For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. Romans 11:21
Those who grow fruit trees keep a close eye upon the tree. They are looking at the branches to determine which branches are producing fruit and which branches are dead and not producing fruit.
Any branch that does not produce fruit is cut of and thrown away. This is done to give the good branches more nutrition to produce even more.
Many businesses do this with their workers. Any worker that does not produce is often let go after a warning to produce correctly.
After describing Israel as the natural branches of a tree that was cut off by God because of unbelief, Paul describes believers in Jesus as branches grafted into the tree. These new believers need to believe and produce fruit, or they will also be cut off.
It is common to hear of people who have become believers and refuse to give up sinful habits. Many churches teach that people can stay as they are, preaching God’s grace and love, but not talking about what He requires of His people, to live holy lives.
Some will state that once a believer, one cannot lose his salvation, that it is for eternity, no matter how he lives.
Belief in Jesus is what saves a person, however, God requires that the person become a new creation, to turn away from sin and produce fruit. The producing of fruit is not to save a person, but to show gratefulness for the salvation God has given him.
If God was willing to cut off Israel from His salvation, because of their unbelief and refusing to live for Him, He will also cut off people today for the same reasons.
Every believer must strive to live for God and turn from sin, producing fruit worthy of what Jesus has done for them.
If you consider yourself a believer in Jesus and are saved, examine your life. Ask yourself if you are producing fruit or if you are a dead branch. This can be seen in your life if you are turning away from sin.
Make progress on a regular basis to change sinful habits and be His witness. Be who Jesus has saved you to be, a new creation that produces fruit for God’s kingdom, not a dead branch that will be cut off.
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will do what God has called you to be; that you will produce fruit for God’s kingdom; and that God will not have to cut you off.
What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal. Romans 9:30-31
People want to feel as if they can do the right thing all the time. They want to be known as a good person.
No one wants to be seen as a bad person, who is in the wrong. In order to combat the view of being bad, many will do good things to make themselves look good.
Paul points out that the gentiles had received righteousness by faith, not the law. The Israelites were unable to attain righteousness by following the law.
There are many believers who know the laws of God very well and push them on everyone. They stress that one must follow the laws of God to be a believer and be righteous and holy.
Following the law is man’s effort to look good before God. Once a person sins, he can never look good enough or be truly righteous before God.
The only way a person can become righteous and holy before God is by accepting what Jesus did on the cross. This acceptance is what faith does. It is faith in the works of Jesus, not self works.
However, this does not nullify the law. One must now pursue the law out of faith in Jesus. He must strive to be holy, not to gain righteousness, but because of what Jesus has already done. Jesus gives every believer in Him His righteousness and holiness.
Through faith one is made righteous, not through self work, following God’s law. Faith in Jesus must precede following the law. Following the law must always follow faith.
As you trust in and believe in the work of Jesus, you are saved. There is nothing more you can do to be saved more. This is faith in action. Once you are saved, you are given the righteousness of Jesus.
As a result of what He has done, pursue following God’s law and commands to you. Pursue the law out of love for what Jesus did for you, not in order to be righteous or better in God’s sight. Jesus has already done that work for you.
What is your reason for following God’s law? For righteousness or out of love?
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will have faith in the works of Jesus; that you will love God with your actions; and that you will trust in the righteousness of Jesus given to you.
“The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will fulfill the good promise I made to the people of Israel and Judah.” Jeremiah 33:14
Everyday around the world, millions of promises are made by millions of people for millions of different reasons. A portion of those promises will be kept and fulfilled, while the majority will be ignored or forgotten.
Some promises are fulfilled very quickly, while some have to take time to be fulfilled. Since the majority of promises are never fulfilled, people tend to struggle with believing someone who makes a promise. They have a few people that they will trust, but there are many they refuse to trust because of a lack of failed promises.
While Israel and Judah were under captivity and destroyed as a nation, God had promised a restoration. At the time no one could see an end to the captivity, but God said there are days coming when those promises will be fulfilled. Years later, God did restore Israel and Judah.
Throughout the bible God has made many promises to those who believe in Him. The challenge for many people is that they are still waiting to see the promise fulfilled. Some will get discouraged and walk away from God, because He did not do as He said He would.
God has a perfect time for each of His promises to be fulfilled. Each one may be today or it maybe many years down the road. People are not patient as God is and want the promise now. Jesus promised He would return, and as of yet, nearly two thousand years later, He has not returned. Yet, the day will come when He will return.
Each believer has to be patient as he waits for God’s promise to be fulfilled. He needs to trust God’s promise and live by that promise.
You may be waiting for God to fulfill a promise to you. It could be one of many different promises that you can read in the bible. It can be discouraging to wait, but wait you must. God is faithful and will fulfill His promise.
Looking at history, you can see that God did restore Israel, though it took over 2,000 years to occur. God will fulfill every promise He has made to you.
All you need to do is believe Him and obey everything He has already told you to do. Live a life of obedience and trust and you will see God’s promise fulfilled.
I pray today that you will know God’s promises to you; that you will know God’s faithfulness to you; that you will trust God’s word to you; and that you will see God’s fulfillment of His words in your life.
But you have followed the ways of the kings of Israel, and you have led Judah and the people of Jerusalem to prostitute themselves, just as the house of Ahab did. You have also murdered your own brothers, members of your own family, men who were better than you. 2 Chronicles 21:13
As whole in most nations the acts of prostitution and murder are not acceptable practices. These actions are looked down upon and usually carries a punishment if caught.
These acts of prostitution is done on a regular basis in every nation by many people, although not the physical act. People sell their bodies and lives to get what they want, while claiming loyalty to another. The desires are for money, fame, material thing, positions, love, family, recognition, and more.
They also perform acts of murder upon wishing people were dead, cursing people, abortion, and physically killing people. Many of those who do these things appear to be good people in society. Very few people look down upon these actions, though they are still wrong.
Jehoram had become king of Judah and led the people back into sin and away from God. A prophet had come and accused him of leading the people into prostitution and murder. They had prostituted themselves against God. They claimed to be God’s people, but worshipped idols.
Thousands of people attend church on a regular basis and claim to be believers. While at the same time, selling out their soul to their job or some dream not honoring God.
When Jesus died upon the cross, every believer became a part of the bride to the Father. They were now married to God and were to remain loyal to Him in every area of their lives. While still claiming this relationship with God and attending church, many live in purposeful sin and rebellion against God.
They refuse to hold themselves accountable to God and sell their body and souls to the things of this world, hoping to get more. They are jealous and hating of others, causing murder in the heart.
If you are a child of God, you are the bride of Christ. Do not allow yourself to be defiled by living as the world does. Do not flirt with the world. Remain loyal and faithful to God for what He has already done for you.
Do not allow your self to be able to be accused of prostitution against God or murder. God has given you a new life.
I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will be dedicated to God alone; that you will not follow the ways of this world; and that your life will a sign of God’s great love.