The Imposter…

I was very fortunate to be invited to the First day of the Test Match at Edgbaston on Friday to watch India play England. I confess I’m not a huge cricket fan but Test matches are special and there was a great atmosphere in the crowd. People had dressed up in all manner of outfits from minions to Disney characters.

We were seated quite high up on a balcony so had a really good view of the whole cricket pitch. When one of the Indian wickets fell the next player up for India entered the field. As he walked on, he hadn’t reached the wicket when he was suddenly surrounded by men in security vests and we realised that this man wasn’t one of the Indian team. He was an imposter.

He looked the real deal though even down to the cricket helmet, pads and bat. He had boldly strode onto the field (as bold as brass as my mum would say) as though he had ever right to be there. He really looked the part but he was an imposter.

Security in bottom corner leading him away

We can all easily be fooled by appearances but I’m sure if that man had actually faced one of the English fast bowlers, he would soon have been exposed as a fraud. Bowled out or more likely knocked out by a cricket ball coming at him at over 80 mph. His team mate I’m sure would also have easily spotted he was a fake and not part of the team.

The bible warns us about people and spirits that are not what they appear…false spirits, false teachers, false apostles, false prophets….Imposters and not the real deal.

We are to test all things and check the fruit. Jesus said:

Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognise them. Do people pick grapes from thorn-bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognise them.”
Matthew 7:15-20

Gates – The Inspection Gate

This is the last in my series of posts on the Gates. I will include a link to all of them on a separate post as well for ease if you haven’t seen or had chance to read the others.

The Miphkad Gate or The inspection Gate

The bible teach us that Jesus is coming back (Hallelujah) and we should live today and each day with that in mind.    

Whatever we are doing -let us do it with an eye to the future and make it count.

This gate reminds me of the judgement seat of Christ.  An inspection appointment.

The bible teaches us that one day we, as Christians, will give an account of ourselves to Christ. We will appear before His throne and Christ will judge our works.  Each one of us individually will appear before Him. How we long to hear those words from His lips “Well done good and faithful servant”. Christ has gifts for us as rewards for our faithfulness to Him.

We can be confident that we are not being judged for sin to face the wrath of God because our sins have been paid for by Jesus’ precious blood, but we will give an account for our works or in other words how have we have lived out our lives for Jesus as His follower.

Paul teaches on this in 2 Corinthians Ch 5 – v 9  “Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad“.

What is Christ looking for? 

I believe it is His character reflected in us and how it has manifested in and through our lives as the fruit of the Holy Spirit. We are exhorted to be doers of the Word and not just hearers.

Matthew 7 – v 17 – “Every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit“.

This takes us right back to the Sheep Gate where we started our journey around the gates – We have to be rooted in Christ to bear good fruit.

John 15 talks of the true vine and Jesus says:

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, and you are the branches. He who abides in Me and I in him, bears much fruit, for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, so you will be My disciples.

The fruit of the Holy Spirit working in our lives is Galatians 5: 22 – ” love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, – Against such there is no law: And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires“.

If we are rooted in Him then the good fruit will be produced naturally by the Holy Spirit working in our lives and what we do will be good and pleasing to Jesus.

Let us not become weary in doing good but let us encourage each other to grow in our love for Jesus, the Holy Scriptures and to be wells of living water to those we meet. To boldly proclaim the Word of God in season and out of season.

I have added a link here to another post which I posted some time back on Being a Faithful Servant.

Blessings to all.

 

God’s love which disciplines

Morning everyone. I wanted to share this post again about God’s love which also disciplines and corrects us for our own good. We generally don’t enjoy being corrected but it’s necessary for growth and produces change for the better in us.

We often listen to and sing songs about God’s love for us, how overwhelming and awesome it is. Sometimes we need a fresh understanding of His love otherwise we expect it to be a feel good, warm feeling all the time but as we know God’s love also disciplines us and corrects us when we need it.

The bible tells us that we know we are his children because he disciplines us. God’s love expressed itself in the purest way when Christ died on the Cross for us and it requires us to bring death to our flesh. It can even require some things in our lives to be cut off, wither and die. God’s love will discipline and corrects us when we need it. Hebrews 12 v 3-11 tells us this.

For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.” If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”

When we are going through a time of correction and discipline it can be painful, uncomfortable, frustrating and doesn’t feel good. We can be confused, discouraged and start to think all sorts of wrong things and can lose our way. We need to discern God’s hand at work. This is really key otherwise we can think mistakenly it’s the work of the enemy in our lives or that we are out of God’s Will when in fact you could be right where the Lord wants you to be.

If you are going through such a process the please don’t be discouraged and don’t try to short cut the process otherwise as the Apostle Paul tells us we will miss the fruit of righteousness that this process will produce in us.

I believe the Lord wants to encourage us all today. If you are in a difficult season then you may be experiencing God’s love being expressed in this way.

Pray and ask God to reveal to you what is happening in your life. If you are going through a period of discipline or pruning then hold on firm to the truth. Reject any lie that says if God loved you then you wouldn’t be feeling like this or going through this. God is love and He loves you. You are His child.

Submit to God and let Him bring His good work in you to fruition so that you can grow and mature in your faith. Hold on fast to the truth which is the Word of God and don’t be swayed by feelings or what is happening around you.

Ask other christians to support you in prayer during this time.

Strengthen yourself in God and in His Word.

Have a blessed day my friends

The Secret Place 2

After reading my recent post In the Secret Place, my friend Karen sent this message about fruit which comes from that secret place. I love her comments about the dry, barren places becoming lush.

“Late last year I felt God emphasise that I should turn the room I had created as an office into a place where I meet with Him. The room is small and so, so comfortable. I have all that I need, my books, printer, laptop etc.

This room has now become my Poustinia, a place where I meet with Him in solitude and prayer. I look forward to entering into the special place, expectantly.

I have read something this evening referring to the fruit we produce.

This fruit is first formed in the secret and intimate place. The Poustinia.

The place where we find Him in the solitude and silence. The place of prayer, the place of rest, the place of pruning, the place of healing.

Poustinia means desert.

As Christians we understand that the beginnings of great things are often formed in the dry desert places but we have to make the decision to see the desert place as a place where we experience significant spiritual growth, turning it into a place of prayer, thus enabling barrenness to become lush green and fruitful pastures.

The Poustinia, the place where heaven meets earth.”

What lovely and encouraging words.

Blessings my friends. May we encounter God in The Poustinia.

The oasis