Dying Is Worth the Effort

seed to fruitIt’s been said, “In business, your profit may exceed the effort invested, or may be less. In spiritual matters, the yield is exactly equal to the effort expended.” Did you notice what’s wrong with this statement?
It kind of sounds like Galatians 6:7, “A man reaps what he sows,” which is in the context of becoming more like Jesus. You sow seeds of doing what you want to do, you’ll reap your character. If you sow Jesus seeds, you’ll reap Jesus’ character. It does take effort on our part to produce Christ like character.
So far so good. You sow good seed in good soil, you will reap good fruit. When it comes to Jesus, however, He can produce a lot more in us than the effort we bring to the table. Jesus tells two stories on this issue. One, in John 12:23, states that if a seed dies it can produce many seeds. He also states in Mark 4, when seed is planted in good soil, it can produce a lot of fruit, much more than the effort it took to plant that seed into the soil.
Truth, we get nothing if we make no effort to plant something. Truth, if we plant Jesus seeds, we will see our lives changed. Truth, our God is so good, gracious and great that we certainly get more bang for our effort’s buck…if we are willing to die.
S“E”t Free Nowww

Deal With Your Doubts

question 2Ever have doubts and felt guilty about it? Do so no longer! Doubts are not bad if they lead to answers and a deeper faith. It so happened that even the Apostle Paul had doubts. He didn’t quit, though. He worked through them by seeking out the Jerusalem leadership “privately for fear that I was running or had run my race in vain.”
The Lord had given Paul both his mission and message. In pursuing that mission, doubts overcame his mind and heart. Instead of slowing him down. It lead him to seek out godly counsel to keep going forward, which is exactly what he did.
If left to themselves in your heart and mind, doubts can lead to your drugs of choice. It’s not a sin to doubt. It only is if they lead you to sin. So stop beating yourself up and take your questions to the Word of God Himself, Jesus. He may solve your dilemma all by Himself or He may use someone who’s been where you’re going. Either way, your faith grows deeper, your walk richer and your life a whole better.
S“E”t Free Nowww

It’s No Big Deal, Right?

start nowYesterday I saw the exposed roots of an overturned tree. Nothing special about it, except there was a piece of pvc pipe deep inside the roots. The roots had slowly wrapped themselves around this irrigation pipe to the point where it finally broke the pipe into pieces when the tree fell. I’ll bet the landscapers were happy to find water shooting every where!
It reminds of a quote by John Fischer, “When the Spirit of God gives you the slightest indication that some thought, action or attitude might be wrong, that’s when you nail it. Don’t give it a chance to live.” If the Spirit is convicting you of something, it is a big deal, no matter how small it may seem to you.
Don’t abuse God’s grace. Small things can become big things if ignored long enough.
Set Free Now“W”w

Victory Through Pain

silhouettes of people on mountains

silhouettes of people on mountains

The last two months, it seemed that no matter what position I put my shoulder in, I’d end up at minimum gritting my teeth and at worse literally screaming in pain. And because of this, I tried not to use it much. The problem was that the muscles started atrophying. But what could I do, purposely hurt myself?
Well, after discovering the culprit, the solution was to take natural anti-inflammatories and, drum roll please…strengthen the muscles in the shoulder! Yup, bring on the pain to get rid of the pain. Surprisingly, it worked! By going through painful stretching and workouts, I can actually move it with only slight discomfort now. Whew.
Like it or not, at times this is a picture of the believer’s journey toward Jesus. Life change not only takes time, it can hurt too! It’s difficult, and sometimes painful, to give up the old thinking and ways of doing life because we’ve become so comfortable with them. Furthermore, we tend to avoid pain. Doubt me? Put your hand on a hot stove next time. See how long it stays there.
Avoiding pain doesn’t get rid of the root problem, though, and neither does going around it. Yes, sometimes change is painful. Yet becoming more like Jesus by working through the pain brings a peace you can’t possibly imagine. Whew.
Se”T” Free Nowww

Your Significance Source

importantMy wife and I have a small orchard in our backyard, which consists of nine varieties of fruit trees. This past week it was time to rake up the orange to yellow to slightly green leaves from the peach, plum and two nectarine trees. Afterwards, it was time to fertilize all the trees and soak them for the coming fall. Lots of work, but it felt great when it was all done! I love that sense of accomplishment when I look over a finished project. Don’t you?
We all do, because this sense of accomplishment was put there by God from the beginning of time and again at the point of salvation. The question is, “Where am I going to get that pat on the back?”
Some people in the news lately destroyed their lives, the lives of others and the lives of their family in their search for significance. Thus, the source of your significance is crucial to your joy both now and for eternity.
Jesus is ready to say, “Well done and good and faithful servant” to those who listen to and follow Him in all their actions, some of which fulfill that need for significance. Start by asking Jesus what He wants you to do. Then in the Spirit’s power do it. As you do, you’ll get a huge pat on the back that not only brings joy to you, but to others as well.
Set “FREE” Nowww