By the fruit

Luke 6:44 For every tree is known by its own fruit.

In our yard is a tree.
It’s actually two trees that seem to come from one trunk.
One is a flowering pear and the other is a fruiting pear.
Both bloom within a week of each other.
Both have fruit, although the flowering fruit never gets larger than your thumbnail.
The flowering pear has more blossoms and is more beautiful than the other.
In the fall, its leaves turn a vibrant red.
The trunk and bark seem in better shape and appearance than the other.
But it does not have fruit like the real one.
There is nothing to gain and eat from it.
Don’t be fooled by flowery words and looks.
It is the fruit of a person that matters.
You will know them by their fruit.
And you are known by your fruit.

Encouragement when you’re sinking low

Luke 5:5-6 But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking.

Have you ever felt like giving up?
I can relate when it seems like you don’t get any results.
But imagine where we would be if Thomas Edison had given up.
We would still be in the dark.
Or if Peter had given up.
He would have stayed a fisherman.
However, the greatest encourager came by and asked Peter to launch back out and fish a bit longer.
Peter and his coworkers had fished all night with no results.
That quickly turned around at the word of Jesus.
They caught so many fish the net began to break and they had to call for help.
Their boats began to sink because of the incredible weight of the fish.
Peter would leave fishing for ministry and, although, he had some ups and downs, he ended up becoming the preacher of Pentecost with about 3,000 accepting Jesus as savior.
So when you are sinking low with self-worth remember this lesson of Peter and Jesus.
He wants to bless you and encourage you to press on and push on through.
Your next blessing is just below the surface.

You have a purpose.

Luke 2:36-37 Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.

Years ago, I was called to start a church, which, with the help of my wife and many others, we did.
I remember a man came to our church a few times and one day he told me he felt led to start a church in an abandoned building in the next town.
He wondered if I thought it a good idea.
I told him, “You must do what God is leading you to do!”
He never started a church, the building is still abandoned, and that was fifteen years ago.
You have a purpose for God.
But you are the only one that can fulfill that purpose.
Anna stayed at the temple and served God.
Other women kept house, raised children, played with the grandchildren, and met with the women of the village.
Not Anna.
She was elderly and had been a widow for many, many years.
She did what she felt God was leading her to do.
And she did it faithfully.
Her reward was being at the temple when Joseph and Mary brought in baby Jesus for His dedication.
She was able to hear the proclamation of Simeon and to see with her own eyes the Lord’s Christ.
Pray and seek God and find out your ministry and then do it!

Reading the signs of the weather.

The wintry mix wasn’t as bad as predicted or as bad as most of us imagined it would be. Though I haven’t ventured out as of yet, I have walked around outside and taken a few “signs” of the conditions. Continue reading

Let’s get stone (part 4)

Everyone has broken the Commandments and it is obvious that we’re all stoned, that is, deserving of God’s judgment and death sentence. Continue reading

Excuse me – Part 4

Still another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ Luke 14:20

What a lame excuse this is. I always thought a spouse would be a good reason to go to church but I guess some could use love as an excuse. Continue reading

Excuse me – Part 3

Some people won’t attend church because, they say, it’s full of hypocrites! So is Walmart because hypocrites do their shopping there. Or Kroger’s because hypocrites do their shopping there too.

Hypocrites go to the movies, swim at the beach, attend high school basketball games, and drive on the road. Continue reading

Excuse me – part 2

His preparations were complete and the invitations were delivered. But each friend began to make and excuse not to attend this elaborate supper.

The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.’ Luke 14:18

Who would buy a piece of land without seeing it first? That’s just crazy. For all he knows he could have bought 20 acres of prime, Grade-A swampland!

Land is an investment. Other investments include homes, businesses, stocks, bonds, gold, silver, 401K’s, and mutual funds.
Some invest in racecars, racehorses, or sports teams. For the most part people invest in something that will make money or increase the value of something else.

However to take an investment of land or otherwise to the extreme of missing out on God’s blessing is going way overboard. And that is exactly what so many are doing.

Investments in this life are temporary.

Jesus said,

“For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” Matt 16:26

Your best investment in not in things of this world,

where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matt 6:19-21

Don’t let your possessions become an excuse to not serve God, not go to church, and not help others.

Abba, all I have belongs to You. I am just a steward. I want to be invested in You. In Jesus name, YES&AMEN

Excuse me – part 1

Excuses are a part of everyday life. You may make one to someone else and they may make one to you.

Every teacher has heard excuses for why assignments were not done and homework not turned in. And just so you will know, the dog doesn’t really like to eat homework.

God hears excuses all the time as in the case of a parable that Jesus told.

It seems a man invited his friends to a great supper. He went to the time an expense to prepare and cook for them. It was probably a very impressive spread.

When everything was ready the man called his friends to come and eat. I don’t know about you but if someone invites me to supper – I’m there! But that’s not what happened in this story.

But they all with one accord began to make excuses. Luke 14:18

Though each man had his own excuse, they all made them together. I’m already suspicious about the truthfulness of each reason for not going to the supper. I have discovered that many excuses are just lies.

Don’t get me wrong. I know there can be legitimate excuses. I recently was asked to do a funeral but I turned it down.

It seems the daughter of the man that died thought we were really close friends. I explained I haven’t seen him in at least 40 years and that I didn’t remember him in high school at all. That most of my memories of him were from elementary school – around 50 years ago.
It was the truth and she understood.

But how can someone make an excuse to the Almighty?
Find out through the next series of Morning Thoughts.

Abba, I made many excuses to not be saved but I am glad I quit and accepted your gift of love, grace, and forgiveness. In Jesus name, YES&AMEN