Bearing Fruit


It is no shame to be ignorant.  Education is a simple remedy.  The shame is choosing to remain ignorant.  When God is so willing to teach.

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The Mechanics of “Gain”


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If we want to accomplish anything, then we go after those things of accomplishment.  If we want to fail we chase after those things that cause failure.  Most people want to gain.  But there are many who have a death wish.   (I did)

I take note this morning that the problem with Society is that they think they can drink from a mixed cup and still get what they want.

They want to live righteously, but they fill their lives with unrighteous things.  They want to be considered respectable.  But they live their lives with a measure of disrespect.

To whatever measure we introduce unholy things to our mind, we will lack holiness.  To whatever measure we dabble in unrighteousness, we will be unrighteous.  To whatever measure we refuse to believe and follow the Gospel of Christ,  to that measure we will fail to be his disciples.

What do we allowed to burn away our days?  On that day we see Christ Jesus, we all want his smile and open arms.  What are we doing to make sure that happens?

The Now.


A man doesn’t look at his watch to see what time it was.  His watch can only tell him what time it is.  It doesn’t tell him what time it’s going to be.  It tells him what time it is.  You can’t lay hold of the past.  And you can’t lay hold of the future.

Regret reminds him of what time it was.  Perhaps we regret that we cannot have the good times we had.  Or we may regret that we have destroyed joy, for ourselves or others.

What is regret but a knowledge of what is right.  A knowledge of appropriate restraint.  Truth restrains us in “the now”.  You’re not going back my friend.  And as you reach the future you bring the old man with you.  What you did back then, you are doing now. You need a change of heart, not a change of time.

We may look at the past desiring some pleasant time.  Or we may look at the past, regretting abject folly.  But we can only do this looking from “the now”.  The man who lives in Nostalgia does not know what time it is.  Regrettably, this is to his constant loss.

Nostalgia will always be beyond our grasp.  But regret can happily thrive in our house.  All the while, truth says something imperative.  “I am here.  Come live with me.  I am here to offer you life.”

It is impossible to fix a misdeed.  The best we can possibly do is offer reparation.  And the cost of repair is vastly more than a man’s resources will ever afford.  You can’t undo anything, whether good or bad!

Man thinks that by paying for his horrible mistakes, he becomes a righteous man.  Perhaps he thinks if he regrets his past enough, there is some reparation made.  As if suffering  produces anything of value.  But no action on our part undoes the death we have born.

Christ Jesus is in the now.  No matter what clock you look at, there is the Lord holding out his hand to help stop the engine of regret.  Will you reach out and take his help?

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One thing I will say about regret, it is a useful tool.  It teaches humility.  And in an odd way, it gives validity to the warnings we offer to those who are as blind as we. 

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The man who climbs out of an open cesspool is happy to warn those who are walking toward disrepair.  Blinded by the darkness of their mind, they stagger toward loss.  And isn’t such a man rather frantic as he tries to help his brother?

Their response doesn’t matter.  It doesn’t matter if they hate him.  It doesn’t matter if they give him some superficial glory.  He knows from experience they are about to encounter regret.  He busies himself to remind his brother of the now.

Christ is in the now.   And he alone is The Living pure truth.  Listen to him.  His wisdom and strength are ever-present.

As the blind are walking toward the pit.  As they are falling into it.  As the shock of their disrepair dawns on their dull minds.  As they thrash about to release themselves from their present aberration.  As their hands lay hold of solid ground.  As they pull themselves out, covered with stench.  And as they sit perplexed on the edge of the pit, wondering what to do next, or how they could possibly have been so stupid.

Christ is in the now.

Christ is in the now.

He is not just a historical figure.  He is the now.

If you have freed yourself from a certain pit, I promise you, without Christ there’s another one waiting just in front of you.

Answer to yourself, what time is it?

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The usefulness of this post depends entirely on the reaction of those who read it.

Value-Driven Truth


I have not yet parsed the following truth into an edible format.  So please forgive me if it isn’t a cute little saying.  I’ll try to keep this very short, but it’s packed with volumes of understanding.

Pride and education are firmly bound together.

If I try to give free advice to someone, they are not likely to consider it very valuable.  It doesn’t matter how priceless the advice may be.  If it cost them nothing they equate free advice with trivia.  Or perhaps worse, that I’m meddling in their affairs.

On the other hand.  If I make someone pay tuition to sit in a classroom and receive that same advice, they are likely to consider it priceless.  Having said that, I could make someone pay tuition and feed them nothing but lies and they would think it is priceless truth.  Oh wait, that’s what most modern colleges are doing.

If I speak the truth to a stranger, he thinks I am proudly wielding wisdom.  He considers me to full of myself.  If I put that same information in a fortune cookie, the receiver thinks he has found gold.

I’ll say it again and let the reader stew over this.  Pride and education are firmly bound together.

Consider:
The message of Jesus is free to any man who will listen.  He has come to us from heaven and given us heavenly words.  What he gave us is beyond any possible price.  But the world treats his words as if they are useless.  Or at best, they are useful for children only.

If he had charged admission, I suspect the world would treat his words greatly different.  And if the church would charge admission on Sunday mornings, I would guess the pews would be packed full.

You think that’s too much to say?   I don’t.

Formation


With decades ahead of them, praise in their hand,

The young folks will seek the good of the land.

What could they know of what lay ahead;

How sorrows will drench their unkempt bed.

They’ll grow old soon enough when wisdom comes home,

When abandon comes knocking; leaving them all alone.

Everyone’s salted with fire, you know.

Oh, how paleness replaces that once youthful glow.

But who can advise those who simply won’t die,

To replace youthful lust with Eternity’s eye:

Tell them once, tell them twice, tell them three times, why more?

Your words can’t draw pictures of what lay in store.

Pray for them deeply.

Love them through Christ.

Pray they’ll live meekly.

Lest their hearts turn to ice

What Was, Still Is.


Why do we do the things we do?  Why have we learn to love what we love?  What causes a man to gravitate toward one sin or another?  Why is ignorance so beloved while wisdom and sobriety wander like orphaned children?  It is impossible that any man should answer these things.  At best they can only say, “It is the way of Man”.

Centuries ago (Pick a moment in time.) one man made a choice.  He agreed with wickedness; to perform and action of death.  Once the deed was done, the ripple effect into future days has not ceased.  No, it is carried in the soul of those who came from his day.  It is carried like a disease to the generations that follow.

As it is so with one man, centuries ago, so it is with all the men who lived in his day.  The laws they made, the words they spoke, the perceptions they held so dearly, the deviceiveness they encouraged without end, the judgments they made, the dress codes they approved or disapproved, how they segregated one man from another by language, color of skin, or other cultural differences, what lies were considered innocent, what does were considered necessity, didn’t all these things shape the mind of those to come?

Certain wickedness is adored, while holiness is forgotten.  Protections are made for certain wicked people, while the righteous go abandoned.  And haven’t we inherited all these things?

Add to this, our own imaginations.  Look around and see what we adore.  Aren’t we shaping the inheritance of those who will come after us?  And how will they know what they believe?  How will they be able to divide between what is necessary and what is inherited from the wicked who came before them?

Such is the plight of man to suffer in his own vile filth.  Yet the good news of God remains.  If we will humble ourselves and call out to him for help, he will give us what we never had.  The more diligent the soul, the more God will give.  In Christ Jesus, he will save us from our ignorance.

Is it any wonder that so few find “The Way?