The Journey Thoughts

August 16, 2016

How can you detect bad fruit from good fruit?  Scripture says, "Beware of
false prophets who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravaging
wolves.  You'll recognize them by their fruit. Are grapes gathered from
thornbushes or figs from thistles? In the same way, every good tree produces
good fruit, but a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can't produce bad
fruit; neither can a bad tree produce good fruit.  Every tree that doesn't
produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So you'll recognize
them by their fruit. Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord!' will enter
the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of My father in
heaven. On that day many will say to Me, 'Lord, Lord, didn't we prophesy in
Your name, drive out demons in Your name, and do many miracles in Your
name?' Then I will announce to them, 'I never knew you! Depart from Me, you
lawbreakers!'" Matthew 7: 15-23 We are not only fruit inspectors, but we are
either good fruit or bad fruit ourselves.  "The Lord said that only those
who do the will of My father in heaven."  But obviously there are some who
can prophesy, in Jesus name, and who can drive out demons in Jesus name, and
do miracles in Jesus name, and yet not be of Christ.  That should cause us
all to shudder a little, so how can we tell the difference.  Are they people
who claim to have such a righteousness, but do not produce fruit?  What is
the fruit? It is the product of the tree of righteousness.  Anyone can make
a claim, but who are those who actually go out and do the things they talk
about? The Pharisees were self-righteous leaders, who made all kinds of
claims, yet they didn't love like God loves.  They didn't have the
compassion of Christ.  They didn't care about the poor or the widow or the
orphan.  They made big claims but their claims were never backed up by
action.  In other words, they had no fruit.  What is your fruit?  What do
you produce for the sake of Christ?  Now that you are saved by grace, and
this grace being such a wonderful thing, what are you doing with it?  The
salvation experience is wonderful, for it makes you actually born again -
born of the Spirit, as well as the flesh.  We are given a life that every
one of us should just look at in amazement, and fall to our knees like
Thomas did, when he realized that it actually was the Christ standing before
him - resurrected from the dead. He could only say, "My Lord, and my God!"
Paul would tell the Corinthians, "You are my letter!"  They were the fruit
of his ministry.  You don't have to have a whole list of all that you have
lead to the Lord, but is there even one, that you stood beside with
compassion?  Is there one that you shared the truth of hope in the face of

Is there one that you shared a meal with who were hungry, or invite a
stranger in to your home? Did you visit a prisoner, or one who was in the
hospital hurting with no one to bring encouragement and hope to them?  It's
time to open up to Christ, and ask Him to reveal your heart to you. Your
real heart, not the one you try to live by, but the one you actually find
your identity by. When I read the passages above, I realize in my own heart
that true believer's want the Lord to change them, want to be made more like
Christ, and even though they may find it painful, want to do the will of the
Lord, over the fear of doing nothing.  When you think of it, all of the
Christian persecution and pressure against us, although may be hard for us,
it is actually used to reveal the true intent of the Christian heart, for
the heart who backs away from the will of the Lord because of fear is a
person who does not have the heart of Christ, but the one, who in the face
of persecution, will still offer love to the unlovable, and hope to the
hopeless, regardless of what it costs, has a heart of Christ.  Is that your

Pastor Andy

Heavenly Father, give us a heart like Yours, one that seeks out the lonely,
the rejected, and the downtrodden.  Give us a heart that pours out Your
love, and does not try to hide from the fact of being a believer.  One who
will pray daily for those who need encouragement.  Father, place these names
on our hearts, and give us wisdom and discernment to help where we can, and
to give hope when we can.  I pray therefore for those who at this point may
very well be too weak to pray, too weak to stand strong.  May we be their
strength to You, in Christ.  So Lord, I lift to You: Tuly, Tyson, Wendy,
Montella, Joyce, for our military, our policemen, our first responders.
Father, I pray for: Don, Dwight, Sammi, Betty, David, Phyllis, Devon, the
Thibodeau family, Cindy, Terry, Barbara, Marliana, Loren, Cynthia, Bill,
Carolyn, Tracy, Abraham, Elijah, Japheth, Agnes, Mike, Megan, Jeff, Laura,
Matt, Liz, Matt, Bethany, BJ, Ida, Isabel, Angie, Terry, Kristena, Shane,
Choya, Alex, Ken, Eric, Sandy, JV, Nada, Andrea, Alan, Lydia, Fisher,
Shannon, Robert, Pat, Ryan, Barry, Johnny, Annette, Kim, Gary, Gavin, Shawn,
Ben and family, Tim's mother, Shelly's mother, Julissa and her friend,
Robbie, Laurie, Gary, Heather, Codi, Jana's mother, Ron, Sam, Ada, Deane,
Bill, Pam and her son, Kelly and her son, Richard and his father, Dan,
Rheba, Pam, Mike, Austin, Harriet, Gus, Lisa, Alice, Dotty, Fred, Mike S.,
James, Scott, April, Craig, Ben, Ramona, Betty, Danny, Hunter, Asher,
Lynette, Kristen, Kathy, Jennifer, Patrick, Candace, Abe, Trent, Garret,
Mayeaux, Ben, Jason, Ashley, Marc, Macy, Jake, Bob, Lisa.  Father, give us a
clean heart, and renew a right Spirit within us, that we may be more like
You, for I ask it in Jesus name. Amen.

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