Matthew 3:10 A Cutting Down And Removal

The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. Matthew 3:10

People in the business world expect their workers to produce for them. Workers are expected to do their job to earn what they are getting paid for. At the time of hiring, workers are given a list of what is expected of them. If he does not produce, he is warned, trained and then will be fired if he does not have good results.

John gave the people a warning that the ax was ready to chop down any tree not producing good fruit.

Those who grow fruit trees always expect each tree planted to grow fruit. They work hard on ensuring the tree is getting the needed nutrients from the soil, plenty of water and sun. As it grows, they will also take time to trim back branches to keep it in control and producing the desired fruit.

If the tree does not produce any fruit, it is cut down and thrown away. A new tree will replace the unproducing one.

This same principle works in the lives of people with God. God is always seeking believers who will produce fruit–living by His holy standards and doing what He says to do. It is easy for a person to say he believes in Jesus, however, it is another thing to live it.

Many believers claim to live for God, but are not producing Godly fruit. They are living to please themselves and others in the world. God will cut these people off from His salvation, if they do not repent and produce good fruit in their lives. Just like a farmer does not want to have to cut down a tree, God will do it also, though it is not His first choice.

Examine your life to see if you are producing good fruit or bad fruit. Good fruit is the fruit of living a holy life before God and obeying His commands. Bad fruit is any thing that is against God’s commands and desires for your life.

As long as you have breath, there is hope in Jesus. You can repent for bad or no fruit and then begin to produce good fruit. Seek the Holy Spirit to guide you, use you and help you produce the fruit God seeks in your life.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will be led by the Holy Spirit; that you will produce the fruit God is seeking; and that you will not give God a reason to cut you down.

Zechariah 13:9 A Time Of Testing

This third I will put into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.’ Zechariah 13:9

Testing of people is something required in most areas of life. It is commonly thought that testing is only for children and college students. However, adults, outside of school, get tested on a fairly regular basis.

Many workplaces require annual testing on various skills to ensure the workers keep up on those skills. Workplaces also get inspected often to ensure that they are following certain guidelines.

God said there would be a small remnant of Israel left, after being scattered, who would be tested in a fire. As they are tested they will call upon God and make Him their God.

Very few people like to be tested and no one likes to go through a fire. Both can be scary and may destroy a person. The bitter-sweet thing about being tested is that it can reveal both strengths and weaknesses.

As a fire, the testing can get rid of the bad parts, cleaning up the life of a believer in God. It can cause a person to run to God and trust Him in the process. The true remnant will run to God, the rest will run away, not trusting God.

In America and the world, God is doing a time of testing to see who will remain faithful to Him and who will fall away. This fire is to set to burn out the impurities of sin and corruption in the lives of believers. A remnant will come through to say God is their God and God will say that they are His people.

As you are going through a fire, tough and difficult times, you need to turn to God and trust Him. Allow God to be your God. He knows what is best for you and is allowing this time of testing in the fire. Allow God to burn out the impurities and distractions in your life.

When you allow God to clean you up by His testing, your testimony will be even greater. God will be able to use you even more in building His kingdom. You will be a brighter light shining for God in this dark world.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will allow God to test you; that you will make God your God; and that you will shine for Jesus.

Daniel 3:6 Pressure

Logs on fire

Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace. Daniel 3:6 

Everywhere a person goes there is always pressure being applied to get him to do something. Advertisements bombard a person daily to get one to purchase some item that he ‘needs’ to really live life. Pressure for a person to vote a certain way. There is pressure to like or accept certain things or lifestyles.

When a person does not give into those pressures, there is often some type of consequence. Unwritten, unofficial punishment occurs, a shunning, a push-back.

King Nebuchadnezzar had built a statue of gold of himself and wanted everyone to bow down and worship it. Several Jews chose not to bow down. Pressure was put upon them to bow down. The pressure was that if they chose not to bow down, they would be thrown into a furnace to be burnt alive.

While there are many things that are put upon a person to do that are not directly sinful, such as purchasing a new car, or buying a certain type of soda, there is a lot of pressure to do things that go against God’s word. Pressure is put upon a person to choose and accept sin in his life.

Most will not tell a person to lie, but pressure will be put on a person to ‘bend the truth’ a little. Or they will be asked to hide a situation, rather than call it out. In the individual life, one often feels pressure to overlook the ‘little’ sins in his life.

Although most won’t have to pay with their life in a furnace, there is a cost to compromising God’s holy standards. Sin is sin and leads to death.

Every believer must be willing to stand up for the standards of God in his own life and not give in to the pressures of this world to sin.

You will have pressure come against you to sin. Threats will be made that if you do not live, act, or speak a certain way there will be consequences against you.

In your heart you have to make a choice as to who you will serve and obey. Will it be God or will it be self and this world?

Allow yourself to be filled with God’s Holy Spirit and power to overcome the pressure to sin. Be willing to go into the furnace, rather than sin against God.

I pray today that you will know God’s holy standards to live by; that God will give you strength to stand up to pressure to sin; that you will seek God when being pressured to sin; and that you will trust God to preserve you when punished by this world. 

Jeremiah 20:9 Speak It Out Loud

Campfire at night

But if I say, “I will not mention his word or speak anymore in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot. Jeremiah 20:9 

There are times when a person has some really good news or some very interesting news that they ‘need’ to share with someone. He will quickly get on the phone to call some friends to tell them about the news. Everywhere the person goes, he continues to talk about the news.

Watch the newscasts and there are times where there is an article titled with ‘breaking news’. It is very important news to hear about in something that most people are interested in. No one is ashamed to bring out the news or talk about it.

Jeremiah had been given a message by God. As he proclaimed it, he was being severely persecuted. He wanted to stop talking about the news, yet, was unable to do so. The message he had was like a fire shut up in his bones and he just had to tell people about it.

When a believer has a solid connection and experience with God, he will want to tell someone about it. When he realizes the great love of God for all people and how lost people are without Jesus, he will want to tell people about Jesus.

Not proclaiming the message about Jesus will not be an option because it will burn within the heart to tell others about Him. Fear of ridicule and persecution will not be able to keep a person from talking. His great love for God and for others will propel him into speaking more and more with no fear.

The world does not want you to talk about sin or Jesus. They will do what they can to stop you from giving the needed message.

Do not let fear of this world stop you from speaking. Have the heart of God for the lost people in this world. Point people to Jesus every day for every situation in their lives. Let them know that there is a God who loves them and can give them real life that will last for eternity, that God will give them a purpose for this life.

The world needs to hear about Jesus. You have to be one who will tell them. Get the message out today.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will have the love of God for other people; that God will give you boldness to speak His word; that you will tell others about Jesus; and that God will remove fear of this world as you proclaim His word. 

Isaiah 43:2 Trouble, But Not Alone Or Destroyed

In a wave

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. Isaiah 43:2 

One thing that is guaranteed in this life on earth is trouble. Every person has struggles and challenges in life. Sometimes it is a daily occurrence, while other times it is just on occasion.

The greatest challenge during times of trouble is that one often feels alone and that he is about to be destroyed. There often does not appear to be any way to really survive the situation and no one is there to help. It looks like the end of the world is near for the person.

Isaiah quotes God in saying that He is with the person when going through various troubles and challenges. As one is going through those problems, he will not be hurt or destroyed.

At the point that Adam and Eve had sinned and were kicked out of the garden of Eden, there has been troubles in this life on earth. Satan is fighting to keep every person away from God or to turn away from Him.

In some of these struggles of life it is if the person is going through a physical fire or a raging river. There does not appear to be any way to survive the trouble.

While the world gives into the trouble and discouragement, the believer can have a hope to survive. Jesus had promised that there would be troubles, but God also promised to be with the believer.

It may be painful and scary as one is going through a raging flood of problems, but he can know that God is right there with him holding his hand and guiding him. God will bring the believer through the situation to salvation on the other side.

God is with you also. You do not need to fear the troubles or what may be the outcome.

The most that these troubles can do is destroy your body. They cannot destroy your soul, the most important thing. God has your soul in His hand. Trust Him to hold on to it and bring you through the struggles.

Most of these troubles will not destroy your body, but only be an inconvenience for a time. God will use those troubles to build you and move you forward in Him. These troubles will pass away.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will know God is by your side; that you will know that God is holding you; and that God will save you in the end if you continue to trust Him.