good quote

" In my opinion, the great single need of the moment is that light-hearted superficial religionists be struck down with a vision of God high and lifted up, with His train filling the temple. The holy art of worship seems to have passed away like the Shekinah glory from the tabernacle. As a result, we are left to our own devices and forced to make up the lack of spontaneous worship by ...bringing in countless cheap and tawdry activities to hold the attention of the church people." ~ A.W. Tozer

Friday, July 30, 2010

The Bear Facts

Here's another Field Insight written by Jason Cruise, maker of the Sportsman's Bible. A small compact KJV Bible for the outdoorsy people who would like to take God's Word with them on their outdoor adventures.

The Bear Facts

Do you know what the number one bear defense weapon is?
A .357 magnum? No. A Gatlin Gun or a Howitzer? Well, sure. But you probably don't have that kind of cash! The best and most practical dear defense is... pepper spray. Believe it or not, it's the best all around weapon you could possibly have when you walk upon a bear. And that is usually just how it happens--- you are working your way quietly through the woods, keeping the wind at your face, and in some underbrush only 10 feet away a nasty bruin lifts his head to investigate that strange creature invading his territory! One of the best advantages of pepper spray is that good brands can throw a "screen" of defense: When you are nervous, you can easily miss your mark with a rifle or pistol. But hyped up pepper spray, the kind made for bears, throws a sheild of defense, and bears absolutely hate it. In fact, they run from it.
In talking with Steve Gray of Guard Alaska, he is quick to point out that God did not create all pepper spray as equals! Many pepper spray brands have a short shelf life, and they can lose actual "throwing" power or thrust when put into action.
Guard Alaska is a leader in the pepper spray industry, and they produce spray that contains large amounts of "capsicum" - the stuff that makes pepper spray burn. It's not water or oil based, which can make it fail against wet bears. Guard Alaska's "Bear Repellent" penetrates mucus membranes, so that it can burn quickly.
Basically, it works on any animal that breathes, so that includes wolves, cougars, or grizzlies. Steve Gray also said that it's absolutely crucial that your pepper spray have an EPA rating; without that, you are pretty much hurling nasty purfume. And, yes, you guessed it, many store-bought pepper sprays do not have an EPA rating.
With Guard Alaska's "Bear Repellent" you can aim at the face and it will throw a net of defense up to 20 feet!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Passon For Souls

In the Bible Study that I attend every Thursday evening we study God's holy Word and spend time in fellowship and praise and worship of the Lord our Savior. AMEN! Right now though we are going through the book of 1 Thessalonians and boy what a study it has been. Something that continues to pop up in this study time and time again is the Apostle Paul's love of the brethren and his desire to see souls saved.

Tonight we finished 1 Thessalonians 2:17- 3:13. In these verses we see Paul's heart for the church of the Thessalonians. How he longed to see them, to know how they were doing in the faith and how he prayed for them and desired for them to grow in the Lord.

It reminded me of a piece of scripture I was studying not too long ago out of the book of Romans chapter 9. This is yet another piece of scripture where we get the opportunity to see Paul's love of others and his longing to fulfill the call from God to spread the Gospel to all men.

In Romans 9:3 It says; "For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:"

In the context of this scripture Paul is referring to Israel. His brethren in the flesh and goes on to prove that in the next verse. Also I want to point out what exactly it is he is saying here. The word "accursed" here in simplest terms, I believe, is the same as saying "Separated." So what Paul is revealing here about himself is that he had such a burden for souls that if he could he would wish to be "separated" from Christ, from God, completely for the sake of others.

Now, in application for us as Christians, (and as you can see salvation in our own life is key to this passage because of Romans 9:1), we should have the same burden for souls that Paul had. So much so, that we would be willing to be separated from God ourselves for the sake of souls coming to a saving knowledge of our Lord, Jesus Christ. That is a great challenge for anyone and everyone. For not only are we commanded of God to be witnesses, we should count it a great privilege to share Christ with all we meet.

As my last point to share with you, Reader, is this... In the heart of Paul in this passage we also see Christ and what He did on Calvary. In Matthew 27:46 and again in Mark 15:34 we are seeing Christ's crucifixion and he says"Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" which being interpreted is "My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?" The reason he spoke those words is if you look in the previous verses it describes a darkness that came over the land. What happened is that Christ, in dying on the cross, he took on the sins of the whole world. God being holy and righteous could not look down on Christ with those sins. He, (Jesus Christ), in that moment became "separated" from God the Father because he became the sacrifice for sin. In this we see the Gospel message that Paul was so adamant that others should know. That they would not reject the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ so much so to the point he would give up his own life for them, and not only his physical life but his spiritual life in Christ for the salvation of others.

How many of us can say that we have a self- sacrificing love for souls like that and not only say it but live it?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Down From His Glory

Down From His Glory has to be one of my all time favorite songs to sing in praise to my Lord and Savior. Not only is it written in a beautiful soprano key but the words are so true and just AWESOME!...

I don't know if anyone else here has ever heard it before. My guess is probably yes there are some that have. Anyway though, I just thought I would post the words here for anyone else that might get a blessing from reading it.

Verse 1

Down from His glory,
Ever living story,
My God and Savior came,
And Jesus was His name,
Born in a manger,
To His own a stranger,
A Man of Sorrows,
Tears and agony.

Chorus

O how I love Him!
How I adore Him!
My breath, my sunshine,
My all in all!
The great Creator,
Became my Savior,
And all God's fullness
Dwelleth in Him.

Verse 2

What condescension,
Bringing us redemption;
That in the dead of night,
Not one faint hope in sight,
God, gracious, tender,
Laid aside His splendor,
Stooping to woo, to win,
To save my soul.

Verse 3

Without reluctance,
Flesh and blood His substance,
He took the form of man,
Revealed the hidden plan.
O glorious myst'ry
Sacrifice of Calv'ry,
And now I know
Thou art the great
"I AM."

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Wahoo Cooking Success!!!

For any of you that know much about me then you could probably safely assume that cooking isn't really my thing. Though I can cook,( I do have that skill), and most often it turns out well; it just isn't something I get overly excited about.

Tonight though I had a hankering to try my hand at something new. I had seen in our pantry some cans of Pineapple chunks in their juice, it said. I got to thinking about my mother's Easy Pie recipe and how you can pick out any fruit you want to put in it. Well, most often we use cherries, apples, peaches, strawberries... you know, typical pie fruits. Not tonight... I took those cans of pineapple and Scuba Duba... put all the ingredients together and a few minutes later I had Pineapple Easy Pie. It was sooooooo good! It had a very light flavor, didn't sit heavy in your mouth or on your tummy. I recommend it for a good summer treat if you don't want a very strong flavor. Oh and most certainly have some vanilla ice cream or whipped cream to go on top!

Now this pie recipe, because it's been simplified comes out looking more like a cobbler because you don't bother to make a form-able crust in the traditional pie pan. you just mix the flour, milk and sugar together and pour it in with your fruit mix. Easy as pie, (pun TOTALLY intended) hahaha... I am putting a copy of my mother's Easy Pie recipe with this blog. It will be at the end.

Now that I had the dessert figured out I had to put together something for the actual meal. I asked mom and dad if they had any plans or ideas of what they wanted to eat. Can't make anything we don't all agree on. They didn't and so I suggested a meal that had been on my mind to make for several weeks now. I had really, REALLY, thought on it so much so that I wanted it real bad.

I asked if I could make Roast Beef with Gravy and mushrooms on a bed of rice as a main course and then we had green beans and corn off the cob for sides. What a hit!! HOME RUN, TOUCH DOWN, HOLE IN ONE!!! :) I was pleased that they liked it, but mostly that it didn't turn into a complete mess in the kitchen. Thankfully, our kitchen is still in one piece. One more thing to be thankful for as well.... DISHWASHER! haha.. All I had to do is clean off the table and pile all the dishes into the dishwasher for washing later when it is full.

Ahh... now that was one satisfying supper success...

Mom's Easy Pie Recipe

1/2 cup melted butter
2 cups sugar (or splenda if you're like us)
4 cups of fruit (any kind)
1 cup self rising flour
1 cup milk

Start by putting 1 cup of your sugar in a pan with your fruit and bring to a boil. Stir to keep from burning. Melt the butter in the pan that you will be baking your pie in. Combine the flour, milk, and remaining sugar in a bowl and mix gently until all lumps are gone and pour it in with the melted butter. Next you want to take your fruit/sugar mixture and pour it on top of everything else in your pie pan. Bake all this in a pre-heated oven at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.

A good suggestion is that this pie will fill a MEDIUM size glass casserole dish, which is what we use to make this cobbler style pie. Have fun trying it out! Let me know how yours turns out and what kind of fruit you used...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

God the Hunter

This is a Field Insight written by Jason Cruise, maker of the Sportsman's Bible. A small compact KJV Bible for the outdoorsy people who would like to take God's Word with them on their outdoor adventures.

These are his words and I think they are practical and insightful. I hope you enjoy reading what he had to share.

God the Hunter

" Hunting's greatest reward is not the kill; it's the work it took to make it happen. Working that gobbler, enticing that big bull elk with your cow calls, or knowing just where to place your stand to harvest a buck... that's where the hunt really happens. It's in those times that you are in full pursuit. Calculating. Dreaming. Doubting. All those decisions must come to fruition in just the right way. And there is risk involved, too. You can't be everywhere at once even though you wish you could. You must make a choice of where you want to play out your hunt. When it's all said and done, you are, as they say, in "fair chase."

There's a link to God in this concept of Fair Chase if you really think about it. You have to wonder why God created us, don't you? Seriously, What were His intentions? What do you imagine He was thinking when He decided to create people "in His own image?"

Truth be told, when you read Genesis 3 you find that God was operating in a "fair chase environment." He created Adam and Eve, gave them everything they needed and then some, and yet set them free to make decisions. They did fine for a time, but eventually they blew it completely. And they didn't just miss the mark for themselves, but they started a domino effect of problems that affect us even today.

Even with the dew still fresh in the abandoned Garden, God remained in pursuit. His persistent love will not stop no matter how hard of lonely the chase gets. Understand that God's hunting you is what separates Christianity from every other faith. Christianity is not you searching for God, it is God searching for you through Jesus Christ. He came here, Made His home among us. Pursued a relationship with real people. Fair chase. Uncontrolled. Free will we may have, but His love never stops pursuing us. In that respect, God knows what it means to pursue something you love. Is it not mind-boggling to think that He is so obsessed with us? "

sons and daughters of Hibernia (Ireland)

I found this painted on a coaster and liked it so now I'm sharing it with all of you...


We are the sons and daughters of Hibernia
proud heirs of an ancient legacy.
We've settled every corner of the globe,
driven from our homeland by famine and oppression
or simply by the restless spirit that's our birthright.

Wherever we go, we bring with us a love of freedom,
a melancholy humor, a biting wit and a golden tongue.
But regardless of where destiny may take us,
We're linked to the land of our ancestors by an
ethereal thread that binds the heart
and reminds us always
that we are a unique people.

We are the Irish!

Ain't

AIN'T...



He was just a little boy,

On a week's first day.

Wandering home from Bible school,

And dawdling on the way.



He scuffed his shoes into the grass;

He even found a caterpillar.

He found a fluffy milkweed pod,

And blew out all the 'filler.'



A bird's nest in a tree overhead,

So wisely placed up so high.

Was just another wonder,

That caught his eager eye.



A neighbor watched his zig zag course,

And hailed him from the lawn;

Asked him where he'd been that day

And what was going on.



'I've been to Bible School ,'

He said and turned a piece of sod.

He picked up a wiggly worm replying,

'I've learned a lot about God.'



'M'm very fine way,' the neighbor said,

'for a boy to spend his time.'

'If you'll tell me where God is,

I'll give you a brand new dime.'



Quick as a flash the answer came!

Nor were his accents faint.

'I'll give you a dollar, Mister,

If you can tell me where God ain't.'

Bearing Fruit

This was a chapter taken from "Parables of Jesus" volume 2 by Clarence Sexton, Crown Christian Publications. The end question I was left with in my own heart was "Am i right with God so that I may bare MUCH fruit for His glory?"

"And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: and if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down."~ Luke 13:8-9

You have been placed on this earth for a special purpose. God said to the first man, Adam, "Be fruitful and multiply." Fruit bearing gives evidence of something much deeper. Not bearing fruit, or having a barren fruit tree gives evidence of something much deeper also. In other words, there is something that produces the fruit, and the lack of it causes the barrenness.

The Word of God says in Luke 13:6-9,

"He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years i come seeking fruit of this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: and if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shall cut it down."

What does this parable mean? Parables are stories that Jesus Christ "placed alongside." The Lord gives us a story. Alongside that story, He points out something we need to know about the work of God- the way He gets things done, what He expects, and what He intends to do.

~ The Privilege of Fruit Bearing~

What does it mean to be right with God? Many people overemphasize results. They overemphasize the "fruit." The emphasis needs to be placed where God places the emphasis- being right with Him. When considering the fruit, more importantly, we must consider what produces the fruit.

In the Old Testament, in the fifth chapter of the book of Isaiah, the Lord speaks of His vineyard. God gave a distinct privilege to Israel. They are His special people, even though they have been set aside for this time. To them and through them, it is God's desire to make Himself known to the whole world. We understand from the Scripture that the fig tree in the vineyard represents the nation of Israel. The vineyard is the special privileged place that God gave to His people Israel. In that special place, God placed His special people- His fig tree.

The Bible says in Isaiah 5:1-7

"Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My welbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill: and he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes. And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard. What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes? And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down: and I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it. Fr the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry."

God said, "What could have been done more to My vineyard, that I have not done in it?" Contemplate that question. "Is there any more I could have done for you than I have already done? Could I have given you greater privilege? Could I have provided for you more than I have provided for you? Could there be anyone on the face of the earth to ever say that God has been better to him than I have been to you?" The answer is no.

God is saying, "I expect a certain thing from you; when i went to get that certain thing from you, I did not find it. I took tender care to build a fence around you, to build a tower to look out for you, to prune you, to make sure you were doing everything possible to be fruitful. Now, Israel, I am going to remove all the tender love and care that i gave and all the special attention I poured into you." God has not forgotten His people, Israel. He is not finished with the Jew. But for this time, they are set aside.

In interpretation, one must not see anything else other than the Jew; however, in application, one can see all of our lives. The principle remains true, not only for Israel, but for nations, churches, families, and individuals- for all of us. God is good to us. God has blessed us beyond measure. He has every right to expect that we be fruitful.

Notice what our lord says in the closing part of Luke chapter twelve beginning with verse forty-nine and ending with verse fifty-three,

"I am come to sending fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled? But I have a baptism to be baptize with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished! Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: for from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother-in- law against her daughter- in- law, and the daughter- in-law against her mother-in-law."

Who is the Great Divider? The Lord Jesus Christ is the great divider. When God saved you, Christ became the Great Divider in your life and family. Things we once loved to do, He divided from us. People that we once fellowshipped with, had things in common with, and even some of our own household, He divided us from. When we decided to live a life of righteousness for Jesus Christ, He became the Great Divider.

The Bible goes on to say in Luke 12:54, "And he said also to the people, When ye see a cloud rise out of the west, straightway ye say, There cometh a shower; and so it is." To the west was the Mediterranean Sea. When clouds came from the sea onto the land, it was known that those clouds brought water in them and that rain would come.

In Luke 12:55 the Bible says, "And when ye see the south wind blow, ye say, There will be heat; and it cometh to pass." To the south was the barren desert. As the winds crossed the desert, hot scorching winds would come upon them, and there would be heat. Everyone living in that area knew there would be heart if the winds blew across the south desert.

The Lord says in Luke 12:56-59,

"Ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky and of the earth; but how is it that ye do not discern this time? Yea, and why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right? When thou goest with thine adversary to the magistrate as thou are in the way, give diligence that thou mayest be delivered from him; lest he hale thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and the officer cast thee into prison. I tell thee, thou shalt not depart thence, till thou hast paid the very last mite."

Christ declared, "I want you to know that you are not going to escape." They were angry. They lashed out at Him. They felt that He had spoken against them and against their sin. What happens when we are convicted of our sins? Are we willing to repent and to change the way we are living? Are we willing to say, "Lord, you are right and I am wrong." This is our time of opportunity to serve the lord Jesus.

~ The Personal Accountability of Fruit Bearing~

Notice the reason that Christ gave this parable. The Bible says in Luke 13:1, "There were present at that season some that told him of the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices." The people blurted out saying, "You think that we are so bad, but what about those Galileans? These Galileans, in the act of sacrificing, were killed by Pilate. They must have been terrible." The people believed that any type of calamity that came to one's life was because of sin. They believed that because these people had a terrible thing happen to them, it had to be because they were such terrible sinners. These Jews in Judea were especially delighted to call attention to the Galileans who had been killed.

The people who were talking to the Lord were actually saying, "Wait a minute. Let us compare ourselves to the Galileans that Pilate killed, They were much worse than we are." We are never going to be right with God as long as we compare ourselves with others. If you want to go through life trying to find someone doing less than you are, you can do it. But you can never be right with God by comparing yourself with other people.

The Lord said in verses two and three of Luke chapter thirteen, "And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galileans were sinners above all the Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell ye, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." Think of that. Christ changed the whole perspective. He told the people, "We are not going to talk about those Galileans; we are going to talk about you." He said, 'Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish."

In Luke 13:4 Christ said, "Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?" Evidently, when the tower of Siloam fell and eighteen people were killed, everyone knew about it. Christ was saying to them, "Are you saying that you think the eighteen that died at Siloam were the greatest sinners in Jerusalem just because they were there when the tower fell? Are you saying that the tower fell on them because God was punishing them for their great crime against Him? Is that the way you have it all figured out?"

Christ answers His own question, "I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." In this short parable of just a few verses, Christ is talking to us about how to be right with God. It is not about someone else's accountability, but our accountability.

Christ tells a story about a vineyard, but in the vineyard there was a fig tree. That was not unusual. On certain parts or parcels of ground in a vineyard, other types of plants could be planted. Certain plants, in accordance with God's law in the Bible, including the fig tree, could be planted in a vineyard.

In the vineyard, which represents the sacred place that God selected for the Jew, God planted His people. They are represented by the fig tree. He put them there to be fruitful. He came seeking fruit and found none. Note again in Luke 13:6-9,

"He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: and if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down."

The Bible says in verse six, "A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none." He had every right to come and seek fruit because he expected it to bear fruit. It was suppose to bear fruit.

Verse seven says, "Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none." He said, "I've been coming for three years seeking fruit on this tree. No fruit!" Then he said, "Cut it down." This is a solemn thought.

No wonder some churches and some Christians are having such trouble. They have God's judgment on them because there is no fruit. They are doing nothing. They are just taking up space. They are doing absolutely nothing to reproduce.

He said, "Cut it down!" From God's declaration of cutting it down, notice what he said, "Why cumbereth it the ground?" When a fruit tree does not produce fruit, it is taking ground that could be given to some other fruit-bearing plant. So quite naturally, the ground that was used by the tree was nothing more than wasted space.

I believe that there was a note of tenderness in his voice when the dresser of the vineyard said in verse eight, "Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it." In other words, "I'm going to disturb the ground around the tree. Then I'm going to add nourishment to the ground. i'm going to dig around it and dung it to fertilize it. Let me do that, would you please?"

Then the Bible says in verse nine, "And if it bear fruit, well; and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down." In other words, "Give me an opportunity to work, disturbing the ground and adding nourishment." This is a time of mercy. It is a time for digging and dunging. It is a time for things to be disturbed. The Lord is at work.

I believe we are living between od saying, "Cut it down," and His coming again. He is digging and dunging. He is disturbing our soul. Many nations, many churches, many families, and many individuals have had this opportunity. What more could be done to disturb our ground?

After God has disturbed the soil and poured in what we need for nourishment to produce fruit, he has every right to look again and expect that we are bearing fruit. After no fruit, no fruit, no fruit, what if the Lord says, "Cut it down"? Do you believe as I believe that we are living on God's mercy?

May God awaken us that we should be doing more than just taking space on the earth. "Why cumbereth it the ground?" Why is it just taking up space if it is not going to produce fruit? God gave us this time, this place, this space, so that we might produce fruit and honor Him.

Think of how many people go to our churches, read the Bible, listen to the Word of God, and get nourishment poured upon them, but never produce any fruit. Then they go through divine disturbances where God digs, but no change. I think that at any moment He might pass through again and say, "Cut it down!"

"Why cumbereth it the ground?" Why is it there? It Is there so it can reproduce and bear fruit. Christians are to reproduce other Christians. Churches are to bear other churches. We are to live our lives honoring God, exemplifying Christ.

what we find here is an example of the way God works. God tells us that this is sin; but He gives a time to repent. When the holiness of God demands, the mercy of God answers, "I will pay the price." A holy God said that men must die for their sin and go to hell forever trying to pay for their sins. God's Son, the Lord Jesus, said, "I'll die for them. I'll pay the sin debt."

How do we get right with God? It involves seeing our own accountability to the Lord. Our eyes are on everyone else and everything else. The only race we ever have to run is the race against the opportunity and ability God has given us. If we are ever to be right with God, we must say, "Lord, I will stand alone before You and I will answer to You for my ability, privilege, and opportunity." This is the way to be right with God. God brings us into the place where we see ourselves personally accountable to the Lord.

In interpretation, this parable is about the nation of Israel; but in application, it is about all we should be as a church, all we should be as a blessed nation, all we should be in our Christian homes, and all we should be as individuals. God has done so much for us. He has blessed us. he said, "if it bear fruit." There is evidence of the right kind of life when fruit is borne. I want to be a fruit-bearing Christian. The Lord has every right to expect me to be a fruit- bearing Christian. I have life in me; not my life, but His life in me. I am partaker of the divine nature. The Lord lives in me.

if there is no fruit in your life, one of two things is evident. Either you are not abiding in the Lord, or you have never been born again. As Christians, we are all to bear fruit. We place the emphasis sometimes on the fruit; let us place the emphasis first on the root. If we are right, we will bear fruit.

In too many places, we have equated activity with spirituality. Too many times we have talked to people and given them the idea that if they simply do more, they are going to be more of what they should be. I do not have to convince you that i believe in the urgency of the hour. I do not have to convince you that we are living with the fact of the imminent return of Jesus Christ. I want to love His appearing.

Let us turn our attention to 2 Peter chapter one. one of the ways we understand scripture is by comparing Scripture with Scripture. i appreciate every good thing we can read that God has given other authors to pen in books that we can buy, borrow, and read, but the greatest commentary on the Bible is the Bible.

The Bible says in 2 Peter 1:1-5,

"Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ: grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add unto your faith..."

Notice the language here,"'Add to your faith." The Bible does not say add faith; it says add to your faith. Some people have the idea that if a person finally gets enough information about Christ, he is a Christian. No! Salvation is immediate. Just as physical life begins with conception, salvation is also instantaneous. Once there is conception, that human being is going to live forever as long as God lives. Once there is regeneration, we are born into God's family. The moment we "faith" the finished work of Jesus Christ, the Lord comes to live in us. We live forever as children of God, with God. We are born into God's family.

Once we have faith, we should add to our faith. God says in 2 Peter 1:5, "Add to your faith, virtue..." Virtue has to do with character. Character has to do with what we are, not what we do. We may live virtuously; but if we live virtuously, it is because we have virtue. We may "do" right things; but the emphasis is on "being" right, so we we will do right things. We may bear fruit; but if we bear fruit, it is because we are right with God.

Let us continue with 2 Peter 1:5-9,

"... and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness and to brotherly kindness charity. For these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins."

In this passage, the Lord is talking to Christians. He says that they have not been living as Christians. God tells us in 2 Peter 1:9-10 what we need to do if we are going to be fruitful.

"But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall."

We should bear fruit. Someone once said that the fruit of a Christian is another Christian. This is true. But there is also the fruit of the Spirit.

In Galatians 5:22 the Bible says, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. The word 'fruit" is singular.

This "fruit" is like a cluster of grapes. There are nine grapes on this individual, singular fruit. This "fruit' is produced in our lives by the Holy Spirit. In other words, the Holy Spirit produces love. The Holy Spirit produces joy. The Holy Spirit produces gentleness. The Holy Spirit produces goodness. The Holy Spirit produces faith. The Holy Spirit produces meekness. The Holy Spirit produces temperance.

What is evident when this "fruit of the Spirit" is not in our lives? It is evident that we are not being the Christians we should be. We are not abiding in Him. We are not living obedient lives.

Do you desire to be this kind of fruit-bearing Christian? Remember, the parable is regarding Israel. The Lord is inspecting them, and there is no fruit. In application, we must bear fruit.

Let us look again in John chapter fifteen. The Bible says in John 15:1-5,

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, ye are the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing."

The word "fruit" is found in verse two; "more fruit" is found at the conclusion of verse two; and in verse five is "much fruit." I want to be a "much fruit" Christian. Not simply "fruit" and "more fruit," I want to be a "much fruit" Christian. John 15:6-7 tells us why.

"If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you."

How do we bear fruit? By being right. How are we right with God? By abiding in Christ and recognizing our own individual accountability to God.

~The Purpose of Fruit Bearing~

Our purpose in fruit bearing is to bring glory to the Lord. What is the parable about? The vineyard was the Lord's; the fig tree was the Lord's. The parable was about the Lord getting glory from His vineyard and His fig tree. He gave the vineyard; He gave the fig tree. It was all His.

What is it all about? It is not about applauding men. It is not about praising men. We should say, "Lord, I want to bear fruit." But why bear fruit? We should want to bear much fruit. Why bear much fruit?

The Bible says in John 15:7-8, "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples." If we bear much fruit, God is glorified.

We must hunger and thirst after the Lord. The fruit is not the goal; glorifying the Lord is the goal. As long as we desire to glorify the Lord, the Lord will smile on us, bless us, and provide us with what we need. Let us ask God to help us to bear much fruit for His glory.

How Can I Know?

Not saved are we by trying,
From self can come no aid:
'Tis on the Blood relying,
once for our ransom paid.
'Tis looking unto Jesus,
The Holy One and Just;
'Tis His great work that saves us,
It is not try, but trust.


No deeds of ours are needed
To make Christ's merit more:
No frames of mind or feelings
Can add to His great store;
'Tis simply to receive Him,
The Holy One and Just;
'Tis only to believe Him-
It is not try, but trust.

Funny Christians

A lot of Christians are like
wheelbarrows...
No good unless they're pushed.

Some are like canoes...
They need to be paddled.

Some are like kites...
If you don't keep a string on them,
They fly away.

Some are like kittens...
They are more contented when
petted.

Some are like footballs...
You can't tell which way they
will bounce.

Some are like balloons...
Full of wind and ready to blow
up.

Some are like trailers...
They have to be pulled along.

Some are like neon lights...
They keep going on and off.

And then, for which we thank the Lord,
some are like a good watch...
Open faced, pure gold, quietly busy,
and full of good works.

Are you a good watch or are you one of the others?