Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I Must Produce Kingdom Fruit!!!

Matthew 21:43 (NIV) Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.

Have you ever wondered why we do so much busy work in the church building?  I am constantly questioning church activities.  We seem so unbalanced sometimes.  Somewhere along the way, we've halted our fruit production.  I don't want the kingdom of God taken away from me because I'm merely going through the motions of church membership.

There is so much more to kingdom work than coming to church.  We must prepare ourselves for "fieldwork" in settings other than Sunday morning worship service.  In order to produce kingdom fruit, we have to read God's Word, study it, and pray for understanding, discernment, and opportunity.  The harvest truly is ripe, but the laborers are sitting up in the church building among themselves being entertained.

We don't have time to play church.  The Father is seeking worshipers, and those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth.  True worship involves DOING, which is the production of kingdom fruit.  We have to live what we preach in our churches; we have to demonstrate the love of Jesus Christ to a world that doesn't want it.  Christ was rejected, and yet He still sacrificed His life for us all.  We have to do all we know to produce the kind of fruit that is fitting to the kingdom of God.  A good tree doesn't produce bad fruit; bitter and sweet water doesn't flow from the same well.

Producing kingdom fruit begins with a clean heart.  We have to lay ourselves bare before a holy God, so He can purify us of all unrighteousness.  REPENT, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand! (Matthew 3:2)  I must produce kingdom fruit, or I'm not a part of the kingdom.  Seek after what God wants YOU to do in the kingdom.  He will reveal it to you through prayer and the scriptures.  Then, DO IT!!  

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Praying in Proper Order

Zephaniah 3:17 (KJV) The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.

It's kind of hard to believe that our omnipotent God would care to rejoice over us for any reason at all.  Our greatest accomplishments are nothing compared to His splendor.  All of our "righteousness" is but filthy rags before Him.  We couldn't possibly do anything to deserve His unfailing love, and He yet loves us anyway.  That's enough to turn any bad day into the best day of your life with thanksgiving!  Amazingly, however, we tend to focus on everything but God.  Perhaps if we change the way we pray, we can gain a better perspective on our lives.

His presence is always with us; we only need to acknowledge Him.  Even in our prayers, we spend more time bringing Him our requests instead of resting in His love.  A.C.T.S. is the acronym for a great prayer model.  A = adoration; spend some time telling God how wonderful He is.  Begin your prayers with facts about His character, and praise Him!  C = confession; don't start asking for stuff before you ask for forgiveness for your shortcomings.  He is faithful and just to forgive us, if we will confess the sins.  T = thanksgiving; acknowledge what God has already done.  He doesn't have to do anything for us.  The least we can do is be grateful.  S = supplication; present your requests to God.  I would even go so far as to place intercession (requests for others) before your own needs.

The very next time you pray, remember the ACTS model.  I believe that it will help us to keep God's greatness, grace, mercy, omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience, infiinity, justice, faithfulness, provision, healing, and restoration at the forefront of our minds.  How can a grateful heart be bitter about the circumstances of what might be considered a "bad day"?  In the midst of my so-called bad day, God is rejoicing over me with singing BECAUSE HE'S GOD.  I don't deserve His love, and He lets me rest in it anyway.  Pray yourself into a good mood daily!  

Friday, March 2, 2012

Stay Focused or Sink

Matthew 14:30 (KJV) But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.

In Matthew 14, we find the story of Peter walking on the water with Jesus.  Peter was able to walk on the water with Jesus until he noticed his circumstances.  We are the same way.  As long as we focus on the situation instead of the Savior, we will sink.  We will sink into despair, distress, depression, distraction, and destruction if we keep our eyes on the storms around us.

We have to continually focus and re-focus on Jesus Christ.  Our enemies know that an obstacle in our line of sight will cause us to sink.  We can't be effective in our respective ministries if we are flailing around in the water trying to stay afloat, swallowing water, and fearing for our lives.  Peter knew exactly who to call when he began to sink.  "Lord, save me!" he cried.

When you feel that life is swallowing you up, and you've lost your proper focus, cry out to Jesus for salvation, deliverance, healing, restoration, and direction.  You don't have to sink when Jesus has bid you to come out onto the water.  He has called you to the work, and He has no plans for you to fail (Jeremiah 29:11).  Stay focused on Jesus Christ or re-focus on Him.  Look upon His face and live!