What Fruit Do We See?

What Fruit Do We See?

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.  “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. Matthew 7:12-20 NIV

The Word of The Lord–Jesus speaking!

The world tells us that, “what goes around, comes around.” Whenever I think about this, I’m reminded of a boomerang that returns to the one who throws it.

When we fling insults and denigrate others simply out of spite, what else can we expect from others?

crowd-size-demoralization

The press secretary to #45 tells us, when the press indicates (through comparative photos) his crowd size was smaller than Obama’s, it was demoralizing. And the press secretary goes on to tell a fabulous lie about #45’s inaugural crowd being the “largest ever.” Frustrated by having to tell the lie (I’m sure encouraged by #45), he turned red and stuttered, out the lie. “It was the largest crowd. Period.”

Now, where have we heard that before? When #45 gathered the press together with a supposed “big announcement” which was actually promotion of his new hotel, he stammered out, “President Obama was born in the United States. Period.”And then he walked away without responding to any questions. Press secretary did the same thing after his first press conference–walked away without answering any questions. Why? For at least six years, #45 told everyone he could find, President Obama was not born in the United States–attempting to de-legitimize his presidency, and now–he’s overly concerned about people seeing him as the illegitimate president because he lost the popular vote by almost three million votes. Doesn’t sound like a legitimate win to me–especially with the Russian hacking and false propaganda promoted about Hillary.

Do we see a pattern here?

Then, during another interview–the counselor to #45 told Chuck Todd, they had not lied about the crowd size, they merely presented, “alternative facts.” They lied. But then again, their boss lies–and lies, and lies and lies. But his enablers brush off the lies by saying, “you just didn’t understand what he was saying.” Are we all having a problem misunderstanding or is he incapable of making himself understood?

His lack of understanding–about the important things–is obvious. He signs executive orders for the drama and then when attempting to read some part of what he signed, stumbles over the words. So, it was not exactly a revelation when it was exposed that Bannon was the architect in drafting the executive orders. Most of us knew #45 didn’t draft them because the vocabulary used was beyond his ability to comprehend.

Bannon–late last week told the press,”You need to shut up.” There was more, but this will have to suffice to make the point. Who is he to tell the press to shut up? Good question! As it turns out, he is the power behind #45, the one making all the decisions and appointing himself to the National Security Council–under the guise that #45 made the decision. The wolves are circling and getting ready for the kill.

I have said–repeatedly–that #45 has demonstrated a cognitive disability and now–when revelations are made every day, my thoughts have been confirmed. But the enablers–try to keep up the ruse by blaming everyone else for the ineptness we see in the WH.

Now, what was that #45 often said about President Obama? “He’s the worst president ever!” Really? It would appear–than in just 10 days, the worst president ever has been immortalized for all the world to see and we know by the fruit he’s produced–it’s all bad.

  • Signing executive order to repeal the ACA without a replacement plan with no thought about all it affects. Many people are expressing regrets for voting for him because they didn’t realize that, “Obamacare” which they despised because of the name, was actually–the Affordable Care Act–which they now realize–they need.
  • Signing the executive order to ban Muslims and then saying, it wasn’t a “Muslim ban.” However, Giuliani said in a televised interview, that #45 had called him and asked him how he could, “legally ban Muslims.” But then, Giuliani–true to form–lied and said he didn’t really mean it.
  • He has signed so many executive orders–“more than President Obama” in such a short span of time, that he thinks that makes him a great president and his enablers are praising him for it–feeding his ego, fearful of telling him the truth. He cannot handle truth!

When lying and guilt weigh a person down, their demeanor changes and the evil residing inside, shows up on the outside and we can see it is taking its toll on both the counselor and press secretary. Even #45 is looking drained.

What fruit do we see? The growth from seeds of evil and greed for power to the extent that many are wondering, who is the president? Is it Bannon, Putin or #45?

With each day that passes, without someone checking what’s going on in the WH, we all should be watchful for the civil insurrection that is bound to occur with all of the lack of knowledge and wisdom, in making decisions in the WH.

God knows–He sees and hears everything–and He will expose all that is done in darkness by bringing it into the marvelous light–so all will know truth!

Recognize Them By Their Fruit!

Recognize Them By Their Fruit!

“Enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the road is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it. How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it. “Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravaging wolves. You’ll recognize them by their fruit. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes or figs from thistles? In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a bad tree produces bad fruit.A good tree can’t produce bad fruit; neither can a bad tree produce good fruit.  Every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So you’ll recognize them by their fruit. Matthew 7:13-20 HCSB

Thanking God for Holy Spirit early this morning! As always, I seek a “word” from Him in  order to organize my thoughts and write my daily blog. This morning, the word that came up in my spirit, was “wolf” and I immediately had a title–Tyrant In a Suit! But then as I started reading The Word, Holy Spirit reminded me–not only that we have to be careful of the tyrants and false prophets, but if we are watchful, we will recognize them by their fruit–or what they do and the company they keep.

Most of us are familiar with the saying, “birds of a feather flock together” and quote it often when we assess what a person is like. Can we tell if a person is charitable or stingy? Can we tell if a person is honorable or dishonorable? Can we tell if a person is trustworthy or not to be trusted? Can we tell if a person is honest or a liar?

There are so many ways and benchmarks by which we can use to assess who a person really is–not just who they tell us they are. For I am a firm believer that if we are who we think we are, we have no need to tell anyone anything–people will recognize who we are by our actions.

In the above passage of scripture, Jesus is teaching about entering into the kingdom of Heaven. On this journey called life, we can either follow the crowd and fall into the pit of destruction or follow the remnant who are determined to live according to God’s ways. The choice is ours and He gives us guidelines by which we can know which direction we’re taking.

There are those who “dress up”hate and bigotry behind the external appearances that hides who they are. The make-up, the plastic surgery, the expensive clothing (the person makes the clothes look good, not the other way around), tanning beds, wigs and hair transplants and weaves–all designed to make a person look to the casual observer, but do nothing to change who the person really is. Unfortunately, too many people judge a person by what they say or their outer appearance without looking at the person, their surroundings or their cohorts. We tend to judge unfairly–both the person in the suit and the person in rags–without knowing who they really are.

According to The Word–we can determine who they are by their fruit–the outcome or results of what they say or do. If what they do or say produces–good or bad–that is going to be the sum total of who they are, no matter how they try to hide their true selves. But we can be assured of accurate assessment of a person’s character when we use the Fruit of The Spirit as a measuring stick.  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith,  gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22,23 HCSB And the verses before this–explain the works of the flesh.

I say then, walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don’t do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are obvious:sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar. I tell you about these things in advance — as I told you before — that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:16-21 HCSB

Now, I suggest that we look carefully at a person–and those they surround themselves with–to get a true picture of the character within–and not at the exterior.

Do they exhibit/demonstrate unconditional love towards others or do they promote hatred and bigotry? Is their joy obtained by helping others or helping themselves? Do they encourage an environment of peace or do they provoke drama and mistrust? Are they patience with others or are they always impatient with others? Do we see demonstrations of kindness for no reason or is everything they do have an agenda? Do we see goodness in their behavior and actions towards others? Is their faith in God or themselves or others? Is there a measure of gentleness seen in their deeds or heard in their words? Do we see a model of self-controlled discipline or is their behavior erratic and unstable?

People who live in glass houses should not throw stones since those stones can be rerouted and the houses shattered. The same is true for people who have criticized others–especially the President of the United States–they cannot expect others not to look closely at them and with the same measure of critique they have expounded, it comes back to them–if and when they, too hold public office.

Are we good trees producing good fruit or bad trees producing bad fruit? Do others recognize who we are by what we do? In the end, God’s judgment will determine whether we’re consumed in the fire or enter into the gates of heaven.

Where He Leads!

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Psalm 23:1-3 NIV

Every so often we need to go back and “refresh” our thoughts about God’s Word even though most of us can quote the 23rd Psalm verbatim. However, understanding is not found in merely quoting passages of scripture, but in analyzing them, picking them apart to see what was going on then and how to apply it now.

Shepherds lead their flock on a path of safety, away from the drama of life in situations they cannot change, and keep them focused on what’s needed. If the shepherd doesn’t keep the flock safe–the sheep will wander off and get themselves killed and become of no benefit to anyone except the wolves who stand at the ready to devour them.

Wolves standing at the ready to devour silly, foolish sheep who will not follow sound instruction is true both naturally and spiritually. In the natural, the shepherd loses the potential worth of the the sheep’s wool and the sustenance of the meat. Spiritually, the shepherd loses the potential of growth–gaining more witnesses to promote the Gospel of Jesus Christ and in tithes and offerings to expand a viable program in bringing others into the knowledge of Christ.

There are so many shepherds out in the world of Christianity who are only concerned with fleecing the sheep–not feeding them so they will be valuable commodities in the kingdom, but draining people dry of valuable resources, but never giving them a nutritional message–one they can feed on for days and learn something by doing so. A “hoop” and a “holler” won’t provide any sustenance–it may ignite emotions for a minute, but once the moment is past–there is nothing–zero calories–a waste of time.

I can hear my Savior calling,
I can hear my Savior calling,
I can hear my Savior calling,
“Take thy cross and follow, follow Me.”
Where He leads me I will follow,
Where He leads me I will follow,
Where He leads me I will follow,
I’ll go with Him, with Him all the way.

When we sing this timeless song of dedication and commitment to the Lord, are we really saying we’ll allow Him to lead us or are we simply following the man or woman in the pulpit who are not true shepherds?

If we’re following Christ, we will be fed and nurtured in His Word–prepared to do good works; if we’re following people–only God knows where we’ll end up–and that may be–devoured by the wolves.

Think carefully today about who is leading you and where they may be leading you. Do you have a good shepherd or is there a wolf in sheep’s clothing leading you astray? The Good Shepherd will only say what His Father has already said–the wolf–will manipulate God’s Word to appease people and to mislead them.

Where Jesus leads me–I will follow and go with Him, all the way!

The Lord Is!

The Lord is my my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me to lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for name’s sake.(Psalm 23:1-3 NIV)

A familiar passage of scripture reference should always be re-viewed for fresh introspection and although what I am inspired to say today may not be fresh for some, it will encourage others. We have no need to fear what the enemy might do when we know–The Lord is–everything we need.

Since David was a shepherd caring for his father’s sheep, he knew exactly what a shepherd’s role was–as a caretaker for the flock which would later provide for the family.

So what does a shepherd do? The shepherd’s role is to make sure the sheep–all of the flock–are kept safe from harm, led to good grazing areas and by water. The shepherd makes sure that the sheep lack for nothing and when some stray or fall off cliffs, the shepherd is there to lead them back to safety or to rescue them, making sure they get back in the sheepfold unharmed.

Considering the fact that most leaders in the churches are supposed to model the role of a shepherd, are they doing so? Are church leaders feeding the sheep or fleecing the sheep? Are they concerned with the welfare of the sheep or do they only care about their own well-being? Are they guiding the sheep along right paths–The Word of God–or are they pimping The Word, selectively, to make the sheep think they are more than they are and emptying the pockets and bank accounts of the masses?

If we truly understand the picture that David paints for us of the role of a shepherd, we’d have to admit that many of our church leaders are not good shepherds–with a heart to please God. And this is why so many congregants are mislead, misused and abused by those in leadership for their hearts are far from God and when they distort The Word of God for personal gain–the enemy gets a foothold in the heart of the building which influences the sheep and they are lost.

But if The Lord is–our Great Shepherd–we are confident that all of our needs are met in Him. We know that He will never lead us astray, but will always lead us to rich pastures (or passages in The Word) so we’ll be well fed and have our thirst quenched by The Word. When The Lord is our Shepherd, we can sleep at night without worry about tomorrow because we know that angels are guarding us throughout the night and we have nothing to fear. When The Lord is our Shepherd–He speaks those things to us that the Father says and we develop a desire to please the Father–knowing how He wants us to live, thrive and survive the attacks of the enemy.

The Lord is–our healer, our comforter, our provider, our counselor, our teacher, our guide through all the muck we face in life and when we hear and obey–we are victorious and nothing the enemy does, no weapon tossed our way, will have any effect on our lives or our desire to please God. The Lord is everything we will ever need and He will lead us to those He has anointed and appointed to lead His sheep–in all truth, according to The Word.

We need to know The Word for ourselves so when we hear someone say something that is not The Word, we’ll know it and not be led astray, opening the door for the enemy to step in and destroy our lives. Know The Word–Know The Lord. If we don’t know The Word, any fool can lead us astray when they make sounds like they know The Word, when they don’t even know The Lord. Be wise, knowledgeable and realize that wolves (in shepherd’s clothing) disguise themselves with just enough Word to get close enough to devour. If they are not saying what The Lord says and reminding people who The Lord is–run and don’t look back!

Pulpit Idiocy!

One of the reasons our society at-large is in the shape that it is in is because of some of  those in leadership in churches. When leadership fails to live up to standards of integrity and virtue, then the whole house (for which it leads) is subject to failure!

This didactic is not about casting judgment upon those who have exercised no wisdom in the things they do, but it is an attempt to bring to the forefront–awareness–so that all of the idiocy that begins in a pulpit–regardless of denomination–is exposed and those who perpetrate it have room to repent and desist.

First of all, if a person has never been taught The Word in a structured, educational environment that provides guidance in extrapolating, dissecting and “rightly dividing the word,” they should never be allowed to present information to others that they do not understand.  Why does this happen? When the leadership is not led by God, but by emotions or familial connection, we end up with idiots in a pulpit.

Does that mean that everyone with a degree in theology or Christian Education belongs in a pulpit? No, it does not.  We have all seen the messes created with some who hold degrees and titles who–because of their lack of relationship with God–have  made a mockery of the church, Christianity and all that it involves.

Who’s left? For those who “hire” the pastor or church leader by any other name, accountability lies with them.  If their relationship is not right with God, they may end up making a decision that will prove detrimental to the whole body. Congregations need to know–if the leadership is not living a godly life–they are under no obligation to support idiocy and should not support idiocy.  Unfortunately, many people in the congregation of a church are cajoled “to forgive” those who commit transgressions and move on, but few have actually forced the guilty leadership to repent and rethink what they’re doing.  As a result, wrong-thinking people continue to lead entire congregations astray and many have bullied the congregation into allowing them to keep their position. If the people–in the congregation–understood The Word–this could never happen. There are far too many wolves in our society, pretending to be something they are not and far, far too many sheep who fall into their clutches.

How do we get rid of the idiocy in the pulpit? Every born-again believer needs to understand The Word for themselves and when they hear and see conduct that is not of God in the leadership, they should act to rid themselves of that person. If more people did this, we would have fewer people in leadership positions, conning the people.

How do we know when there is idiocy in the pulpit? When the leadership (male or female) is abusing/misusing their position with members of the congregation. No one in a church should be subjected to sexual advances from any church leadership for any reason. That is not God speaking to them, but the devil himself.  No one should be subjected to listening to a preacher who has proven themselves to be less than honest, never really teaches The Word, but is always fussing and negative about those in the church. No church should be subjected to those who steal from the church in an effort to make themselves look good. No one should ever have to feel that they have to support idiocy when they see it–when the pastor wants more for a salary than the church can support. That is total idiocy! And then we have the church leaders who want to “build unto themselves a mini-kingdom” and expect the congregation to foot the bill, whether building is needed or not–idiocy!

How do we avoid the pulpit idiocy? The Word tells us that we ought to always pray. We should pray about where we worship, asking God to reveal everything we need to know about a situation before we settle there. We should pray for the leaders–all over the land–in every church–that they will hear and obey the voice of God. We should know The Word for ourselves so when we hear error being taught, we know it and can do something about it. We should pray for ourselves and our families, and church congregations that they would understand the legal ramifications for the role and duties of a church. Every person attending a church as a member and supporting it has a right to know how decisions are made and how money is spent. When leadership is found not living according to the Word, the congregants should make it known and with discussion–provide an avenue for the leadership to get it together or leave. These should be the only two options.  If the leadership won’t listen to the congregants, then the congregants should leave and find a place of worship where the leadership hears God.

One of the biggest problems we have with church leadership today is the practice of nepotism. Every son thinks that if their father is a pastor, they should be next in line. Churches should never be treated like a family business; especially if no training has been afforded to those being put in leadershipFathers and mothers need to stop “calling” their sons into ministry and allow God to be God in the lives of their children. Not every offspring of a preacher was intended by God to preach, but in our society that seems to be the rule rather than the exception. When we do not do things God’s way, we mess up and end up with idiocy in the pulpit.

Father, in the name of Jesus, help us to be more sensitive to You in hearing and obeying Your voice and not the one of a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Remind us to pray about everything we do–where we worship, how we support that place and who we should “hear” as a leader. And when we find idiocy, help us to be bold enough to expose it for the benefit of all. Amen!