The Fruitful Life

whyI like to be effective in everything I do. I want to know that my efforts are influencing or helping others to be their very best. It always brings me great joy when I can look back and see that I was able to pour into someone and help them.

As believers we should find that same joy in living a fruitful Christian life. In 2 Peter 1.5-8 the great Apostles says:

Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Peter tells us to live a life growing or increasing in moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love. When this is happening, we will be living a fruitful life in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Living in “true knowledge” means living in the facts of how Jesus says we should live.

One of our best witnesses, as believers in Christ, is to live a fruitful life. A life that has been changed from the inside out always gets people’s attention. Eventually they will ask why the major change in your life, which leads to an opportunity to tell them about God’s love as demonstrated through the sacrifice of Jesus.

So, make an effort to live out who you really are in Jesus. Someone full of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. And just wait, someone is going to notice and ask you “WHY?” Then the overwhelming joy of a fruitful life will guide you as you tell YOUR story of how you met Jesus and are now living for Him!

Seismic Prayer

"And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken..." (Acts 4.31a) ESV

In Acts 3:1-4.22, we see the story of Peter and John healing a man who had been crippled from birth.  Leaping with joy and praising God, this man stood with the disciples as they proclaimed the truth of how Jesus had healed him.  As the crowd gathered around, the Temple Police stepped in and arrested Peter and John.  The next morning they were brought before the Sanhedrin. After hearing the disciples story, the rulers threatened them to never speak in the name of Jesus again or risk severe punishment.

After being let go, the disciples and their new convert went back and told the church everything that had happened.  How God had used them to heal a man who had been crippled for forty years, preached to the crowd which led to 5,000 men being saved, were arrested, proclaimed Jesus to the Sanhedrin, were threatened by the religious leaders, and then set free.

This Sunday, we will look at the conclusion of this narrative in Acts 4:23-31 and examine the believers’ Seismic Prayer which shook the house in which they were meeting.  I hope to see you at Living Oaks this Sunday at 10:45 a.m. as we worship God together.

Pentecost: Catch the Fire

Hope to see you at Living Oaks Baptist Church this Sunday as we continue our study through the book of Acts.  This week we will examine Peter’s sermon on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2.14-36).  It is going to be a wonderful day of worship through song and the study of God’s Word.  I hope to see you Sunday at 10:45 a.m.

Taking the Lead

Every once in a while, when working through a book of the Bible, you come across a set of verses that seem to fill in the gaps of New Testament history and yet they don’t seem to have any relevance to today. In Acts 1:15-26, we read about the replacement of Judas Iscariot after his betrayal and subsequent death.

It was important to replace Judas because the number of disciples needed to be twelve. In Luke 22:28-30 Jesus says, “You are those who have stayed with me in my trials, and I assign to you, as my Father assigned to me, a kingdom, that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” This role of the apostles was a unique, irreplaceable office which held eternal responsibilities. Their witness to Jesus is the foundation for believers of all generations to receive salvation, which is seen in Eph. 2:20 where our faith is described as being built on the foundation of the apostles.

We also see this teaching in Revelation 21:14. The New Jerusalem is coming down to the new earth where the saints of God will dwell in His presence forever and ever. In describing the city John writes, “And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.”

These facts clearly help us understand the reason for restoring the number of disciples to twelve. It also proves that the replacement for Judas is not a case for apostolic succession. After all, when James the son of Zebedee died, he was not replaced. James had not abandoned his office but was martyred and therefore is an apostle for all eternity.

In just a couple of minutes, we were able to look at these verses and understand the reason for Judas’ replacement as well as the apostles’ purpose to lay a foundational witness of Jesus Christ. On the surface this may seem to be innocuous facts that really don’t relate to us; however, while studying this week, I began to look specifically at the three men mentioned in these verses and one key theme kept coming to mind—LEADERSHIP.

I would like to invite you to Living Oaks Baptist Church this Sunday as we ponder some of the ways these verses apply to Christians. I hope to see you at 10:45 a.m. this Sunday.

In His service,