The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
(Thanks to my dear brother and friend Fred C. for inspiration on this one)
God calls born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ to be active doers who seek to bear fruits that reflect well upon the glory of His name.
"Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God" (Philippians 1:11).
"I am the Vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing" (John 15:5).
"Be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only" (James 1:22).
"This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works" (Titus 3:8).
Note the direct Scriptural affirmation that our works, if genuine, are fruit rather than root. The Holy Spirit who dwells in us also walks in us (II Corinthians 6:16). Believers can no more originate the most simple act of godliness than we could have spiritually birthed ourselves into the family of God. "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him" (Colossians 2:6). We rather receive God's grace by faith, that is, we trust and submit ourselves to God in confident assurance "that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6). We do because the Doer works in us, and because we know, believe, and submit ourselves to Him in confident expectation. We follow the footsteps of Abraham, who was "fully persuaded that, what He had promised, He was able also to perform" (Romans 4:22).
We must never reverse the sequence of our doings proceeding from God's doing. Our spiritual enemies well know this truth and ever tempt us to be the fruit-producing vine rather than serve as fruit-bearing branches. God's standards for choice produce are far too high for any believer to think we can originate godliness based upon our own dedication and determination. Our enemies tempt us, however, and we sometimes forget that "we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works" (Ephesians 2:10). The Gardener who planted us serves as the same faithful One who tends and nurtures us to yield a bountiful harvest of "fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ." No truth more prepares and empowers us to "be ye doers and not hearers only." As the writer of Hebrews vividly confirms, "Let us have grace, that we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and godly fear" (Hebrews 12:28).
Every born again believer would be well served if told in the first moments of relationship with God, "Your Heavenly Father calls you to a life of abundant faithfulness. His faithfulness will be the vine from which such fruitfulness abides and grows." The same could be said to the most mature believer because we all require reminders that our doers ever flow from His doing, our works from His working, and our… well, let us allow the Apostle Paul to bear clear witness to the Faithfulness that yields a bountiful harvest of fruitfulness…
"But by the grace of God I am what I am: and His grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me."
(I Corinthians 15:10)
"I also labor, striving according to His working, which worketh in me mightily."
Weekly Memory Verse
"For Thou, LORD, hast made me glad through Thy work: I will triumph in the works of Thy hands."