Recently, I posted online a picture of a tomato plant from my garden. Hanging from that plant in mid-June were a few golf ball sized tomatoes. My caption, “Come on” were my words of anticipation for the delicious fruit to get here. In order to get to this point, it took a great deal of time. I first prepared the soil and planted the seeds in little cups. Throughout April and early May, I nurtured the plants with water and exposure to the sun. Around Mothers’ day, they were planted in the ground followed by pruning, watering and weeding. In all, it should take about 10 weeks before I will get the fruit that I desire. Fruit just takes time.
But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience. (Luke 8:15)
It also takes time to produce the fruit of God. It is easy to make fruit that shows on the outside and you can do it in no time at all, but it might not really be fruit. Change your clothes, change your hair, you can even change your words and the places your feet may take you. However, true fruit takes time and first begins on the inside of the believer and like any fruit bearing plant, it will take time to grow. It begins with a seed of truth from God’s word. If we yield to it, it will begin to grow. Each day, we will need to keep or guard this truth in our hearts. As we do, the early signs of fruit will begin to show: much like my small green tomatoes. Over time, the truth will become a habit that we have put on. If you continue the process, you will grow and your fruit will yield 30, 60 and even 100 fold. (Mark 4:8)
We know why Jesus accepted invitations to visit with the Publicans, but did you ever wonder why the Lord accepted them from the Pharisees. From this account of Scripture, we can see that Jesus will go to wherever he is invited. What we must understand is that we may invite him for one reason, but his purpose may be different. In either case, it is great to know that whenever we invite the Lord to be with us, he will attend.
Regardless of our spiritual condition, he will attend. He respond differently that we may think, but he will respond in a manner that is for our benefit. So, wherever you are and in whatever state you may find yourself, invite the Lord to come and be with you. He is waiting and has been for some time.
There is a difference between seeking direction and desiring a sign as proof before believing. Probably one of the most noted individuals who sought a sign for direction was Gideon. Gideon sought a sign out of cautiousness and not unbelief. Had that not been the case, he would have been rebuke by the Lord.
An adulterous generation seeks a sign because their heart has affinity to another. Their request for a sign is more out of not wanting to change than it is for desiring the truth. Their prideful heart digs in becoming unmovable.
This attitude is understandable for the lost, but the saddest of testimonies for the saved.
When the centurion had his servant healed, he demonstrated by faith something that nobody in Israel had yet accomplished. He had believed in the sovereignty of the Lord Jesus Christ and his ability to speak a miracle into existence. He, being a heathen Roman officer, had great faith.
You must remember that your family history, like the centurion’s, does not determine or hinder your spirituality. Even your past–whether it be good or bad–does not determine your current spiritual state. Your spiritual condition is directly related to your faith. However, sin can cause you to walk in the flesh which reduces your ability to trust God, but your history does not determine your future.
As you venture forward in your walk with the Lord, live beyond your circumstances and believe in him.
One of the attributes of God is that he is omniscient, which means that he is all knowing. He knows all that has occurred in the past, he knows what is in the heart of man and what is taking place currently, and he knows what will happen in the future.
When God became man, he cloaked his diety: that is to say that as God, Jesus functioned as a man and only accessed his divine powers and abilities as directed by the father.
In this passage when Jesus came face to face with the widow, he, as God, saw her and her condition for the first time. What occurred revealed the nature of God towards man. The scriptures state that when he saw her, he had compassion on her. From this, we can know that as God looks upon us, he will be moved with compassion towards us. Although his plan may require that we endure particular hardships in life, but nonetheless his heart is moved with compassion.
We too should have compassion on others. What is needed for this to occur is to see individuals in their state. This may come from visual sight or Holy Spirit illumination. It is difficult to have compassion on someone if you cannot see them. So in order for us to have compassion, we must see them.