There was a show that has made a comeback recently called, To Tell the Truth. Three people would tell the same story of who they were, what they did and how they did it. A panel of judges would ask various questions trying to determine who was lying and who was telling the truth. The “liars” where sometimes tripped up and it would be obvious who was the truth teller. But sometimes the panel was fooled. Does this happen it real life? Wouldn’t be kind of awesome if liar’s pants really did catch fire? It would so much easier to tell who is telling the truth, right?
As believers, sometimes we try to fool people with our self-righteousness when our hearts are cold, our minds bitter with the past toward people who wronged us, making our souls be less than pure. We do life to please people not God. We do just enough to get by but not fully enjoying what God has invited us to be and do because our hearts are not motivated with what He sees as right. We grumble and complain more and more and wonder why people begin to shy away from us. If we were fruit trees, our “fruit” would be seriously sad to see and bitter to taste. If the manager of the orchard comes along and evaluates our lives, we may be cut down, taken from where we are and put where we don’t want to be.
Seek what is Truth. Seek Jesus who IS Truth. Becoming a believer means living like Jesus taught us to live, loving unconditionally, seeing the best in others and encouraging them, thinking the best of situations and circumstances not the worst. Paul expands Jesus’ teaching on the mount. He explains how to bear good fruit by allowing the Holy Spirit take over the growing process. He lists what the work of the Holy Spirit can do in us.
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.” Galatians 5:22-26, NLT
What do we learn? We cannot do this alone. We cannot grow without the Holy Spirit’s power working in us. We cannot even begin until we have nailed our own selfishness to Jesus’ cross to die! That’s where all sin went to die forever. From death to the old fruitless, selfish life to an eternal growing, fruitful life with Christ! This is serious Truth.
Matthew—The Law Fulfilled
Matthew 7:15-23, NLT
The Tree and Its Fruit
15 “Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. 16 You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. 18 A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. 19 So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. 20 Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.
21 “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. 22 On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ 23 But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’
Abba, Father in Heaven,
The last thing I want you to say to me is, “I never knew you” so go ahead and do what you must in me so I will trust and obey quickly with a heart motivated to please you alone because of my love for you. May your Holy Spirit speak to my heart about what is offensive to you and together correct those flaws in my character. May the power of your Holy Spirit do His growing work in me so that I can be more fruitful in my life. Most of all, help me to know Truth and live Truth.
In Jesus Name, Amen