Proper fruit is more than green leaves and saved souls

GERALD COWAN’S PERSONAL PERIODICALS
Number 619 • March 10, 2021

PROPER FRUIT IS MORE THAN GREEN LEAVES AND SAVED SOULS
Luke 13:6-9, Mark 11:12-14, Matthew 21:18-23, John 15:1-9, Galatians 5:22-23

What is expected of fruit trees, maybe not so much from wild trees but certainly domesticated, planted and tended trees? One does not plant fruit trees for their leaves or their bark, or for firewood. The reason for planting and tending a fruit tree is that it produce its proper fruit in its proper season. Continue reading

#fruit, #geraldcowan

False advertising by Christians

GERALD COWAN’S PERSONAL PERIODICALS

Number 554

August 16, 2020

LORD, MAKE OUR LEAVES GREEN

What is expected of fruit trees, maybe not so much from wild trees but certainly domesticated trees, planted and tended? Fruit. That’s the purpose of planting the tree, that’s what is expected in due season. One does not plant fruit trees for their leaves, their bark, or for firewood. No matter the particular the kind of tree, the reason for planting and tending it is that it produce its proper fruit. Jesus told a parable about an unproductive fig tree (Luke 13:6-9). It was not a wild tree but rather one planted and tended in the vineyard or garden of the landowner. In the season of harvest the owner looked for fruit from the tree but there was none. He spoke to the gardener, the one tending to that tree and other trees, vines, etc in the vineyard. “This fig tree,” he said, “has no fruit. For three years I have sought figs on it and found none. Cut it down and remove it. Why should it use the ground – it burdens the ground and deprives other growing things of what the ground gives?” There is no indication that the tree had been neglected by the gardener, no evidence that it was diseased or harmed and hindered by other plants in the garden. It was simply unproductive – a barren tree that had no proper fruit. It might have been a decent shade tree – there is evidence that sitting under one’s own fig tree was comforting, evidence perhaps of some prosperity and well-being (Micah 4:4). But the reason for having fig trees, exactly the same as the reason for having grape vines, date palms, or any other vine or tree or plant: for the fruit they can produce. When the land owner said of the unproductive fig tree in his garden that it should be cut down, the gardener pleaded for it: “Let me fertilize it and irrigate it properly and give it another year to become productive. If it fails, then it certainly should be removed.” Note: is God giving evidence that He is a Lord of second chances, that He makes it possible for past failures to become present or future successes? We like to think so. But even if that is so, let nobody presume it means one will be spared forever. Is He saying that unfruitful members of His kingdom family will end up in the fire if, after suitable care, provision, and tending they do not bear proper fruit? See John 15:1-11. Continue reading

#fruit, #geraldcowan

VOTD: Ephesians 5.8-10 ‘Fruit of the light’

“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.”

Ephesians 5.8-10 NIV

The light produces nothing that is not good, righteous, and true, and all that is.

How does a person find out what pleases God?

#completeness, #fruit, #light, #please-god

Our prayers usually ask God for fruit from…

Our prayers usually ask God for fruit from our work. This request is a new, interesting twist: “Grant us work that bears fruit in spite of our faults and weaknesses …” Bears careful consideration, don’t you think?

#fruit, #prayer, #work

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(#50) The Proverbs of Solomon 11:30-31: The Results of a Good Life

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 11:30: “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who wins souls is wise.”

The purpose of recognizing God’s blessings, receiving those blessings, and rendering blessings to others is to have a positive, spiritual effect on our part of the world. The “wise” will win souls, the unwise will not! The “righteous” will bear fruit, the unrighteous will remain barren! The purpose of each life should be to leave behind more righteousness in the world than there was before being born! Of course, Jesus Christ is essential to this success: “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. 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. 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” (John 15:4-8). To “win” a soul for Christ has made the ultimate conquest for good!

Proverbs 11:31: “If the righteous will be recompensed on the earth, How much more the ungodly and the sinner.”

The inspired commentary on this verse is from the Apostle Peter, who quoted this as a means of encouraging Christians who suffer affliction for the cause of Jesus Christ, and needed to know that the “ungodly and the sinner” have no comfort or strength to endure, by contrast. “For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? Now If the righteous one is scarcely saved, Where will the ungodly and the sinner appear? Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator” (1 Peter 4:17-19). When we obey the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38) we trust our souls into the care of God, who will protect us eternally, as long as we remain in His care (1 Peter 2:11-12; 3:13-18; 5:6-7).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #branch, #fruit, #jesus-christ, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #righteous, #salvation, #vine, #wisdom

Listen to their prayers

If you ever want to know what someone believes, listen to their prayers.

Islamic writers posit that Christians shouldn’t be threatened by the name “Allah,” because it’s the same God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob.

Yet, in the Shahada, the Muslim declaration of faith, it is said by Muslims each day, “There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger.

The often proffered position that Allah is a related word to “Elohim,” and is, therefore, the God of the Old Testament is misleading. The word, “Allah,” is Arabic for God, and the word, “Elohim,” is a general term for deity in Hebrew. This does not prove that the God of the Old Testament is Allah.

Indeed, Islam’s concept of God is that he is a hater of men, except for Mohammed and his followers. There are other examples of how the conduct of God and Allah differ. At the creation of Adam, the Quran says God required the angels to worship the first human, and that Satan refused because Adam was a mortal./[1]

The Old Testament of the Bible does not describe God in these terms. God’s judgment falls adversely on man when he fails to obey the one, true God. Those who obey God are accepted without prejudice (Acts 10:34-35). In addition, God never required angels to worship man. In fact, scripture teaches man was “made a little lower than the angels,” (Hebrews 2:7).

We should be fruit inspectors (Matthew 7:16). What Muslims say in their prayers and teach in their doctrine say more than soothing words designed to assuage fear.


[1]/ “The Quran Revealed” Dr. Dave Miller pp. 172

#fruit, #prayers, #understanding

The Sown Word

Had the word of God been sown into your heart? Is that word that was sown any longer present? If it is not, why is that? It is because Satan took it away, and how did “he” do that? “He” did it this way: your lack of understanding produced in you no desire to hear further because it was too hard (John 6:60, 66). It is not any more complicated than this.

Had the word of God been sown into your heart? When you heard it, did you embrace it with enthusiasm, desiring to learn more? Now, however, you no longer have an interest – why is that? The answer lies in the fact that you had no “root in” yourself; that is, you were (are) selfish, self-interested, and you tripped (stumbled) over that which others mocked. You were (are) weak spiritually.

Had the word of God been sown into your heart? Indeed it had, but the interests, the other things of life pulled you away because they demanded your attention. The result of this is that whatever desire you have (or had) to produce the fruit that lasts for eternity was never able to take root because it was choked by all the weeds that grew (grows) up around it.

Had the word of God been sown into your heart? What was the produce?

#fruit, #heart, #word-of-god