Tuesday, November 27, 2007

481 - Got Fruit?

Dear Jesus - good morning - running just a tad late, but have a few things on my mind. I am off to Evansville today to have some more lab work done. I just don't seem old enough to be doing this kind of stuff yet. I know you can be any age and have problems, but I just feel so young and healthy still. Whatever........ I am hopefully getting a larger amount of Christmas shopping done too. Kids present wanting has gotten much more expensive now that they have gotten older, so we have decide to just limit everything to about 3 or 4 gifts a piece. I think that is more than ample. Now let's see if i can stick with that!

Before I get into what God is showing me I want to just shout out a huge WOW!!!!!!!!! Listen to this - the second side of this ministry - helping "smaller" churches have the kind of events they want to have or dream of having but are unable because of funds etc..........we provide the funds............ In the mail today I got a check for $250 for Speaking Thru Me Ministries. I about fell on the floor! But wait - this church had seen my article in the local paper. and so the church sent me money to help other churches......................... get this - I have spoke at this church before......................... it was a strong Sunday - they have 7 or so people!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A church of 7 or so (I really don't know the whole church attendance) people sent me $250 to help out other churches do ministry............ That is one of the greatest examples of truly being the Body of Christ I have ever seen!! Do you get it - they were Jesus not so much in skin, yes, yes, yes, but also in brick and mortar!!!! I am just blown away!!! I am humbled, honored, excited, and just almost in shock!!!!!! Be encouraged my friend - He is at work!!! And I can not believe I am along for the ride! Get on board!!! I am going to of course deposit the check, but also copy it and hang it on my wall for encouragement!!! Praise you Lord - thank you so much!! Wow!!

So in my home church in Carmi we have this Sunday School class that is amazing! Our teacher, Todd Neibel, is the best at giving out a question and then just letting us run with it for an hour of discussion! It is incredible. We have all types of believers in there - new Christians and very well versed Christians too. One man, Steve, can lead you to any scripture in the Book in about 5 seconds. His knowledge is impressive if i might say so myself. He was one of Billy Graham's peeps at one time for many years. I love to hear his stories!! Anyway - on Sunday we were in Matthew like yesterday - about the narrow gate, etc. On past that scripture is the part about bearing good fruit and bad fruit. We went on and on about whether a bad tree can bear good fruit. And we will know the ferocious wolves or false prophets by their fruit.

The whole time I was needing my commentaries, my computer, my references, my brain!!! I wanted to know if the same fruit - Fruit of the Spirit - was the same fruit it was talking about here. So I was checking out Gal. 5:22 "But the fruit of the Spirit" - and that fruit references back to the same fruit in this passage of Matthew 7:17 and following. Ok - we are talking about the same fruit. Very simply, only those that have a relationship with Christ can have the fruit of the Spirit. A good tree is one that is saved and has good fruit. Right??? So a bad tree is not saved and has no good fruit - bad fruit. Right???

How often do you know a really good person and they have wonderful attributes (good fruit) and yet will not call Jesus their Savior - they can do it on their own? And then look at me. I am saved without a doubt, but I do produce some bad fruit at times. I am not always in synche with the Spirit and I produce some bad fruit....................... see my dilemma!

What I think we have here is a failure to communicate - i forgot who said that, just kidding, I just threw that in there, hee hee, cracking myself up - But i think the problem is knowing what is good and what is bad. Any fruit that is not connected to the Vine as in John 15 may look like good fruit, but will rot!!! If you are not connected, actually grafted in, you will produce some kind of fruit, but it will rot and stink!!! It may look and smell good for a time, but will rot.

The goods in good tree and good fruit are different words. They are often used to help make a distinction. Good fruit word is just that - good, sound, quality. But the good tree good is good too like above, but also has the added bonus of being beneficial to those around or advantageous to those in your area or sphere. Sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo - am I still with me???? - A good tree is one that is saved because it benefits those around it by its good fruit - the fruit won't rot because it is connected to the Vine and is from the Spirit - of good, sound, quality!! A bad tree is not beneficial to those around it because even if its fruit looks good, "Looks" is the operative word there, it will rot and not glorify the Father.

OK - I have got to go rest my brain!! This is too early for this kind of stuff. Dude - that is about all I can say. Now, I need to do an individual study on fruit and why they can not be part of a bad tree. What makes them different than what looks good and what actually is good!!

Steve, right on brother - ain't no bad tree producing no good fruit!! Once again - you right!!

Thank you Jesus for your Word - I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Anonymous said...

Wow, amazing that I've been praying this prayer every morning:

"God fill me with Your Holy Spirit and allow the Fruits of the Spirit to be evident to others around me."

One thing that I've noticed in the passage in Galatians is that these are the fruits of the SPIRIT.

And Paul finishes the chapter by saying that since we live BY the Spirit, let us keep in step WITH the Spirit.

Every step we take, God wants us to be led BY the Spirit of God.

This is a hard thing for me, because I want to think that I can do it all and produce all of these fruits without submitting my control to Him.

Good thoughts.

Heather said...

So cool what that church did for ya! Hope your day is great and your tests turn out ok!

Dionna said...

Congrats, Leigh! I'm happy for you! What encouragement that must have given you.

A Place For Ministry Wives said...

That IS a great demonstration of the body of Christ coming out in full force. What giving hearts! Unbelievable!

Also...cool bible study format. Interesting...

Stephanie (Ocean Mommy) said...

What a wonderful outpouring God gave you through that group of believers! Man that's cool!

"Am I still with me?" That cracked me up. :) I found that by the end reading this, I was leaning into my computer screen talking back to you. I had to laugh.

Praying for you!


Leigh Gray said...

And you what another amazing thing is Josh - the Fruit of the Spirit - Fruit is singular. Fruit is one, but it has 9 different attributes. I am not, and you are not, lacking in any of them. We have all been given each attribute according to His gace!!

So very, very cool!!

Thanks for the ocmment and for not otally loosing me in those thoughts!! I about lost myslef. I am still trying to work out whether a good tree and have bad fruit???????????

Leigh Gray said...

Hey Heather - hope things are going well for you!!! Can not believe agian that you are a fellow Charlotte girl!! wow!! small world!

Leigh Gray said...

Dionna - so good to hear from you. Love to read abotu all He is doing with you!!! I know HE is so proud of you!!

Leigh Gray said...

Plce for Ministry Wives - our format may not work in a large group. There are only about 10-12 of us. But it is awesome. More than anything I feel like God has ordained this itme of "tlaking" it out. His creativity blows me away!

Leigh Gray said...

So Stephanie - did you stay with me on that post??? Good tree, good fruit, etc......... What do you think about a good tree bearing bad fruit - can it happen?