from bad fruit to good fruit…it IS possible…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Psalm 30

 

I will exalt you, Adonai,

Because you draw me up;

You didn’t let my enemies

Rejoice over me.

Adonai, my God, I cried out to you,

And you provided healing for me.

Adonai, you lifted me up from Sh’ol;

You kept me alive when I was sinking into a pit.

 

Sing praises to Adonai, you faithful of his;

And give thanks on recalling his holiness.

For his anger is momentary,

But his favor lasts a lifetime.

Tears may linger for the night,

But with dawn comes cries of joy.

 

Once I was prosperous and used to say

That nothing could ever shake me–

When you showed me favor, Adonai,

I was firm as a mighty mountain.

But when you hid your face,

I was struck with terror.

I called to you, Adonai;

To Adonai I pleaded for mercy;

What advantage is there in my death?

In my going down to the pit?

Can the dust praise you?

Can it proclaim your truth?

Hear me, Adonai, and show me your favor!

Adonai, be my helper!

 

You turned my mourning into dancing!

You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,

So that my well-being can praise you and not be silent;

Adonai, my God, I will thank you forever!

 

 

 

Matthew 7:15-

 

Beware of the false prophets! They come to you wearing sheep’s clothing, but underneath they are hungry wolves! You will recognize them by their fruit. Can people pick grapes from thorn bushes? Or figs from thistles? Likewise, every healthy tree produces good fruit, but a poor tree produces bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, or a poor tree good fruit. Any tree that does not produce good fruit is cut down and thrown in the fire! So you will recognize them by their fruit.

 

Who is our salvation, from our own error and others? Who gives us strength and health? None but God. And we can look into ourselves and see if the fruit is good or bad. We can prune the branches not producing healthy fruit. Where does dissatisfaction come from? The irritation? The ill-will? That is not good fruit and stems from selfish attitudes. It can be removed by God, it can be revealed by the Holy Spirit. We can take responsibility and cut the driving force behind those attitudes from our selves beginning with awareness and moving to elimination. We can be trees planted by His water and bearing good fruit.

Disclaimer:  if ads are appearing anywhere on this page it is because they are placed there by WordPress not by me.  I have read the information on ads and in order to be ad free now, Word Press charges a fee.  I apologize for any inconvenience these ads may cause you and if they are inappropriate please message me.  Thank you, gracie

Praying for the Mid-east conflicts

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Psalm 1 How  blessed are those who reject the advice of the wicked, don’t stand in the way of those who practice evil, don’t sit where scoffers sit!  Instead, their delight is in Adonai’s commands.  They meditate day and night on His word, not the word of humanity.  They are like trees that are planted by streams— they bear their fruit in season, their leaves never wither, and everything they do succeeds. This is our promise and we ask it for the believers in the Mid- east at this time. Not so the wicked, who are like chaff that is driven by the wind.  For this reason the wicked won’t stand up to the judgment, nor will those who practice evil stand at the gathering of the righteous.  For Adonai watches over the way of the righteous,  whose righteousness is in Christ Jesus, but the way of the one who practices evil is doomed. And do by your Word, Lord, we stand against the actions of the practicers of evil in the Mid-east today.  We call on your Spirit to do Your Will in that place; releasing the captives, protecting the innocent and avenging the oppressed.

the pain of the innocent

the pain of the innocent

Matthew 4:4,7,10,17 and 20 “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of Adonai.”  “Do not put Adonai your God to the test.” “Worship Adonai your God, and serve only him.”  “Turn from your sins to God, for the Kingdom of God is near!” “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 5:3,4 “How blessed are the poor in spirit! for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.  How blessed are those who mourn! for they will be comforted.   Words to meditate upon.  Words to keep when rising up, going down, at home, in the way, on the hand, on the forehead, on the doorway…immersed completely in his word.  These words can be applied to the events all around us that are contrary to God’s word in prayer and His power will be released as we continue to pray.  As Aaron and Hur held up the hands of Moses and the battle was to the people of God so let us raise the plight of believers and the innocent before the throne. The battle is not only physical, but also spiritual.  Let us not be weary to pray and the victory will be the Lord’s.   If you’ve been to the cross… See you at the throne…

 throne-of-god[1]

Disclaimer:  if ads are appearing anywhere on this page it is because they are placed there by WordPress not by me.  I have read the information on ads and in order to be ad free now, Word Press charges a fee.  I apologize for any inconvenience these ads may cause you and if they are inappropriate please message me.  Thank you, gracie

Sweet grapes or wild grapes?

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Isaiah 5:1-7

  Let me sing for my beloved

my love song concerning his vineyard:

My beloved had a vineyard

on a very fertile hill.

 He dug it and cleared it of stones,

and planted it with choice vines;

he built a watchtower in the midst of it,

and hewed out a wine vat in it;

and he looked for it to yield grapes,

but it yielded wild grapes.

 And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah,

judge between me and my vineyard.

 What more was there to do for my vineyard,

that I have not done in it?

When I looked for it to yield grapes,

why did it yield wild grapes?

 And now I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard.

I will remove its hedge,

and it shall be devoured;

I will break down its wall,

and it shall be trampled down.

I will make it a waste;

it shall not be pruned or hoed,

and briers and thorns shall grow up;

I will also command the clouds

that they rain no rain upon it.

For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts

is the house of Israel,

and the men of Judah

are his pleasant planting;

and he looked for justice,

but behold, bloodshed;

for righteousness,

but behold, an outcry!

When we plant, we look forward to the harvest.  How disappointing when all our labor brings nothing of worth.  The Lord poured into Israel his love and received rebellion and disdain.  Today he looks for a harvest from his people.  The people who name the name of Christ.  What does he find?  We can point fingers at the church, at our leaders, at our nation , at its government; but ultimately it comes to each of us personally.  Where is our fruit; where is our harvest?  Are we a sweet vine,  a sweet fragrance to our Lord?

 

Disclaimer:  if ads are appearing anywhere on this page it is because they are placed there by WordPress not by me.  I have read the information on ads and in order to be ad free now, Word Press charges a fee.  I apologize for any inconvenience these ads may cause you and if they are inappropriate please message me.  Thank you, gracie

A challenge…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Colossians 1:1-10

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, to the saints and faithful brothers in Christ at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father.

We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints,  because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel,  which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth,  just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf and has made known to us your love in the Spirit.   And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.

Do we pray for one another in this way? ” Asking that we may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.”  Reflect for a bit; are we walking “in a manner worthy of the Lord…”?  God does the work in us as we seek Him and make the choices that reflect our love for Him.  Are we pleasing Him?  Are we bearing fruit?  Are we increasing in the knowledge of God?  Only we know the truth…

Disclaimer:  if ads are appearing anywhere on this page it is because they are placed there by WordPress not by me.  I have read the information on ads and in order to be ad free now, WordPress charges a fee.  I apologize for any inconvenience these ads may cause you and if they are inappropriate please message me.  Thank you, gracie

Be blessed…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Psalm 1

Blessed is the man

​​Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,

​​Nor stands in the path of sinners,

​​Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;

 ​​But his delight is in the law of the LORD,

​​And in His law he meditates day and night.

He shall be like a tree

​​Planted by the rivers of water,

​​That brings forth its fruit in its season,

​​Whose leaf also shall not wither;

​​And whatever he does shall prosper.

​​The ungodly are not so,

​​But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.

Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,

​​Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

​​For the LORD knows the way of the righteous,

​​But the way of the ungodly shall perish.

Pasted from <http://www.blueletterbible.org/tools/printerFriendly.cfm?b=Psa&c=1&t=NKJVP&x=9&y=9>

What can we learn of who God is and what he does from this?

What can we learn of ourselves as believers and of the unbeliever?

What can we learn and apply to our daily walk with the Lord we love so much?

One, we can be blessed.  How?  We will seek only the counsel of the Lord, his spoken word and those who have demonstrated a walk with him and a love of him and mankind.  When we face problems and have to come to some solution or decision where do we turn?  Do we research the foundational principles of the resource before we seek their advice?

“…does not walk in the counsel of the wicked…”

We will stand in the way of believers.  There will be evidence in our talk, our actions, and our thoughts that we love the Lord and seek his ways.

“…does not stand in the way of sinners…”

We will treat our fellow-man with respect and honor.  We will not denigrate or destroy their integrity and sense of worth.  We will treat our God with honor and respect.

“…does not sit in the seat of the mockers…”

When we reflect on this we look into ourselves and assess how we walk, stand, and sit.  What does our walk say to others?  What does our stand,  i.e. on current issues, say to others?  What does our sitting down say, who are we sitting with, on which side of the courtroom do we find ourselves?

Two, we learn where our delight is.  Is it in God’s word; do we demonstrate this not only through our daily actions but by where we spend our time and money?

“…his delight is in the law of the Lord…he meditates on this law day and night…”

Three, we learn what we will look like; what our life will look like.  We are likened to trees. Trees are alive and resilient. They are rooted near streams of water for optimal growth.  They have seasons; grow, develop fruit, bear the fruit, deliver the fruit, and a season of rest.  When they are near the streams of water they remain alive with full leaves and fruit, not dried up fruit and withered leaves.  So too, we will grow and develop rooted in the Word of God, drawing from the waters of His spirit, and we will bear fruit, deliver it and enter times of rest.  We will be aware of our seasons, when we are growing, developing fruit, dispensing fruit and in a rest period.  The seasons come and go for trees and we can expect the same for ourselves.  Trees that are rooted and near the streams of water prosper and so we can expect to prosper as we remain rooted in the Word and draw from the streams of water that Christ told us are available to us from Him.

planted by the streams

planted by the streams by gracie

There is a contrast here.  We can learn what we are not. We do not follow every trend that comes along.

“..like chaff that the wind blows away…”

We will not be vulnerable to every new doctrine or ideology because we are rooted in the Word  – day and night; and the Word informs our willingness to receive or reject teachings that are not of God.  As such we will be found with Him at judgment rather than judged by Him.  We will find ourselves in the company of the redeemed rather than in the company of those doomed to receive the wages of death.

We learn of God that He watches over us as we live in Him; not so for those who reject Him.

“…​​For the LORD knows the way of the righteous,

​​But the way of the ungodly shall perish….”

Branches look like their source…

John 15:1-8

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.  Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will  ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.  By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

 What does being ‘in the vine’ entail?  What is the extent of that ‘being’?  The life blood flow runs from the vine into its branches, feeds them and they grow and multiply.  As the season progresses, they bud, flower and bear fruit.  All that is in the vine is also in the branch.  Christ gives the image that what is in Him, then, is also in us.  It flows from him to us and we grow and bear fruit.  Cut the branch off and it ceases to bear fruit; it shrivels and dries out.  If the flow from the vine is interrupted and no longer received, the branch dies and is removed.  Christ’s words are that life source and flow.  We receive them in us and they give us life.  We have direct access to him.  We are connected.  We are also connected to the other branches.  What community exists!  The unity that is here stems from our inter-connectedness and the fruit we bear.  Individual branches, yes, but the same life-source and the same end result.  Bear fruit to bring glory to God.  It is not of our own doing; it comes from the connection to Christ. We become more and more like Him for we are of Him.  Stay connected…

Seed produces a crop…

Mark 4:1-20

Again he began to teach beside the sea. And a very large crowd gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat in it on the sea, and the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land.  And he was teaching them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it.  Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away.  Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.” And he said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

 And when he was alone, those around him with the twelve asked him about the parables. And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables, so that

                              “they may indeed see but not

                                          perceive,

                               and may indeed hear but not

                                          understand,

                                 lest they should turn and be

                                         forgiven.”

 And he said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables?  The sower sows the word.  And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: the ones who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy.  And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away.  And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word,  but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.  But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.” 

The questions come; Which soil am I?  How have we received the Word?  How are we receiving the Word?  Time for reflection and deep soul-searching.  Where is the crop?  That would be the telling factor.  Good soil produces a crop.  How is the crop measured?  In the production of more seed to sow and grow more if its kind? When we receive the Word, do we let it die within us, let others snatch it away with their words or do we share it, give it to others to continue to produce more good in their lives?  What is our crop?  Is there a crop?  Can anyone tell the Word was sown in our lives?