Serving Jesus is the way to produce true fruit that glorifies God. Our own goodness — or our own ideas of goodness — are worthless for producing spiritual fruit. We must leave our own efforts at spiritual excellence — we must divorce ourselves from them — in order to join ourselves to the Resurrected One, in whom is the promise of life and vitality. In Christ we possess all possibility for effective service.

So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you could be joined to another, to the one who was raised from the dead, to bear fruit to God.
Rom 7.4

Our God and Father, reinforce in us the purpose to live in and for Christ and to glorify you by our fruit.

The pavement hard beneath the feet,
Thoughts upon the air,
The frantic mind in hot pursuit,
Where search for meaning — where?

From busy street to copied street,
The leathered sole is sore;
No step without direction is sweet,
But aimless walking’s a chore.

The only variation is pace,
With progress fast or slow —
Outside of Christ and far from grace,
It matters not where I go.

 

The shortcut you think may save you time and grief may never get you to your destination. It may seem the quickest way. It promises to reroute you, past the hard incline, around the boulders, and over bogs. But it may well end in the thick of the forest, where it throws you into a tangle of briars and limbs and crevices from which you cannot extricate yourself. Continue reading

The follow was written for Chris Gallagher’s preacherspen.com site, as part of a series of guest blogs on the subject. Mine was published earlier in the month of August.

In my bedroom is a relic. Not a religious artifact, but a family heirloom of sorts. On a shelf sits a carved turkey caller that my grandfather made years ago with his own hands. It is precious to me not only because it was his, but because he made it, he carved it with his own hands.

My sentiments about that turkey caller echo in a terribly weak way my feelings and convictions about the church of God. I made a list of what I love about the church, but the points are but swirls around the center. I love the church because my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ created it, not merely with his own hands, but with his precious blood. Continue reading