark. He explained that if you catch a small shark and confine it, it will stay a size proportionate to the aquarium. Sharks can be six inches long yet fully matured. But if you turn them loose in the ocean, they grow to their normal length of eight feet. That also happens to some Christians. I've seen some of the cutest little six-inch Christians who swim around in a little puddle. But if you put them into a larger arena--into the whole creation--only then can they become great. - Charles Simpson.

We realise that we are going through a period of change we call life, that is preparing us for our role in eternity with Him. Now, we are going to find out how this is happening to us, and it will explain the "whys" of many things we go through. There are four elements involved in our transformation; THE NEED, THE SEED, THE WEED and THE APPEAL. This week we will look at each element separately, yesterday we looked at THE WEED, and today we conclude with…

THE APPEAL
God and the world both are both pleading for fruit! The seed has been planted and God expects fruit... I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch of mine that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. - John 15:1-2.

Our relationship with Jesus produces fruit, apart from Christ we can do nothing, and any unfruitful member of His body will be eliminated. Those that produce fruit will be pruned in order to produce more, more of Christ.

What is some of this fruit?
Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. - Heb 13:15.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. - Gal 5:22-23.

Filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. - Phil 1:11.

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. - James 3:18.


My understanding of what fruit is and therefore what I expect others to bear may be faulty and/or incomplete. It is all too easy to have a mental list of spiritual fruits and to conclude if someone does not produce what is on my list that he or she is not a believer. But the reality is that most lists that we humans devise are too short, too selective, too prejudiced, and often extra-biblical. God likely has a much more accurate and longer list than most of us do. Nevertheless, every Christian will bear fruit; otherwise he or she is not a true believer. - Charles Ryrie.

We have to understand that this seed that has been planted, has nothing to do with our efforts, virtues or good works. The fruit are results of the seed, the seed is an outside source planted to bring an inward force, to set a heavenly path!

A familiar Mother Goose rhyme goes:
PUSSY CAT, PUSSY CAT, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?
I'VE BEEN TO LONDON TO VISIT THE QUEEN.
PUSSY CAT, PUSSY CAT, WHAT DID YOU THERE?
I FRIGHTENED A LITTLE MOUSE UNDER THE CHAIR.

Like that cat, Christians sometimes settle for petty involvements, trivial pursuits--chasing mice--when we have the opportunity to spend time with royalty, with the King! Instead of remaining content with minimum daily requirements, we can deepen our relationship with God and grow into maturity. - Source Unknown.

Maybe we are saying to ourselves, "Now that I understand this God nature IN me, I need to weed my garden to allow it to grow THROUGH me." Are there weeds choking out the blessings of God in our life? Is there no fruit because a weed, (something else) is absorbing the nutrients that are meant for the fruit, sucking out the very life of the plant?

We must strongly consider activating... 2 Chron. 7:14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Let us stand in awe of our mighty God, and sin not. Let us fear the Lord's disapproval, hope in his forgiveness, and obey His commandments.

Loving Father, I ask by the power of the Holy Spirit, that you would change me. Transform me into the character of your dear son Jesus, that I may be more like Him, in His wonderful name I pray! Amen!


GBYAY

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