«You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them» (Matthew, 7:16-20).Here we see that Jesus pointed to the human character as it determines the type of fruit we bear. A person can be focused on fruit (by fruit we mean our actions, physical activities, our visible life), but not have God’s nature developed in him or her. A person can spend his or her energy on developing different personal qualities and doing works that appear good, but not have godly character. Without God’s nature in us we won’t ever be able to bear good fruit. A tree bears good fruit if its nature is good. God speaks a lot about our lives using the symbol of a tree. If I the root system of a tree is rotten, the whole tree too and the fruit it bears will be bad as well. So before getting to ‘work for God’, we should concentrate on building God’s character into our root system. That is the reason why God created us in His image and according to His likeness before he ever asked us to do anything. As we read further in Matthew 7, Jesus continues to say:
«Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness! ’» (Matthew, 7:21-23).Jesus says that human activities might appear beautiful, anointed and praiseworthy. But that is not what impresses God the most. The most important and impressive thing to God is not our action but the nature from which we are operating. By the way, it is not us that heal or prophesy or cast out demons, – God does all of it through us. It is a lot easier to demonstrate the power and authority of God, than it is show love to our neighbors. Love is what God expects of us. God tells us to love one another. Do you love the people he has asked you to love or are you just boasting of the things that God is doing through you by His sovereign grace? The gifts of the Spirit are what God’s Spirit does through us. However, when we identify ourselves with God and allow His love to move us, then we are able to spread His life around us; then we are able to rule and reign on earth. We will continue tomorrow! May God bless every one of you! Pastor Rufus Ajiboye
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