Tag Archives: John 3:16-17

Christianity is not about doing, it’s a state of being.

Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing." John 15:5

Which came first: the fruit or the Spirit?

I used to have a lot of artificial fruit.  What does artificial fruit look like? Well, let’s just say I ‘faked’ Christianity, I acted the way I thought a Christian would act.  Let me give you an illustration…

When I was 16 years old I received a scholarship from the Horatio Alger Association.  To me, it wasn’t just a scholarship; it was the beginning of a relationship.  These people who didn’t even know me invested in my future education and took me to Washington D.C. for a few days, introduced me to a lot of entrepreneurs, and told me how much they believed in me. The sad part is no matter how much they believed in me or encouraged me, I did not think I deserved this scholarship and it was hard for me to accept it. In fact I didn’t even use it for 7 years! Why? Because for those 7 years I tried my hardest to ‘earn’ that scholarship, believing I did not deserve it. This is exactly what I did with my salvation.

I was told by a number of God’s messengers:

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” John 3:16-17

OK. God loves me.  He gave His Son Jesus as a sacrifice to pay for my sins and now I can have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. A gift! In 1996, I ‘accepted’ this free gift but for 13 years I did not act like I’ve accepted it as ‘free.’ Instead, I did everything in my own strength and I tried to earn my salvation, revealing my lack of faith.

I tried to be a good Christian by being nice to people, changing what I say, I tried to stop drinking, I began to serve, and listen to Christian music…always talking the talk but not walking the walk—not walking in the power of the Holy Spirit.  Then in 2008 I began to read the Bible and on February 12, 2009 I surrendered. I stopped doing and started being.

Here are a just few things I’ve learned along the way:

So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits. (Matthew 7:17-20)

I produced bad artificial fruit for so long to try to earn my salvation, to deserve it.  It is true, I don’t deserve it, none of us do. It is by grace through faith I have been saved, not of myself…not what I’ve done or haven’t done, it is a gift of God. I am no longer blinded and now I see!

Do you see? Do you see the Spirit must come before the fruit?

Are you tired of powerless religion? By ‘power’ I mean walking in your strength and not in the power of the Holy Spirit?  I pray you draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

Thanks for reading but please don’t take my commentary for it…read the Bible and interact with God for yourself you will taste and see that He is good!


Do you KNOW or do you know OF?

Jesus said “All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” (Matthew 11:27)

I am humbled, I am thankful, I am sorrowful when I read this truth.  I am humbled because I realize the loving relationship I have with My Father (God) and His Son (Jesus Christ) is not because of ANYTHING I’ve done right. I am thankful He has revealed Himself to me.  I am sorrowful for those who do not know Him.  For 32 years I was one who knew ‘of’ God but I didn’t ‘know’ God personally.

Again I am humbled I ‘get’ to know Him so intimately when I don’t deserve to.  I’ve done MANY things wrong, I was born a sinner. A person who naturally wants to disobey God.  A person who is naturally selfish, impatient, unkind, jealous, envious, brags, arrogant, and can act unbecomingly….I seek my own agendas, I am provoked and I keep a record of wrongs.   Yes, I am talking about myself.  I am talking about my ‘natural’ self.  Do you want to be my friend?

I’ve used those terms to describe myself because 1 Corinthians 13 was a Scripture God revealed to me in the Spring of 2009 to show me I was a sinner (before that I thought I was a good person).  God’s Word in 1 Corinthians 13 tells us what love is, you should read it.  Do you know the greatest commandment is “YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND. This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”  Ok stay with me…God COMMANDS we LOVE Him and others: He ‘COMMANDS’ it, but in my natural state do I? Can I? No! I told you how my natural state is selfish, sinful (disobedient to God) I can’t LOVE God let alone another person! I see the standard.  I see I cannot make the standard and I see I am not a good person. Most devastating to me is I see that I am not loving God and that’s what breaks me….and I weep. I weep and weep because I want to love God with all my heart, soul and mind but how?

My gentle Father does not leave me in the state of sadness but provides me relief and comfort.  He tells me I am forgiven and He loves me.  He tells me just how much He loves….“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.  For God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world might be saved through Him.” (John 3:16-17).  

You would think after calling myself all of those horrible selfish adjectives I would condemn myself and go into deep state of sadness but did you read John 3:17?  Read it again “For God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.”  My Father tells me, ‘my sweet child, I do not condemn you, neither should you condemn yourself…or others.’ I was smitten ever since and by His grace and mercy, His Truth has set me free!

The spring of 2009 was just the beginning of my relationship with God my Father and every day I have a retreat with Him.  It is at these retreats He reminds me I am forgiven, He gives me daily bread and grace and shows me how to love Him and how to love others. How does He show me?  Through His Word (Bible) and through His Holy Spirit that lives inside me…an inaudible voice that speaks to my heart and says, this is the way, walk in it…

Jesus Messiah, my Lord and Savior said: “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” John 17:3

I am intentionally praying for all readers of this blog…yes YOU. I am praying you know and love Him and if you already do, I pray you are growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Do you Know the only true God and Jesus Christ? When were you smitten?


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