Tag: produce fruit
Scripture reading for March 6th: Deuteronomy 10-13, Luke 3
Key Scriptures: Deuteronomy 10:12-15 “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord, which I am commanding your today for your good? Behold, to the Lord your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth with all that is in it. Yet the Lord set His heart in love on your fathers and chose their offspring after them, you above all peoples, as you are this day.”
Moses told God’s people that God had chosen them to love and serve Him. God, who made heaven and earth and owned all of it, loved them and made promises to their fathers which He would keep. In light of this, a response of love and obedience was natural, required, and proper!
Luke 3:8-9 (John the Baptist) “Bear fruits in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. Even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”
Prayer: Father, thank You for the love You show through Jesus Christ. I respond with holy awe and offer my imperfect love and obedience. Amen.
Scripture reading for November 22nd: 1st Peter 1:1-12
Peter was one of the Twelve disciples. Peter was notoriously impulsive and sometimes very fickle in his walk with Jesus. Jesus chose him, not for his perfection, but because of God’s sovereign purpose. Peter faithfully served the Lord by ministering mainly to Jews in the early church. We have two letters written by him to encourage those suffering persecution as believers in Christ. These speak to us today!
“To God’s elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by His blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.” (1st Peter 1:1-2)
Peter began his letter by addressing those who would receive it. He first stated that they were God’s elect! God the Father chose them by His foreknowledge to be a part of His family. God knows the hearts of all men and chooses them. This does not mean that we do not have free will. God knows how we will choose and knows us completely from before creation! (Ephesians 1:4-5)
He told the believers that they were scattered by God. The term ‘scattered’ was a farming term used to describe the farmer that purposely placed the seed in soil where it would grow and produce a crop. Each believer is placed by God like seed. God’s purpose for us is to produce fruit–a crop of righteousness–for His glory!
To enable this, God’s gives us the gift of His righteousness brought to us by the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit indwells us upon our placing faith in Christ’s sacrifice. The Holy Spirit works within us to sanctify us, that is to make us holy and complete.
“You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” (1st Peter 1:9-10) What a privilege we share with the recipients of this apostolic letter from Peter! Thank the Lord for His calling and saving grace!