Why God Closes Doors By Sarah Martin

DOOR CLOSED

I sat with my computer on my lap and Google at my fingertips. Surly this search would come up fruitful and all of my heart troubles would be alleviated by one confirmation from the ever knowledgeable, all knowing search engine. I typed in this phrase into the little box with the eyeglass…

When God shuts a door, He opens a window.

After years of seeing this phrase on those cutesy little posters with kittens perched on windows, I was for sure this tidbit of wisdom was straight up truth from the Bible. Right? Weren’t there songs in the 90’s on our mixed tapes that assured us that when we sat in front of a closed door, God would absolutely open a window of bigger and better opportunities?

My friend Google kindly dropped the news to me… “When God closes a door, He opens a window” is not, in fact, in the Bible. I’m not sure what concerned me more: that this well-known Christian cliché was not in the Word or the fact that I had no good reason for my season of camping out in front of that proverbial closed door.

Three months prior, I sat dreaming and planning and creating my agenda. As I made moves to set these dreams and plans into motion, I abruptly received “no’s” or “not right now” or “no way!” The echo of those doors slamming in my face rings in my ears to this day. After a couple of months and a hurt heart, I couldn’t help but recognize the Lord was doing something here. I wasn’t sure what He was up to but I knew this was pivotal moment in my life and in my understanding of who He is. You see, I’m am really good at kicking doors open and making things happen. At the beginning of my closed door season I stood ready with my super cute cowboy boots ready to kick the doors open and make my dreams and plans come true. But when my “feet” grew tired of kicking to no avail, I surrendered.

Lord, I get it. You have me in front of a “no.” I will sit here and wait. I will not pop my head up to peek around for that open window in which I was for sure you would open right now. Have your way. I surrender.

That one prayer changed it all. God showed me that what He would do IN me during this season of waiting is of more value than what He would or would not do WITH me. I found freedom in that moment to lay my dreams and plans and agenda in front of the closed door and began to seek after God. I mean, really seek after Him through His word and through intentional prayer and worship.

Have you found yourself with the echo of closed doors –– “no’s” and “not yet’s” and “no way!”? Can I take a moment to encourage you straight from experience? Embrace it! Take some time to prayerfully ask God…

What do I need to learn about YOU during this season of waiting?

What do I need to learn about myself in front of these closed doors?

What do You need to root out in my heart and in my spirit to prepare me if and when You say “Go!”?

I timidly asked these questions, too. When we are licking our wounds from closed doors it certainly isn’t fun to go deep with the Lord and seek out the greater purpose. Our Father knows our hopes and dreams. He also has a greater Kingdom purpose and plan and in His sovereign ways, the Lord melds the two together all the while holding our tender heart. Our job is to sit, wait, and obediently trust His ways. This is the Scripture that convinced me this inward work is just as exciting and valuable as my hopes and dreams––what God would hopefully do WITH me.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”(John 15: 5-11)

As I abided, sat ever close to Jesus, He did His work in me.

Sometimes the pain was unbearable. Oh but His gentle hand. All in love…

He rooted out pride.

He rooted out my obsession with control.

He rooted out pride some more.

Simply abide. Take some time to soak in His truth. Sit with Jesus in prayer and allow God to use your season of waiting to take you to a new level of faith, trust, love, mercy, joy…whatever it is that He is doing IN you. It will be so worth it. Trust me. I’ve been through it and made it to the other side. I’m better for it and so will you be, my friend!

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Sinking Like The Titanic

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One of my favorite church bulletin bloopers is one that announces not only the church services, but also the view held by many Christians today. The bulletin reads:

10am Service: Jesus Walks on Water
Tonight’s Workshop: Searching for Jesus…

As Christians, we get so perplexed by our lives. We’re not sure what where we are suppose to go, what we are suppose to do, or even what we are suppose to say. We look around, and we try to find the right answers, but instead of finding them, we only get more lost.

A friend of mine gave a sermon on what he thought was ‘The biggest problem with Christians today.’ He said that the biggest problem with Christians today is not that they don’t go to church, or even that many don’t read the Bible on a regular basis. He said the biggest problem Christians have today, is that they don’t have enough “Faith.”

We don’t have faith that God is in control of our lives, and instead we try to solve the very same problems He already has the answers for. We stress ourselves about what we are suppose to do, instead of letting Him lead us. We trust more in ourselves to do things, than we do in God.

And just like the bulletin illustrates, we forget that Jesus didn’t sink on the water, but rather the disciple who lacked faith. And when the disciple lost his faith, and when he started sinking in the water, falling without any hope… Jesus was still there to do the impossible. Jesus was there to hold him above the water, and to lead him back to safety.

The difference between Peter, and many Christians today, is that instead of grabbing on to Jesus, we try to fight our way back to the boat. We put more faith in ourselves, than in Jesus, and we try to fight a battle we cannot win by ourselves.

Imagine if Peter had let go of Jesus, and tried to swim back to the boat; imagine him trying to fight the raging waves and the pulling current. Instead of making it back to the boat, he would only have become more discouraged; before finally being pulled under. Discouraged like so many of us have become today.

What I find interesting, is that Jesus didn’t pull up Peter and say, “Wow, that was a close one.” He didn’t even say, “Whew, good thing you trusted me!” Instead, Jesus looked right at Peter, just as he does at all of us today, and says, “You of Little Faith! Why did you doubt?”

Jesus is asking us today, Why are you afraid? Why are you worried? Don’t you understand that I am here with you (Matt 28:20), that I will protect you (Deut 31:8)? I already have a plan for you (Jer 1:5), and I will lead you, if you will follow me… if you will put your faith in me, and TRUST me.

Trusting God isn’t something you can just say, or something you can talk about. Trusting God is something you have to do. You have to trust that he will protect you, and lead you… you have to trust that he will not let you go astray. Trusting God is letting go of your worries, and letting him handle it. Trusting God is remembering that there is nothing that He cannot take care of, and there is nothing He cannot fix.

Article by Simple Devotions

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“I’ve Been Seeking God, but Can’t Seem to Find Him”

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I occasionally hear from people who say that “seek and ye shall find” didn’t work for them. They explain that they prayed, read the Bible, researched, asked Jesus to help them, opened their hearts and minds, etc. but didn’t end up any closer to belief.

I sincerely, truly tried. I prayed. I asked others to pray for me. I sought humility. I went on not only a cynicism fast, but a complete media fasts more than once (no internet, no radio, no tv, no reading, no writing). I cried myself to sleep on more than one occasion, begging God to help me. I spoke to priests. I blogged. I attended Mass several days a week. I signed up for RCIA. I went to adoration. I read books. I went on retreat at a monastery…

I’m at the point now where I don’t even believe that God, if God exists, has any interaction with humans at all, and to me the question of God has become irrelevant, let alone Christianity. I assure you, it is not a place I wanted to end up, but I am coming to terms with it.

Reaching out to Jesus feels like hearing that some guy likes you and wants to get to know you, but never calls. You sit by the phone, wondering what you did wrong.

After reading this; I thought this would be a good subject to bring up and share the thoughts of others on this post…

Nic (Not Perfect) says…

Stop trying so hard. I know it’s cliched but it’s so true. Stop looking and start living your life with a mere openness to God. Give love and kindness freely and abundantly. Pray prayers of thanksgiving: be thankful for the flower in the crack of the sidewalk, be thankful for the rains that nourish the earth. God IS there, but we can’t command him to show up in exactly the ways we expect, and maybe, sometimes we’re so focused on the rules, regulations and steps we aren’t open to the experience

Marie says…

“We love Him because He first loved us.”

Do you love Him? If you do, it is because He loves you.

Don’t chase a certain presupposed feeling you are supposed to have, imagining some unknown ecstatic experience. God is sovereign.

Rest in His sovereignty

Susab says…

 

If you know in your heart that you are a sinner and that only Christ can forgive you and if you have asked Him to forgive you, and to take control of your life, then you are a Christian. You will, however, be unique Christian with your own journey. My advice would be to focus on just loving God and getting to know Him, much like you would a new friend. Try to view going to mass and adoration as an opportunity to get to know this new someone, not as an experiment to see if they exist

Notjustlaura says…

What made everything come together for me was being willing to believe. My sticking point was the Real Presence in the Eucharist. I just couldn’t get my head round it, let alone believe it. Eventually I told God that I was willing to believe it if it was true but that He’d have to do something because I couldn’t create a belief myself – believe me, I’d tried!

Then I went on to behave ‘as if’ I believed. And an indefinable something inside of me changed and, gradually, I came to believe.

Anonymous says…

Keep seeking. The One you are searching for is worth it. It’s completely normal to be weary and discouraged sometimes – but keep trying. When He comes, you’ll forget all your difficulties and even be grateful for your long longing.

 

Carl says… 

God is there but neither I nor anyone can really explain why He has chosen not to make Himself present to you at this time. No matter what may have happened in your efforts to find faith so far, He does know you, love you and wants you to continue seeking Him. If you continue to simply seek the truth, you will find Him. That is His promise.

Anonymous says…

Been there, done that. I remember a very low period in my life when everything was wrong, I prayed, and listened, prayed and listened. Nothing. Then my parish practically abandoned me in my time of need. (I am a cradle catholic) Then the priest pedophile scandle broke. I tried another church (and denomination) and I felt like every Sunday I was sitting thru a speech debate or a concert. Did not hear anything from God. I quit going to church all together for about 5 years. Then out of the blue I felt a tugging or a inner voice tell me to look again. This was a long process that I won’t go thru all the details but now I have come to believe that maybe that voice was there all the time but I was too worked up in my own problems to hear it.

 

George @ Convert Journal says…

Praying to God is communicating with Him. I believe He hears us each and every time without fail.

We are not always so good at hearing His reply! Sometimes we “hear” God’s reply when we pray for someone sick and they are healed. Sometimes we “hear” God’s reply when a thought pops into our head (recognizing these “thoughts” as God speaking to us can take some practice of discernment).

Sometimes we can detect no direct reply but that does not mean God did not hear us. His reply is in His time or perhaps His plan is beyond what we can understand.

We must trust, not test, Him. Like any skill, hearing God through prayer is something that improves with practice.

 

Julia says…

I agree with Nic that sometimes there is such a thing as being too absorbed in trying to feel God. God is a relationship, God is about giving yourself to others. So I would suggest volunteering, taking the extra step to help others, being more attentive to others.

When I do this, I often realize two things. One is the mysterious workings of God (which I won’t be able to explain coherently here). The other is how I fall short. When I try to imitate Jesus, I become painfully aware of how hard it is. Then his love and mercy become a little more real. Real not only because I am a sinner but because the more we try to reach for perfection, the more sensitive we are to it, and the more easily we will recognize Christ.

Kathleen@so much to say, so little time says…

I would say two things:

1. I find that sometimes when I’m desperately seeking Presence, I need to shut up and Be Still. I get in my own way.

2. I think in our society we get caught up in emotion, and without that “feeling” of faith, we think we have none. But emotion is fleeting. I remember going to confession once as a child saying, “I don’t FEEL anything.” The priest said something very wise. He said that if I see someone who needs a coat, and FEEL bad for them, that doesn’t make them warm. A better act of faith, he said, would be to give them a coat, whether I FELT anything about it or not.

 

Tim Terhune says…

I would first ask:

“what is it you are looking for?”

this may help you understand what it is they expect and what their notion of God is. It may be that they are looking for a “god” of that doesn’t exist (that is, a “god” of their own making)

BettyDuffy says…

Sometimes believers receive consolation, or a “feeling” of God’s presence–but they are not mandatory for Christian practice. And practicing Christianity does not absolve us from doubt. Doubts persist to the grave. The bottom line is that Christianity is something that one “does.” Faith, or certainty in God and Christ, is a gift that often begins when a person commits to going through the motions. Ask for it: “I want to believe, help my unbelief.”

Anonymous says…

I’m sorry if I got the wrong impression, but from the comments it sounded that the individuals were looking for the big “bang”! They seem to be looking for that mystical experience which would tell you without a doubt that there is a God. While such things do happen, it is something which should not be wished for. “To those who much is given, much will be expected…” Do they really want to join Christ in the suffering of his passion? Expect to suffer if you encounter God mystically.

Instead, it is in the little things that they should look for God. Ask for God’s guidance everyday and then you’ll see him, in a friend, a stranger, a stone, a beautiful blue sky

How would you respond to this question?

Share your thoughts with us below

Article re-blogged from Hi, I’m Jen

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Rapture Survival Kit (A Must Have)

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Many will be left here to face the worst times possible and you’re going to need all the help you can get; so why not prepare yourself with this exclusive ‘Rapture Survival Kit’ today

It costs nothing, but is loaded with lot’s of information to help you cope with your decision of not accepting the ‘FREE’ gift of God which is salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ

So, now I ask you….why are you interested in this kit, when you can avoid being among those who will be left behind because of their decision to reject the ‘FREE’ gift of salvation?

This post was just a wake-up call to some and a reality to others on how real that moment will be when Jesus returns for His people, His church

You don’t want to be left behind!

You don’t want to experience God’s wrath on those who did not go back with His Son!

You don’t want to be left here to face torment and persecution!

You don’t want this….you don’t!

Today, if you have not given your life to Jesus and accepted Him as your Savior; it’s not too late

However, if you still feel you don’t have to accept Jesus, then allow me to leave you with this link: http://rapture-survival-kit.com/

God bless you!

Article by

Missionary Laraine Turner, Owner/President of Blessed Magazine.  Vice-President of Precious Life Services.  Counselor and Mentor.  Spiritual Life Coach.  Her testimony: God has chosen me to be a vehicle for His divine purpose. My goal is to demonstrate to the world that through the love and power of Jesus Christ, all can live and have a blessed life. We all have a choice. When Jesus died for our sins, He gave us a choice, but if we refuse to live for Him, He has no choice but to give us our choice in regards to where we want to spend eternity. Please, make the right choice and follow Jesus! Stay blessed my sisters and brothers ♥

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Who the Holy Spirit is and What He Does

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Introduction: a look at the word of God reveals to us the names of the Holy Spirit through His multiple personalities. In Genesis 1:1-3, He is the first of the Godhead introduced to us as the Spirit of God. We know from the Bible that God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit [1John 5:7, Matthew 3:16-17]. He is on earth to accomplish a mission we shall be looking at in more details in the course of this month. According to the Lord Jesus Christ, His mission among other things is to bring conviction to the world with the aim of saving mankind and his environment and reveal God and His mind to us. See John 16:7-13, Rom.8:19-22 and Acts 3:19-21.

Who then is the Holy Spirit?

To understand who He is, we have to go back to God’s word to find our answers. From the scriptures, we are made to know that He is:

  1. A person described in the male gender. In John 16:13, the Lord Jesus Christ gives us this insight when He refers to Him as follows: “When He the Spirit of truth is come, He shall…” and went on to describe His mission to us. In talking about His purpose on Earth from John 16:8-15, the Lord refers to Him as a person in the male gender. Until you recognize Him as a person, you will not be able to establish a working relationship with you and that would be very devastating considering what His purpose is on earth in relation to our fulfilling God’s purpose for us.
  1. He is God: As God, He has all the power and backing of the Godhead. Whenever He speaks to us, He speaks on behalf of the Father and the Son. Like we saw earlier, He is the first of the Godhead introduced to us in the bible. In Gen.1:3, we see Him hovering over the face of the deep before the father could issue the command that triggered the recreation of the Earth as it is today. See 1John 5:7 and Matthew 3:16-17.
  2. He is also known as The Lord: When we compare the places when He ministered in the Old Testament and some of what was reported about those same texts in the New Testament, this truth is made very evident. For instance, when we compare Hebrews 10:15-17 with Ezekiel 36:22-28, we see that Ezekiel was prophesying what was to be discussed in our Hebrew text here as having been fulfilled. Ezekiel refers to Him as The Lord God while Paul calls Him The Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost.
  3. He is the author of the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation: As a Spirit, He could only work on Earth through human vessels. This is why we are told that He moved on Holy men to put the scriptures together. He is therefore, the most authentic source of bible interpretation. See 2Peter 1:14-21 where Peter left his legacy affirming the authority of the word of God, He makes us realize that He witnessed God Speaking and that Holy men of Old also heard God speak to them and documented them in writing which now makes up the scriptures. Also, Apostle Paul in 2Tim.3:16 makes us see that the Scriptures were not original with men but that they were given to men by the Holy Spirit to show us how to live well. This is why the Bible is God’s manual for our lives and environment.

Why is the Holy Spirit Here?

The Holy Spirit is on Earth today for the following reasons:

  1. To bring Conviction to the world: He convicts the world of sin showing us that we are all sinners and lost and hell bound and in need of salvation          [John 16:7-13; Rom.3:23; 6:23]. Then, He convicts us of righteousness that could only be found in Christ Jesus because we were not eyewitnesses to his death, burial and resurrection. Even many who witness it like Pilate could not understand it. All to the understanding given to Apostle Paul like the one in 1Cor.15:1-5 came by the revelation of the Holy Spirit. See Gal.1:12; 2:2 and Eph.3:3. Also, when People sought to know what they must do to be saved, the Holy Spirit used the disciples to show them. See Acts 2:37-39 and Acts 16:31. This is his ministry of showing the world true righteousness. See also Ephesians 2:8-10. Finally, He shows us the defeat of our archenemy and that we need not fear him anymore as all power has been given to the Lord Jesus Christ including the power he once stole from Adam. This is what gives us the audacity to bind him and cast him out. See Matthew 28:18; Mark 16;17 and Revelation 12:7-11 and 20:10.
  2. To give us vision: Vision is God’s revelation of our purpose to us: Like we already know, a life without a purpose is a meaningless life. In every right thinking person; is a desire to know why they are on earth and the only person that can reveal it to us is our manufacturer – God. This is why Jesus said He would take of Him and the father and show it to us. Then He added that He would show us things to come. See John 16:13. The importance of vision for each of us cannot be overemphasized. It is what gives us direction and the proper pursuit of it brings out the best in us. Every one without a vision lacks beauty and dignity; they perish. See Prov.29:18. Vision is the compass for life that enables us to know where to go. As we receive and follow divine instructions on a consistent basis, we will get there. The example of Joseph is very instructive here. See his story in Genesis 36-42. He knew his calling and lived a life that honored God until He was standing in his dream.
  3. To bring us all the revelation required to fulfill our purpose: Every time we read the bible, we need the Holy Spirit to open our understanding to help us see the secrets embedded in the scriptures. Jesus said He will teach us all things in John 14:26 [all things means exactly that and includes everything about life including our profession]. It is an understanding of these mysteries that provides us with the wisdom to master our world. If it is not given to us to know the mysteries of the kingdom, we cannot know them on our own. It is the Holy Spirit that gives us to know. See Mark 4:11, Ps.127:1, Luke 24:13-31. Without the revelation from God to pursue our God given purpose, our vision will look like a lie because it would never find expression as we would not know what to do to bring it to pass. This is why the preacher says in Ecclesiastes 10:15 that the labour of the foolish brings them weariness as they do not know how to get to the city.
  4. To help us with the power we need on the journey: He does this by filling our hearts with the Joy of the Lord. Peter refers to this joy as joy unspeakable full of glory. It is joy that provides us with the energy required to make it to the end of our journey on earth. See 1Peter 1:8, Neh.8:10.

However, this blessing is meant for those who have entered into the covenant relationship of the New Birth with the Lord. The bible says that Christ in you is the hope of glory and this mystery was hidden from the foundation of the world for our glory. They are not hidden from us but for us to be able to discover them. If you desire this new birth experience so as to take advantage of what God has given us, you can do so right away by saying the following prayer out loud in faith and you will be saved and granted access to the mysteries of God that would enable you manifest His glory on earth. When Jesus was about to round off His mission on earth, he said he had brought glory to God by fulfilling His purpose. See John 17:4. If you want to be able to say the same thing when the time comes, please say the following prayer out loud and God would honor your faith:

Heavenly Father,

Have mercy on me a sinner. Today, I believe that Jesus died for me and you raised Him from the dead for my Justification. I therefore declare that Jesus Christ is my Saviour and Lord and from today, I renounce the fatherhood of Satan and embrace Jesus Christ as my Saviour and Lord. Thank you for this father in Jesus’ name!

Amen.

Remain on top of your challenges in Jesus’ name!

Article by Kingdom Joint Heirs Family

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Being a Fruitless Christian

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Trees are often used in the Scriptures to represent people and their spiritual conditions (Psalms 1:1-3, Jeremiah 17:7-8, Matthew 7:15-20).
Reading from the Old testament to the New Testament, we find two kinds of trees: good trees (righteous and Godly men) and bad trees (unrighteous and evil men).

And Jesus went into Jerusalem and into the temple. So when He had looked around at all things, as the hour was already late, He went out to Bethany with the twelve.

Now the next day, when they had come out from Bethany, He was hungry. And seeing from afar a fig tree having leaves, He went to see if perhaps He would find something on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. In response Jesus said to it, ‘Let no one eat fruit from you ever again.’ –Mark 11:11-14

How to distinguish between the two?
Jesus answers this question in Matthew 7:20: “Therefore, by their fruits you will know them”.
Thus, by looking at the fruits a tree produces, we can tell if it is actually good or bad. For “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” Matthew 7:17-18.

Now, what about trees that do not bear fruit at all? Are they good or bad?
The answer is quite simple: God always causes His children to bear fruit. In John 15:5, Jesus says: “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing”. Meaning that only christians who live righteously and abide in Jesus are fruit-bearing trees.

Therefore, fruitless tree are not good trees. They may look like them, but are nothing like them, because they are not connected to God and have no roots in His Word — and for this reason they remain barren.

Being fruitless

In Mark chapter 11, verses 12 to 14, Jesus was hungry on His way from Bethany to the temple in Jerusalem. And seeing from afar a fig tree having leaves, He went to see if perhaps He would find something on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. In response Jesus said to it, “Let no one eat fruit from you ever again.”

Once more, the tree here represents a group of people, and in this chapter, Jesus is referring to the spiritual leaders of Israel.

Indeed, Israel’s religious leaders had turned away from God and were seeking glory from men by constantly showing off deep piety and spirituality.

They loved the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, ‘Rabbi, Rabbi’ (Matthew 23:6-7). They were doing charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them (Matthew 6:1), praying standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men (Matthew 6:5), disfiguring their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting (Matthew 6:16).

Outwardly, they looked righteous, but inwardly, they were hypocrite in their worship to God and blind guides to the flock they were suppose to lead and feed (Matthew 23). They were self-indulgent (Matthew 23:25), self-righteous (Luke 18:9-14), and running the house of God like a shopping mall (Mark 11:17).

Seen from afar, they advertise fruits by putting their nice leaves on display; But seen up close they reveal nothing more than leaves.

For this reason, though it was not the season for figs, Jesus seeing the leaves at a distance expected fruits to be present as well on the tree, but could not find a single one when He got close to it. Thus, He cursed the tree and it withered.

The cursing of the fig tree symbolizes the judgement of God again His house.
Yesterday, the Pharisees and the Scribes, and today any christian who fakes spirituality, relationship with God, and commitment to God’s Word.

What does it mean to bear fruit

To bear fruit is to:
– first and formost, know and serve God diligently (Matthew 22:37-40).
– Worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:24).
– Be zealous for good works (Titus 2:11-15).
– Hold on to the teachings of Jesus and walk in ALL His ways (John 8:31).
– Be good witnesses and examples to other christians and unsaved people (1 Peter 5:-4).
– Have faith with works alongside (James 2:14-26).
– Reach out to the lost, preach the Word (2 Timothy 4:1-5).

Christians who bear fruit constantly seek the will of God. They strive everyday to live a holy life and share the testimony of Jesus around them — and the fruit they bear rejoices the heart of God. John 15:8 states: “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.”

The danger of bearing no fruit

In Revelation 22:12-15, Jesus says: “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”
Following this, verses 14 and 15 state: “Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.”

As a fact, the Lord Jesus is coming back soon; And no one knows the day and the hour of His coming (Matthew 24:36-44, Revelation 16:15). Therefore, every one of us should scrutinize his life and see whether or not he is a fruit-bearing tree. For only trees that have fruits will be accepted and received by Him.

The cursing of the fig tree in Mark chapter 11 is a warning for every Christian, a call to wholly love the Lord, sincerely follow Him, and fully engage into the Kingdom’s affairs.

The fruitless tree is useless, unacceptable, and unprofitable; And such a tree will be cursed.

Then, the fruitless tree will be cut down and thrown into the fire (John 15:6-7).

Now let us close with this question:
How will you present yourself before King Jesus when He returns — With or without fruit?

Article by What is Sin Today?

Image by Mike Melrose (Barren Tree)

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Why Believers Must Have a Heart of Flesh

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Ezekiel tells us that we need to have a heart of flesh. And this heart of flesh can only come from God. This heart of flesh is in contrast to a heart of stone that so many people have. How can we get this heart of flesh?

The Meaning of a Heart of Flesh

In Ezekiel 36, God was talking to the Israelites and telling them what He would do for them when they came back to Him. Then He said: “Ezekiel 36:26 (NIV): “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”

The Hebrew word for “flesh” (bawsawr) does refer to the body that we have. However if we look at the root from which bawsawr comes from, we can more clearly understand what God is talking about. It comes from the Hebrew word “basar” that means “to be fresh, to announce, preach, show forth good tidings.”

In other words, God will take our old heart of stone and replace it with a heart that is soft and pliable and full of good things. Understand that the word “heart” comes from the Hebrew word “lebab” that refers to our feelings, our will and even our intellect. Thus, it refers to the center of our very being, or who we really are.

This is Important for Us

This is something that we need to understand in these last days. If we want to win people over to Christ so they will not have to go through the Tribulation, we need them to see Christ in us. We need people to look at us and see our lack of fear, our love for everyone else, the peace that we have amidst all the turmoil that is around us.

We need people to look at us and say: “I want what you have.” The only way we are going to win people to Jesus in these last days is to show them through our actions that we have peace within us and confidence that God is going to win. We need people to look at us and ask: “Why are you so happy in the midst of all the tragedy that is happening all around us?”

Give Them a New Counselor

Believe it or not, we are all being guided around by some type of a spiritual guide. Deep within each of us is a longing for God. And if we don’t actively seek out God, other spirits will fill that longing that is inside of us. I know that is hard for many to accept, but if the one inside you that is giving you counsel is not God, then it is an evil spirit.

And remember, the only way for God to be living inside of you is to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. When this happens, then the Holy Spirit can come and live inside of you. When the Holy Spirit is living in you, then no evil spirit can live there.

You Will Never Eliminate Evil Temptations

Once we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, Satan and his demons are actually going to work even harder to get us to go against God’s will for us. When we accept Jesus, Satan and his demons become very upset with us. But, do not worry, when we have the Holy Spirit living in us, all they can do is to tempt us.

And with the Holy Spirit as our new Counselor, He will guide us away from those temptations. However, we do have to listen to Him. We can still ignore Him and go our own way. But don’t! Allow the Holy Spirit to counsel you in all that you do.

Receive Your Heart of Flesh

Allow God to change your heart of stone into a heart of flesh. Allow God to mold you into the very being of love that He wants you to be. Allow God to be able to use you in these last days. Let God work through you to win others to Christ.

You will know if you have received this heart of flesh by your actions. The fruit that flows from you will show what is inside of you. If you are harsh, bitter, lose your temper easily, want to control others, etc. then you must realize that the one counseling you is not the Holy Spirit.

Remember what God said in Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV): “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” If God has given you a heart of flesh, then this is the fruit that you will be presenting to others.

Even Christians Need To Receive This Heart of Flesh

Believe it or not, we can accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior and still reject the counsel of the Holy Spirit. Remember, we can know who our counselor is by the fruit that flows from our lives. The problem is that we often don’t recognize the fruit that is flowing from us. This is why we need to talk to other born-again Christians.

Allow other born-again Christians to show us what they see coming out of us. Listen to what they tell us because they will see what we cannot see. Remember, if our counselor is not the Holy Spirit, that counselor will have blinded us so that we cannot see what is coming forth from us.

The Solution

Spend time in prayer with God, through Jesus. Allow Him to show you what is coming forth from your flesh. Find a good Bible-believing Church and start attending. Find a warm born-again Christian and ask him/her to counsel you. Let God work through His children to help you in your walk through life.

Article by Charles Kinsley

Image by bwog

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