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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Giving God Glory

Jesus said that His Father is glorified if we bear much fruit. This statement seems to be lost in most Christians' daily thought. We fall short of God's glory when we sin. Bearing fruit is one way to restore God's glory.

Paul tells us that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Many note that the noun "fruit" should relate to only one fruit. They generally argue that the fruit of the Spirit is love from which all the other characteristics emerge. I, too, believe this but it really makes very little difference in the product. I am not allowing the Spirit to produce the fruit of love if I am not exhibiting these other characteristics. It is like saying a tree produces sweet peaches. If the fruit is not sweet; it is not peaches.

My life should produce other new Christians from this fruit of the Spirit. Jesus said, "Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies. it remains by itself alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit." This is a hard statement because many Christians came to Christ to keep from going to hell. They did not truly think of dying to self as a means of giving God glory. In fact this is the reason that most Christians never ever lead another person to Christ. They will not die to self so they will always remain alone.

Our church just went through a three year process to find a Minister of Music. Several of those we interviewed would not come to our church because it was too far from their home town. I don't think they grasped Luke 14:26. I don't think they were qualified to be ministers. How will the followers ever understand if the leadership in a church does not understand that we must die to self in order to bear much fruit?

Many Christians are willing to do anything for Christ as long as it is convenient. I thank God that was not His attitude toward us. I just don't think that giving your only son is that convenient!

Many Christians try to share Christ without dying to self. They find themselves extremely frustrated. They cannot get the message across when those in need of Christ can see no difference in their lives. They can't see the fruit of the Spirit or its characteristics. They see no reason to give their lives to Christ. They might already be living better lives than the Christians who are telling them that they must come to Christ.

This may be the reason that many churches are content to steal members from other churches. The cost of winning souls abundantly is death to self. The cost of grabbing members from other churches is a great marketing plan. The latter is much cheaper and easier to accomplish.

Tell me about your fruit. Is the Spirit producing love in your life? Is that love characterized by joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control? Are you dying to self? Who will you tell the story of Christ today? Will you give God glory?

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