Archives for posts with tag: Jesus

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” -Galatians 5:22,23

“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” -Galatians 5:25

Two very familiar passages. Pretty heavy fruit. Serious right living. Something to bear in mind when seeking a church home: Is the church I’m looking to join bearing Spirit fruit planted by God?

This reliable standard goes beyond praise and worship styles, prayer meetings, auxillaries/ministries departments, outreach programs, and all the workings of organized religion in church. It looks past the smiling faces, friendly hugs, and polite etiquette. It looks deep into the heart of a church’s members.

Jesus was never impressed with church folk. He pierced through their works to the inside of their souls. Attitudes and motives caught his attention. Always. I think of the Good Samaritan account, and the lawyer who asked Jesus who was his neighbor. Jesus answered his question with this story-then asked the lawyer who was the neighbor. Then there’s the Prodigal Son story, describing the actions and reactions of the father, the wayward son, and the faithful elder brother. The other story that stands out in my mind is the Widow’s Mite, and Jesus’ silence as he watched the congregants put in their offerings. He openly praised the widow’s act of putting all she had into the plate. Oh yes, I forgot about the rich young ruler. He did right, lived right, from his youth, but chose not to follow Jesus after he was told to sell all his wealth.

The appearance of doing right, and living right, is not enough in God’s eyes. These acts should be fruit born of the seed of pure love for God, and for all his people. He asks why am I doing right? God wants to know, and the book of Acts clearly shows, do I love him from my heart-or is it just for show? Have I brought God down to my level of selfishness, doing good works for me or for him? Or to get things for me and my four, and no more? My thoughts, my motives I hide from man who sees smiles, and works-but God sees hearts.

Yes, God can tell if a church’s fruit is good or bad. Remember the fig tree Jesus cursed because it bore no fruit?

A FRUITFUL CHURCH: Oozes with a God-love that sets safe, loving, prayer-saturated boundaries for members to share their real selves, fearing no closed-mindedness and judgment. The joy continues long after the weekly praise & worship, miracles, and healings stop. Her members consciously seek peaceful ways of getting along with one another. Everyone practices longsuffering (patience), understanding every member is at a different stage of his or her walk with the Lord. Gentleness is shown consistently when restoring those who are fallen and weak in faith. The intent of the hearts of all members is to think, to speak, to do good and only good. Faith causes everyone to believe in and encourage each other to get up, brush off, to keep moving forward and upwards. The spirit of meekness recognizes all make mistakes, then effectively crushes and makes no room for pride. Temperance (self-control) governs every church member, because they are surrendered vessels to God.

Looking for a home church? Look for her Spirit Fruit.

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http://publicphoto.org/architecture/church-in-the-city/

 

 

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Name: Child of God, Follower of Jesus

Date: January 15, 2014

Course: My Life. Chapter 50

Instructor: God”s Blessed Holy Spirit

Lesson: 15, Quiz 3

Time Limit:  24 Hours, beginning the moment God opens my eyes

Write my answers to the following:

“Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable-if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise-dwell on these things.”  – Philippians 4:8

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You know your church is doing something right when the neighborhood residents greet you with an enthusiastic “Hi!” before you can give them the same greeting. 

You work the soup kitchen on Easter Sunday…and have more people to serve than normal.

The basketball team members include youth from the neighborhood.

Children and young people stand outside the gym, waiting for the doors to open so they can play.

A senior plays the old, but working piano, while waiting to be served by community service.

Couples living together become married, baptized, active members.

Abstinence is actively taught and modeled beyond weekly worship.

Anyone can come and participate in the children’s and youth ministries.

Tutoring is available for those needing extra help beyond school hours because they cannot afford private sessions.

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I do not remember the whole story, but I heard it in a sermon, the question asked : “If this church were to burn today, would the neighbors care?”

Matthew 25:40-And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of  the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. (KJV)