Luke 3:8 Don’t Just Repent, Produce Fruit

Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. Luke 3:8

Talk is easy to do, but action following the talk is much more difficult and rare. People are quick to talk about big things that they are going to do or who they are, but rarely will follow it up with their actions.

Most often this big talk comes from a position that a person is in or because of a person that one is connected to, nor from personal actions.

John tells the people to produce fruit with their repentance. They were claiming Abraham as their father. He also tells them that God could raise up children from the stones if needed.

Saying that one is sorrow for doing something wrong is an easy thing to do. Following that statement up with action is much more difficult. The follow up action will reveal where the heart truly is.

Without any fruit, repentance does not really mean anything. Many people are quick to repent of sins, but refuse to produce any fruit. They do not do the work of God at building up His kingdom. They do not change their ways of living, striving to be holy as God is holy.

Some ‘believers’ claim they are believers because their parents were, not because they truly are in their hearts. Their actions, or rather lack of actions, reveal where their heart really is.

When a person repents, he must change his ways. There should be fruit in his life of the change in his heart and mind. The fruit of the Spirit must be revealed in every area of his life.

Without the fruit, the believer is false.

As you are willing to repent of your sins, you must be willing to follow it up with action. Live your whole life sold out to God. Do what God has called you to do–to leave a life of sin and be His witness in all of this world.

If no one can see a marked change in your life, then you must question yourself if you really do believe in God and have you really repented.

Do not live just by words, but also by action. Prove your faith by your actions.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will repent before God of all sins; that God will strengthen you to turn from all sins; that you will produce fruit in keeping with your repentance; and that the world will see you truly believe in and follow Jesus.

Matthew 14:31 Why Do You Doubt?

Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” Matthew 14:31

During times when things happen that are out of a person’s control, most people will begin to fear. The fear rises even faster when what is occurring is or can be dangerous. The more dangerous it can be, the higher the level of fear. Very few people like the idea of facing danger boldly or at all.

Doubt that they will make it out safely sets in their mind quickly and they begin to fear.

While Jesus was out walking on the water, Peter sees Him. Jesus tells Peter to walk on the water towards Him. As he does, he begins to sink when he sees some waves. Jesus saves him and asks him why he doubted.

All throughout scripture God tells believers that He will protect and provide for them and that they can trust Him. Having trust in God is having faith in Him, knowing that God will do what He says He will do.

Although God has not asked most people to step out of a boat and walk on water, He does ask believers to step out in faith in other areas of life.

This step of faith will look different for each person. For one it may be just a simple telling someone about Jesus. For others it may be picking up and moving with no clue as to what is next. All believers are told to tithe and give sacrificially.

In all of these ways, there is a certain amount of danger involved. It is stepping out of the boat into the water with large waves that may drown a person. However, if God has said to step out, one must not doubt, but trust Him and step out in faith.

God may be asking you to step out in faith in an area of your life. Think back of all the times God has already provided for you and taken care of you. Think of all the promises of God to you.

Now, instead of fearing the step, go ahead and step out and walk in faith in God. Do not let fear to stop or drown you. Know that He is right there with you and will take care of you, as long as you are doing what He said to do.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will fully trust God with your life; that you will remove all doubt in trusting God; that you will step out in faith as God leads you; and that you will go wherever God leads you to go.

Appointment In Jerusalem (book review)

Title: Appointment In Jerusalem
Author: Derek and Lydia Prince
Publisher: Whitaker House and Derek Prince Ministries, International
Date: 2005
Pages: 200

Appointment In Jerusalem (book review)

This is a true story about Lydia Prince doing a mission work of love and prayer. Lydia was one of the top teachers in Denmark. As she worked hard to become a teacher and to be the best, she also realized that something was still missing in her life. She had no room for any religion or God. Through a series of events, she comes to know Jesus as her Savior.

Upon believing in Jesus, she committed to do whatever He told her to do. With much prayer, Lydia was given a vision to reach the homeless children in Jerusalem, a war-torn city. With miracle after miracle, doors open up for her to reach the children in Jerusalem. Lydia learns to put complete trust in God’s word and promises to provide and protect.

This story reveals the power of the prayer of faith, to trust in God in the most impossible circumstances. It will challenge the believer in how much one prays and believes that God answers prayer. It will also challenge the believer to step out in faith trusting God no matter what the circumstances look like or what others say.

The story is written in an easy to read format and is not very long. It keeps the reader engaged as to what will happen next from situation to situation.

I highly recommend reading this story of love, mission, prayer and faith.

1 John 5:5 Are You An Overcomer?

Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. 1 John 5:5

In the journey of life every person will encounter many different types of obstacles that get in their way. These obstacles can sometimes be very small and easy to get over or around, while others are very large and difficult to overcome.

When the obstacles are large and looming, most people will give up the goal and do something different. A few seriously dedicated people will do whatever it takes to overcome the obstacle, regardless of how large or difficult it is.

John asks who is the one that overcomes the world, then gives the answer. The only ones who can overcome the world is the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

For the believer, the greatest obstacle that he will face in his lifetime is the world. The majority of the world is against those who believe in Jesus, because it goes against what the world thinks and desires. God sets a high standard of living that the world does not want to attain. They want to live as they desire with no restraints.

Resisting temptation to follow the world’s way of living and sin is a challenge for the believer. It starts with believing that Jesus is the Son of God. As the Son of God, there is nothing that Jesus cannot do. He has the power and ability to give the believer strength to overcome any obstacle thrown his way by the world.

The challenge for the believer is to have faith in and believe Jesus for directions on how to overcome the world. Once he has that belief and faith in Jesus, there is nothing that the world can do to cause him to fall or fail, he will be an overcomer.

You will have difficulties and temptations to sin that will come your way every day. The only way to be victorious and overcome all of those challenges is to believe in Jesus Christ and follow Him as the Son of God. Know that Jesus is for you, not against you. He will give you what you need to overcome.

Jesus overcame death, the greatest problem and has the ability to help you overcome anything thrown your way.

Will you fail?

Or will you be an overcomer with Jesus?

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will know the overcoming power Jesus offers you; that you will believe in the power and direction of Jesus; that you will look to Jesus for power to overcome the world; and that God will strengthen you to not fall to the world’s ways and sin.

Hebrews 4:14 Hold On Tight

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. Hebrews 4:14

All over the world people have some traditions or beliefs that they hold on to. No one can convince them of anything different.

Most people, however, do not hold very tightly to what they believe. Every few days they are changing what they believe is truth. Or they change what they believe, based upon who they are around. Things change on a regular basis, to blend in with everyone else, rather than stand out as different.

The author had just described Jesus as a great high priest. Now he says that in light of that information, one must hold on firmly to the faith they are proclaiming.

Believers have a belief that is different from anything else in the world. It causes them to stand out. It will cause division between them and the rest of the world.

Since there is this division, many believers give up on their faith, in order to fit in with the world and be liked by the world. Others will claim to hold on to their faith in Jesus, but also accept every other belief that is out there as also acceptable.

There is only one way to heaven, one Savior, one God, one truth and one true faith. Believers must realize this and not allow the world to influence them into thinking that there is more than one true faith.

Every believer must hold onto their faith as though holding on to a rope that means life or death to them. It is the most important thing in their life, their belief in Jesus. If they don’t hold onto the faith, then everything is meaningless.

As a believer, you hold a faith that is absolute and sure. It is the firmest truth in existence on this earth. Do not allow the deception and the lies of this world to deceive you into thinking that there are other alternative ways to God.

There is only one way to God, one truth, one Lord, one Savior. Hold on to the faith you have and keep proclaiming it for all of the world to hear and know it. While there may be troubles and hardships now, in the end you will have eternal life with no more troubles.

Hold on fast to the faith you profess.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will know the truth of God; that God will open your eyes to the deceptions of this world; that God will keep you from being swayed by lies; and that you will boldly proclaim what you believe in Jesus.