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 Bible with Cross ShadowEven 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 7:17-20

Bearing good fruit is a test for every tree, not just prophets and teachers. In fact, our faithfulness as disciples of Jesus Christ is evidenced by our bearing much fruit (John 15:8). To do otherwise results in our being cut down (or cut off) and thrown into the fire.

It is the abiding life that bears much fruit; Him abiding in us, our abiding in Him, and His words abiding in us. Jesus is faithful in His abiding. When it comes to bearing fruit, we are the limiting factor.

The Greek word for abide is menō. It also means to remain, continue and endure. The abiding life is not a passive life. At a minimum, there is the obedient response to Jesus’ command. We must choose to abide.

Furthermore, while God is working in us to will and do to His good pleasure, we must be working out our own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12-13). The good fruit that every good tree bears is the fruit of the Spirit and the work of God that we have been created to walk in; work that glorifies the Father (Ephesians 2:10; Matthew 5:16).

For me, abiding has required my enduring the transformational work of the Holy Spirit (2Corinthians 3:18). The removal of impatience and a judgmental spirit are two examples. Furthermore, God has used the chaos of transformation to work His way, truth and life into me; and to work out the hooks, habits and hang-ups that interfere with my glorifying Him and enjoying His presence. Read the rest of this entry »

A Storm is ComingRecognizing that a storm is coming; and recognizing that the house that stands in the storm is the house built by the man who “hears these saying of mine and does them”; and recognizing that you cannot do something you have not heard; I am searching out the Sermon on the Mount (SOTM) – again – for the sayings that my Master would have me do. I hope you will join me.

This is not the first time I have endeavored to understand these sayings of Jesus. Here are a few past discoveries that will help in our searching out the matter now:

  1. The SOTM is filled with kingdom mystery. A mystery may mean something different to different people; and different things to the same person at different times. In any case, it must mean something. Each one is responsible to search out the meaning. The Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ are our teachers.
  2. In much the same way that the Law was given to reveal our inability to please God, The SOTM exposes our inability to live the normal Christian life. Only Jesus Christ can live that life. This does not excuse us to live some other life. Rather, it helps focus our attention on the way God intends to save us (Romans 5:10).
  3. While everything Jesus says is ultimately actionable, some sayings are more so than others. For example, “let him have your cloak also” is easily translated into a particular and ubiquitous action; whereas, poor in spirit is more about attitude and belief, manifesting itself in differing behaviors.

    At this point, I believe God will focus us on the more actionable sayings. However, it should be noted that the Beatitudes are positioned at the beginning of the SOTM for a reason. Giving up my cloak to someone that is suing me for my tunic is only possible for someone that is poor in spirit.

The first of these articles has been posted: These Sayings of Mine – Do Not Swear at All. Those following will be published under the same “These Sayings of Mine” banner. The Good Lord willing, we will group them all together in an eBook. You can help with this by asking questions, challenging my thinking and providing additional input. God speaks in community; even virtual community. I expect He will use you to make me a more faithful steward of the mysteries of God.

Humbly yours and forever His,


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