Your fruit is showing…

Hey there BCU Family!

You have the option of listening to our podcast (click the BCU avatar below to listen), reading the notes or BOTH. In any case, we pray the podcast blesses you. If so, please thumbs up or leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy your study! 


I spent some time with a wonderful individual who is on fire for the Lord, full of love, faith…and complaints. No, not venting or looking for an understanding–just a myriad complaints about people, places and things, past, present and future. How does such a fiery vessel have such a consistently negative attitude? It’s all about the tree and its fruit.

As a quick disclaimer, I do not bring this subject up in a spirit of condemnation or superiority, (trust me, God has PLENTY of things He is working on with me), rather, as I pondered the conversation, the Lord brought the behavior to my attention as a warning to me first,  and to the Body of Christ as a whole. Let’s examine why.

As saints, we are called to observe and discern. In fact, Matthew 7:16 tells us we will know people by their fruits. While people can tell us/we can be told who someone is, the words and actions (fruit) tell US who they are.

That same verse goes on to ask “do men get grapes from thorns or figs from thistles?” In other words, if you say you are a grape vine or a fig tree, your fruit will be just that, sweet, fragrant, plentiful and in abundance, rather than producing thorns or thistles. Thorns and thistles are long, recurved, prickly plants that upon contact, often inflict serious and recurring wounds. Get the point?

Side note: grapes are the most mentioned fruit in the Bible and are valued because of the ways they can be used, such as for wine, raisins and vinegar. Not only are figs mentioned because of their nutritional and economic value, figs often symbolized safety and doing well.

 And Judah and Israel dwelt safely, every man under his vine and under his fig tree, from Dan even to Beersheba, all the days of Solomon (I Kings 4:25). 

Now, getting back to Matthew 7, verses 17 and 18 tell us that good trees bring good fruit and corrupt trees bring evil fruit. Also, you cannot get evil fruit from a good tree and/or vice versa. So here, God is telling us there are two types of trees–good or evil. Let’s read these verses to get a better understanding.

19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

A careful read tells us 1) Bad fruit producers are cut down and thrown into the fire (Hell) and, 2) we can produce bad fruit, work for the Lord, BUT we will STILL miss Heaven! These are sobering thoughts, BCU Fam. Our merciful God is willing to help us in this area—if we let Him. So how do we know what type of fruit we are producing and if it pleases God? Anything that comes from the flesh will NEVER please God and ONLY produce evil fruit. Galatians 5:19-21 tells us all about it:

 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.

In sharp contrast, when we yield to the Spirit of God, we allow the fruit of the Spirit to produce good things like: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23). I love that there is no law against good fruit production! Can you imagine how much better things would be if we all produced all this fruit regularly?

This is a LOT to take in, right? The bottom line is for those of us who have the Holy Ghost, when we were filled, we became good trees with the “good fruit” that we see in the aforementioned paragraph. With God’s help, we have to maintain our tree and ensure we are consistently producing good fruit by walking and living in the Spirit (see Galatians 5:25). Every so often we may have a thorn or thistle, but we should immediately apply spiritual “Round-Up” (prayer and fasting), to kill off those deadly and unproductive prickle bushes. Amen? Amen.

How about you? How has your fruit production been? What would a surprise inspection yield? I am so curious to hear your heart on this topic! Please head over to the comments section below and let’s chat some more!


In the meantime, if you have not subscribed to BlenCouragesU.com, please do so! It’s free and a good place to get the encouragement, inspiration and information based the Word of God! Additionally, you can also see what we are up to on Facebook, Twitter , and Instagram! You can also listen in and subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio , Google Play, and Apple podcasts!

Thank you SO much for stopping by. God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you as you #StayOnTheWall!

Love,

BCU

When the inside shows up on the outside

Hey 👋🏾 there BCU Family!

As usual, you have the option of listening to our podcast (click the BCU avatar below to listen), reading the notes or BOTH. In any case, we pray the post blesses you. If so, please thumbs up or leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy the post!

As a youngster, I developed a love for mysteries, drama and psychological thrillers–think Perry Mason, Alfred Hitchcock and of course,  The Twilight Zone.

[Spoiler alerts] There is an episode of The Twilight Zone entitiled “The Masks”, where a cantankerous, wealthy elderly man, Jason, receives a visit from beautiful family, his daughter (a constant complainer and hypochondriac), son-in-law (who is greedy and loves money), granddaughter (who is vain and always in the mirror), and grandson (a sadistic bully). Jason knows his family and who they really are, despite the outward show they display.

The Masks | Photo: CBS

Jason is dying and figures his family is just hanging around for the money, so he tells them in order to inherit, they have to wear these speciality and very ugly masks –that are supposed to be the opposite of their “true” (what the family portrays to others) personality. After a small protest, the family dons their new temporary faces to be worn until midnight. Daughter gets a worried coward-looking mask, son-in-law gets a miserable-looking miser one, granddaughter gets a hideous-self centered face mask and grandson gets a twisted buffoon face.  Jason also gets in on it and wears a skull mask.

As midnight approaches, Jason passes away and his family is excited that the money they wanted was finally theirs! As they remove the masks, they realize, in horror, their actual faces have PERMANENTLY conformed to the grotesque shape of the masks! The only one not effected was Jason, whose face looks peaceful and serene.

Now of course, the story is fictional and has no scriptual basis–it got me to thinking, though.

In our very virtual, social media intense, “scripted reality” show of a world we live in, on the outside we can appear to be whoever we want. What if God turned us inside out and made our faces into who we really are on the inside? Who or what would we resemble?

Would it be the face of a bully, a tyrant? Would your face show hatred or scorn? Would it be worried, fearful or anxious face? Would your face be gossipy, cantankerous? Lazy and uncaring? Or would it be wearing a favorite TV show, music, or the social media site where the most time is spent? Or the face of practiced (willful, repeated and intentional) sin?

Or would it show the fruit of the spirit–love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance? (Galatians 5:22), as we yield to God and walk in the Spirit rather than in the flesh. Would there be evidence on your face of spending time with God in prayer (I Thessalonians 5:17), fasting (Matthew 17:21), and study? (Psalm 1 and 2 Timothy 2:15). Would it reflect the joy of the Lord being your strength? (Nehemiah 8:10). Would it be a face that read, “I was glad when they said unto me let us go into the house of the Lord” (Psalm 122:1), or I love God and keep His commandments (I John 5:3).

Let me be clear, I am all for keeping the temple beautiful and maintained properly–in fact, I Corinthians 6:20 reminds us to glorify God (versus ourselves) in our purchased bodies. We also must remember that as the outer man perishes, the inward man is renewed day by day (I Corinthians 4:16). As we yield to God, He tranforms us into His glorious image.

That’s who we want to be inside. Just like Jesus.

Jesus is coming back for the inward man, BCU Family. With His help, let’s fervently and consistently strive for perfection (maturity in Christ) on the inside, so Jesus fervently and consistently shows on the outside.  Amen? Amen!

If you have not subscribed to BlenCouragesU.com, please do so! It’s free and a good place to get the encouragement, inspiration and information based the Word of God! Additionally, you can also see what we are up to on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and  YouTube! You can also listen in and subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio , Google Play, and iTunes!

Thank you SO much for stopping by. God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you as you #StayOnTheWall!

Love,

BCU