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GROWING IN CHRIST

"What's Your Availability?"

Date published: 12/10/2013
Matthew 7:17, 20 “Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.  Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.” (NIV)  
 
Being good fruit does not relate to your salvation or position in Christ; it relates to the manifestation of Christ in you. Living a sold out life for Jesus results in two things: 1) Christ becomes the center of your universe; 2) Every facet of your life is devoted to pleasing Christ. Luke 9:23 says, “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me.” The natural result of a life lived for Christ Jesus is a life available to be used by Him. The more you draw into Christ, the more He reveals His will for you. As you embrace God’s will, you allow the Holy Spirit to manifest His life through you. Galatians 2:20 describes it best, "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me.” Good fruit will naturally flow out of your relationship with Jesus as long as you respond to His will and leading.  How then do you bear bad fruit? – By doing just the opposite – by not responding to His will and leading. You know Christ, but you center your life on you rather than Him. You seek your desires and the desires of others while never seeking the purpose for which God created you. Jesus told Peter that he had this problem in Matthew 16:23b, “You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men." Do not miss the joy and pleasure of Christ in you. Most of all, don’t live this life for that which is here today, but disappears tomorrow. Isaiah 40:8 gives the proper perspective, “The grass withers, the flower fades; but the Word of our God will stand for ever.”  
 
Acts 20:23-24 “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me — the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace.” (NIV)