John 10:2-3 “But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.”
This verse promises all who are God’s sheep that they not only can, but that they do, hear His voice. Many born-again people doubt the truth of this statement based on their experience. They don’t think they can hear God’s voice. However, the Word of God is true – not our experience.The harmony between what this verse says and what our experiences say is that it is our new born-again spirit that hears God’s voice. Although God has spoken and still does speak in an audible voice at times, very few people experience this. God speaks to our inner person (spirit) and our inner person hears Him. The problem comes when we aren’t sensitive to, or controlled by, our spirit but are walking in the vanity of our mind. The Bible calls this walking in the flesh instead of the Spirit…Galatians 5:16-18.
Man is a spirit, soul, and body. Our spirits are as perfect as they will ever be in heaven. If we will change our thinking so that we believe what God says in His Word about who we are and what we have, then this agreement between our spirit and soul forms a majority and our flesh will experience the life of God that has been deposited in our spirits.
Prayer, Bible study, fasting, fellowship, etc. are ways of refocusing our mind’s attention away from the voice of this world and back to the voice of our Shepherd who is constantly communicating with our spirit. If we fail to renew our minds, we can live our entire time on this earth without experiencing the abundant life that Jesus provided for us. Listen, and you will hear His voice speak to you through His Word today.
Matthew 7:20, “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”
The way that you can tell whether a person is genuine or not is by the fruit they produce. This fruit is speaking of lifestyle. Jesus made the point that you don’t get bad fruit from a good tree and you don’t get good fruit from a bad tree. Many people say one thing, but their actions speak so loudly that you really can’t hear what they are saying. If you are in doubt about whether a person is genuine or not, or whether you should receive from them and follow their teaching, look at the fruit they are producing.
In evaluating ministers and ministries, more attention should be given to the fruit that is being produced. Failure to do this could lead someone to reject and even discredit a minister who simply makes a mistake or is wrong in one area. Every minister has shortcomings, just as every other member of the Body of Christ does. But that doesn’t mean his ministry is bad. Look at the fruit.
Fruit is the true test of ministers and ministries. If people are being saved, if lives are being changed, there is good fruit. Even though the minister may say something bad and make mistakes, the fruit is good.
Therefore, you can say that the tree is good. When a person says all of the right things and may seem sincere, but you see the lives of people around them shattered and torn, and in confusion and distress, then the fruit is bad. You can judge the effectiveness of a person by the fruit that they are producing in their life. In ministry you can judge the effectiveness of a minister by the fruit that his ministry is producing.
Today, make sure that the fruit that comes from your life is positive. Make sure that you are making a positive impact on people’s lives, that you are turning people to the Lord and not leaving them hurt and confused. People are looking at you to see what type of fruit you are bearing.
Matthew 5:37 “But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.”
A person who has to swear or make a promise to validate his statements is a person whose word is no good. The thrust of Jesus’ teaching here is that we should live in such a manner that no one would ever have to have additional proof that we are telling the truth. Our word should be our bond.
We have all heard the story of the young shepherd boy who cried wolf when there was no wolf until finally no one believed him when the wolf really came. Our lack of integrity in performing our word has the same effect on people today.
Very few people conduct business anymore with their word and a handshake. Even contracts are not sacred if an individual can afford a good enough lawyer. But this is not the way God intended it.
God has fulfilled every word He has ever spoken. We were created in His image and He planned for us to be the same way. Even our physical bodies respond adversely when we lie. That’s why lie detectors work.
Today, commit yourself to be a new man or woman of your word. You will not only experience a new respect from others, but you will find the joy of a clear heart and mind.
Matthew 5:29 “And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.”
Is Jesus advocating dismembering of our bodies? Quite the contrary. He is drawing on the universal drive within every person of self preservation to make a point. If you value your body highly enough that you would never sacrifice one of its parts, then you should esteem your spiritual well being much higher.
Ever since the fall of Adam and Eve, man’s priorities have been misplaced. Great effort is put into preserving our physical life while our spiritual condition is often overlooked. It constantly gets put on the “back burner” while we tend to more urgent matters of this life.
Yet our physical bodies are just temporary. If we live 70 years or more, that is just a fraction of a second in the light of eternity. Our spiritual man lives forever. The state in which it exists is determined by choices made in this life.
Therefore, choose to make your spiritual condition your top priority. Spend more time on your spiritual well being than you do your physical well being. You and everyone around you will be eternally grateful that you did.
Matthew 5:13 “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.”
What is it that will be cast out and trodden under foot of men? Is it the salt, or is it possible that Jesus is speaking about the world? If we as believers lose our preserving influence, then there is no other way for the Lord to save the world. It will be dominated by men.
God flows through His people. It is not our own power that changes people. It’s God’s power in us. But God will not do it without us. It’s a partnership.
Many people spend a lifetime praying for God to move, not understanding that He is going to flow through them. It is not God who is failing to intervene. It is God’s people who are failing to cooperate and let Him flow through them.
Every Christian has God living in them. Therefore we are carrying around other people’s miracles. If we fail to walk in the supernatural power of God, then someone will miss their miracle. We are God’s salt to preserve this putrefying world. Today, get out of the shaker and let the life of God which is in you flow to someone in need.
Mark. 1:31 “And he came and took her by the hand, and lifted her up; and immediately the fever left her, and she ministered unto them.”
How did Peter’s mother-in-law minister unto Jesus and His disciples? Did she sit them down and preach to them? Certainly not. Yet sometimes people think the only way we can minister to another is to admonish them with the scriptures.Peter’s mother-in-law apparently ministered to them by serving them. The word translated “minister” is the same word that was translated “deacon” twice in the New Testament, and “serve, served or serveth” eight times.
We can minister for the Lord by doing some of the menial tasks that many consider to be unimportant. Jesus said that even a cup of cold water given in His name would not go unrewarded… Matthew 10:42.
Many people are waiting for the important jobs to come along where they can make a big impact or receive a lot of recognition, while they pass by many lesser opportunities every day. But in the kingdom of God, we won’t be given any great opportunities until we are proven faithful in the small things… Luke 16:10.
Today, ask the Lord to show you ways you can minister to others by serving them.
Mark 1:23, “And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out,”
Many people don’t associate demon possessed people with places of worship. Yet most of the demons that Jesus cast out were encountered in the church. Why would demon possessed people be in church?
In some cases, the people were there because they were seeking help. The church, like a hospital, offers people the cure and therefore, attracts those who are sick.
In other cases, the devil sows these types of people in the church to spread spiritual disease. A church that is teaching the true Word of God should either try to evangelize these individuals or make them so convicted that they move on. Sad to say, demon possessed people can thrive in most religious settings today.
We always need to show love for the sinner as Jesus did, but we should cut the devil no slack. If a person wants to keep an evil spirit on the inside of them, they should not feel at home in church.
Let the Spirit of God live through you as He did through Jesus and you will either make people mad or glad, but there will not be indifference.
John 4:32, “But he saith unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of.”
Food is essential for life. Without it we couldn’t grow. We get strength and vitality from food. Yet food can kill us. Improper diets kill more people than any disease.
Our soul needs nourishment too. The things we think on and the desires that we have are food to our souls. Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).
Jesus valued spiritual nourishment more than He valued physical nourishment. He was thrilled to see this woman and the people of this town respond to His gift of salvation. Likewise, we should set our desires on the things of God so that spiritual matters are more important to us than our physical food.
The wrong diet for our souls is the leading cause of failure and depression in Christians. Being spiritually minded produces life and peace. Being carnally minded produces death (Romans 8:6).
In our health conscious society, many of us wouldn’t dream of abusing our bodies with bad diets. Yet in our soulish area, we are killing ourselves by feeding on the wrong things. Treat yourself to a healthy spiritual meal today.