Thursday, August 9, 2012

Stop Striving and Start Abiding

I can't think of anything more exhausting than trying to produce fruit apart from Christ.  It is impossible. You cannot become more loving, patient, or kind without abiding in Christ daily.  It is not our job to produce fruit, but to bear fruit.  If you are struggling with a hot temper, foul mouth, bad attitude, you don't need to work harder to change your behavior, you need Christ.  Ask yourself when the last time was that you spent time with the Lord and if you are abiding in Christ.

Hos. 14:8 "From Me comes your fruit."

To abide in Christ is the only way to live a fruit-filled life.  We abide in Christ when we:

1. Are filled with the Holy Spirit- without the Spirit you can't produce the fruit of the Spirit.

2.  Are led by the Spirit.
Not by your desire to impress others, not by selfish ambitions, but by Christ Who is living inside of you.

3.  Spend time each day in prayer.
If we truly love someone we will spend time with that person.  How can we say we love Christ, but not spend time in prayer getting to know Him?

4.  Spend time in His Word.
God's Word is our daily bread- It is alive and active.  I heard a quote somewhere that said that the Bible is the only Book you can read with the Author standing right beside you while you're reading it.  Spending time in His Word strengthens our faith, convicts of our sin, directs our paths, and encourages our hearts. 

 If we neglect any of the following we will notice that it's not long before the works of the flesh become evident. I've learned that whenever I neglect prayer or reading my Bible, I always develop a bad attitude.  I have a short temper with my kids and have a complaining and critical spirit.

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,  
envyings,murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Galatians 5:19-21

Whenever you are lacking in the fruit of the Spirit you need to repent of any known sin and run to the cross of Jesus Christ.  Jesus is our only Hope. 

John 15:2
"He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful."

John 15:8
"This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples."

Matthew 7:20 "'By their fruits you will know them"

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

John 15:4-5 "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing"

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