Friday, 14 March 2014

Very Thin Ice

That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.”  Matthew 13: 1-9

It is with much concern that I post this particular blog.  I don’t want to offend someone who professes to be a believer in Christ, nor do I want to cause someone to doubt their salvation.  The above passage and Matthew 7:21-23 suggest to me that some of us consider ourselves to be Christians and perhaps on an intellectual level we are.  But God looks upon the heart and in the final analysis only He knows if we have truly been “born again”.

Scripture makes it clear that if a fruit tree is alive it should bear fruit.  We as born again Christians should exhibit fruit, be it the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5), and/or the way in which we love our neighbor.  We should cherish the time spent with the Lord, time in His Word, time in prayer, and time in meditation. We should ask ourselves:

1.     Do we have a thirst for God, i.e. a desire to know Him more?

2.      Are we governed increasingly by His Word? 

3.     Are we more loving? 

4.     Are we more aware of God’s presence in our lives? 

5.     Do we have a growing concern for the spiritual and temporal needs of others? 

6.     Are we quicker to forgive? 

7.     Do we grieve over our sin? 

8.     Are we seeing a long-term pattern of growth?

9.     Do we acknowledge that all things are from God?

10.  Are we convinced that we are indwelt by God’s Holy Spirit?

Number ten is crucial for without God’s Holy Spirit it is highly unlikely that you can say yes to the nine questions above. This is not meant to be an all-inclusive list but just some benchmarks along your spiritual journey.  The importance of being born again is to be indwelt by God’s Spirit which makes all the rest possible.  It is God’s Spirit that prompts me to obey God’s commands.  It is God’s Spirit that convicts me of my sin.   A couple who is born again should have a marriage that is filled with joy and a testimony to our God.

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