The Weekly Focal Point - September 26

Bearing Real Fruit

Jesus said, “You will recognize them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:16). That kind of straightforward evaluation should not only be applied to “them,” but also to us. In the upper room, not long before his crucifixion, Jesus told his twelve apostles, “By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples” (John 15:8). At that time, you’ll remember, one of the Twelve was secretly conspiring to betray Christ, cashing in his association with the Messiah for thirty pieces of silver. Judas wasn’t intent on bearing “much fruit,” instead he was busy keeping up appearances while working out his own selfish agenda. All too often people who associate with the church are adamant about publically “professing to know God,” while privately “denying him by their deeds” (Titus 1:16). Of course, no Christian has achieved sinlessness (1 John 1:8James 3:2  Ecclesiastes 7:20 , but we need to be honest with ourselves—fairly comparing our claims to follow Christ with an actual pattern of following him (2 Corinthians 13:51 John 3:2-10 . Genuine Christianity transforms lives (2 Corinthians 5:17). The indwelling Holy Spirit always conditions real disciples to repudiate hypocrisy, driving them to pursue the kind of bona fide fruit-bearing that demonstrates the reality of their faith.

-- Pastor Mike

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"The righteous are as bold as a lion" Proverbs 28:1 tells us.  And Christian history affirms that our faith is not for the faint of heart. Hebrews 11 recounts the biblical heroes who boldly trusted God, doing great things to advance his kingdom.

Similarly, over the past two thousand years, there are compelling stories and events of those who have gone before us in the Christian faith to continue advancing God's kingdom.  You can read about many of them in the book This Day in Christian History.  Each day you will be strengthened and encouraged as you read the fascinating record of daily Christian events.  Request This Day in Christian History with your donation of any amount this month.

 

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